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UK Consortia: KIIS Semester - Experience Merida - Intermediate to Advanced Spanish Language & Culture (KIIS)
Merida, Mexico (Outgoing Program)
Program Terms: Fall
Homepage: Click to visit
Restrictions: UK applicants only
Fees and Policies Fall
Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Fall 2016 04/01/2016 ** Rolling Admission TBA TBA

** Indicates rolling admission application process. Students will be notified of acceptance into this program and will then need to complete post-decision materials prior to departing for the program.
Fact Sheet:
Experience Type:
Study Abroad
Area of Study:
Latin American Studies, Spanish Language, Spanish Studies
Course Language:
English, Spanish
Minimum Language Requirement:
Multiple Levels
Housing Options:
1-Freshman, 2-Sophomore, 3-Junior, 4-Senior
Minimum GPA:
Student Type:
Undergraduate students only
UK Travel Medical Insurance:
Provided by program partner
Program Description:

Although some areas of Mexico are currently under a U.S. State Department Travel Warning, the specific location of this program is NOT included in that warning. Eligible UK students may participate in this program with full support from the University. The University requires that all students on this program submit supplemental materials regarding this information PRIOR to Education Abroad application acceptance for this program.

It is important to understand that should the Travel Warning change to include the location of this program there might be additional application requirements that must be completed in order to maintain University support for participation in the program.

**There are supplemental application forms for all applicants on this program. Contact your Education Abroad Advisor before applying for this program.**

Experience Merida

Visit for more information about this program

Program Overview

The KIIS Fall Semester program in the city of Merida provides an ideal setting for students to study Spanish and experience Mexican art, culture, and history. During this 13-week program, students take KIIS-specific courses on the campus of the Colegio de Negocios Internacionales (CNI), a private business college in a comfortable neighborhood of Merida. Students also have the unique opportunity to take one CNI course (in Spanish) alongside Mexican university students.

Capital of the Yucatan, Merida is a very beautiful and safe city that is home to a number of American university study abroad programs. 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).

Students often cite the unique homestay experience as one of the hallmark 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.

The program begins with a group visit to Valladolid, Chichen Itza, and Tulum. Once in Merida, there is a program orientation and a walking tour of the city. Students also first meet and begin living with their homestay families. Classes begin thereafter. Your Semester KIIS program includes a week-long Fall Break.


This program is open to undergraduate and graduate students from all academic disciplines.

Academic Credit

  • Students will earn transfer credit from Western Kentucky University. For all successfully completed courses, the credit hours, course title and course equivalency will be indicated on the UK transcript. Students must complete the coursework during this program according to the established guidelines by Western Kentucky University.  The grades earned will be important to progression in future academic endeavors, including graduate or professional school. However, the grades earned will NOT be indicated on the UK transcript. For more information visit the Education Abroad Academic Credit website.
  • PRIOR to participating in this program, students must complete an Academic Approval Form (AAF). The AAF indicates how the courses will be used, or course equivalency, once they are transferred back to UK. Instructions on how to complete the AAF are included in the application materials. 
  • Upon completion of the term abroad, the transcript should be sent to the Education Abroad at UK office. Once received, the Education Abroad staff will coordinate the transfer of credits to UK.
  • All students will be enrolled in ISP 599: Study Abroad (1 credit hour) during their term abroad.

Housing & Meals

  • Students will be housed with local families in homestays either in single or double occupancy rooms.
  • All meals are taken with the host family, who will also provide towels and bed linens. Laundry must be done at a local laundromat.
  • Please note: Host families attempt to accommodate requests for special diets and smoke-free environments, but KIIS cannot guarantee these requests will be met. Students will serious dietary restrictions or acute need for smoke-free conditions should bear this in mind when considering whether the homestay-based program is suitable for them.

Scholarships & Financial Aid

  • Students are strongly encouraged to explore all funding opportunities for programs abroad. There are numerous opportunities available based on the area of study, program type, length, and country of destination. 
  • Many financial aid packages (scholarships, loans and grants) used for on-campus study can be applied to education abroad programs. Students who qualify for financial aid should consult with their UK Financial Aid counselor as soon as possible to apply for funding.
  • The Education Abroad at UK Scholarship - The campus-wide Selection Committee awards need-based scholarships to UK students in the amounts of $750, $1,000 and $1,500. The deadline for application materials is March 1 for Summer/Fall programs and October 1 for Spring/Winter programs.
  • KIIS awards scholarships of $250 - $750 for specific programs. Additionally, KIIS offers a $100 discount for early applications (May 1). Visit the KIIS Scholarship website for more information.
For more information about scholarship and funding opportunities, please visit the Education Abroad at UK Financial Aid & Scholarships resource page.


  • Students must complete two applications to participate in this program - one to Education Abroad at UK and one to KIIS. For the KIIS application, visit the KIIS website.

Program Costs

  • Costs and cancellation policies vary by program, so it is important to review this information very carefully. For more information on program costs, please see the "Fees and Policies" information page (the link is in the program header at the top of this website).

Passport & Visa Requirements

  • U.S. passport holders are not required to obtain a visa for participation on this program. Participants who wish to extend their stay in the country beyond the program start and end dates must investigate the visa regulations at the Embassy of Mexico.

Travel Medical Insurance

All participants of this program will be enrolled in travel medical insurance via KIIS. For details on the coverage provided please visit the KIIS Health & Safety website.

	Participants wishing to travel before or after the official program dates are strongly encouraged to purchase additional coverage for the extended dates via Education Abroad at UK. Please see the Education Abroad Health & Safety webpage for more information. There is an option to purchase the extended coverage in the application.

For More Information

  • EA Peer Ambassadors, Education Abroad Resource Center, 315 Bradley Hall
  • EA Advisors assist students according to academic major. To find your EA Advisor, visit the EA Contact website
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