January in Mexico

Enjoy blue-sky days and temperatures that rarely deviate from the mid-70s. Study at one of the top language schools in the world and improve your Spanish in just one month!

We offer a world-famous language program with immersive cultural classes. The site of January in Mexico has received accolades from the New York Times as one of the top language schools in the world. The exceptional curriculum, individualized student attention, and immersion opportunities both in and out of the classroom are second to none. Study Spanish abroad when you study abroad in Mexico- what better place to learn the language?

We’ve got the experience and answers you’re looking for. At CISabroad, all our advisors have studied or lived abroad, and we can help you make the most of your experience.  Mexico is a gem, and whether you want advice on a vacation on the coast, the local cuisine, or finding a mentor to help you prepare for your program, we are here to help you every step of the way.

We’ve got one of the most affordable programs in Mexico. January in Mexico is the most affordable winter study abroad program in Cuernavaca. It’s a high-quality program that won’t break your piggy bank. As fellow travelers and study abroad junkies, we know you need to save money, and we want you to have extra pesos for shopping, traveling, and exploring.

Study abroad in Mexico and dodge the winter blues when you study Spanish and Spanish culture abroad at Universidad Internacional, ranked by the New York Times as one of the top language schools in the world. On January in Mexico, opportunities abound for you to immerse yourself in Mexican culture, make international friends, and learn Spanish in and out of the classroom. Get excited about:

The legendary climate – Cuernavaca was nicknamed the “City of Eternal Spring” by Alexander von Humboldt in the 19th century. If you’re looking for the perfect place to spend your winter, look no further. You will enjoy blue-sky days with temperatures that rarely deviate from the mid-70s.

Field trips and intercultural activities – When you join our winter term study abroad program in Mexico, you will have a wide variety of educational opportunities outside the classroom.

Small language classes and individualized academic attention – By small, we mean no more than 5 students! You will have individualized academic attention throughout your coursework.

A fashionable, contemporary city – Gated haciendas, nightlife, and glamorous architecture have helped establish Cuernavaca as a beautiful, cosmopolitan city. But if you need a change of pace  while you’re there, Mexico City—one of the largest, most energetic cities in the world—is only about an hour away.

A robust social scene – Cuernavaca has a wonderful variety of social opportunities for all interests and tastes. Most of Cuernavaca’s inhabitants are young people, and you will find them socializing in venues around the city every night of the week.

If you want to study abroad in Mexico but don’t have a lot of time, then a January term study abroad program is perfect for you. Here are a few key highlights of our January in Mexico program:

  • One of the world’s top language schools
  • Fun city with a beautiful climate
  • Small Spanish classes at any level to help fully immerse you in the language
  • International students from all over the world
  • Two day trips included
  • Live with a Mexican family and receive three meals a day
  • Lots of clubs and activities to join on campus
  • Endless choice of things to do in Cuernavaca


During your stay in Mexico, you’ll have the chance to go on some day trips to let you see the rest of Mexico. In the past, these trips have included:

Once Mesoamerica’s biggest city, Teotihuacan is now an incredible archaeological site that contains some of the biggest pyramid structures built in the pre-Colombian Americas. It was built around 200 BC, and is home to the famous Avenue of the Dead. This mysterious and breathtaking site is a must-see while in Mexico.

Mexico City
You can take a trip to the world’s third largest city, where you’ll experience everything from museums, art galleries, and concert halls to ancient Aztec ruins and beautiful parks. Mexico City is an experience!

This archaeological site has been named a UNESCO World Heritage site. It’s a collection of white stone ruins that were built around 700 AD, and was thought to have been a key ceremonial center. Xochicalco also has an incredible astronomical observatory built in a cave.

January in Mexico takes place at Universidad Internacional, the only university in the world that was born from a Spanish-language school. The University holds strong to its roots as a world leader in language learning. You can develop your Spanish-language proficiency through language, history and culture courses.

January in Mexico is offered as a 4- or 5-week program beginning in early January.  It’s a full-immersion program that’s perfect for all levels of Spanish. All classes are taught in Spanish and are tailored to your level of proficiency. The 4-week program gives you 4 US credits, and the 5-week program, 5.

Classes run Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.  Each day includes 3 hours of Spanish classes, 2 hours of Latin American history and culture or grammar (beginners in Spanish will be required to take grammar), and 1 hour of cultural lectures or conversation. You can take additional enrichment classes in the afternoons at no extra cost.

GPA Required: 2.5. If you find your GPA is lower than the requirement, do not despair! Use the "Contact An Advisor" button on this page or call us to let us know your situation. We'll do all we can to find the right program for you.

How to choose your courses
Now the fun part! As part of the application process you will be required to complete the CISabroad Course Selection Worksheet found in the CISabroad Application Page. The following instructions will guide you through the steps of choosing your courses for the Language, Culture, and International Studies program. If you want to participate in the Spanish Immersion program, please see instructions at the bottom of the page.

