The capital of the state of Yucatán, Mérida is a city well known for its ancient Mayan ruins, making it one of the world's top archaeological sites. In addition to its intriguing history, this city is well known for its ecotourism sites that include lush mangroves, amazing caves, and fascinating cenotes (sink holes).
Some consider Mérida the most beautiful city in Mexico. Known as the "White City" for its bright facades, clean streets, and spotless regional costume, the city was built 450 years ago atop the Mayan capital, T'hó.
Mérida is located in the vibrant region of the Yucatán and is home to delicious cuisines, busy outdoor markets, music-filled parks, incredible shopping, beautiful architecture, and charming hospitality. Public transportation makes it easy for students to visit the exuberant wildlife, long beaches, and ancient Mayan cities that make the Yucatán famous.
Learn more about Mérida and Mexico on this website and find a Guide to Merida and Mexico online.
The Universidad Autonoma de Yucatan (UADY) is an important player in Merida's daily life, as its many academic buildings and libraries are located throughout the city. UADY was founded in 1922 and prides itself on its long history.
Today, the University enrolls over 15,500 students in 15 academic departments, 20 professional programs, and 42 post-graduate programs. Learn more about UADY on their website: http://www.uady.mx/
Students are encouraged to enroll in an intensive Spanish language course in Mérida prior to beginning academic program classes. Following the completion of the intensive Spanish course, students may choose to enroll in a wide variety of subjects including Mexican or Mayan history, culture, and literature.
Most students take courses in the School of Anthropology (other options may be available). A typical semester consists of 12-15 credits, which amounts to 3-4 UADY courses and an online UWGB course/independent study. All courses are taught in Spanish. Find out more about the Anthropology course options on this website.
You will also take a Spanish for Foreigners course (additional fee of approx. $575). This program is not connected directly with UADY, but information is listed on their website.
PROGRAM DATES: Exact program dates vary between departments at UADY and you will be notified of your terms specific dates (and orientation) closer to the start of the semester. General program dates (including mandatory orientation) are:
Fall: Early August to mid- December
Spring: early January to mid- May
UADY will make arrangements for students studying in Mérida to be placed with a host family. Meals are provided by the host family and are included in the housing fees. Home stay living provides students the opportunity to enhance conversational language skills while experiencing Mexican family life.
If you choose to live in an apartment in the city, UADY will provide direction on where to look for accommodations.
Generally students who choose not to live with a family finalize housing arrangements once they arrive in Mérida and stay in a hotel the first few days. Residence hall options are also available.
Additionally, some students stay with a host family for the first month then move to an apartment/residence hall.