Learning Abroad Center
masks for sale in Mexico

Study Abroad in Mexico

Americas

Improve your Spanish in small classes with dynamic and attentive teachers. Live with a host family. Immerse yourself in the culture of Mexico. Visit ancient Aztec ruins. Explore the Palacio de Cortes and the murals of Diego Rivera.

Program Details

Location
Cuernavaca, Mexico
Term
Winter Break
May Session
Summer Session
Housing
Homestay
Credit Type
Resident Credit
Sponsor
Learning Abroad Center

Program Eligibility

GPA
2.5
Student Type
UofM Students
Non UofM Students
Student Year
Freshmen
Sophomores
Juniors
Seniors
Language Prerequisite
No Language Prerequisite

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Study Abroad in Cuernavaca, Mexico

Program Locations

Zocalo

Central square in Cuernavaca.

Latitude
18.921700
Longitude
-99.234000
Palacio de Cortez

Built between 1522 and 1532, the Palacio de Cortez severed as a fortress and residence for Hernán Cortés and his descendants until the 18th century when it was used as a prison. Today it houses the Museo Regional Cuauhnáhuac which contains two floors of exhibits highlighting Mexican cultures and history.

Latitude
18.921200
Longitude
-99.233300
Jardin Borda

Local cultural center.

Latitude
18.921500
Longitude
-99.238700
Cemanahuac

Partner organization -- classrooms and staff offices are located here.

Latitude
18.907600
Longitude
-99.234000
Taxco

Visit Taxco, a city outside of Cemanahuac, for its perfectly preserved colonial architecture or for the baroque style Templo de Santa Prisca.

Latitude
18.556600
Longitude
-99.605600
Teotihuacan

 possible excursion destination, Teotihuacan (‘Place of the Gods’) contains the ruins of a once  great city. Reaching its zenith around 500 AD, it was later abandoned by its inhabitants around 700 AD, and was destroyed by fire around 50 years later. Check out the ruins of the enormous Pyramid of the Sun, where religious ceremonies were once regularly preformed to avert the end of the world.

Latitude
19.685700
Longitude
-98.879900
Mexico City

Capital city of Mexico.

Latitude
19.432600
Longitude
-99.133200
Catedral de Cuernavaca

Completed in 1534, the Catedral de Cuernavaca is the main cathedral in Cuernavaca. Here, admire the seventeenth century paintings that cover almost all of this cathedral’s walls.

Latitude
18.920500
Longitude
-99.236900
Benito Juarez International Airport (Mexico City)

Arrival Airport

Latitude
19.436000
Longitude
-99.071800
Tepoztlán, Morelos

Arrival Airport

Latitude
18.984700
Longitude
-99.093100

About

Known as the "City of Eternal Spring," Cuernavaca's temperate climate, natural beauty, and rich history make it the perfect location to discover the language, culture, and warmth of Mexico. Originally a retreat for Aztec royalty, and later the site where Cortés built his palace, the Cuernavaca of today is a vibrant, cosmopolitan city with a population of approximately 500,000 people. Cuernavaca, located roughly 55 miles south of Mexico City, is the capital of the state of Morelos.

Take courses at Cemanahuac Educational Community, a local language institute housed in a villa in the elegant Las Palmas neighborhood. Cemanahuac offers a personalized learning environment and instruction by native Spanish speakers. Live with a Mexican host family for a unique window into modern Mexican life and opportunities to improve your language skills. Take two day trips, included in the program fee: the ancient pyramids of Teotihuacan and the cultural sites of Mexico City.

For help deciding between Spanish language options, consult the Spanish Language Programs Comparison Chart (PDF).

Housing & Meals

May & Summer 2020-2021 

Due to COVID 19, we have eliminated homestay housing for the May & Summer programs. You will instead live in shared hotel rooms with other program participants at a local Bed & Breakfast. Whereas homestay families provided all meals, the Bed & Breakfast will provide breakfast and dinner each day. You will be responsible for providing your own lunch.

Homestay

Cemanahuac arranges for students to live with Mexican host families for the duration of the program. After acceptance into the program, you will have the opportunity to express basic preferences that are taken into consideration when being matched with a family. Many families have years of experience hosting students and sincerely enjoy getting to know you.

The majority of families live within walking distance or a short bus ride of Cemanahuac, making it easy for you to get to and from classes. Most students will share a room with another program participant unless they have requested a single room, which is available at an additional cost.

Host families provide 3 meals per day. Laundry service is not provided by the host family, so students must make other arrangements.

