Faculty-led Program in Yucatán

This course exposes students to the history and experience of contemporary Mayan society in the state of Yucatán and includes daily excursions to archeological sites, local museums, ecological reserves, colonial neighborhoods, and several other areas.  

This program was developed in collaboration with the Universidad Marista de Mérida.  

I would definitely recommend this trip, this trip! Merida was so full of life, color, and rich history. I loved all of the amazing sites we got to experience, and the Marista students, tour guides, Fernando, and host families made it truly memorable. - Past participant 

This trip gave students the opportunity to see many historical and interesting places while giving students the ability to make connections with host families and students at the University of Marista. The sites were beautiful and I would love to swim in a cenote or at Progreso beach again. It was fascinating to read about the places we visited because the Mayan and colonial history of the area is rich. - Past participant 

I absolutely loved studying abroad in Mérida. Our instructor was knowledgeable and the guest lectures contributed to our knowledge. We loved our host families, and getting to be immersed in a new culture was the experience of a lifetime. - Past participant

Dates & Deadlines

App Deadline: Friday, December 15, 2023
Program Dates: Monday, May 13 to Monday, May 27, 2024

The study abroad center is no longer accepting applications for this program at this time. If you are interested in this program, please fill out the waitlist form below:

‌Faculty-Led Program Waitlist



HIST 3279: Conflict & Justice Study Abroad: De-colonizing Indigenous History and Social Justice (3 credit hours)

  • This is a UNIFI: Responsibility category course. It can count as a general education UNIFI elective credit.
  • Talk to your academic advisor about how this course would work for you!

Since the Spanish conquest, indigenous societies throughout Mexico have faced exploitation, racism, discrimination, forced displacement, and repression at the hands of “democratic” governments, landowners, unfettered capitalism, and the forces of globalization. Yet, their “indigenousness” is repeatedly exploited for political and capitalistic ends by the same state responsible for their marginalization and precarious conditions.

The purpose of this course is twofold: to grasp a more nuanced understanding of Mayan history and how contemporary communities are pushing back against injustices and settler colonialism, and fighting for their right to self-determination. Think of this course as a people’s history of Merida and the Yucatán in which everyone, regardless of status, class, race, ethnicity, or gender, has played a vital role in nation-state building and the preservation of Mayan culture. Moreover, this course aims to get students to think critically, engage in the readings, ask questions, and challenge students to interrogate dominant narratives. In the first half of the course, students will learn about Mayan history, culture, and society by visiting archeological sites, museums, and attending lectures by local experts. Students will also learn about the interconnection between the surrounding environment and the rise and demise of civilizations. Special attention will be placed on how the Maya overcame limited water supply, developed natural resources, and how the changing environment impacted life. In the second half, students will learn about initiatives spearheaded by Mayan descendants, human rights groups, ecotourism, and community organizers to raise awareness about various indigenous issues, protect sacred land, preserve Pre-Columbian languages, and other relevant endeavors.

Participation in this program requires several class meetings throughout the spring semester, although the course is scheduled as a summer course. Please contact the program's course leader for more information on academic requirements.  

The Study Abroad Center will enroll participants in their study abroad course. 


  • Students planning to participate in the spring commencement ceremony in May can enroll in this summer term program, however, their degree will not be conferred until the end of the summer term and is contingent on the successful completion of the program and all required coursework.
  • Students attending colleges and universities other than UNI are welcome to participate in this program. If you are not currently a UNI student, but would like to participate in this program, please contact the UNI Study Abroad Center prior to starting your program application.

Program Costs

Estimated Program Cost: $4,299*

*estimated total cost of participation, actual amount depends on type of housing accommodation selected, actual airfare purchase price, personal spending habits, and other factors

Estimated Total Program Cost $4,299
Estimated U-bill Charges $2,760
Estimated Out-of-Pocket Costs $1,539


Yucatán Summer 2024 Cost Estimate (PDF)

Cost of Studying On Campus at UNI*

*per semester, estimated, will vary per person

Tuition & Fees $4,864
Room & Board $4,824
Books $400
Personal Expenses $887
Transportation $350
Total $11,325

Source: https://admissions.uni.edu/cost-aid

‌Eligibility Requirements to Study Abroad

The Study Abroad Center reserves the right to determine participants' eligibility to study abroad. Students must have a completed study abroad application, including supportive recommendation form(s). Additionally, students must meet all of the following in order to be eligible to study abroad:

  • Have a cumulative 2.5 GPA or higher at the time of application and maintain this cumulative GPA prior to departure and throughout the study abroad process
  • If your cumulative GPA is lower than 2.5, submit the following to the Study Abroad Center (103 East Bartlett):
    • Letters of reference from two academic contacts (e.g. academic advisor and former or current professor) supporting your pursuit of study abroad. If you are attending a faculty-led study abroad program, one of the letters must be from a course leader. However, if the program has two course leaders, only one of the letters can be from one of the course leaders.
  • Must be over the age of 18 years old
  • Must meet the course prerequisites (participation in the program is dependent upon meeting these)
  • Must be in good standing with the university
  • UNI's partner institutions may require additional eligibility requirements to be met, these vary from institution to institution. Please consult with the Study Abroad Center staff to discuss these additional requirements, if applicable.
  • Applicants traveling to a region of a country or a country with an overall Travel Advisory Level 3 (Reconsider Travel) or 4 (Do Not Travel) will not be eligible.