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

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Be immersed in rain forests, coral reefs, highland canopies, and coastal mangroves. Explore critical issues affecting tropical conservation and ecology and engage in seven weeks of field study in one of the world's most ecologically diverse countr... read more

All Reviews

Based on 16 Reviews
Cost of Living
Overall Experience
I learned many environmental research methods, made some great friends, and learned about my own independence and capability for traveling. - Washington University in Saint Louis View Entire Review
The experience was absolutely worthwhile! I gained so much perspective and grew academically as well as personally. This program made me much more independent and also exposed me to so many aspects of environmental science and policy that I could never experience first-hand at home. - Washington University in Saint Louis View Entire Review
I learned so much about myself while studying in Panama. I became more confidant and open to trying new experiences. I am very thankful that I had the opportunity to study abroad and would definitely go back. - Kenyon College View Entire Review
A student studying abroad with SIT Panama: Tropical Ecology, Marine Ecosystems, & Biodiversity Conservation
Past Review Panamazing!
I learned a lot about myself and self-directed learning, which I consider 2 super-important life concepts. I learned about Caribbean culture in Panama, how to comfortably talk to strangers when small-talk is appropriate, and met awesome environmental students from across the country with whom I shared fun, funny, and even sad ti... - Brandeis University View Entire Review
Independence, confidence, language skills, amazing experiences. DEFINITELY worthwhile. SIT is a great program, lots of quirks, but in the end, very much worth it. - The College of William and Mary View Entire Review
Past Review Do This
It was absolutely worthwhile. I made friends who have become really important parts of my life and have inspired me and helped me find pieces of myself that I had lost. I learned so much about tropical ecology, conservation, and culture, but also learned a lot about myself. - University of Massachusetts Amherst / UMass View Entire Review
This program allows you to meet a lot of people and communities that you wouldn't otherwise. I meet so many inspiring people that taught me so much about myself and about Panamanian culture. Completely worthwhile experience and I can't wait to go back. - Wesleyan University View Entire Review
I learned more about my self than I would have in years back at home. It was absolutely worth it and I would do it all over again - Texas A&M University - College Station View Entire Review
Past Review Panama
The Independent Study portion of the trip was the best learning experience I have maybe ever had. It was a wonderful opportunity to put myself in a position out of my comfort zone, and I was nervous for the first few days. But it ended up being the best part of the trip, I got to work with endangered sea turtles, and I met and g... - Brandeis University View Entire Review


Be immersed in rain forests, coral reefs, highland canopies, and coastal mangroves. Explore critical issues affecting tropical conservation and ecology and engage in seven weeks of field study in one of the world's most ecologically diverse countries.

This program will provide you with an immersive opportunity to study in one of the most biodiverse and complex ecosystems in the world. You will learn about tropical forest ecology; marine and coastal ecology; mammal, bird, and amphibian ecology; ecological field research methods; indigenous resource use; and the human-natural resource interface. You will travel for seven weeks of field study in Panama and Costa Rica and visit world-renowned research institutions, including the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute and EARTH University.

Major topics of study include:

- 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

Program Type(s):
Study Abroad
Program Length(s):
  • Fall
  • Spring
Instruction Language(s):
  • Spanish
  • English
Relevant Study Subject(s):
  • Environmental Studies
  • Environmental Science
  • Ecology, Evolution Biology
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SIT Study Abroad Scholarships

SIT Study Abroad awards need-based scholarships and grants. We do not offer merit-based awards at this time. Average awards range between $500 and $5,000 for our semester programs, and between $500 and $3,000 for our summer programs. Our scholarships and grants are available to all students accepted into an SIT Study Abroad program irrespective of citizenship, national origin, or home school. We do not require a separate scholarship application for each scholarship fund; eligible students will be evaluated for all funds for which they are eligible. Please note: SIT Study Abroad scholarships and grants are only applicable to tuition and room/board fees billed by SIT Study Abroad. We do not award scholarships or grants to cover any other expenses, including, but not limited to, immunizations, visa fees, books, or study abroad fees charged by your home school. If your home school has an established billing agreement with us, it is your responsibility to communicate with your home school as to how your SIT scholarship or grant will be passed on to you by your home school. For a list of available scholarships and grants, click here.

$500 - $5000

April 1 for summer programs – extended to June 1 for summer 2020 May 15 for fall programs — extended to June 1 for fall 2020 November 1 for spring programs

The SIT Study Abroad scholarship application process has been fully integrated into our online program application. After ticking the scholarship box in the program application, please complete the following steps: Provide us with the name and email address of a financial aid officer at your home school. Electronically sign and date the FERPA release included as part of the application process. The financial aid officer at your school will be emailed a link to a secure web form where s/he will provide information about your financial aid at your home school



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