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CCA Summer: Language and Culture Immersion in Merida

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    9

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    9

  • Program Administration

    8

  • Health and Safety

    9

  • Social Life

    10

No Place Like It

This was the 2nd time that I studied abroad and I don't know if it was the wonderful location or the people, likely a combination of both made for some of the greatest memories. We made some of the greatest friends who live there and I am planning on going back some time soon!! To truly experience anything you have to make the effort but sometimes the greatest things that happen are spontaneous and unplanned. I can't say thanks to all the great people down there, to Conci and Paco and Ana Maria. It was amazing

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Academics

    9

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Cultural Immersion

    9

  • Program Administration

    7

  • Health and Safety

    9

  • Social Life

    10

The Yucatan Expanded And Developed My Views On Global Issues And Mexican Culture

I loved my experience in Merida, Yucatan. It was cool to learn about how the Maya and other native people's culture mixed with Spanish and Lebanese culture to form life there. The excursions were informative and fun and complimented my classes. My favorite was our week long trip through Chiapas. The shopping, the beautiful scenery, and many different Mayan groups made my week. My hostmom was accomodating and she often gave me opportunities to try new food. There are a lot of weekly community events that are free in el centro and the clubbing was a good time (though it can be expensive). The best part for me was being able to talk to locals, who were friendly and willing to talk and also I loved the food. Elotes and salbutes were among my favorites. The Yucatan can be humid and hot, but many people wear pants throughout the year. The bus system took some getting used to because it's very disorganized. There aren't many designated stops, but you can flag a bus down just about wherever. Always negotiate prices with the taxi drivers before getting in the car, always know the exchange rate, and always carry pesos. My homestay was in a safe neighborhood about 20 minutes from the main house. The house is located near Paseo Montejo, which is a main road and has most everything you need. A trip to one of the shopping centers or el centro is about 20-30 minutes and 6 pesos each way. A ride to Progresso and the beach is a short walk to the road the bus takes and 16 pesos each way for about a 40 minute bus ride. I left with improved Spanish because of my wonderful grammar/conversation class, becoming friends with locals, and because I did service-learning tutoring English.

Try restaurants you see walking around, especially open patio, casual ones that look like they are full of locals. Try the food stands and street food! Ask people in stores or restaurants or friends you make to recommend places to you that they've never seen a 'gringo' in :) Waayane's is a fabulous taco place and I think there are a couple sites near the house. At El Carrito's (a taco stand), the owners are sweet and they have decent tacos and tortas at night. Dogger's (another stand)--order their special with everything on it. For shopping there are a couple malls but learn how to barter, never be afraid to say no or walk away. If you don't intend to buy something, don't mess with people. Barter if you want something on the street, always have an idea of prices.

I walked home alone because we were in a safe, well-lit area. But it's a city, don't forget about pick-pockets in el centro.

There are a lot pharmacies and the director will help you out if you need something.