- 18 years of age or above
- Good academic and disciplinary standing at Penn State
- Summer program: 2.6 cumulative GPA or better at the time of application review
- Semester program: 2.8 cumulative GPA or better at the time of application review
- Sophomore standing or above at the start of the program
- Semester program: One semester of college-level ecology, biology, or environmental studies/science required
- Note: SFS programs are very popular. Applications may close early if a program location reaches capacity for a given semester. Applications for the spring 2024 SFS Panama program have now closed.
On the Tropical Island Biodiversity Studies program, you will take three 4-credit disciplinary courses, one 2-credit language and culture course, and a 4-credit capstone Directed Research course. Courses are participatory in nature and are designed to foster inquiry and active learning. Each course combines lectures, field exercises, assignments, tests, and research. All courses are taught in English.
On the Tropical Island Ecosystems: The Human Impact program, you will take one 4-credit course. This course is participatory in nature and is designed to foster inquiry and active learning combining lectures, field exercises, assignments, and tests. This course is taught in English.
Fall: Early September-Mid December
Spring: Late January-Mid May
Summer: Early June-Early July
Refer to the program website for the specific dates, if available.
Study abroad in Panama and immerse yourself in the dynamic community of Bocas del Toro. Snorkel and hike through the diverse environments of Bocas – from coral reefs and mangroves to beaches and rainforests – and study human impacts, such as tourism, on the island’s ecosystems and communities. Meet the local residents who depend on both tourism and natural resources and learn about current approaches to sustainable development in the archipelago. The SFS Center for Tropical Island Biodiversity Studies is located approximately three miles outside of Bocas Town, perfectly situated on the quiet Caribbean waters of Almirante Bay. It's only a short walk to numerous beaches and rainforests, and the town is a short taxi ride away.
Education Abroad in Countries with a Penn State Restricted Travel Designation
In order to comply with Penn State’s International Travel Policy, students interested in studying abroad in countries that Penn State has designated as “restricted” for travel, a petition for a waiver must be submitted. Once a petition is complete, and if the student is approved for study on the program in question, the student may be asked to meet with the Director of Education Abroad and the petition will be reviewed by the Penn State International Restricted Travel Committee (IRTC). The necessary petition will be included in the online application process for this program. To see if your program is taking place in a restricted travel country, please visit the Penn State Global website.