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SFS Field Station and the Institute for Tropical Ecology and Conservation (ITEC)
The central theme of The School for Field Studies (SFS) Panama study abroad program is “islands as a delicate system,” with emphasis on the resources of Panama’s spectacular coastal and marine environments. Students will explore several key interfaces: human and natural systems, terrestrial and marine ecosystems, and conservation and development. The goal of this undergraduate study abroad program is to assess the state of the archipelago’s fragile natural habitats, define the main environmental issues, and understand the community goals in natural resource management. Our ultimate goal is to help islanders maintain balance and harmony between people and nature in this fragile ecosystem.
Need help choosing a program in Panama? Click here.
One college-level ecology, biology, or environmental studies course
18 years of age
Semester at Sea is a pioneer and leader in global, comparative education—a form of international study that focuses on surveying the world's peoples, patterns, cultures, and traditions. Global, comparative education is the element that distinguishes Semester at Sea from other study abroad programs. Operating a traveling shipboard campus allows diverse learning communities to live and learn in close quarters as they travel the world, and SAS provides opportunities for intensive engagement, reflection, interaction, and exchange that simply aren't available with other programs. Field-based, experiential learning is a vital component of Semester at Sea. The ship becomes a campus where participants study in a traditional setting, while the world is transformed into an academic laboratory where students earn 20% of their grade. Field Labs are designed and led by a faculty member who has expertise in a particular culture, location, or subject matter. These in-port labs enhance and explore course content. SAS directed trips are led by staff or faculty. May be recommended by a faculty member as an excellent complement to a student's syllabus. Independent Practica are opportunities for a participant to conduct independent research. Requires faculty approval to count as fulfillment of field requirement.
Click here for a presentation from an OSU Student who participated in this program.
Classes and residences are on board the MV Explorer, a 590-foot ship made into a floating campus. There are seven decks, student residences, dining halls, a library, recreational facilities, and more. Check out the Semester at Sea website for more information! There are voyages summer, fall, and spring with different routes around the world. The destinations vary slightly every year. While in port, students have the choice to stay in country or on the ship.
Minimum 2.75 GPA, Consistent full time student status where one full term has been completed, 300-500 word essay.
See the Semester at Sea Application Checklist for more information on application requirements.
School for International Training study center
The program is based in Panama City and allows students to explore the entire country and includes a short visit to Costa Rica. With more bird species than all of North America, the premier tropical biology research institute in the world, eight unique indigenous groups, strong African colonial roots, a Caribbean archipelago noted as the Galápagos of the twenty-first century, and a storehouse of endangered cloud forests, Panama is an outstanding site for students to explore tropical conservation and sustainable development.
Need help selecting a program in Panama? Click here.
Previous college-level coursework in environmental studies, ecology, biology or related fields
Three recent semesters of Spanish and the ability to follow coursework in Spanish
2.5 GPA minimum and sophomore standing