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Programs : Brochure

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  • Locations: Panama City, Panama
  • Program Terms: Fall Semester, Spring Semester
  • Homepage: Click to visit
  • Program Sponsor: SIT/World Learning 
  • Restrictions: WWU applicants only
Dates / Deadlines:
Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Spring Semester 2019 10/15/2018 ** Rolling Admission 01/29/2019 05/13/2019

** Indicates rolling admission application process. Applicants will be immediately notified of acceptance into this program and be able to complete post-decision materials prior to the term's application deadline.
Fact Sheet:
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Program Type: Field Study, Study Abroad Language of Instruction: English, Spanish
Fields of Study: Anthropology, Biology, Botany, Culture, Design, Ecology, Environmental Science, Environmental Studies, Geography & Land Studies, Independent Studies, Marine Biology, Social Work & Human Rights, Spanish Housing Options: Homestay, Other
Minimum GPA: 2.5
Program Description:

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Panama: Tropical Ecology, Marine Ecosystems, and Biodiversity Conservation

Explore rain forests, coral reefs, highland canopies, and coastal mangroves as you study tropical conservation and ecology in one of the world’s most ecologically diverse countries.

Program Highlights

  • Study in one of the most biodiverse and complex ecosystems in the world.
  • Engage in seven weeks of travel and field study in Panama and Costa Rica and visit world-renowned research institutions, including the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute and EARTH University.
  • Hike the highland ecosystems and lowland rain forests while living in local communities.
  • Conduct extensive fieldwork in mangrove forests, threatened seagrass beds, and pristine coral reefs.
  • Live in Panama’s vibrant capital and largest city.
  • Conduct four weeks of independent, original field research on a topic of your choice. 

Please visit the SIT Study Abroad website for details on program courses (including syllabi), educational excursions, and housing.

Independent Study

During the final four weeks of the program, you can choose to use your new language and cultural skills and the academic knowledge you have acquired to complete an Independent Study Project (ISP) on a topic of interest to you. Typically, research projects are conducted in cloud forest highlands, coral reefs, lowland forests, mangroves, rural villages, indigenous communities, or other places appropriate to the topic.

Samples topics:

  • Rain forest dynamics
  • Tropical forest diversity
  • Regeneration of canopy emergents in primary forests
  • Mammal conservation
  • Sustainable fisheries
  • Coral reef organisms
  • Mangrove health

Key Topics of Study

  • Tropical forest dynamics
  • Neotropical mammal and amphibian ecology, coral reef organisms, and avian diversity
  • Marine and coastal ecosystem connectivity
  • Ecological field research methods and methodology
  • Carbon, climate change, and resource use, including indigenous resource use
  • Contemporary socio-environmental issues shaping the tropics
  • Explore controversial conservation topics including hydroelectric dams, sustainable agriculture, indigenous resource use, protected areas, environmental services, and ecotourism.

Money Matters

Be sure to discuss how study abroad costs are handled at your school with your study abroad advisor.  

SIT tuition and room and board fees include the following:

All educational costs, including educational excursions

  • All accommodations and meals for the full program duration
  • Transportation to and from the airport, and on all educational excursions
  • Health and accident insurance

Scholarships

  • SIT awards nearly $1.6 million in scholarships and grants annually.
  • All scholarships and grants are need-based.
  • Awards generally range from $500 to $5,000.  
  • The SIT Pell Grant Match provides matching grants to all students receiving Federal Pell Grant funding when it is applied to an SIT Study Abroad semester program. 
  • Contact the financial aid and/or study abroad office(s) at your college or university to learn if your school’s scholarships and grants and federal and state aid programs can be applied to an SIT Study Abroad program.

Contact SIT Study Abroad