The School for Field Studies / SFS: Panama - Tropical Island Biodiversity Studies

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Covered in lush rainforests, hundreds of mangrove islands, and coral reefs teeming with diverse marine life, the Bocas del Toro Archipelago serves as a living laboratory for studying tropical biodiversity. This chain of islands is populated by... read more

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OVERALL RATING 4.6
Based on 4 Reviews
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Extremely worthwhile. Although I do not want to study hard science in college, I found the experience working on a microbiology research project for nearly a month to be super valuable. It is very rare for undergrads to participate in such worthwhile research projects. While the project I was on did not end up getting published,... - Middlebury College View Entire Review
February 08, 2018 Incredible
Life changing experiences - Brandeis University View Entire Review
A student studying abroad with The School for Field Studies / SFS: Panama - Tropical Island Biodiversity Studies
I learned great research skills and how to collaborate/share space with people better, I became dive certified, I traveled to Costa Rica for spring break and explored national parks, I saw my first wild shark, I became more passionate about the environment, and overall I just had a wonderful experience. It was incredibly worthwh... - Clark University - Worcester View Entire Review
A student studying abroad with SFS: Panama - Tropical Island Biodiversity and Conservation Studies
EVERYONE SHOULD STUDY ABROAD! It doesn't matter where you go, just go somewhere! This study abroad experience really helped me open my eyes to how different the world is from the U.S. I want to travel everywhere. - Elizabethtown College View Entire Review
I gained a group of friends who care about the same things as me and have experienced living in the amazing town of Bocas. - University of Wisconsin - Madison View Entire Review
- University of North Texas View Entire Review
It was absolutely worth while. I learned a ton about science and the local environmental problems experienced in Panama. - Clark University - Worcester View Entire Review

About

Covered
in lush rainforests, hundreds of mangrove islands, and coral reefs teeming with
diverse marine life, the Bocas del Toro Archipelago serves as a living
laboratory for studying tropical biodiversity. This chain of islands is
populated by everything from hummingbirds and howler monkeys to stingrays,
dolphins, sloths, and brightly colored poison dart frogs. At first glance,
Bocas is nothing short of paradise.

However, climate change and increased tourism on
the islands have led to ecosystem and natural resource degradation while also
threatening Indigenous islanders’ traditional livelihoods. Our research on the
environmental impacts of tourism and development on the natural ecosystems in
Bocas provides the community with data necessary to support more sustainable
policies and protect the beautiful islands we call home.


  • Tropical Island Biodiversity Studies (SEMESTER PROGRAM)Spend a semester in
    the dynamic community of Bocas del Toro, where you will experience everything
    from underwater ecosystems to rich green rainforests. Go behind the scenes of this
    “paradise” as you study the impacts of tourism and development on the unique
    habitats of this island system. Evaluate local and national environmental
    policies and study the principles of sustainability and conservation as part of
    an in-depth field research project.

  • Tropical Island Ecosystems: The Human Impact (SUMMER I PROGRAM)Snorkel
    and hike through the diverse environments of Bocas – from coral reefs and
    mangroves to beaches and rainforests – and study human impacts, such as
    tourism, on the island’s ecosystems and communities. Meet the local residents
    who depend on both tourism and natural resources and learn about current
    approaches to sustainable development in the archipelago.
SFS students live and study at the Center for Tropical
Island Biodiversity Studies, once a beachfront hotel that sits among the
slender palms and warm sands of Isla Colón lies the Center. You’ll take your
classes over the waves of the Caribbean and among the surrounding rainforests
and reefs. The laidback tourist hub of Bocas Town is a short taxi ride away,
with access to shops, restaurants, and a vibrant culture that is as unique as
the mix of people who live here.

Program Type(s):
Study Abroad
Research
Program Length(s):
  • Fall
  • Summer
  • Spring
Instruction Language(s):
  • Spanish
  • English
Relevant Study Subject(s):
  • Ecology, Evolution Biology
  • Environmental Science
  • Environmental Studies
  • Latin American Studies
  • Economics
  • Natural Resources and Conservation
  • Natural Resources, Conservation
  • Natural Resources Management
  • Natural Sciences
  • Anthropology
  • Biological and Physical Sciences
  • Geography
  • Global Studies
  • Sociology
  • Sustainability Studies
Minimum GPA:
2.6
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The School for Field Studies / SFS Scholarships

All students are eligible to apply for these need-based awards. SFS will work with you and your home school to understand and meet your financial need.

N/A

Deadlines:
The complete aid application is due at least 60 days before the program begins for semester applicants, and at least 30 days before the program begins for summer applicants.

Guidelines/Requirements:
All students are eligible to apply for these need-based awards.

This need-based scholarship is available for students with a cultural and/or ancestral connection to the country in which they plan to study abroad with SFS.

N/A

Deadlines:
The complete aid application is due at least 60 days before the program begins for semester applicants, and at least 30 days before the program begins for summer applicants.

Guidelines/Requirements:
In order to be considered for the need-based Heritage Scholarship, students must complete a personal statement indicating how they qualify for this award.

SFS matches Federal Pell Grant funding for all SFS semester programs to students who use their Pell Grant to help pay the cost of their SFS program.

N/A

Deadlines:
The complete aid application is due at least 60 days before the program begins for semester applicants.

Guidelines/Requirements:
Students must complete the SFS Financial Aid Application in order to receive this award.

SFS seeks to broaden and strengthen the participation of traditionally underrepresented minority students in all of its programs. The SFS Diversity Scholarship is one of the ways we broaden the participation of underrepresented groups of students in study abroad. For SFS, underrepresented groups include, but are not limited to, students who identify with a certain race, sex, color, religion, creed, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, disability, age, marital status, national origin or ancestry, ethnic origin, or veteran status. Underrepresented groups also include first generation college students and students from low income families.

N/A

Deadlines:
The complete aid application is due at least 60 days before the program begins for semester applicants, and at least 30 days before the program begins for summer applicants.

Guidelines/Requirements:
In order to be considered for this scholarship, students must explain how participation in an SFS program would broaden the diversity of the program.

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