Temple Summer in Mexico

The Global Good and Honors History in Mérida

Take a deep dive into the history and legacies of colonialism in the Yucatán Peninsula in this four-week, excursion-based seminar. From Mayan dominance to Spanish conquest, nineteenth-century struggles for independence to twenty-first century New Age and “eco” tourism, we will use the history of the Yucatán to understand broader trends in the development of the western hemisphere and engage with questions of the common good: issues of historical, social, and environmental justice. Along the way we’ll visit ancient ruins, explore durable Yucatán folkways, and learn from local experts in the fields of Mayan history, indigenous cultures, and the colonial legacies of Mexico.

Program Overview

Expand upon each of the links below to view more details about this program.

Academic Program

Instruction on this program is conducted on-site and in the classroom, with some evening activities. 

Language of Instruction

  • English and Spanish
  • The IH and Honors History courses will be conducted in English
  • Weekly non-credit Spanish language instruction will be included in the program.
  • Previous Spanish language experience not required.

Course Load

  • One, 3-credit course

Course Offerings

You will choose to register for one of the following:

  • IH 0852: Intellectual Heritage II: The Common Good
  • IH 0952: Honors Intellectual Heritage II: The Common Good
  • History 2900: Honors Special Topics I: From Colonialism to Tourism: Five Centuries of Conflict, Conquest, and Resistance in the Yucatan, Mexico

View all courses.


The program is based in Mérida, the capital city of the Yucatán state, a cultural hub in southern Mexico.

Explore Mérida!

Mérida is a blend of the New World and the Old – a living contradiction between ancient Indigenous culture and the European infrastructure that attempted to convert and remake it in its own image. Temple’s programs in Merida will analyze the colonial past evident around every corner while highlighting the contributions of and influence of Mayan people, both past and present.  

When you’re not in the classroom, take advantage of the local art and food cultures in Mérida. Calle 47 (47th Street) is home to Restaurant Row, and street markets with food and handmade goods appear in the city during the weekends. If art and music are more your speed, there are around a dozen museums and theaters to visit during your stay, including the Teatro José Peón Contreras – where you can attend a performance of the Yucatán Symphony Orchestra (for less than $20!).  

The Yucatán Peninsula has much to offer, and the natural beauty of this region can feel like a hidden gem. Guests to the area can enjoy visiting public spaces near Mérida without as much of the tourist traffic as one might expect in other nearby areas. Flamingo-filled coastal parks such as Celestún and Progreso lie just under an hour to the north and east, and underground cave systems and swimming spots are located about an hour to the west. The Mayan ruins at Chichen Itza, the famous UNESCO World Heritage Site, are under two hours away; an excursion to Chichen Itza will be part of the program.

Program Dates

Four weeks: mid-May through mid-June

Tentative Program Dates

Departure from U.S.May 16
Arrival in MéridaMay 16
OrientationMay 16-19
Classes beginMay 20
Classes endJune 13
Last night in housingJune 13
Program endsJune 14

Do not use the above dates to book your flight, as they are tentative and subject to change. Accepted students will receive confirmed program dates and flight booking guidelines from Education Abroad before making travel plans.  

Program participants are required to be present for the entire length of the program, from the official arrival date through the program end date.


Housing type: Basic hotel (shared, single-sex bedrooms) in Mérida for the duration of the program.

Activities & Excursions

These courses will feature frequent excursions, enabling you to study firsthand the city’s rich Maya and Spanish heritage. These visits bring course texts to life and expose you to daily life in Mérida.

