Study Abroad - Panama


¡Bienvenidos a Panamá / Welcome to Panama!

This course provides the student with a broad overview of public health services and agencies in Panama. Over the course of one week (May 7 – May 15, 2017) , students will visit a variety of public health agencies in Panama. During the visits students will learn about public health services for residents and agencies whose mission includes health promotion and disease prevention. Agencies visited will include those related to environmental health, social services, waste, indigenous health, nutrition, safety, and medical care. Students will also learn about several leading public health practices in the area and tour the Panama Canal.

Faculty Contacts


Tory graduated from the University of South Florida with his master’s degree in Public Health. Prior to completing his bachelor’s and master’s degrees, he spent 4 years in the United States Army, including a 2009-2010 tour in Afghanistan. During this time, he had the opportunity to visit many developing areas of the world, which sparked his interest in human rights and humanitarian relief. His interests include human trafficking, human rights, racism and discrimination, and veterans’ health. Tory was born and raised in Georgia, enjoys spending time with his wife and dogs, exercising, and playing music.


Alison has worked as an Instructor in the College of Public Health since 2010. She has both a Master in Public Health (USF) and a Master in General Psychology (UNF). Prior joining USF, Alison worked as a Research Coordinator at Vanderbilt University Medical Center and taught courses at Hillsborough Community College. Alison is passionate about public health and teaching undergraduate students. She seeks to promote skill-building and experiential learning among her students. Her research interests include dietary practices and health literacy among college students. In her spare time she likes to travel, kayak, watch movies, try new restaurants, and spend time with her friends, family, and dog. 

Undergraduate: PHC 4942 Public Health Seminar: Public Health in Panama.

Program cost: $2,200 - $2,500 per student

Program cost includes:

  • Hotel stay for the duration of the trip
  • Transportation to/from site visits and to/from airport
  • 2-3 meals per day (some meals are “on your own”)

Program cost does not include:

  • Passport fees ($170.00 for a new passport if needed)
  • Airfare ($500.00 - $800.00 – booked through USF)
  • Other expenses (souvenirs, snacks, personal spending, etc.)
  • Travel health insurance ($14.00)
The deadline for applying for the program is on Friday, January 27th, 2017. Students will be selected for interviews, which will take place on February 2nd & 3rd, 2017. The program will be capped at a maximum of 12 participants. If you are accepted, the deadline for paying the deposit is on Friday, February 17th, 2017. The deposit is $250.00 and is non-refundable, unless the program is officially canceled.
The primary location of this study abroad course is in Panama City, Panama. Students will stay in double occupancy hotel rooms and will have a variety of opportunities to interact with other students and faculty. There are cafeterias and restaurants within easy walking distance of the hotel offering reasonably-priced food. Internet access is available in the hotel but connection may be slow. Additionally, internet access is available widely in Panama City at internet cafes, Starbucks, and chain restaurants.
USF requires that program participants purchase emergency medical and evacuation insurance valid for the dates of the program. The insurance is provided by UHCG . Please note that the USF insurance does not include travel insurance, which includes things like: trip cancellation coverage, theft of luggage, additional costs due to delays in travel time, pre-existing conditions, or on-going medical treatment. Those who plan to travel independently, either in advance of the program or after the program ends, must ensure that they have insurance coverage valid outside the U.S. If not provided through your domestic health insurance carrier, this can be purchased separately through UHCG or through another agency.
Many sources of funding can be found in the on the USF Education Abroad page here. Students who are eligible for loans and grants to take classes at USF may be able to use their assistance to study abroad. Contact the USF Office of Financial Aid (813) 974-4700 for further information. Note that it is the student's responsibility to meet program payment deadlines regardless of financial aid disbursement timeframe.
Student safety and well-being are paramount to USF. Because of the added stresses associated with operating in a foreign culture and language, even the safest foreign locations are likely to carry more risk to your safety and health. For this reason it is vital that you learn as much about the places you will be traveling to; the more you are familiar with the host country's geography, culture and language, the safer you will be. All participants will be required to attend program-specific orientation and sessions. In addition to these sessions, the COPH Office of International Programs will provide other important safety information prior to and during the program via a mandatory pre-departure orientation on Canvas. You are required to read and understand the country specific information found on the US Department of State, Panama page here.
The majority of USF's study abroad programs involve a great deal of walking, and in some cases hiking and trekking. The Panama program is a largely resident-based program. Nevertheless, students will be required to climb stairs, and walk a great deal, even if taking public transportation. If you have any concerns regarding your health (mental or physical), please consult your doctor, and the faculty and staff of the COPH International Program prior to the Panama program! Generally, the climate in Panama is similar to Florida during the summer: hot and humid; this requires stamina. Air-conditioning is widely available and will require dressing in layers to adjust to the heat outside.


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