If you love the outdoors and wildlife, you would love Panama! I never thought I would see a wild sloth in my life, but I did. I hiked through two rain forests, and visited three islands (two in the Caribbean, and one on the Pacific side). I love nature and the outdoors, so this was definitely a treat.
Food at the Island Toboga
We ate this at a tiny shack of a restaurant in Toboga that had no running water (the owner, and only employee, fetched rain water from a barrel), but it was the best tasting fish I have ever had! I was a little leery about the head still being on it but it was delicious!
Arrival at Toboga
The ruins of the Spanish fort at Porto Bello
On the way to Isla Grande
I just returned a few weeks ago from studying abroad in Panama City. I went with the LALS and Communication Departments’ one-month long program that they do every summer during May, and I just have to say that this was a great value for the money. The program was about $2,600 for the month not including the plane ticket (they have a package that includes the plane ticket for about $3,500 but I strongly recommend just buying your own plane ticket because it will come out way cheaper, since the plane ticket only cost $590). The program costs include staying in Las Vegas hotel the entire time, six credit hours of classes, and at least a couple of excursions every week, including a a day going to two Caribbean islands and two days at an all-inclusive resort. If you’re worried about funding, you automatically get the Panama Scholars award which varies year-to-year, but this year it was $900; with that funding, in addition to the College of Business grant, I only had to pay for food and spending money– the rest of my trip was totally paid for. If you don’t know any Spanish, don’t worry at all because you’re in groups most of the time, so about the only thing you have to do is order your food at restaurants. Also, most of the youth know enough English to at least help you out. This is a great first study abroad trip (although it was my second) because it’s only 3 weeks, and although they only offer 5 classes with the trip, many of them will cover general education requirements if you need them (for example, Panamanian Culture counts as a CD 1, and Conversational Spanish can be used to fill you foreign language requirement). I assure you that it’s not hard to get there, and you will have the experience of a lifetime. It was tons of fun!