SIT Panama is the Most Unique Study Abroad Experience Ever! Past Review

By (Biology, General., Barnard College) for

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

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 1 month - 6 months

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

The workload is minimal, however the professors are amazing, and the overall cultural learning as well as in-field experiences will have your mind plenty busy!

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The biggest strength of SIT is there philosophy on complete cultural immersion learning. However sometimes this can also be its weakness, as even slight hiccups in plans can feel like your spending days doing something you don't like. This really all falls on the shoulders of the AD. My AD was relatively new, so I'm sure that as time goes on less problems will occur.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

* Food:

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Interacting with indigenous tribes, laying on beautiful beaches, horseback riding, ZONA VIVA, watching dolphins, snorkeling, catching bats....everything with SIT is a special event!

* 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)

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? I probably spent $500 of my own money during the entire semester. The dollar goes much farther in Panama.
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Ask early how much money you will be getting per day for your ISP (independent study project). This differs on the country, and in all honesty is more than enough. I was able to use some of the money to go a weekend vacation to the beach.


* Did your program have a foreign language component? Yes
How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? Intermediate
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? intermediate 2
If applicable, to what degree did your living situation aid your language acquisition?

Language acquisition improvement?

I was able to practice with everyone! I spoke the most English with the other students on my program.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
  • Dorm
  • Hotel
  • Hostel
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
  • Host Family
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans

A Look Back

* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Don't do SIT unless you are ready for a challenge.