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IFSA-Summer in Mexico for Health Sciences

Program Location Merida, Mexico
Sponsor IFSA-Butler
Program Type Co-sponsored
Course # SA 34027
Duration Summer
Upcoming Program Dates
Summer 2022 06/20/22 to 08/12/22

Page Links
Overview Purdue Credit
Eligibility Academics
Housing Program Costs
Financial Aid Deadline
Returnee Info Resources

Due to COVID-19, programs may be altered or adapted with little notice

IFSA-Summer in Mexico for Health Sciences

Are you interested in health sciences? Would you like to learn Spanish to use in a healthcare setting? Clinical observations in urban and rural settings turn the Yucatán into a classroom as you study health care, politics, culture, community and medical Spanish.

  • Live and learn in Mérida, a cozy, colonial city located about 20 minutes from the coast
  • Study the rich culture of the Yucatán and learn Spanish in one of Latin America's safest areas
  • No previous Spanish language study required
  • A medical Spanish course gives invaluable help to medical, social work and business majors
  • Improve your Spanish language medical vocabulary so you can help even more people as a health professional
In addition, program activities are designed to enhance your intercultural competence by developing your understanding of the local culture and people. They are optional, but they are included in your total program fee. Activities vary each term based on availability, but previous events have included:
  • Mérida City Tour: Enjoy downtown Merida experiencing the Mérida in Domingo art and music festival and enjoy a beautiful bike ride along the Paseo de Montejo avenue.
  • Historic Landmarks Outing: Visit historical and cultural landmarks such as Catedral de San Ildefonso, Zocalo, Casa de Montejo, and the Governor’s Palace. 
  • Market Visit and Cooking Class: Prepare authentic local cuisine with host families as the expert chefs after visiting a local market to purchase fresh ingredients. Learn and experience the relationship between food, eating, and building relationships.
  • Explore Mayan Civilization: Learn about Mayan civilization at the Mayan Word Museum and Yucatan’s cultural traits at the Museum of Music.
For more program information, please visit the program website. This program is sponsored by:IFSA-Butler.


IFSA-Summer in Mexico for Health Sciences

The program is open to Purdue students who have completed at least two semesters of university study by the start of the program. Successful candidates will demonstrate academic success, maturity and a desire to experience another culture.

GPA Requirement: 2.0 on a 4.0 scale
Language Requirement: none

Purdue Credit
Direct Credit available from the following: [College of Health and Human Sciences]
Specifically from: HSCI (HHS)

Students interested in completing courses while abroad from Purdue colleges or departments that are not listed above should discuss this with their study abroad advisor before applying to the program.

Academic Program

While IFSA offers several classes and options on this program, Purdue students must take specific classes. Purdue students must do Session II & Session III and will take the following classes:

Session II class:

Contemporary Issues in Public Health in the Yucatán 
Increasing diversity in the socioeconomic, ethnic, and racial composition of our communities has presented healthcare providers with new challenges when responding effectively to patient health and wellbeing. Taught in English, this course examines the public and private healthcare systems of Mexico, mainstream and traditional care in urban and rural settings, and local prevailing health issues such as cervical cancer, obesity, diabetes, and heart disease in order to understand the patients’ expectations from their own cultural context. Students will participate in a series of field visits to rural communities, as well as medical facilities to conduct clinical observations. (3 U.S. semester credit hours)

Session III class:

Introduction to Medical Spanish 
Medical terminology is the language used to describe components and processes of the human body, medical procedures, diseases, disorders, and pharmacology. Simply put, it is the vocabulary that medical professionals use to describe the body, what it does, and the treatments they prescribe. Students will learn functional usage of Spanish language by health professionals and explore relevant social, cultural, and behavioral frameworks that help establish more meaningful connections with Spanish-speaking patients. This course is appropriate for students with zero to two semesters of college-level Spanish or the equivalent. (3 U.S. semester credit hours)

IFSA excursions are included in your total program fee and though these are optional, most students choose to participate. Excursions vary each term based on availability.
  • Uxmal Archaeological Site Day Trip: Explore the second most important Mayan site in the Yucatan Peninsula that wonderfully showcases the ornamental Mayan architecture. Discover the importance of water collection methods by learning the varying techniques and cultural beliefs associated with this precious resource.  
  • Pueblo Mágico Day Trip: Enjoy the picturesque Village of Mani, also known as Pueblo Mágico (Magical Town), to visit the site where a prominent Spanish priest burned and destroyed thousands of Mayan statues, art, books, and historical artifacts. You will also visit a sustainable agroecology farm with flora and fauna typically native to remote areas, being maintained following traditional practices. 
  • Chichen Itzá and Izamal Day Trip: Enjoy this day trip to Chichen Itzá to visit the breathtakingly beautiful and intricate web of water collection sites called cenotes. Then to Izamal, an ancient Mayan city often referred to as Ciudad Amarilla (Yellow City), with the largest convent from the colonial era.

Your homestay will be arranged with a carefully selected host family and located within a typical commute of the IFSA program center. Only one student is housed per family for maximum cultural and language integration. You will have a single bedroom with a bed, shared bathroom, and desk or other designated place to study. Laundry and three meals per day are included. You may occasionally want to buy snacks and eat at restaurants beyond what is provided by homestay families.

Estimated Program Costs
Students pursuing program participation accept financial responsibility. Purdue will take measures to mitigate financial risks, although will not be liable for loss. 

Students should carefully note what costs need to be paid to Purdue University or to a co-sponsor or agency, and what costs need to be paid at the overseas study location.  This will vary by program.

The program fee includes tuition and orientation, as well as program activities and group excursions.

Costs for this program are estimated and subject to change. The cost figures listed below are for: Summer 2021

Costs per term to be billed by Purdue and Co-sponsor
Program Fee$4,770.00
Study Abroad Fee$609.40
Purdue International Insurance (per month)$32.00

Approximate additional costs per term
To be paid by the student.
Round-trip Airfare$650.00
Local Transportation$85.00
Books and Supplies$25.00
Miscellaneous Personal Expenses $0.00 -$535.00
Travel Documents (passport, photos)$175.00

Financial Aid

Purdue University financial aid may be applied to the costs of studying abroad. Students interested in receiving financial aid should

NOTE:  Recipients of certain tuition remission and scholarship programs should pay careful attention to the regulations for using those benefits for study abroad.  Ask your financial aid advisor about any limitations.

Click here for a list of scholarships and grants available to assist with the costs of studying overseas.

Application Deadlines

For full consideration, students must submit all supporting documents before or by the application deadline.  Popular programs fill quickly, often before the deadline.  To insure a place in a program, apply early.

As soon as a student submits an online application, a My Study Abroad account is created. Applicants should consult this page often to check on the status of the application.

Program Application Deadline
Most Summer Programs Mar 1

Returnees Information
IFSA-Summer in Mexico for Health Sciences

Click below to search for Purdue students who have participated in this program and are willing to be contacted.  If you get no results, you can use the search form to find people who studied in the country you are interested in.


The websites listed below contain information about this program. The accuracy of information at external sites cannot be guaranteed.

For more information on this program, please contact the Study Abroad Office by phone (765) 494-2383 or email

Purdue University, 610 Purdue Mall, West Lafayette, IN 47907, (765) 494-4600

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