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|Fees and Policies||
|Experience Type:||Study Abroad||Area of Study:||Anthropology, Gender and Women's Studies, Latin American Studies, Political Science, Sociology, Spanish Language, Spanish Studies|
|Course Language:||English, Spanish||Minimum Language Requirement:||Multiple Levels|
|Housing Options:||Homestay||Eligibility:||1-Freshman, 2-Sophomore, 3-Junior, 4-Senior, 5-Graduate|
|Minimum GPA:||2||Student Type:||Both undergraduate and graduate students|
|Advisor:||http://www.uky.edu/international/the_team||UK Travel Medical Insurance:||Provided by program partner|
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.**
The KIIS Summer program in Merida, Mexico begins with a visit to the colonial town of Valladolid, the Mayan ruins of Chichen Itza, and the wonderful beaches of the Mayan Riviera. From there, the program shifts to the city of Merida, an ideal setting for students to study Spanish and experience Mexican art, culture, and history. During this five-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.
Capital of the Yucatan, Merida is a very beautiful, safe, and progressive city. 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.
On the day of arrival 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. Students have most weekends free.
Please note: There is no language prerequisite for those wishing to participate in this program. However, all students must take at least one language course (language courses range from elementary Spanish language to advanced conversation and composition). In addition to a language course, students may enroll in one of the thematic English-language Mexican history, politics, and culture courses; alternatively, students may enroll in two language courses.
- 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.
Available Courses for 2014
- Spanish Conversation (SPAN 370) (UK Equivalency = SPA 211 Intermediate Spanish Conversation)
- Mexico in the 21st Century: Culture, Development, and Politics (ICSR 301 Seminar in Social Responsibility)
- People of the Corn: Traditional Recipes for a Small Planet (GWS 470 Special Topics in Gender and Women's Studies)
- Intermediate Spanish Conversation Abroad (SPAN 210)
- Intermediate Spanish Culture Abroad (SPAN 211)
- PRIOR to participating in this program, students must complete an Academic Approval Form (AAF) for all courses listed above with a UK Equivalency. 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 with 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 (January 20). 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.
- 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
- Participants must have a passport valid for at least 6 months after the expected date of return to the U.S. The Wildcat Passport Acceptance Facility, in the UK Student Center, accepts U.S. Passport applications. For more information about U.S. Passport applications please visit the U.S. Department of State website.
- 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
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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