I created a life for myself in Merida July 30, 2019

By (Brandeis University) - abroad from 01/05/2019 to 05/23/2019 with

IFSA: Merida - Universidad Autonoma de Yucatan

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
My language abilities skyrocketed, thus opening my eyes to the amount of opportunities made available to me when I can speak a second language. I got to know a variety of types of people from mexico and all over the world, reminding me how many opportunities I can create for myself beyond college. Spending less time in the classroom and more time in real-life experience progressed my own creativity and allowed me to progress my self expression in many ways. This was all very worthwhile, and I can only hope that this change in the way I look at the world and myself can continue to progress after returning home.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 6 months+

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

* Food:

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? Yes

IFSA Merida brought my abroad experience past the program itself. While IFSA was the facilitator of my experience, I remember my time in Mexico as my own time, not my time on the program. I was able to connect so deeply with the people and spaces in the city. I created a life for myself and developed my own identity. I will absolutely never forget my experience in Merida and it will impact me for the rest of my life.


* Money: How easily were you able to live on a student's budget?

(1 = not very easy/$200+ on food & personal expenses/week, 2.5 = $100/week, 5 = very easily/minimal cost)

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $15


* Did your program have a foreign language component? Yes
How much did the program encourage you to use the language?

0 = No encouragement, 5 = frequent encouragement to use the language

How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? Advanced
How would you rate your language skills at the end of the program? Fluent
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? HISP 170
How many hours per day did you use the language?

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
  • Americans
  • International Students
About how many local friends did you make that you will likely keep in touch with?

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • Location
  • People
  • Food and Travel
* What could be improved?
  • IFSA courses
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I could have fully comprehended how intense and surreal the whole experience was going to feel, and how quickly it was going to seem to come to an end in the last few weeks. I regret not living more in the moment in the last weeks of my experience.

Reasons For Studying Abroad

To help future students find programs attended by like-minded individuals, please choose the profile that most closely represents you.
The Nearly Native or Trail Blazer
Craving the most authentic experience possible, perhaps you lived with a host family or really got in good with the locals. You may have felt confined by your program requirements and group excursions. Instead, you'd have preferred to plan your own trips, even skipping class to conduct your own 'field work.'