  • Day trip to Chichén Itzá, the renowned Mayan archaeological site, and Yodkzonot cenote where you will participate in a Mayan/Yucatecan cooking class and learn to prepare regional dishes 
  • Day trip to Hacienda Sotuta de Peón to explore the 19th century hacienda, learn about its historical, cultural and economic importance, and experience the process for producing henequen fiber. 
  • Day trip to Valladolid and Izamal to visit important colonial era convents and learn about the process of evangelization and the spread of Catholic religion in Yucatan.  
  • Day trip to the archaeological site of Uxmal and the Museum of Chocolate  
  • Overnight excursion to visit the Mayan community of Yaxunah, located within two hours of Mérida. While there, you will participate in a cultural engagement activity, meet with a local youth group, and interview Mayan peers about their lives and experiences.  
  • Mayan archaeoastronomy activity including a talk on archaeoastronomy followed by stargazing at a private ecological park with archaeological ruins called Sihunchén. Activity led by a local archaeologist who specializes in the vision of the sky by the Yucatecan Maya from both pre-hispanic and contemporary points of view.
Faculty & On-site Support

Temple Faculty Program Director

A Temple faculty member serves as the program director overseeing the academic program and will serve as your point of contact for academic matters.

View program faculty.

On-site Support Staff

In addition to your program director, you will have access to 24/7 on-site support from our on-site partner, IFSA Mexico. 

Program Costs


Temple students pay their usual per-credit rate by school/college and residency.

Non-Temple students pay the non-matriculated student rate based on residency. For the 2023-24 academic year, PA residents are charged $749 per credit and non-PA residents are charged $1,349 per credit. *Non-Temple students: your program costs may vary depending on your home institution's billing model. Please check with your study abroad office about your school's billing policies.

All students pay:

  • University Services Fee
  • Mexico Program Fee, estimated at $3195, which includes housing in shared accommodations, orientation, airport transfers, transportation card, some field trips and some group meals.

For complete details about billable costs and estimate for non-billable expenses, such as airfare, meals, and personal expenses, view the program cost sheet.

View detailed program costs.


Education Abroad offers competitive, need-based scholarships for this program. Learn more about scholarships and financial aid.

Health & Safety

Staying healthy and safe abroad requires good planning and strong support. Review our health and safety page for important steps to preparing for study abroad, and details about international travel medical insurance and assistance provided by Temple.  



Global Good

Honors history

Eligibility Requirements

Temple programs are open to qualified students matriculated at any U.S. or Canadian college or university.

You are eligible to apply if you meet the following requirements.

Are enrolled fulltime and will have completed 2 semesters before studying abroad
  • You are enrolled as a full-time matriculated student at the time of application as well as during the semester prior to studying abroad.
  • You will have completed at least two (2) semesters of college-level study by the program start.
Are in good academic standing and meet minimum GPA requirement for the program

You meet minimum cumulative GPA requirement, on a 4.0 scale from all colleges/universities attended. The requirement varies by program:

  • Temple Semester Programs: 2.75 (Internships: 3.0)
  • Temple Summer Programs: 2.5
  • Exchange Programs: 2.75
  • External Programs: 2.5

You remain in good academic standing from the time of application until the start of your term abroad; students on academic warning are not eligible to participate.

Have a valid passport

You will need a passport, valid well beyond the length of your program, by the application deadline.

View deadlines and validity requirements for your host country.


Are in good disciplinary standing

You are in good disciplinary standing at the time of application and remain so through the start of your term abroad. Students who have been found responsible for a code of conduct violation and will not be in good disciplinary standing (including disciplinary probation) may submit a petition for review.

Meet the minimum age requirement

You are at least 18 years old at the time of application.

For Temple in Mexico - The Global Good and Honors History in Merida Program, there are no additional requirements.

However, you must be an honors student to enroll in the honors course listings.

Application Requirements

The standard application requirements pertain to all students applying to Temple programs.

    For Temple in Mexico - The Global Good and Honors History Program, there are no additional application requirements.

    Admissions Timeline

    • Admissions is rolling (early applications encouraged).
    • Once you submit your application, you should expect a decision within two (2) weeks.

    I'm excited about study abroad because instead of memorizing dates from a textbook or lecture slides, we'll get to learn from real people and see history with our own eyes.

    Jam Stebbins

    Jam Stebbins