Merida, Mexico

IFSA Summer in Mexico

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Program Overview


One of the Yucatán’s most charming cities, Mérida basks in 300 days of sunshine a year. Full of Mayan and Spanish influences, it’s a fascinating place to explore cultural hallmarks as you flex your academic muscles.

This region may have deep ancient roots, but today’s culture is equally fascinating. Find out how as you explore Mayan migration, Yucatán tourism, politics, and more (taught in Spanish). You could also tease apart the impact of increasingly diverse communities on public and private health care in different settings, complete with visits to area clinics (taught in English; no Spanish language experience required).

This flexible program includes options for one or two four-week sessions. Take a class along with an eight-week internship with IFSA Summer Internships in Mexico.

This is an exclusive IFSA-Designed Program. Learn more about these affordable programs here.

Details at a Glance

Application deadline

Summer: April 1

Minimum GPA


Credit load



Single Room Option, Homestay

Instruction language

English, Spanish

Language prerequisites

Some classes may require 4 semesters of university-level Spanish. What does this mean?

Visa required?

Not in most cases. Learn More.

Apply Now


During your IFSA Summer in Mexico, customize your study abroad experience by taking a class during the four-week Session 1 or take a class during the four-week Session 2. You can also extend your studies by enrolling in both Session 1 and Session 2.


Identity and Culture in Contemporary Yucatán
Language of Instruction: Spanish
This class explores a series of themes related to the contemporary identities and cultures found on the Yucatán peninsula. This will allow students to develop a wide perspective of the current state of the local political scenario, as well as the social and cultural aspects. Topics include the Mayan indigenous population; forms of political organization; migratory movements within the Mayan population as well as other migrant groups entering the Yucatán; tourism; gastronomy; and geography and archaeology in the Yucatán. As a general reference point for each of these contemporary themes is the history of the Yucatán during the 19th and 20th centuries. This allows students to place themselves in the historical processes that have influenced the current image of the State of Yucatán. (3 U.S. semester credit hours)


Contemporary Issues in Public Health in the Yucatán
Language of Instruction: English
Increasing diversity in the socioeconomic, ethnic, and racial composition of our communities has presented healthcare providers with new challenges when responding effectively to patient health and wellbeing. This class examines the public and private healthcare systems of Mexico, mainstream and traditional care in urban and rural settings, and local prevailing health issues such as cervical cancer, obesity, diabetes, and heart disease in order to understand the patients’ expectations and understanding of their health differ from their own cultural context. Students will participate in a series of field visits to rural communities, as well as medical facilities to conduct clinical observations. (3 U.S. semester credit hours)

Australia Outbound Program
Students enrolled at select Australia universities are invited to participate in Session 2 of this program. The program is open to students of all year levels and all fields. Students will earn 45 contact hours credit; the equivalent of one subject.

Please see the Australia Outbound term below in the Dates and Fees section for program fees and expected expenses in Australian dollars. For more information on the Australia Outbound program, please reach out to us at



  • You must be at least 18 years of age. Students under 18 may be accepted on a case-by-case basis.
  • You must be currently attending or recently graduated from a U.S. or Canadian community college, technical college, two-year college, four-year college, or four-year university. Students attending select Australia universities are also eligible.
  • You must have completed at least one (1) full-time semester of study at your home institution before the beginning of the term.

Recommendation Letter
Not required.


Upon completion of your program, IFSA will send an official Butler University transcript to your home university with your coursework converted to the U.S. semester credit hour system. You will also have access to an unofficial transcript in your IFSA Student Portal. The transcript reflects classes taken, credits attempted, and grades earned during your term abroad. This service is included in your study abroad program at no additional cost. See our Transcripts page for more information.


Activities and excursions are designed to pull you into the communities you visit and encourage cultural connections of every kind. There’s no extra fee to participate in these optional outings—everything is included in your program fee.

Below are examples from previous terms; outings may be different for your program. We’ll make every effort to run them all, but sometimes things we can’t control, such as local regulations and health protocols, get in the way. As result, we cannot guarantee activities and excursions.


  • Mérida City Tour: Enjoy downtown Merida experiencing the Mérida en Domingo art festival in Plaza Grande, a music festival, and a beautiful bike ride along Paseo de Montejo Avenue.
  • Historic Landmarks Outing: Visit historical and cultural landmarks such as Catedral de San Ildefonso, Zocalo, Casa de Montejo, and the Governor’s Palace.
  • Market Visit: Your taste buds are in for a treat with this introduction to regional Yucatán food and how it differs from traditional Mexican fare.
  • Mayan World Museum and Biciruta (Mérida en Domingo) Tour: This visit is designed to set you up with the cultural and historic context you need to fully appreciate the excursion to Chichén Itzá.
  • Chichén Itzá and Yodkzonot Trip: Just an hour from Mérida is Chichén Itzá, one of the world’s seven wonders and one of the most visited places in all Mexico. This excursion includes a visit to the extraordinary Yodkzonot cenote, a community-based tourism project where you’ll learn to prepare a typical dish of Mexican cuisine.

Housing and Meals


Single Room Option, Homestay


All Included


In Mérida, students live with local families in what’s known as a homestay. Homestays make it easy to immerse yourself in the region’s rich culture. They also provide many opportunities to build your Spanish language skills, if that’s part of your plan.   

Homestays: Who’s at home?  

We place students with carefully screened families, many of whom have been hosting IFSA students for nearly 20 years. Many have grown children who have left home and enjoy having young people around. Families host up to two IFSA students at a time.  

You might live with a retired couple and their beloved terrier, with frequent visits from their young grandchildren. Your hosts might have high school-age children and a grandparent living with them. Or you might join a single mom who shares her home with her adult daughter and grandson, with another adult child living nearby.  

  • Location. Host families live throughout the city. You might live close to downtown within easy walking distance from the IFSA Program Center—or 30 to 45 minutes away via public transportation (that’s just 10 minutes away via Uber).  
  • Living space. Each student has their own bedroom. Bathrooms are sometimes private but could be shared with other family members. Your hosts provide a desk or other suitable place to study.  
  • Meals. Three meals a day included. Your homestay family understands that you also need time out to be with friends and explore—they’ll appreciate a heads-up when you plan to eat out. Students buy their own snacks.   
  • Language. Few families are fluent in English, but most can communicate. We do our best to place students without Spanish skills with English-speaking families. 
  • Other details. Internet included. Air conditioning is limited to eight hours at night, so expect to adjust to heat and humidity in this tropical environment. Homes have laundry machines and hosts do your laundry once a week. (Machine capacity may be smaller than you are used to in the U.S.)   
  • Nearby. Cafes, restaurants, malls, and public transportation. 

Dates and Fees

Term begins
Term ends
Program costs
Application deadline
Summer 2024 - Session 1
May 27, 2024
June 21, 2024
Summer 2024 - Session 2
June 24, 2024
July 19, 2024
Summer 2024 - Sessions 1 & 2
May 27, 2024
July 19, 2024
Summer 2024 (Australia Outbound)
June 24, 2024
July 19, 2024
$7,125 AUD

Get Started

Selena Rincon

Selena Rincon

Enrollment Counselor