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SIT Study Abroad participant SIT Study Abroad participant

Panama: Tropical Ecology, Marine Ecosystems and Biodiversity Conservation

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    9

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Cultural Immersion

    7

  • Program Administration

    8

  • Health and Safety

    9

  • Social Life

    9

SIT Panama: an unforgettable experience!

Academically, SIT demands a fair amount of students while offering resources and emotional support. We stayed with 5 different host families throughout the country, which was an incredible experience! Our Tropical Ecology professors were Panamanian, which was a great experience. On the program, integration into local culture can be at whatever level the student wants. I was able to get to know local Panamanians, and felt quite integrated in their culture! I loved the travel that we did across the country and our subsequent exposure to the different areas and ecosystems that Panama possesses. The variety of lessons, professors, and the number of field work skills that I gained have given me such a good sense of what I can do in the ecology research field. I learned many environmental research methods, made some great friends, and learned about my own independence and capability for traveling.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Do this

This experience was incredible. The best parts were: learning while actually doing things like snorkeling and researching coral. Traveling a lot throughout the country and seeing different types of ecosystems and cultures. Staying in homes and making connections with people from entirely different worlds. Experiencing incredible adventures with people who are just as excited about them as you are. Seeing the incredible Panamanian jungles, ocean, mountains, rivers, cloud forests, desert, etc. Taking time to have fun and do crazy incredible things on the free days like going to hot springs or islands. Watching yourself grow and change. It was intense and absolutely beautiful. To anyone considering this program, do it. It was paradise.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    7

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Health and Safety

    9

  • Social Life

    8

So grateful for this experience - such an exciting, challenging, and meaningful semester.

If I were to start all over with the study abroad process, I would absolutely chose this program again. I was able to travel through every corner of Panama (which is remarkably diverse culturally and geographically, much to my surprise!), to delve deeply into environmental and developmental issues, to gain new cultural perspectives through several homestays, and to challenge myself academically while still enjoying plenty of free time. This program helped me to grow academically and personally, and I had an absolute blast while doing so!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Not your average study abroad

There are plenty of study abroad programs where you get college credit to hang out on a beach all day and skip class. This is not one of those trips.

What makes SIT Panama so incredible is that, instead of being based at a university, you travel all over the country. And professors pre-eminent in their fields come to you.

Imagine having an introductory session with a world-renowned corals expert, and then putting on your fins and snorkelling with him on a Carribean archipelago. Or reading about the Naso people of Panama (the only monarchy in the western hemisphere) and then living in a homestay in a Naso village.

We saw more of Panama than most Panamanians and I feel extraordinarily connected to the country.

The trip is a great balance of fun and challenging. And it only whet my appetite for more international study and travel.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    8

  • Social Life

    10

An Experience of A Lifetime

What I like about this program are the amount of credits available and the Latin American immersion. I would not forget my travel to Chiriqui and the time spent catching lobsters.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Academics

    7

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Cultural Immersion

    9

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    9

  • Social Life

    9

Plantains, sloths, sunsets, unforgettable memories!

This program exceeded my expectations, which were already pretty high when I went. I was nervous to live with homestays, but it was one of the most valuable parts, really getting to connect with people and my Spanish improved so much because of it! We saw so much of the country, a huge range of environments, topics of discussion, and lifestyles. All the classwork involved working hands-on, such as helping plant lettuce with local organic farmers, learning about medicinal plants with the indigenous Naso people, or interviewing lobster divers about management policies.

The friendships I made on this program were also so strong and valuable, because you are all getting to experience this incredible country and challenge yourselves together, with plenty of support, guidance, and thoughtfulness.

Overall Rating

8/ 10

  • Academics

    8

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Cultural Immersion

    7

  • Program Administration

    8

  • Health and Safety

    7

  • Social Life

    7

Panamazing

My most memorable experience was snorkeling the in the Caribbean Ocean near the San Blas Islands.

This program afforded me the opportunity to study the environment through a sociological and a biological lens.

While in Panama City we lived with out main host families and when we traveled across the country we lived in hostels or with other host families.

Overall Rating

8/ 10

  • Academics

    8

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Cultural Immersion

    7

  • Program Administration

    8

  • Health and Safety

    8

  • Social Life

    7

Panamazing

I learned so much about myself while studying in Panama. I became more confidant and open to trying new experiences. I am very thankful that I had the opportunity to study abroad and would definitely go back.