Living with a host family means more than just having accommodations and meals. It provides you with a unique opportunity to experience Mexican culture and daily life firsthand. It also gives you additional opportunities to practice your Spanish and learn about current events, politics, and the city of Cuernavaca. Living with a host family can be challenging at times, but students often cite their host family experience as the highlight of their time abroad.

Excursions

Two excursions are included in the cost of the program. The first is a one-day excursions to the pyramids of Teotihuacan. The second excursion is optional, and may change depending on the term. Previous excusion destinations have included:

  • The art galleries of Mexico City
  • Downtown Mexico City
  • The ancient city of Tepozltan
  • Xochicalco archeological site

Flight

The Learning Abroad Center works with Village Travel, a local travel agency, to arrange a coordinated flight for program participants. The flight is optional, and is arranged for those who want to fly with other program participants. Group flight information is typically available by the program application deadline, if not before.

Ground transportation to and from the Mexico City International Airport (airport code: MEX) and Cuernavaca, Mexico is provided by our partner organization and the cost is included in the program fee. The transportation schedule aligns with the group flight arrival and departure times. Our partner organization comes to the airport once to collect and drop off everyone. 

Therefore, you can either book a ticket on the coordinated group flight, or book a flight independently that arrives prior to the group flight's arrival. If you arrive late and miss the group, you may be responsible for arranging and paying for your own transportation to Cuernavaca.

For immigration purposes, you should purchase a round-trip ticket, since you must be able to show your entry and exit dates from Mexico.

Learning Outcomes

  • Improve Spanish speaking, writing, listening, and reading skills
  • Develop strong sense of independence from being outside of comfort zone
  • Learn to appreciate relativity, accept complexity, and embrace ambiguity
  • Challenge previous assumptions about Mexico and Mexican culture
  • Learn to function effectively as a team member in a diverse workplace

Faculty & Staff

Charlie Goff is one of the cofounders of Cemanahuac Educational Community and enjoys playing the role of historian and tour guide—taking students around Mexico City, Cuernavaca, and to the ancient pyramids of Teotihuacan.

Program Structure

Program Level
1000–3000 level courses
Courseload

1 course per term for a total of 4–5 credits

Coursework

You will enroll in one intensive Spanish course per 3-week term for a total of 4 or 5 credits (depending on the course). Choose from beginning to advanced-level Spanish courses. All courses are offered each term.

Note: Classes in Mexico must be taken with an A–F grade base. Pass/fail grading is not an option.

Course Options

Select the term and, where applicable, the number of semesters (or equivalent) of language instruction you will have completed by the time you start the program.

Winter Break

Semesters of Spanish Completed Take the Following
Zero SPAN 1001 Beginning Spanish I
One SPAN 1002 Beginning Spanish II
Two SPAN 1003 Intermediate Spanish I
Three SPAN 1004 Intermediate Spanish II
Four FOST 3215: Spanish Composition & Communication
or
FOST 3214: Spanish Grammar & Composition
Five FOST 3214: Spanish Grammar & Composition
or
FOST 3215: Spanish Composition & Communication

May / Summer – One 3-Week Session

Semesters of Spanish Completed Take the Following
Zero SPAN 1001 Beginning Spanish I
One SPAN 1002 Beginning Spanish II
Two SPAN 1003 Intermediate Spanish I
Three SPAN 1004 Intermediate Spanish II
Four FOST 3215: Spanish Composition & Communication (recommended)
or
FOST 3214: Spanish Grammar & Composition
Five FOST 3214: Spanish Grammar & Composition
or
FOST 3215: Spanish Composition & Communication

May / Summer – Two 3-Week Sessions

Semesters of Spanish Completed Take the Following
Zero SPAN 1001 Beginning Spanish I
SPAN 1002 Beginning Spanish II
One SPAN 1002 Beginning Spanish II
SPAN 1003 Intermediate Spanish I
Two SPAN 1003 Intermediate Spanish I
SPAN 1004 Intermediate Spanish II
Three SPAN 1004 Intermediate Spanish II
FOST 3215: Spanish Composition & Communication
Four FOST 3215: Spanish Composition & Communication
FOST 3214: Spanish Grammar & Composition

May / Summer – Three 3-Week Sessions

Semesters of Spanish Completed Take the Following
Zero SPAN 1001 Beginning Spanish I
SPAN 1002 Beginning Spanish II
SPAN 1003 Intermediate Spanish I
One SPAN 1002 Beginning Spanish II
SPAN 1003 Intermediate Spanish I
SPAN 1004 Intermediate Spanish II
Two SPAN 1003 Intermediate Spanish I
SPAN 1004 Intermediate Spanish II
FOST 3215: Spanish Composition & Communication
Three SPAN 1004 Intermediate Spanish II
FOST 3215: Spanish Composition & Communication
FOST 3214: Spanish Grammar & Composition

