UC Berkeley Summer Abroad

Yucatan, Mexico – Education and Migration

Summer 2017

Unearth the diverse cultural roots of Mexico and discover the role of race, class, and language in the formation of the educational experiences of indigenous students of Mexico and their counterpart's indigenous immigrant students in the United States.

  • Live and study in the vibrant cities of Merida and Izamal (Yucatan) and Playa del Carmen (Quintana Roo)
  • Complement your studies with tours to ceremonial sites and greatest Mayan centers recognized as World Heritage Centers such as Chichen-ltza, Tulum, Ek Balam, Uxmal, Valladolid, and Calakmul
  • Develop pedagogical tools working with the Centro Estatal de Capacitación, Investigación y Difusión Humanistica de Yucatán, the Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia, and Universidad de Quintana Roo.

Dates: June 10 – July 15, 2017
All dates are subject to change.

Units: 6 units

Language of Instruction: English


  • EDUC 146A: Education and Migration: Indigeneity in Yucatán and its Diaspora (6 units)


  • At least one year of college coursework completed by the start of the program
  • 2.0 GPA or higher


  • Application opens February 1, 2017
  • Space is limited and applications are accepted on a first-come, first-served basis
  • Deadline to apply is March 10, 2017

During the program, you will take one course for a total of 6 UC Berkeley units.

Course: Education 146A
Title: Education and Migration: Indigeneity in Yucatán and Its Diaspora
Dates: June 10 – July 15, 2017
Instructor: Patricia Baquedano-López
Units: 6 units
Prerequisites: None

This course aims to bring awareness to the complex issues influencing the social experiences of indigenous Maya people in the Maya Diaspora (comprising Yucatan - San Francisco). The course aims to introduce contextual background (historical, political, economic, and social) to the creation of Maya identity, indigeneity, and representation in Yucatan in order to understand processes of migration to the U.S. The course complements classroom instruction with visits to historic and contemporary sites of indigenous cultural practice. It will also address social movements in Latin America, including pan-Maya movements, that have tried to redefine cultural and linguistic identities in the region. The course will introduce students to critical texts as examples of Maya indigenous thought and Maya authors in diaspora. As part of the course's appreciation of Maya language and culture, the first two weeks will include a language and literacy component on the basics of the grammatical structure of Yucatan Maya to better appreciate texts in Maya-Spanish-English and communicate with stakeholders in Yucatan and in the Maya diaspora.

This course satisfies the L&S International Studies breadth requirement. Please note that academic requirements may change. Consult with your college/major advisor to see which degree requirements this course may fulfill.

Tuition and Program Fee

The fees to participate in this program are broken down into 1) tuition and 2) program fees, which are applied to your student billing account as follows:

2017 Fees UC Students Visiting Students
Tuition (6 units) $2,460 $3,120
Program Fee $2,532 $2,532
Total Cost $4,992 $5,652
Fees are subject to change. All non-UC Berkeley students must pay an additional Document Management Fee of $55.


Estimated Out-of-Pocket Expenses

In addition to the fees outlined above, Berkeley Study Abroad has estimated costs for out-of-pocket expenses. These amounts are used to calculate financial aid packages for eligible students. Actual expenses will vary depending on your lifestyle and spending habits.

Estimated Expenses Amount
International Airfare and Transportation $600
Additional Meals $540
Books $312
Personal Expenses (i.e., phone, passport, visas, etc.) $630
Total Estimated Out-of-Pocket Expenses $2,082


Financial Aid

Financial aid is available for UC Berkeley students who are enrolled in at least 6 units during the summer. All other students should contact the financial aid office at their home institution for more information.


Explanation of Fees

Tuition is based on a per unit cost: 

  • The UC undergraduate student rate is $410 per unit
  • The visiting student rate for all non-UC participants is $512 per unit

The program fee includes the following items:

  • Student housing
  • Excursions.
  • On-site orientation activities including an introduction to Mexico, welcome group lunch, etc.
  • Travel insurance to cover accident/sickness medical coverage, emergency medical evacuation, security extraction, and other travel assistance services
  • Other program-related costs including fees for group transportation, guest speakers, etc.
  • The initial non-refundable deposit of $400, which is due at the time of application and is applied to the program fee

Please note that the list of items included in the program fee is not all-inclusive and is subject to change.

The following items are excluded from the program fee:

  • International airfare
  • Personal expenses (souvenirs, routine medical expenses, toiletries, etc.)
  • Course materials (textbooks and readers)
  • Other travel expenses (passport, visa, etc.)
  • Additional meals
  • Commuting costs for daily travel to and from classes


Patricia Baquedano-López
Program Director
Email: pbl@berkeley.edu 

Professor Patricia Baquedano-López is faculty in Language, Literacy, and Culture program, the Social and Cultural Studies program, and in the Leadership for Educational Equity Program (LEEP). A native from Yucatán, Professor Baquedano-López is a scholar who examines language, race, and immigration examine the ways educational ideologies and policies are tied to practices and processes of inclusion and exclusion, and of academic success and failure. A strand of her work focuses on the notions and practices of indigeneity and Latinidad in schools. Her most recent research project is funded by the Spencer Foundation and addresses the educational experiences of indigenous students of the Maya diaspora. She is also the chair of the Center for Latino Policy Research (CLPR), a research institute on campus forging stronger connections between research and policy on Latino issues.

Application opensFebruary 1, 2017
Application closesMarch 10, 2017
Applicants notified of selectionMarch 22, 2017
Deadline to confirm participation or cancel for a refund of all program-related fees, minus $400 depositApril 3, 2017
Attend pre-departure orientation*Late April-May
Arrive in MexicoJune 10, 2017
Last day of programJuly 15, 2017


* These events take place on the UC Berkeley campus. If you are not on campus during this time, we will schedule a meeting via phone or Skype.
All dates are subject to change.


Host City

Yucatán, the Mexican state, is known for its Gulf of Mexico beaches and Mayan ruins. Mérida is not only the capital, but also the largest city of the Yucatán Peninsula. A cultural hub, Mérida, has heavy Mayan, Spanish, French, British and some Dutch influences throughout the city. Mérida also has the highest percentage of indigenous persons of any large city in Mexico with about 60% of all its inhabitants being of the Mayan ethnicity.


Housing and Meals


Accommodations are subject to change.



A comprehensive orientation will be provided both on the UC Berkeley campus as well as on-site. Orientation will cover various topics, including academics, local culture, health and safety, transportation, and more.


Travel Resources

U.S. Department of State Country Information 
CDC Health Information for Travelers 
Lonely Planet 
Mexico Travel