** Indicates rolling admission application process. Applicants will be immediately notified of acceptance into this program and be able to complete post-decision materials prior to the term's application deadline.
The KIIS Merida semester program in the city of Merida provides an ideal setting for students to study Spanish and learn about Mexican art, culture, ecology, and history. During the 90-day program, students take KIIS-specific courses at Habla, a private school in a comfortable neighborhood of Merida.
Students often cite the homestay experience as one of the hallmarks of the KIIS Merida semester program. Students learn firsthand about daily life in Mexico, its institutions, social customs and cultural practices. Students typically take part in family activities, going to parties and outings, attending cultural and sporting events, and sometimes taking weekend trips with their families.
Capital of the Yucatan, Merida is a very beautiful and safe city that is home to a number of American university study abroad programs. (Merida received the "Banner of Peace" from the United Nations) With a population approaching one million, Merida boasts a fascinating blend of Mexican, Mayan, and European cultural influences, evident on its narrow colonial streets, picturesque plazas, and the majestic Paseo Montejo. Both quaint and modern, Merida has great shops and markets (jewelry, hammocks, and the classic Guayabera shirt), cheap eats and fine cuisine, festivals, lively music ("Noche Mexicana" every Saturday), and lovely universities.
Merida is ideally located, serving as the perfect hub for group excursions and independent travel in the Yucatan peninsula. It is thirty minutes from the beach as well as a number of beautiful nature preserves, including the Celestun flamingo sanctuary. Spectacular ruins at Uxmal, Chichen Itza, Labna, and Kabah-- none more than 90 minutes away-- unveil the architectural, mathematical, and cultural splendor of ancient Mayan, Olmec, and Toltec civilizations. Other places of interest within a three-hour drive include the coastal city of Campeche, colonial Valladolid, the cenotes (underground pools) of Ik-Kil and X'Keken, and the lovely Caribbean beaches of the Mayan Riviera (notably, Cancun, Isla Mujeres, Playa del Carmen, and Tulum).
Fall 2019 Course Offerings:
SPAN 101 Elementary Spanish I SPAN 201 Intermediate Spanish I SPAN 202 Intermediate Spanish II SPAN 370 Spanish Conversation SPAN 372 Latin American Civilization and Culture SPAN 455 Topics in Hispanic Literary and Cultural Studies SPAN 455 Topics: Contemporary Literature of the Yucatan: 1900 to present HON 300 / IDST 350: Ancient Maya Culture HON 300 / IDST 350: Human Ecology in the Yucatan HON 300 / IDST 350: Merida's Economy: Past, Present and Future HON 300 / IDST 350: Cultural Diversity in Mexico - Required Course
NOTE: No prior Spanish language study is required to participate. Additional courses taught in English will be available. Check kiis.org for English course details.