Course load: Intensive Spanish Language, 4–5 weeks, 4–5 credits

Course approval: On CIS January in Mexico, written and oral placement exams given during the orientation will assess your level of Spanish so you can be enrolled in the appropriate class.

You should get all summer program classes preapproved by your home institution. If you are taking Latin American courses, it’s best to get more than you need approved to give yourself flexibility. Consider filling your elective requirements. Pay close attention to the language level required for each course, as all courses are taught in Spanish. Beginning Spanish speakers need to stick with 100- and 200-level courses.

Course descriptions and catalog: For more information, click here.

Choose only courses that are not marked with an asterisk.

Helpful information
Weekly Schedule Details

Intensive Spanish Language Class (3 hrs) 
After a brief entrance exam and oral interview with a Spanish professor, you will be placed in a small group according to your previous level of Spanish fluency, your ability to communicate, and your interests. No more than 5 students are assigned to a professor. This guarantees the individual attention you need and encourages interaction among the group. You’ll focus on 4 main skills: speaking, listening, reading, and writing.

Latin American or Grammar Courses (2 hrs) 
This flexible option lets you choose from an assortment of classes—all taught in Spanish—in the following areas: art, business, education, history, Latin-American studies, linguistics, literature, political science, psychology, religion, and Spanish grammar.

Cultural Lectures, Idiomatic Expressions, or Conversation (1 hr) 
This component is designed to improve your listening and conversational Spanish- language skills. In the process, you will learn more about Mexican culture, with discussions on topics like holidays, festivities, and family life. You will be encouraged to contrast your own culture with that of Mexico. You will also learn idiomatic expressions that will help you interact with and better understand the culture.

Optional Classes
January in Mexico also offers several optional classes in the afternoon at no extra cost, such as:

Functional Spanish (1 hr) 
Put into practice in a daily context the knowledge you’ve acquired both in and out of the classroom. You’ll hear Mexican songs, learn idiomatic expressions and slang, and discuss music, movies, and popular culture.

Conversation, Field Trips, and Intercultural Activities (2 hrs)  
Practice your communication and pronunciation while interacting with Mexican high school students in activities of mutual interest, such as games, handcrafts, and the like.

Specialized Vocabulary (2 hrs)  
Learn to communicate effectively with Spanish-speaking clients, students, and patients.  This course will be organized according to your needs and goals.

Did you know that 70% of all CISabroad students receive scholarships or grants to study or intern abroad? You can get a grant for something as simple as applying early, or a scholarship for blogging. 

For details on all scholarship and grant offerings and to apply, please click here.

Cuernavaca is an incredible place to spend your January! The city has a perfect mix of colonial history and modern amenities that will keep you busy during your stay. You can walk along cobblestone streets, look at 16th century architecture, and barter for jewelry and pottery at authentic Mexican handcraft markets.

The university’s Spanish language program provides a unique immersive and individualized experience that will help you greatly improve your skills! You can practice your speaking skills as you navigate the friendly streets and rich culture in Cuernavaca. From markets and bars to galleries and museums, you’ll never be bored in this exciting city.

Cuernavaca’s year-round sunshine and mid-70s temperatures have given it the nickname of “The City of Eternal Spring”. The delightful mild climate will only add to your perfect winter in Mexico! The incredible landscapes and rich cultural heritage of the city has made Cuernavaca a popular destination for both tourists and international students, so you can make new friends from all over the world!

Universidad Internacional (UI) became a university in 1997, and has quickly become a leading Spanish language school. The New York Times recognized the university as one of the top language schools in the world! Your Spanish skills will improve by leaps and bounds thanks to the school’s unique immersive and individualized language program, and you will be able to better experience life in Cuernavaca. UI’s friendly and open atmosphere will make it easy to make friends from all over the world.

UI is located in the southern part of the city, near plenty of restaurants, museums, and cultural activities within walking distance. Besides the school’s Spanish program, it also offers a variety of study areas and extracurricular cultural activities. UI has quality professors and a high academic standard that will serve you well during your time in Mexico. The school also provides a currency exchange office, computer labs, a library, and one of the most gorgeous campuses in Latin America- complete with tropical fruit trees and flowers!

You’ll enjoy outstanding support with CISabroad during your January in Mexico. We’re always on hand to help you with academic advising, personal help, and cultural support. When you arrive in Mexico, our on-site staff will pick you up at the airport and bring you to your new home! You’ll get an in-depth orientation to both the university and the city to ensure that your time in Mexico goes smoothly. During your stay, you can partake in a number of on-campus events and activities. In addition, the January in Mexico includes two day trips of your choice.

Cuernavaca is the perfect city to explore and get to know Mexico. Art exhibits, museums, and theater, music, and dancing events are easy to find, and you can also head into Mexico City- only an hour away- for a change of pace. Through the university, you can take cooking classes, join language conversation clubs, and enjoy salsa dancing lessons where you can meet other international and local students with similar interests! You can also play in weekly soccer, basketball, and tennis games and matches. If you want to practice Spanish more outside of your classes, you can join in the school’s café socials, where students meet at a different restaurant every week to speak Spanish.

