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  • Locations: Merida, Mexico
  • Program Terms: Summer
  • This program is currently not accepting applications.
Dates / Deadlines:

There are currently no active application cycles for this program.
Fact Sheet:
Credit Offered:
USF Credit
Program Advisor:
Amela Malkic
Sponsoring College:
USFSM - College of Arts and Sciences
Program Description:
Map of the Gulf of Mexico

 

Group at Church in Merida

Program Overview


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). 
 

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Map of Merida

Location


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.

 

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Church

Host Institution


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.

 

 

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Group at cave

Academic Program and Course Information


Please download the required course approval form here: CAF Spanish Lang. & Cult. in Merida 201705

Students will have the choice of taking one of the following Spanish language courses:

SPN 1121 - Beginning Spanish II taught by Prof. Fehily
SPN 2200 - Spanish III taught by Prof. Fehily
SPN 2201 - Spanish IV taught by Prof. Jiménez
SPN 2240 - Spanish Conversation 1 taught by Prof. Jiménez

All students will take the following culture course:
LAS3311 - Culture and Society of Yucatán (a Community Engagement and Diversity Pillars course) taught by local faculty


NOTE: 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.

Sample Itinerary:

May 10-12th:
Arrival (Wednesday)/Orientation Day (Thursday)/First Day of Class (Friday)/ Ecological Excursion to Playa Progreso (Saturday) First Report of Class Excursion due 5/17 before class.
 
May 16th-19th:  Introduction to Yucatán’s Geography (Monday)/Overview of Mérida- General Facts. Visit to the traditional Vaquería in the evening(Tuesday)/ Pre-Columbian Yucatán: The Maya Empire; Visit to Gran Museo del Mundo Maya (Wednesday & Thursday)/ Archeological Excursion to the Maya Ruins of Chichén Itzá (Saturday) First Reflection Paper due @ 5pm, Second Report of Class Excursion due 5/23  before class.
 
May 22nd-26th: Exam 1 (Monday)/Colonial Yucatán: The Rise of the Spanish Era . Visit to Museo de la Ciudad de Mérida in the afternoon. (Tuesday)./ Colonial Yucatán: Mérida and the Independence of México (Wednesday)/ Day Reserved for Guest Speaker (Thursday). Ecological Visit to the Celestún Wildlife Refuge (Saturday) Second Reflection Paper due 5/26  @ 5pm, Third Report of Class Excursion due 5/29 before class.
 
May 29th -June 2nd: Exam 2 (Monday)./ Mérida and The Mexican Revolution (Tuesday)./ Visit and Scavenger Hunt @ Mercado Lucas de Gálvez (Wednesday) / The Rise and Fall of Henequen: Mérida’s economic boom (1880-1920) (Thursday)/ Archeological Excursion to the Maya Ruins of Uxmal + Visit to a Traditional Maya Home (Saturday) Third Reflection Paper due 6/2 @ 5pm, Fourth Report of Class Excursion due 6/5 before class.
 
June 5th-9th: Overview of Modern Mérida  (Monday)/Day Reserved for Guest Speaker (Tuesday)/ Visit to Museo de la Ciudad de Mérida (Wednesday)/ Exam 3 (Thursday)/ Ecological Excursion to the Cenotes de Cuzamá (Saturday) Fourth Reflection Paper and Fifth Report Class Excursion due on 6/12 before class.
 
June 12th-13th: Presentation of Final Project and Lunch @ El Chaya Maya (Monday). Departure for the US (Tuesday). 

 

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Ruins1

Faculty


The program is being Co-Led by Prof. Roberto Jiménez-Arroyo and Prof. Michael Fehily:

A) Prof. Roberto Jiménez-Arroyo was born and raised in Puerto Rico. He earned both his B.A. and M.A. in Spanish Language and Literature, as well a graduate certificate in Latin American and Caribbean Studies at USF. After graduation, he worked as a full time Spanish instructor at Western Kentucky University, where he taught elementary and intermediate Spanish courses, apart from serving as First Year Spanish Coordinator. In 2011, he joined the Kentucky Institute for International Studies (KIIS) program in Mérida, Yucatán, taking students to that city in the summers of 2012 and 2013.Both programs were 5-week, Spanish language and Mexican culture programs. The language spoken in Mérida is Spanish, and Prof. Jiménez is a native speaker of Spanish.  He joined USFSM as a full time Spanish instructor in Fall 2013, where he currently teaches Spanish and Latin American culture courses.  

B) Prof. Michael Fehily is an online Spanish instructor at USFSM. He has been with USFSM since 2009 and has taught face to face and online Beginning Spanish courses. He has extensive experience studying, working and living in Mexico. Since December 2009, he has visited the city of Merida in ten occassions. He lived and taught English at a local University and Language Institute during the Fall 2013 and Spring 2014. Prof. Fehily currently serves as the Sarasota Sister Cities City Director, also participated in the Sarasota-Merida Sister City signing event in December 2010 and, will be guiding a 10 day tour of Merida for 21 local members and friends beginning January 23.

 

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Program Costs


Total program cost:  $3,787 + tuition ($1,040.34)
Cost Includes:


* Living accommodations
* Cultural Events and Program Related Excursions
* Emergency Medical and Evacuation Insurance
* Most meals


Cost Does Not Include:

* International Airfare **
* Tuition for two USF courses
* Some Meals
* Personal Expenses

** Students should plan to pay an additional cost for airfare ($500-$750) . Once the price of airfare is secured, students will be notified of the faculty's flight itinerary.

 

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Living Arrangements

The program uses homestay accommodations in which students live with carefully slected local families. This arrangement provides a more in-depth understanding of the daily life and language acquisition is much enhanced by daily interaction with the homestay families and the opportunity to practice speaking Spanish outside the classroom.  Another advantage of homestay lodging is that it includes all three daily meals, thereby making the program more economical for the student.

 

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Who Can Participate?


The program is open to students whose majors belong to USFSM College of Arts and Sciences.

NOTE: 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.

 

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How and When to Pay

Please click here for further details regarding payment.

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Getting There


Please contact  Professors Jimenez and Fehily for details about flight arrangements.

 

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Medical Insurance and Travel Documentation

USF provides program participants with sickness/accident and emergency medical evacuation insurance valid for the dates of the program. Those who will travel independently, either in advance of the program or after the program ends, must ensure that they have insurance coverage valid outside the U.S.

Please click here for more detailed information.

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Safety & Health

Participant's safety and well-being are paramount to USF. Please click here for detailed country-specific safety and health information given in our Country Study Report. Make sure to read up on country-specific information on the U.S. Department of State and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention websites.
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Financial Aid and Scholarship Funding

Many funding opportunities are available to USF students who are planning to study abroad. Please see our funding page for further details.

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Special Terms

Students should carefully review the Education Abroad Participant Contract, included in the Education Abroad application process. It describes students' responsibilities with regard to participation, and includes information on insurance, and cancellation and refund policies. Students will be asked to electronically sign this document. To view this document before applying, please click here.

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Contacts for More Information


Questions regarding study abroad, program enrollment, registration and payment of fees:

Amela  Malkic  
Director | Global Engagement Office
University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee
Phone: 941-359-4314
Office: B222

Nancy Di Bella
USF Education Abroad Office, CGS 101
Phone: (813) 974-4314
E-mail: ndibella@usf.edu  

Questions pertaining to the academic program in-country, courses or credits:

Prof. Roberto Jiménez-Arroyo
University of South Florida-Sarasota SMC C263
Phone: (941) 359-4708
E-mail: rjimene5@sar.usf.edu


Group Picture

 

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This program is currently not accepting applications.