May / Summer – Four 3-Week Sessions

Semesters of Spanish Completed Take the Following
Zero SPAN 1001 Beginning Spanish I
SPAN 1002 Beginning Spanish II
SPAN 1003 Intermediate Spanish I
SPAN 1004 Intermediate Spanish II
One SPAN 1002 Beginning Spanish II
SPAN 1003 Intermediate Spanish I
SPAN 1004 Intermediate Spanish II
FOST 3215: Spanish Composition & Communication
Two SPAN 1003 Intermediate Spanish I
SPAN 1004 Intermediate Spanish II
FOST 3215: Spanish Composition & Communication
FOST 3214: Spanish Grammar & Composition

Full Course List

Spanish Grammar & Composition

Course ID
FOST 3214
Terms
  • Winter Break
  • May
  • Summer
4
Credits

This course is designed to expand and enhance students’ knowledge of the Spanish language and the ability to write, speak , read and understand modern Spanish. It provides opportunities to continue the development of language skills. Prerequisite: Completion of SPAN 1004, or equivalent, with a C- or better.

Syllabus for Spanish Grammar & Composition

Language Taught In
  • Spanish
UofM Equivalent
SPAN 3011W

Spanish Composition & Communication

Course ID
FOST 3215
Terms
  • Winter Break
  • May
  • Summer
4
Credits

Expand comprehension of both written and spoken texts. Improve ability to speak, read, and write in Spanish beyond the intermediate level. Prerequisite: Completion of SPAN 1004, or equivalent, with a C- or better.

Syllabus for Spanish Composition & Communication

Language Taught In
  • Spanish
UofM Equivalent
SPAN 3015W

Global Identity

Course ID
OLPD 3332
Terms
  • Online (all terms)
1
Credit

Global Identity: Connecting Your International Experience with Your Future is an optional 1-credit online course that helps you process your international experience and apply what you've learned upon your return.  Global Identity gives you the opportunity to work individually with a trained cultural mentor, helping you articulate your newly acquired skills and differentiating you from your peers.

This course is offered at no additional cost on programs six weeks or longer. The Learning Abroad Center will email out registration instructions, or you may contact a program team member.

Syllabus for Global Identity

Language Taught In
  • English
Fulfills Liberal Education Requirement
  • Global Perspectives

Beginning Spanish I

Course ID
SPAN 1001
Terms
  • Winter Break
  • May
  • Summer
5
Credits

First-semester Spanish. Develop basic listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills. Some cultural readings are included. Students will develop the ability to communicate on topics related to daily life. Intended for participants with no prior Spanish language instruction.

Syllabus for Beginning Spanish I

Language Taught In
  • Spanish

Beginning Spanish II

Course ID
SPAN 1002
Terms
  • Winter Break
  • May
  • Summer
5
Credits

Second-semester Spanish. Continue to develop basic listening, speaking, reading and writing skills. Some cultural readings are included. Students will continue to acquire the skills to communicate more effectively in real life situations. Prerequisite: Completion of SPAN 1001, or equivalent, with a C- or better.

Syllabus for Beginning Spanish II

Language Taught In
  • Spanish

Intermediate Spanish I

Course ID
SPAN 1003
Terms
  • Winter Break
  • May
  • Summer
5
Credits

Third-semester Spanish. Further improve conversation and comprehension proficiency, as well as reading and writing skills. Students will develop the ability to express themselves in a greater variety of situations in Spanish. Grammar review. Prerequisite: Completion of SPAN 1002, or equivalent, with a C- or better.

Syllabus for Intermediate Spanish I

Language Taught In
  • Spanish

Intermediate Spanish II

Course ID
SPAN 1004
Terms
  • Winter Break
  • May
  • Summer
5
Credits

Fourth-semester Spanish. Develop proficiency in conversation and comprehension, grammar knowledge, as well as the reading and writing skills necessary for advanced Spanish courses. Students will develop the ability to speak confidently in any situation requiring use of Spanish. Prerequisite: Completion of SPAN 1003, or equivalent, with a C- or better.

Syllabus for Intermediate Spanish II

Language Taught In
  • Spanish

Program Dates

Submit the online application and complete the assigned application checklist according to the appropriate deadline:

Orientation Dates & Locations

Orientation will be conducted in 2 parts: an online orientation, which is mandatory for all students, and an in-person, program-specific session. You will receive more information about the online orientation via email. Failure to complete the online orientation will impact your ability to go abroad.

