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  • Locations: Merida, Mexico
  • Program Terms: Academic Year, Fall, Spring
  • Homepage: Click to visit
  • Who Approved: Tulane applicants only
Dates / Deadlines:
Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Fall 2019 02/11/2019 02/21/2019 TBA TBA
Academic Year 2019-2020 02/11/2019 02/21/2019 TBA TBA
Spring 2020 09/10/2019 09/27/2019 TBA TBA
Fact Sheet:
Language of Instruction: Spanish Major: Anthropology, Communication, Economics, Engineering Science, History, International Relations, Latin American Studies, Literature, Philosophy, Political Economy, Political Science, Psychology, Public Health, Sociology, Spanish
Program Description:

IFSA-Butler: Mérida
Mérida, Mexico


About the Program |Mérida, Mexico | Eligibility
Fields of Study | Academic Culture | Student Life | Housing | Helpful Links

About the Program
The IFSA/Butler program at the Universidad Autónoma de Yucatán (UADY) and the Universidad Modelo  is designed for students with advanced Spanish language skills, who wish to continue their studies by enrolling directly at a Mexican university alongside local students. Through rigorous university coursework and community service/research with non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in Mérida students will become more intimately acquainted with Mexican social, economic and political issues in both a contemporary and historical context.

The Universidad Autónoma de Yucatán is one of the top universities in Mexico. It is especially renowned for archaeology and anthropology, thanks to its location among many of Mexico's most fascinating archaeological sites. Many other courses are also available, including social sciences, humanities, education and business.

Universidad Modelo is a private university with excellent academic facilities. Universidad Modelo provides students the opportunity to take courses in different areas of knowledge and with a different student population than those at UADY. This small, private university has a single campus, which means you can compare and contrast different socio-economic and educational levels among your peers.

Mérida, Mexico
Mérida, the capital of the state of Yucatán (and its largest city) is surrounded by countless Mayan ruins and a stone’s throw from nearby beach cities. The city population, at 800,000, is just large enough to feel cosmopolitan but not so large that students feel overwhelmed. The city’s compact size makes it easy to explore the city’s squares and markets.

  • 3.0 cumulative GPA
  • Completion of two semesters of Spanish at Tulane including SPAN 3040 with a grade of B or better during the year before departure
  • Coursework with Latin American content strongly recommended

Fields of Study
Anthropology, Communication, Economics, Engineering Science, History, International Relations, Latin American Studies, Literature, Philosophy, Political Economy, Political Science, Psychology, Public Health, Sociology, Spanish

Academic Culture
IFSA-Butler offers a semester and full year study abroad program on the Mérida Universities program. The program allows you to enroll directly in classes at one of two Mexican universities right alongside local students. In addition, it offers two mandatory program classes designed specifically for IFSA-Butler participants. These classes, taught in Spanish by local professors, are intended to provide you with an understanding of the events and issues that make Mexico what it is today. 

This program begins with an orientation program designed to acclimate students to their new social and academic environment.  Students take two required courses: Advanced Spanish (3 credits) and Exploring Yucatán: Community and Culture (4 credits). In addition, students take two or three university courses at UADY or Modelo in their major or related fields of study. Students also have the option to conduct a credit-bearing Directed Research Project.
A specialized program course is available for Public Health students. This is a great opportunity for students to gain in-depth knowledge about the subject by completing course work on Public Health and life sciences at the university and by working with local health professionals and organizations in rural and urban settings that will expose you to traditional and non-traditional approaches to health care.All students in this concentration take Contemporary Issues in Public Health (3 U.S. semester credit hours).
As part of the course, students will participate in all Hoy En Tu Comunidad (UADY student organization with public health focus) projects or do a service project at UADY’S Unidad de Inserción Social. Students will also visit a Mayan community to meet a mid-wife, a bonesetter and an herbal doctor, among other related activities.
  • Students choose one or two health-related courses at the UADY (3 U.S. semester credits each); topics, which vary by semester, could include:
    • Nursing
    • Medical anthropology
    • Nutrition
    • Tropical diseases
    • Clinical psychology
    • Sports medicine
  • Mandatory Spanish courses (3 U.S. semester credit hours)
  • Students take one or two additional courses at the UADY (3 U.S. semester credit hours each)
  • Students participate in IFSA-Butler’s Exploring Community and Culture program (3 U.S. semester credit hours)
In addition to the formal Spanish class, IFSA-Butler organizes tutoring sessions for students throughout the semester or year. These may be scheduled at various times during the week, when students meet with the tutor on an individual basis. Tutors are available upon request. Please meet with the IFSA-Butler resident staff if you would like the assistance of a tutor.

All credit taken on an approved Tulane Study Abroad Program comes back as elective credit. If you are planning to petition for Spanish major or minor credit, please carefully review the guidelines on the Department of Spanish and Portuguese website.

Student Life

IFSA-Butler encourages students to fully immerse themselves in Peruvian life by taking full advantage of cultural exchange opportunities. While studying will be an important part of the semester, equally as important is the investment that students make in engaging with their host communities. The experience of living with a host family can provide invaluable insight into Argentine society while also helping students develop language skills. At the university, students are considered fully fledged university students, with access to all of the same resources and social experiences as degree-seeking students.

IFSA-Butler arranges housing with a carefully selected host family. The program fee includes two meals a day Monday through Saturday and one meal on Sundays. The homestay is essential to the students’ learning process and integration into life in Mérida. The opportunity to live with a Mexican family not only allows students to deconstruct stereotypes and observe real life in action, but it also creates opportunities for dialogue about issues discussed in class, and for practicing their Spanish language skills. Students can expect a more traditional environment that may call for some adjustments on their part. The opportunity to live with a family offers students a unique source of cultural learning and personal growth.

Helpful Links
IFSA Butler: Mérida Universities Program, Mexico

Contact Past Participants
Click HERE to contact recent study abroad alumni in this region.