A True Immersive Experience August 14, 2022

By (Biology / Computer Science, Gettysburg College) - abroad from 01/24/2022 to 05/07/2022 with

SIT Study Abroad: Panama - Tropical Ecology, Marine Ecosystems, and Biodiversity Conservation

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I grew infinitely more confident in my abilities as a person from the obstacles and challenges of this program. The program gives students freedom and choice that requires one to really step up and make their own choices. It means that this program is what you make of it in the best way possible.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? None

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

* Food:

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

This semester included Panamanian students on the excursion trips and let us form a deeper connection with people our age.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? Yes


* Money: How easily were you able to live on a student's budget?

(1 = not very easy/$200+ on food & personal expenses/week, 2.5 = $100/week, 5 = very easily/minimal cost)

I only ate bread and eggs and made a huge profit.

Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Look for where locals go.


* Did your program have a foreign language component? Yes
How much did the program encourage you to use the language?

0 = No encouragement, 5 = frequent encouragement to use the language

The Spanish classes were as rigorous as an average college level.

How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? Intermediate
How would you rate your language skills at the end of the program? Advanced
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? 300 Level
How many hours per day did you use the language?
Do you have any tips/advice on the best ways to practice the language for future study abroad participants? Put yourself out there with speaking and you'll improve so much without conscious effort

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Apartment
  • Hotel
  • Hostel
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
  • Americans
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
  • Americans
About how many local friends did you make that you will likely keep in touch with?

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • Friendships with other students
  • Experiential learning
  • Freedom
* What could be improved?
  • Deadline accommodations for health
  • More evenly spread schedule
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I knew that it would all be okay. I would describe myself as somewhat of an anxious person, but spending so much time in a culture that doesn't prioritize formality or deadlines the way we do really let me learn to go with the flow.

Reasons For Studying Abroad

To help future students find programs attended by like-minded individuals, please choose the profile that most closely represents you.
The Academic or Linguist
You went abroad with specific academic goals in mind; the program credentials and rigor of your coursework abroad were very important to you. You had a great time abroad, but never lost sight of your studies and (if applicable) were diligent with your foreign language study. Good for you!