International Programs

Dietetic Internship in Panama



Over the course of one week (July 20 – July 27, 2018) , students will visit a variety of public health agencies in Panama.  This is the culminating supervised practice experience for the USF Dietetic Interns. The experience is also available to all students accepted into the MPH, concentration in Nutrition and Dietetics who have completed their TMPH core coursework.  Over the course of one week students will have the opportunity to apply concepts from their coursework and supervised practice experiences while working among local residents of Panama.  A range of cultural and educational experiences are planned including a tour of the Panama Canal and visit to Embera Village, lectures from local public health experts, visits to public and private health care facilities and local schools to observe and participate in public health in action. Students will have the opportunity to assist local teams by participating in data collection for an ongoing project.
Dietetics and Nutrition International Field Experience PHC 6945

Program cost: $2,478 - $2,900 per student

Program cost includes: 

  • Airfare
  • Lodging
  • Transportation
  • Most meals
  • Tours and excursions
  • International medical and evacuation insurance

Program cost does not include: 

  • Passport fees ($170.00 for a new passport if needed)
  • Other expenses (souvenirs, snacks, personal spending, etc.)
  • Tuition and fees

Estimated costs TBA

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 will provide emergency medical and evacuation insurance valid for the dates of the program at no cost to all of the registered participants. 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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