Mexico ELCIR 1

ELCIR - Non Regents

To provide more study abroad options and to reach a broader spectrum of students we are launching the second year of the introduction to research abroad for Non - Regent Scholar Students:

  • 1-credit ENGR 291 course that students register during the spring semester
  • The course is called Engineering Learning Community Introduction to Research (ELCIR)
  • Includes a 2 week trip to Yucatan, Mexico in May 2018
  • The course concludes at the end of summer and that is when students receive their grades

The Engineering Learning Community Introduction to Research starts during the Spring 2018 semester with orientation and training workshop. The highlight of the program is 2 week trip to Yucatan in Mexico where students will take a class on introduction to research, visit research sites and tour cultural areas of Yucatan including, Uxmal, Chichen Itza, Cenotes and the Mundo Maya Museum. After returning from Yucatan students will join an online learning community and write a research proposal on the research problem identified while in Yucatan. The last activity of the program is a poster session. The goal is to expose students early on in their careers to research and global programs.

Locations and Dates

    • Host Country: Mexico - Yucatan
    • Program Duration: 2 Weeks
    • Tentative travel Date: May 11 - 27, 2018
    • Application Deadline: December 15, 2017
    • Number of participants: Limited to 30 students

* Open to all General ENGR Students

Expected Outcomes

      1. Learn principals and/or the basics of research
      2. Collaborate with international faculty and students
      3. Develop a global mind set related to their engineering careers
      4. Be immersed in a different culture
      5. Receive the basic tools to prepare them for future research opportunities with the College of Engineering such as research internship abroad (i.e. ENGR 485 Directed Studies, ENGR 484 International Internship) and on-campus research (e.g. ENGR 491)
      6. Develop a research proposal and a poster to be presented at the end of the program

Eligibility Requirements

      • Applicant must be in good academic standing with a 2.0 or better by the application deadline
      • Applicant must be a Freshman or Sophomore

Location Information

Merida, Yucatan (Mexico)

Merida is the capital and largest city in Yucatan State and the cultural and financial capital of the region. It’s a modern, cosmopolitan city with museums, art galleries, restaurants, shops and boutiques. A major center of commerce, Merida Yucatan is considered the crossroads of the region and one of the most important places to experience the Mayan heritage.

Merida was founded in 1542 by Francisco de Montejo “el Mozo” (the son), and built on the site of the ancient Maya city Ti’ho, meaning “city of five hills”. After the arrival of the Spanish, the ancient city’s five main pyramids were destroyed and their ruins used in the construction of Merida’s cathedral and other important buildings. Finally, on this program you will be able to explore more of the Yucatán region by visiting nearby towns, Mayan ruins and cenotes (underwater sinkholes).

Student Activities

Tour the Chichen Itza archeological site

Chichen Itza was one of the greatest Mayan centers of the Peninsula of Yucatan. Throughout its nearly 1,000 years of history, different people have left their mark on this city. The Maya and Toltec vision of the world and the universe is revealed in their artistic works and stone monuments. Several buildings have survived. Chichen Itza is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and was named one of the “New Seven Wonders of the World.” The ruins at Chichen Itza cover an area of 6.5 sq km (2.5 sq miles) and can be toured in a day.

Chichen Itza has two distinct architectural zones. The southern zone dates back to the 7th century and showcases Chichen Itza’s early construction in the traditional Puuc Maya style of the Yucatan region. The central zone was constructed after the arrival of the Toltecs around the 10th century and showcases a unique fusion of highland central Mexican and Puuc architectural styles. Chichén Itza’s most impressive sights and structures are located in the central zone. Here you’ll find the Juego de Pelota (Ball Court), several platforms, temples and the spectacular El Castillo (Pyramid of Kukulkan), a massive 25m stone representation of the Maya calendar. Toltec warriors are represented in the carvings around the doorway at the top of El Castillo.

Visit the Port Progreso

Progreso is a port city in the Mexican state of Yucatán, located on the Gulf of Mexico in the north-west of the state some 30 minutes north of state capital Mérida (the biggest city on the Yucatán Peninsula) by highway. Progreso is a center for both the fishing industry and the container industry. All containers arrive in Progreso and are distributed to Yucatán, Campeche and Quintana Roo. Progreso also is one of the newest ports for large cruise ships and an emerging balneario resort destination. Passengers are taken to shore to visit Progreso, Mérida or the Maya civilization archaeological sites of Uxmal and Dzibilchaltun. During the months of July and August the beaches fill with thousands of mostly local tourists, as it is traditional in these months for well-to-do residents of Mérida to leave the city and spend the summer in the cooler seaside environment.

Visit the Dzibilchaltún Mayan Site

Dzibilchaltun is a modern Mayan name that means “writing on flat stones,” It was once a wealthy port and center of Mayan coastal trade with a peak population of about 200,000. The population declined as Chichen Itza rose to power. The Maya lived here from 300 B.C. to the time of the Spanish invasions. Restoration continues at Dzibilchaltun with over 35 square kilometers investigated by international archaeologists. 8,000 structures have been identified but only a small portion excavated. Due to the long history of this particular site and the various influences from both Maya and Spanish communities, INAH has added an on-site museum on some of the great architectural features of the buildings and artifacts. The Cenote Xlakah is a beautiful freshwater pool located to the side of the main plaza. It was the city’s freshwater source and perhaps the main reason the Maya chose this location to build their settlement. Water from Cenote Xlakah would have been perfect for residential drinking water and irrigation of their fields. Under the surface, Cenote Xlakah reaches depths of 44 meters (144 feet). According to the plaque near the water’s edge, Xlakah means “old town” in Maya. The cenote was first explored from 1957-59 when thousands of pottery shards and urns were found in the water along with wood, stone and bone artifacts.

Tour SIIDETEY – Technology Park

SIIDETEY is the Mexican state of Yucatán’s expansive research consortium. SIIDETEY is comprised of national and regional institutions such as the Universidad Nacional Autonóma de Mexico, CINVESTAV, the Mexican Aerospace Agency, the Mexican National Institute of Mathematics and Yucatan State University, among others. Texas A&M is the first university outside of Mexico to be asked and to join the high-level research consortium and has a physical presence in the SIIDETEY research park in Yucatán.


Students must have a passport or proof of passport application by the program application deadline. TAMU students are encouraged to apply on campus at the Study Abroad Programs Office. For more information click here.


Estimated Program Fee (subject to change)Cost
Program Fee: Airfare, Lodging, Meals, Local transportation in Mexico technical and cultural visits; travel and health insurance; administrative fee; faculty travel cost; pre/post program orientation $2,000
COE Scholarship: Used directly towards the travel cost $500
Student Fee: Charged to student’s business account$1,500