Programs : Brochure
Summer in Panama (Outgoing Program)
- Locations: Panama City, Panama
- Program Terms: Summer
Summer in Panama is a 4-week study abroad experience open to undergraduates in all years and majors. With course offerings in both English and Spanish, the program enables participants to delve into Panama's colonial past, vibrant present, and uncertain future as they experience the country’s cultural, economic, and natural diversity.
Students live and study in Ciudad del Saber, a research park occupying a former U.S. military base in the Canal Zone just outside of Panama City. Located approximately 10km outside Panama City, the campus has regular bus service to Albrook Terminal, Panama City’s main transportation hub. Students can also easily hire an Uber to take them to and from the city. In addition to enrolling in two 3-credit Tulane courses (see details below), they participate in regular cultural activities and workshops led by the nation's foremost scholars, creators, and leaders. The weekends present opportunities to explore even more of the country through excursions to points of historical, cultural, or economic significance, such as Panama Viejo and the Casco Antiguo; an Emberá village; Colón, Portobelo, and the beaches of Isla Grande (3-day trip); and, of course, the Panama Canal.*
Panama serves as the crossing point of the western hemisphere, bridging North and South America and the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. With 29,157 square miles, it is slightly smaller than the state of South Carolina and encompasses islands, beaches, mountains, rivers, and lowlands. Its tropical climate means that average daily temperatures rarely drop below 78 degrees Fahrenheit, even at the highest elevation. The country is known for its biodiversity; its 986 recorded bird species, for instance, surpasses the number found in the entire United States.
Panama’s natural diversity is complemented by its cultural diversity. The majority of the population identifies as mestizo, but there are also significant Indigenous, African-descendant, and Aisian-descendant communities. Panama recognizes seven Indigenous ethnic groups (Guna, Teribe, Buglé, Ngäbe, Naso, Emberá and Wounaan), who maintain their languages and cultural practices. The afro-Panamanian population combines the descendants of those brought to the region as slaves in the sixteenth through nineteenth centuries with immigrants from the West Indies, who immigrated primarily to work on canal construction in the early twentieth century. This massive engineering project also brought immigrants from other regions, particularly China.
The Panama Canal, completed in 1914, has played a decisive role in shaping Panamanian culture and history. The U.S. controlled the Canal Zone from 1903 through 1999, when Panama regained full sovereignty of the territory within its borders. As a result, English remains a widely taught and spoken language. Panama was also the first nation to adopt the U.S. dollar as an official currency in 1904. Today, most transactions take place in U.S. currency and the value of the local Balboa, which is issued only in coins, is pegged to that of the dollar. The Canal still plays a critical role in the Panamanian economy, which is primarily driven by the service sector, particularly finance and trade.
Fundación Ciudad del Saber is a non-profit organization founded in 1993, when a group of Panamanian leaders came together with the idea to create a “Socratic forum” in the former Panama Canal Zone. Its mission is to “be an innovative community that drives social change through humanism, science, and business.” The FCDS campus inhabits 120 hectares of the former US military base Fort Clayton and houses businesses, innovation incubators, non-profit organizations, governmental and parastatal entities, and institutions of higher learning. It provides a vibrant environment for students to live and learn among an international community of changemakers.
Students must enroll in two (2) courses, each worth 3 credits. Courses meet Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays according to the following schedule. Workshops and cultural activities will take place on Wednesdays and during the evenings.
LAST 3130: Society and Culture in Panama (English; SPAN 3350 credit available)
Additional Courses (Choose 1):
PSDV 3200: Development Issues and Strategies in Panama (English)
SPAN 3130/4130: Topics in Latin American Literature (Spanish)
Housing and Meals
TBDProgram price includes 6 Tulane credits, GeoBlue international medical insurance, housing, breakfasts on weekdays, transportation to/from airport, some group meals, all costs associated with group excursions.
All registration will be processed by Stone Center staff. Students will initially be enrolled in one 3-credit Latin American Studies placeholder course, used for billing purposes only. They will be enrolled in their respective culture and language courses after orientation.
Tuition and fees are charged to student accounts in the late spring. Students are responsible for making sure that the bill is paid in full according to the policies outlined on the Accounts Receivable website. Students can access their account through the Gibson Portal.
If a student withdraws from the program at any point between acceptance and departure, the student forfeits their deposit plus any additional expenses that the Stone Center cannot recover from program providers. Prior to 15 days before the program start date, a student may submit a written withdrawal request to be considered for a refund of up to 75% of the program fee (deposit excluded). Refund requests received less than 15 days before the program start date will only be eligible for a maximum of 25% refund of the program fees (deposit excluded). Students withdrawing after the program start date will not be eligible for any refund.
Tulane University is committed to making all its programs accessible to all students. Persons requiring special facilities should notify the Program Manager as soon as possible. All effort will be made to accommodate them, but students should be aware that reasonable accommodation may be required.
CCSI enrolls students in a comprehensive study abroad medical insurance policy provided by GeoBlue. This insurance is included in the cost of the program. Tulane provides students with travel emergency assistance through Crisis24. Information about this program is available through the Tulane Global website.
Both Tulane and non-Tulane undergraduate students encouraged to apply. Applicants must have a GPA of at least 2.5 and have completed the equivalent of 2 semesters of Spanish (SPAN 1010/1012 OR SPAN 1120). They must hold a passport valid for at least six months following the program end date.
If you have questions or would like more information, visit the Summer in Panama website or contact the Cuban and Caribbean Studies Institute:
Phone: (504) 862 - 8629
100 Jones Hall, Tulane Uptown Campus