Life changing. October 14, 2022

By (Environment, University of Maryland - College Park) - abroad from 08/27/2018 to 12/03/2018 with

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

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I will never be the same person because of this life changing trip. It taught be so much about perseverance, stepping outside of your comfort zone, confiding in yourself, and the importance of friendship.

Review Photos

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

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.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

* Food:

Incredible. Homemade each night by local women from the community.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I had to go to the hospital once for a really bad sickness that I still don't know what it was! Even with limited healthcare access I felt very safe and taken care of.

* Safety:

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

I wouldn't change a thing about this trip. It is easily one of the best times of my life.


* 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? Basically none, only expenses were during our mid-trip break.
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Apply for the scholarship aid in the beginning! Also, save on little things by purchasing gear from second hand stores or borrowing from friends (i.e snorkel equipment, hiking pants)


* 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

How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? Fluent
How would you rate your language skills at the end of the program? Fluent
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? Spoke Spanish my whole life
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? The program included a Spanish class, so it was not necessary.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Dorm
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • 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?
  • The people
  • The food
  • The location
* What could be improved?
  • Nothing
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Be mindful every single moment and don't take a single thing for granted.

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 Avid Adventurer
The wardrobe you packed was better suited for a semester of camping than club hopping. Outdoorsy, you might forgo a crazy night out for an early all-day adventure. You'd rather take in the rich culture of an old town than the metropolis of a modern city, but for you getting off the grid is ideal.