Student Blogs & Vlogs | College Study Abroad Programs, IFSA-Butler

One month already?!

I can’t believe I have been in Merida for more than one month already! I’m still acclimating to the heat, and it’s almost midterm time!

Much has happened since I’ve been here, but I’d like to share a little bit about my host family. I am staying with a family of three: a mother, and her son and daughter. They are both around my age, one being 19 and the other 21. One of them has just graduated college and the other just began his sophomore year. All three of them are extremely nice and have been super helpful in helping me get to know the city. I am so thankful that I got placed with this family. They are a great fit, especially because they are hilarious, and I love to laugh!

As far as academics (because that’s why I am here!), I have to say that I am still getting used to how Mexican universities operate. I learned that public universities are held in higher esteem than private ones, and that is a lot different compared to the United States where private universities seem to be more respected. Also, the course load is not heavy, there are A LOT of group projects, and I think that reflects a collaborative student body and society. I’m not used to having so many group projects; I don’t mind them, but it has been a challenge to work in teams as I go on a lot of excursions on the weekends and have class in the late afternoon when my teams usually tend to meet. I’ve had to work around this, but I’ve had to give up some independence as well.

Since I’ve been here, we’ve visited many archaeological sites including Mayan ruins, “cenotes”, caves, and more. My second weekend here, we went to a cave on an extreme adventure and had to navigate it by going through some very small spaces and wearing a flashlight. I ended up covered in mud! We’ve also visited the beach in Holbox (a beautiful island) and we went o Playa del Carmen for Independence Day. I have to say, Playa has been my favorite trip so far! It is beautiful, and there are lots of places to go shopping!

This weekend we will be visiting a small community called Yaxunah to learn a little more about the culture and the people of Yucatán and how they live. Then in late October we will be traveling to Chiapas for Day of the Dead, which I am ecstatic about!

I can’t wait to keep learning about Yucatan. There are some breathtaking places here, and I love that I am getting to know a different area of Mexico that I had ever explored.

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