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Study Abroad Office
Programs : Brochure
This is the program brochure page.
ASU: Spanish Language and Mayan Culture in Yucatan
Merida, Mexico; Playa del Carmen, Mexico (Outgoing Program)
Program Terms: Summer
This program is currently not accepting applications.
Earn ASU Credit: View Pre-Approved Courses
Cost Sheets Summer
Areas of Study:
Foreign Languages, Humanities, Social Sciences
Program Type:
Faculty Directed
Internships Available:
GPA Requirement:
Graduate Courses Available:
College Sponsor:
College of Liberal Arts & Sciences (Social Sciences)
Department/School Sponsor:
School of International Letters and Cultures
Language Prerequisite:
2 semesters or equivalent
Language of Instruction:
International Coordinator:
Carmen Pitz
Available to Non-ASU Students:
  Program Details

Carmen Scales

Quick Facts

  • May 12 - June 15, 2018
  • Enjoy five weeks of Spanish and cultural immersion in Mérida, Yucatán.
  • This program includes substantial cultural travel in the Mayan region, Chichen Itza, Tulum, Xcaret, Celestún, Izamal, Uxmal, and the international resort town of Playa del Carmen in the Riviera Maya.
  • To maximize your language immersion experience, students will reside with local host families and will take classes with ASU instructors, as well as local Mérida experts in Mayan culture.

Application Requirements

To apply for this program, click the "Apply Now" button above. This will generate an online application with the requirements listed below. Please also refer to the "Academics" tab for specific eligibility information. Note: Non-ASU students should consult these instructions before applying.


Location Details

Mérida is a pleasant colonial city in the Yucatán Peninsula and features a tranquil lifestyle with all modern-day conveniences. Its cultural offerings, size and safe character make it a perfect place to study the Spanish language, Mexican and Latin American literature, as well as Pre-Hispanic and modern Mayan culture. Numerous archaeological sites will be visited and others are easily accessible by bus. This city is located a half hour bus trip from the beach town of Progreso, and about three hours away from the resorts of Cancun and Playa del Carmen.

For recent articles related to travel in the Yucatán Peninsula and the overall safety of this location in comparison to other parts of Mexico, please click on the links below:

Economist Article: "Mexico: Safer than Canada"
USA Today Article: "Is it Safe to Travel to Mexico?"

Visa Information

It is each student’s responsibility to independently determine if a visa is necessary for travel to any foreign countries visited on this program. Limited information may be provided by the ASU Study Abroad Office, your faculty director, and/or partner organizations/institutions. Where visas are required, failure to obtain a visa may result in your inability to participate and, ultimately, your withdrawal from the program, subject to the terms of the Study Abroad Payment and Withdrawal Policies

Consult this page for additional information regarding visas. If you need assistance securing a U.S. Passport, visit the ASU U.S. Passport Acceptance Office in Tempe.

PLEASE NOTE: Visa requirements for non U.S. citizens may differ from those for U.S. citizens; students who are not U.S. citizens are advised to contact their International Coordinator and begin independently researching the visa requirements for their nationality as soon as possible.


Eligibility Requirements

The program is open to all qualified students with:

  • a 2.0 GPA or higher
  • 2 semesters (or equivalent) of Spanish language*
who are interested in Mexican/Mayan/Latin American culture and in learning or strengthening their Spanish language skills.

Non-ASU students are welcome to participate but must be admitted to ASU for the Summer term as non-degree seeking students first. (Online applications for ASU Admissions are available by clicking here.)


Classes are held Monday through Thursday in the morning. All students will enroll in a total of six (6) credit hours.

SPA 201 Intermediate Spanish (4 credits)
SPA 202 Intermediate Spanish (4 credits)
SPA 313 Spanish Conversation & Composition (3 credits) (G)
SPA 314 Spanish Conversation & Composition (3 credits) (G)
SPA 325 Introduction to Hispanic Literature (3 credits) (HU)
SPA 394 Advanced Mayan Culture (2-3 credits)
SPA 472 Spanish American Civilization (3 credits) (HU)
SPA 494 ST: Ancient & Modern Mayan Culture (3 credits)
ECN 211 Macroeconomic Principles (3 credits)* (SB)  

* Students enrolling in the Economics course do not need to complete Spanish pre-requisite. 


