Mayan Language Institute

Mayan Language Institute: K’iche’ Maya and Kaqchikel Maya 

Program Dates:  June 14-July 25, 2015

The Mayan Language Institute is an intensive 6-week summer immersion language program in K’iche’ Maya and Kaqchikel Maya. Students study with both U.S. faculty and native speakers. In addition to language study, students participate in cultural activities, lectures, discussions, and excursions. Students may study one of the languages at the beginner, intermediate, or advanced level depending on placement by program directors. With more than 1.5 million K’iche’ and Kaqchikel speakers in Guatemala, the goal of the institute is to help students develop and advance proficiency in their chosen language and to gain a better understanding of the cultural and political contexts that have affected the historical development and preservation of the language. Efforts to protect these languages are playing a pivotal role in the Mayan struggle to regain control over their political and cultural destiny. Students pursuing K’iche’ Maya will spend six weeks in Nahualá. Students pursuing Kaqchikel Maya will spend their six weeks in Antigua. All students are placed with local families for home-stays. Students should be flexible and prepared for living conditions in Guatemala. Students will receive 6 credits from Tulane University (3 credits for language course and 3 credits for culture course). Full class attendance is required.

Program Eligibility

Student applicants must be in good academic standing and have at least a current cumulative grade point average of 2.5. Non-Tulane students are welcome to apply, but should confirm with their home university that their credits will transfer. Students should have some level of Spanish proficiency; previous study in either Kaqchikel or K’iche’ is required for intermediate or advanced coursework. Students should be flexible and prepared for living conditions in Guatemala.


This course meets all requirements for Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) Fellowships; students are encouraged to apply to their home institution for summer FLAS Fellowship support. Tuition for students on FLAS Fellowships is $5,000. Eligible graduate students at other universities may apply to the University of Chicago, Vanderbilt University, the University of Texas at Austin, Tulane University and/orthe University of New Mexico for Summer FLAS Fellowship support, but priority for FLAS awards will be given to students enrolled at these awarding institutions. In addition to tuition, all students must pay a $1,300 program fee. The program fee covers local accommodations (including at least one meal/day with the home-stay family) and class excursions. In addition to the travel costs mentioned below in “Travel and Arrangements,” certain other costs are not included in the program tuition or program fee, such as laundry, snacks, souvenirs, passport/visa fees, vaccinations, et cetera.

Travel and Arrangements

Students are responsible for their own travel and airfare to Guatemala as well as local transportation. Program fees include local transportation for programmed excursions and activities.

Application and Enrollment

A $50 application fee is required. Applications are due March 31, 2015. Enrollment is limited, so students should apply early. If you plan to apply for a FLAS Fellowship, please remember that the FLAS application is due February 20, 2015.  Click here for more information and for application forms

Offered in Partnership From

Vanderbilt University Center for Latin American Studies
Tulane University Stone Center for Latin American Studies
University of New Mexico Latin American and Iberian Institute
University of Texas Teresa Lozano Long Institute of Latin American Studies
University of Chicago Center for Latin American Studies

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