My name is David Murray and I spent three weeks in Merida doing an intensive Spanish immersion program. I’m 22 years old, I’m from North Carolina and I study Spanish and Business at Roanoke College.

I chose the Spanish and Mayan culture immersion program in Mérida because it’s closer to my home in the U.S. I don’t like to fly but this trip helped me grow and got me out of my comfort zone.

This experience in Mérida changed me a lot because I now know more about Yucatecan culture. I have learned a lot of things about myself, I can do things I thought I couldn’t do before, for instance this trip, one night before coming to Mexico I almost decided not to do it so now I should give me more credit for what I accomplished.

I have learned many things while in Mérida, for example new vocabulary and lots of grammar. I also know more about the culture, I went and swam in cenotes, learned about the representation of the Maya underworld, went to Chichen Itza and Merida surroundings.

I feel I have been transformed in different ways. Today I feel more independent. I used to feel nervous before but not anymore and I know this is good for me. I feel more confident, my Spanish has improved, I can talk more with people.

What I liked the most about this experience was the food because it is very different from the food in the U.S. and it is way more delicious. I really liked Chichen Itza and being with a support network made it better. Of course I missed my home, my family and my dog!

I would highly recommend this experience to other students because it’s a learning and growing experience. I am very happy with everything, the classes were great, fun and I feel I learned a lot.