See below for tentative dates and times for your in-person session. You will be notified of the official date and time via email. Participants will receive applicable orientation materials via email approximately 1 week prior to the in-person session.

May 2021

Application Open Date: Aug 1, 2020
Application Deadline: Mar 15, 2021

Schedule Date
US Departure May 15
Mexico Departure Jun 5

Summer 2021

Summer Session I

Application Open Date: Aug 8, 2020
Application Deadline: Mar 15, 2021

Schedule Date
US Departure Jun 5
Mexico Departure June 26

Summer Session II

Application Open Date: Aug 1, 2020
Application Deadline: Mar 15, 2021

Schedule Date
US Departure Jun 26
Mexico Departure July 17

Summer Session III

Application Open Date: Aug 1, 2020
Application Deadline: Mar 15, 2021

Schedule Date
US Departure Jul 17
Mexico Departure Aug 7

Winter Break 2021-22

Application Open Date: May 1, 2021
Application Deadline: Oct 15, 2021

Schedule Date
US Departure Dec 26
Mexico Departure Jan 15

Fees

University of Minnesota participants pay the program fee instead of on-campus tuition and fees for the term they are abroad.

Winter Break 2021

  • Three-week session

May & Summer 2021

  • One session
  • Two sessions
  • Three sessions
  • Four sessions

*The Cost of Participation includes housing in a shared hotel room. A single room is available upon request for an additional cost. The cost will be at the market rate. Contact the program team for details.

If you do not see a budget estimate for the term you intend to go abroad, the fee has not yet been finalized. We strive to post fees for this program at least 30 days prior to the application deadline. The Learning Abroad Center will delay the posting of some fees until enrollments, inflation and exchange rates are determined. Note the average increase in fees will be 3–10%. Program fees are based on estimates and may change depending on international economic factors.

Fees or tuition from home institutions may be added to or differ from the University of Minnesota Learning Abroad Center fees listed on this page.

Billing & Payments

Visit Billing for information about the billing process for application fees, deposits, and program fees.

Financial Aid & Scholarships

Visit Financial Information for information on using financial aid and scholarships for study abroad.

Bridging Loan

Bridging Loan, a no-interest/no-fees loan that funds the upfront deposit and flights costs, is available for this program for eligible students.

Cancellation Policy

Before you apply to or confirm your participation on this program, review the Learning Abroad Center's Cancellation Policy to inform yourself of the timeline and financial obligations for canceling.

Winter Break 2021-22

May & Summer 2022

Prepare

Complete pre-application advising.

Apply

You will be charged a $50 application fee for each application you submit.

Apply Now

Complete

After you submit your application, you will receive an email notification confirming that your application was received. Submitted applications are assigned an application checklist, which will include the following items:

  • Application Essay
  • Course Enrollment Form
  • Transcript (Non-UofM students only)
  • Home Institution Nomination (Non-UofM students only)

Detailed descriptions and instructions for submitting each checklist item are included on the application checklist assigned to you.

If you do not meet the GPA requirement for this program you will be required to submit two additional application items—the Low GPA Essay and Special Circumstances Recommendation. Both items will be added to your checklist after you start your application, and you will be notified when they have been added.

Application Review Process

After your application checklist is complete, your application is reviewed by our program team. You will be notified of an acceptance decision by email. If accepted, you will be assigned a confirmation checklist, which you will complete to confirm your participation in the program. If you decide not to continue with the application process, log into the online application system and submit a Cancel Request.

Visa

Visa

US citizens may obtain a tourist visa (valid for up to 180 days) upon completion of a short form upon arrival at the Mexico City airport. Any students who are US citizens do not need to apply for a visa in advance of the program. 

Non US Citizens

If you will be traveling on a passport other than a US passport, contact the Visa Assistant in the Learning Abroad Center at [email protected] or 612.625.9805 for assistance in determining the correct visa procedure.

 

Program Contact

For further information or questions about this program, send an email to

Molly Micheels or call at 612.624.3949

Contact Program Alumn

Below is a list of additional students who participated in past program sessions. They are ready and willing to answer your questions about this program. Feel free to contact them during your decision-making process or anytime during your pre-departure preparation to get a student perspective.

Winter Break 2019 - 2020

  • Valerie C. — Marketing major, Spanish Studies minor
  • Jensen E. — Management Information Systems major
  • Maya H. — Journalism major, Outdoor Recreation and Education minors

May/Summer 2019

Winter Break 2018-19

 * These students are serving as Mexico Promotion Assistants for the 2019-20 Academic Year