You’ll have a great chance to give back to the community through UI’s Service Learning course, in which you will learn more about certain issues facing your area. You will then do your part to help with the issue and assist your local community!

You will spend your January in Mexico living with a local family in Cuernavaca. During your homestay, you will have the incredible opportunity to really practice your Spanish and get a feel for local life! Most host families live within easy walking distance of the university, and transportation is provided to and from campus if they live farther away. Three delicious meals will be provided to you per day, along with a weekly laundry service for your provided bed linens and pillows. This homestay is a great chance to immerse yourself in life in Cuernavaca and Mexican culture!

1. What is the cost of program tuition? What is included in the program fees?

The program cost for the January in Mexico program can be found here.

2. When are the program fees due?

Program fees for January in Mexico are due on November 15th. CISabroad will email invoices to students approximately one month before the program payment deadline. For example, if your payment deadline is July 15, you should expect your invoice in mid-June. If you are using financial aid, please ensure all financial aid paperwork is returned to our office by the payment deadline. If your financial aid does not cover your entire balance, CISabroad accepts these payment methods.

3. What is due with my application and when is my application due?

There are four easy steps in the application process.

1. Fill out the online application, which includes your contact information, what program you are applying for, etc.

2. Pay the $200 application deposit in order to secure your space in the program. This amount will be applied toward the final cost.

3. Complete the Academic Reference Form, Course Selection Worksheet, Personal Statement, Applicant Profile, and Scholarship Application (optional).

4. Mail in your official transcript to our office.

For detailed instructions, see application instructions. The application deadline for January in Mexico is November 15th.

4. Do I need a passport or visa? When should I apply for my passport/visa?

Yes, you WILL need a passport to travel to Mexico. Your passport must be valid for 6 months BEYOND the date you return to the United States. For detailed passport instructions, U.S. citizens should check the State Department's Travel Site. For the January in Mexico program, visas are NOT required.

5. Is there a GPA requirement?

Yes. The GPA requirement for the January in Mexico program is 2.5, but sometimes a lower GPA is accepted. If you find your GPA is lower than the requirement, do not despair! Use the "Contact a CISabroad Advisor" button on this page or call us at 1-877-617-9090 to let us know your situation. We'll do all we can to find the right program for you!

6. What are my housing options?

The January in Mexico program uses homestay families. They are thoroughly vetted and evaluated on a regular basis. Transportation to and from the Universidad Internacional is included if your host family lives farther away from the school, however most of the families live within a short walking distance. The family will provide the student with three homecooked meals a day and will provide linens and towels which will be washed once a week; all other laundry is the responsibility of the student. During your homestay, you will be part of the family and will have the chance to practice your Spanish while gaining intimate familiarity with the local culture.

7. Will other students participate in the program with me? How many?

CISabroad programs are not only a great way to meet local and international students, but also students from around the United States. Program size varies each year - if enrollment size is important to you, contact a CISabroad advisor at 1-877-617-9090.

8. How many credits are offered in the program?

For January in Mexico, students will be enrolled in a full Spanish immersion curriculum for a total of 4-5 credits, depending on the length of the program. For more information on course options, go here.

9. Can I combine this program with another CISabroad program like intern, summer, or semester abroad?

Yes! A great way to extend your CISabroad experience is participating in another program. Combine semester programs to create a full academic year or if an academic year is just a little too long and a semester is too short, combine a semester and summer session or a semester and January term program. You can also participate in a semester abroad and combine that with a summer intern abroad. To find out more information on the application process for more than one CISabroad program, contact a CISabroad advisor at 1-877-617-9090.

Term: January 2014
Arrival January 3
CISabroad Orientation January 4
Classes Start January 6
Classes End January 31
Departure February 1
Term: January 2014 Price: $3,100

Dates posted here are for reference only and are subject to change. Please do not book flights until you have received the confirmed dates in your acceptance paperwork.

To view expected additional expenses for this program, click here.

Program fees are in US dollars and include the following:

  •  2 day trips outside of Cuernavaca
  •  Full-time tuition and fees
  •  Housing (homestay) 
  •  3 meals per day
  •  Medical and accident insurance
  •  CISabroad support services before, during, and after the program
  •  Academic advising 
  •  Financial aid counseling 
  •  Assistance with travel arrangements
  •  Predeparture orientation 
  •  Airport pickup and drop-off
  •  Universidad Internacional orientation
  •  On-site support
  •  On-campus wi-fi
  •  Universidad Internacional official transcript
  •  Carbon offset of travel & Green Travel Guide

CISabroad  reserves the right to alter fees at any time due to currency fluctuations and/or fee changes made by our partner universities.