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Programs : Brochure

  • Locations: Panama, Panama
  • Program Terms: Fall, Spring
  • Homepage: Click to visit
  • Restrictions: Emory applicants only
  • Budget Sheets: Fall, Spring
  • This program is currently not accepting applications.
Dates / Deadlines:
Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Spring 2020 10/01/2019
01/28/2020 05/11/2020
Fall 2020 03/02/2020
09/14/2020 12/22/2020

** Some programs accept students on a rolling admission basis. Students may be notified prior to this date of acceptance into the program.

Indicates that deadline has passed
Program Description:

Hosted by: SIT Panama

Academic Focus:
Environmental studies, conservation and sustainable development, biodiversity, and global change.

This program is open to all majors, but may be particularly suitable to students with academic interests in the majors listed above.

Approximate Dates:
Fall: late August to mid-December
Spring: late January to mid May

Eligibility Requirements:
A minimum 3.0 GPA; good academic standing.  Previous college-level coursework and/or other significant preparation in environmental studies, ecology, biology, or related fields, as assessed by SIT. There is no language requirement. Taking coursework in or independently studying Spanish prior to arrival is highly encouraged.

Program Information:
Panama has long been known as "the crossroads of the world," linking not only North and South America but also the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. The country has eight unique indigenous groups, a strong Afro-Caribbean cultural influence, a Caribbean archipelago comparable to the Galapagos Islands, more bird species than are found in all of North America, and the last great roadless wilderness in Central America.This program provides students an immersive opportunity to study tropical ecology up close in one of the world’s most diverse wildlife and plant environments. Topics of study include: tropical forest ecology; marine and wetland ecology; community resource conservation; indigenous resource use; human-natural resource interface; and the Panamanian environmental movement.

The program also includes courses at the highly regarded Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Bocas del Toro and Barro Colorado Island and at Earth University in Costa Rica, the foremost sustainable agricultural college in the hemisphere.Students meet with NGO activists and local community members, including subsistence farmers, to gain an in-depth understanding of how issues related to development and conservation affect lives and livelihoods within local communities. Excursions include visiting coastal fishing communities, a sustainable coffee farm in La Amistad International Park buffer zone, an organic agroforestry chocolate farm, and an industrial banana plantation.

Students enroll in four courses for a total of 16 credit hours during the academic term. Students are encouraged to meet with their academic advisor to discuss potential research topics. The courses include:

  • Spanish for the Natural Sciences (3 credits - based on a placement exam)
  • Human Ecology and Conservation in the Tropics (3 credits)
  • Comparative Tropical Ecology (3 credits)
  • Environmental Research Methods and Ethics (3 credits)
  • Independent Study Project (4 credits)

Detailed course descriptions and syllabi are available here.

Credit and Grade Translation - SIT Panama

Emory College Study Abroad maintains a list of blanket approved courses. This list specifies how courses taken abroad will transfer back to Emory. PLEASE NOTE: Students may obtain additional approvals for courses that are not currently on this blanket approved list: Blanket Approval List.

Living Arrangements:
The home stay includes three weeks in Panama City, two-week campesino community stay, and village stays with four distinct indigenous groups. Other accommodations include field stations or small hotels.

A full description of the program costs and billing procedures is available in the budget sheets. Please click here for Budget Sheet. Fall Spring

Financial Aid/Scholarships:
Students are eligible to carry existing financial aid and scholarships on Emory-approved study abroad programs. Students may also be eligible to apply for the following scholarships: Diversity Abroad (scholarships for under-represented students), Fund for Education Abroad, Benjamin Gilman Scholarship, and SIT Scholarships. Please click here for more information.

SIT provides an array of need-based scholarships that range from $500 to $5,000. The scholarship application is integrated in the application, so no additional application is needed. It is best to apply earlier to the program as it takes two weeks for scholarship request to be reviewed. You can find a list of SIT scholarships and FAQ's here

SIT Scholarships:
SIT awards nearly $1.3 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.
Kate Dawson, Study Abroad Assistant Director,

This program is currently not accepting applications.