Cinthia Fabian, CC'17


IFSA in Mexico: Study Abroad at Mérida Universities Program

Language of Instruction: Spanish
Term: Academic Year, Spring, Fall

Immerse yourself in Spanish language and Mexican culture while studying in Mérida.

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The IFSA in Mexico: Study Abroad at Mérida Universities Program is a supported direct-enrollment program offered during the fall, spring and academic year. In order to participate, you need to complete through Intermediate Spanish II, or the equivalent, prior to departure. Students will participate in several archeology-based excursions, live with a carefully chosen host family, enroll in courses with local Mexican students while improving their Spanish language skills.


This program is designed for students with an intermediate command of the Spanish language from most majors. You enroll in a Spanish language class and regular university classes alongside of their Mexican peers at Universidad Autónoma de Yucatán (UADY) or Universidad Modelo. UADY offers a full range of courses and is strong in history, literature and linguistics, anthropology, and social anthropology. UADY also has an active commitment to archaeology and anthropology because of its location in the midst of a concentration of archaeological sites. However, you do not have to focus on archaeology and anthropology. The university has a full range of courses in the social sciences, humanities, education and the sciences. Universidad Modelo is a small private institution that provides coursework in academic areas such as engineering, architecture and design.

Program Features

While in Mérida, you live with a host family. IFSA ensures that only one students lives with each host family to facilitate the greatest integration and immersion of the student in the Spanish language and Mexican culture.

You participate in several excursions to locations such as Inframundo, Playa de Progreso, local archaeological museums, and long trips to visit cenotes and an hacienda. You can even learn to cook regional Yucatec cuisine.


Review eligibility to ensure that you meet all Columbia requirements to study abroad.

Review the external program webpage to understand any additional program prerequisites. Note the program language requirements.

Application Instructions

To apply, you must complete the two steps below. Deadlines vary and some applications are reviewed on a rolling basis. Therefore, you should complete the steps below simultaneously:

  • To apply for Columbia clearance (approval) to study abroad, click on "Start Your Application" on this webpage. Clearance applications are approved on a rolling basis until the application deadline listed on this webpage.
  • To apply for program admission, complete an external application directly on the program webpage. Note that this deadline may be in advance of the Columbia clearance deadline.

Fact Sheet

Humanities, Social Sciences, STEM
Columbia College, Columbia Engineering, Columbia General Studies, Columbia Undergraduates, Junior, Senior, Sophomore, Study Abroad
Language of Instruction:
Language Requirement:
4 semesters of language, or equivalent (Intermediate sequence)
Latin America and the Caribbean
Academic Year, Spring, Fall

Dates & Deadlines

Academic Year
Application Deadline: 
Monday, March 1, 2021
Application Deadline: 
Monday, March 1, 2021
Application Deadline: 
Friday, October 1, 2021