Faculty Director

Carmen Scales
School of International Letters and Cultures-Spanish
Arizona State University
PO Box 870202
Tempe, AZ 85287-0202
Office: LL413A
Tel: 480-727-9140



Program Housing

In Mérida, students along with a roommate will reside with several host families, who are carefully chosen and have experience hosting American students. Students will use affordable public transportation to get from their houses to the Instituto Benjamin Franklin where classes will be held. During the Playa del Carmen excursion, students will stay in shared hotel accommodations.

A homestay provides a unique degree of cultural and linguistic immersion in the Mexican and Yucatecan society that can be invaluable in a globalized world. Millions of Americans travel abroad as tourists every year, and hundreds of thousands study Spanish abroad. However, living with a family in the Yucatán will offer you insights into aspects of the society that would be hidden if you stayed at a hotel with other Americans. You will be in a situation where you will have to communicate with local families in Spanish, thus offering you daily practice into some basic aspects of communication. You will experience how family members interrelate and how their weekly routines are organized, and it will open up a world of contacts with people in the community (regarding social life, the economy, politics, music and nightlife) that cannot easily be experienced as a tourist. The degree of improvement in Spanish is very pronounced; you will just need to be ready to talk with the family from day one and not simply rely on your roommate! You are encouraged to make the most of your homestay experience, improve your Spanish, and learn invaluable cultural information from the local families.



Accessibility Information

Individuals with disabilities may find accessibility and accommodation in one of more of this program’s locations very different from what you find in the United States. Depending on the program, there may be a great deal of walking or the regular use of public transportation. The Study Abroad Office cannot guarantee access to public transportation, buildings, or public sites on this program.

Although ASU cannot guarantee the accessibility of all program sites, students with disabilities can and do study abroad. Upon request, the ASU Study Abroad Office can provide information about the availability of accommodations and accessible facilities on the specific program and can help you determine whether this program can meet your accommodation needs.



Cost Information

The Program Fee for Summer 2018 is $4,995.

Program Fee includes: 6 credits of ASU tuition, housing & all meals in Merida, international medical insurance, organized travel including hotels with some meals.  Not included: Airfare, passport, books and personal expenses.

Faculty Directed program participants are also responsible for paying a non-refundable $50 Application Fee, in addition to the Program Fee listed above. All other costs associated with participation in the program are the responsibility of the individual student. Be sure to reference the program cost sheet for information on program fees and any additional estimated expenses.

The program may allow for time which can be spent in non-program activities. Participants may wish to travel, sight-see or participate in activities or events in which they have a personal interest. Please note that the participant is fully responsible for making arrangements and for all costs of transportation, lodging, food and additional expenses that may be associated with any non-Program activities.


Funding Your Study Abroad Program

Studying abroad is an investment in your future, which requires careful planning and management. However, the personal, academic, and professional rewards that you will gain from this experience will last a lifetime. You should carefully consider costs, budgets and financing when selecting and preparing for your experience abroad. If you have questions at any step of the process, we encourage you to reach out to your International Coordinator for guidance.

Steps to Financing Your Study Abroad Program

  1. View the program Cost Sheet to find a breakdown of program expenses.
  2. Attend a Financing Your Study Abroad Workshop.
  3. Consider your Financial Aid options.
  4. Search and Apply for Scholarships and Grants.
  5. Exhaust your options by exploring Additional Funding Resources including our Community-Based Funding Guide.
  6. View our  Financing Your Study Abroad Program Handbook for more information, including Payment Information.

Unique Funding Opportunities for This Program


  Dates & Deadlines
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Summer 2018 03/13/2018
Rolling Admission 05/12/2018 06/15/2018
NOTE: Dates are subject to change. Do not purchase airfare until dates are confirmed by the Study Abroad Office and/or in any host institution acceptance materials.

** Indicates rolling admission application process. Students will be immediately notified of acceptance into this program and be able to complete post-decision tasks prior to the term's application deadline.

Indicates that deadline has passed
This program is currently not accepting applications.