During this 5-week program in Mérida, Yucatán, students will take Spanish language and Yucatecan culture courses at HABLA, a private language studies institute located in an upscale neighborhood of Merida. This program will represent a cultural and linguistic immersion experience for students. Students will have the choice of taking one language Spanish language course (SPN 1121, 2200, 2201 or 2240) and a Community Engagement and Diversity pillars course (LAS 3311- Culture and Society of Yucatán).
The historic and beautiful city of Mérida, capital of the Mexican state of Yucatán, has approximately one million inhabitants. This peaceful,very safe (Mérida was awarded the United Nations Banner of Peace Award in 2010) and beautiful colonial city is an excellent place for students who want to study Spanish and get inmersed in Méxican society, history, culture, architecture and biodiversity. Culturally, Merida is a fascinating melting pot of cultures (Mayan, Spanish, French, Arab and Caribbean) that reflects the incredible cultural diversity of Mexico as a whole. An enchanting city with its well preserved colonial streets, ample, colorful plazas and a majestic architecture, Merida offers students an incredible variety of local shops and markets, affordable and delicious gastronomy, cultural festivals, live music events on weekends, and a vast variety of historical and cultural sites to visit. Mérida is surrounded by some of the most important Mayan natural and archeological sites standing today including Uxmal, Chichén Itzá, Hacienda Sotuta de Peón, Izamal and Maní Convent, and the Lol-Tún Cave System.
The HABLA Center for Language and Culture (www.habla.org)
In 1998, Habla
co-founding director Kurt Wootton worked with a group of professors and students to create the ArtsLiteracy project in the Education Department at Brown University in the United States. ArtsLiteracy piloted a way of teaching languages in a creative way using literature and focusing on the stories of the students in the classroom. With this vision, a new school and educational center began in the city of Mérida, Yucatan, in Mexico. It is a cross-cultural space that is a language school focused on creative and meaningful ways to learn languages and an international education center where teachers, education leaders, and artists gather to exchange ideas and best teaching practices.Habla
is fueled by a team of fifteen teachers, administrative support staff, graphic designers, architects, and an international advisory board of leaders in the fields of education, language development, and the arts. Most importantly, Habla
’s energy comes from the diverse students from many countries and age-groups that learn in Habla
’s classrooms every day.
Who Can Participate
The program is open to students whose majors belong to USFSM College of Arts and Sciences.
The prerequisite for SPN1121 is SPN 1120. Students taking SPN1120 (Spanish I) in spring semester must have a mid-term passing grade of C or better (at USF midterm grades are submitted electronically), and they cannot drop the course for a W. Students can exempt this requirement by taking the USFSM Spanish proficiency test by the spring semester midterm date, and scoring at the appropriate level.
Regarding participation of auditors in the study abroad program: Auditors may be able to participate if space allows. Auditors would need to meet the prerequisite (see above). They would need to fully apply, but do not need to put in a deposit. After the application deadline, they will be informed about whether space allows or not. If there is room, they will need to submit their first payment immediately.
How to Apply
Detailed information on How to Apply can be found here.