Undergraduate Studies

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 eight days (May 3 – May 11, 2018) , 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.  It is not necessary to speak Spanish, for the course, all visits will be translated into English. 

Faculty Contacts

University of South Florida, College of Public Health

Ms. Orriola graduated from the University of South Florida with her master's degree in Public Health in 2006. Her faculty position at the College of Public Health began in 2010. Deidre teaches several study abroad courses in Panama, London, and Panama. Her interests include maternal & child health in emergency response and the use of social media as a learning tool.

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

Program cost: $2,000 - $2,500 per student

Program cost includes:

  • Airfare (group flight)
  • Pre-departure orientations
  • Housing
  • Transportation within Panama
  • Site visits, excursions and cultural events
  • Most meals
  • Museum, park, and facility entrance fees
  • 24/7 International Assistance 

    Program cost does not include:

    • Passport fees ($170.00 for a new passport if needed)
    • Some meals
    • Personal spending
    • Tuition and fees
      • Undergraduate students in good academic standing, preference given to public health students
      • Valid passport
      • Completed application and possibly an interview
      • Look over this webpage and if the program seems like a good fit, click “apply now” at the bottom of the page
      Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis. Qualifying students will be selected for an interview. If you are accepted, the deadline for paying the deposit is within 15 days of acceptance. The deposit is $500.00.  Additional payment deadlines will be communicated upon acceptance.  All payments must be complete prior to departure.  The deposit and all program fees are non-refundable, unless if the program is officially canceled by the university.
      The primary location of this study abroad course is both urban and rural settings: Panama City, Panama and Chitre, Panama, a rural area outside of the city. 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.
      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.
      The USF College of Public Health offers the Health Scholar program for eligible students which includes a scholarship to study abroad.  For application information, email UG-PublicHealthAdvising@health.usf.edu.  In addition, 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 (5-7 miles per day on average), and in some cases hiking and trekking.  Students will be required to climb stairs, and walk a great deal, even if using transportation. If you have any concerns regarding your health (mental or physical), please consult your doctor, and the faculty and staff of the COPH Office of International Programs prior to the Panama program.  Generally, the climate in Panama is similar to Florida during the summer: hot, humid, sunny, and rainy; this requires stamina and preparation.  Air-conditioning is sometimes available and will require dressing for heat, sun, rain, and mosquitoes (sunscreen, mosquito spray, wide brimmed hat, water, sneakers, etc).


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