First Impressions: SFS Panama

Posted: September 17, 2012

Name: Alexandra Doumas
School:
Western Washington University
Major: 
Environmental Journalism, Spanish
Program:
Tropical Biodiversity & Conservation Studies, Panama

Why did you choose to study abroad with SFS?

The program and objectives of SFS – locations, academics, etc – aligned perfectly with my interests, passions and life goals.  Hands on in nature + cultural studies!

What are you first impressions of the country?

Panama has so such a rich history and culture- really glad to have been able to learn a bit about it.  Did not love the city, but certainly appreciated seeing it.  Bocas is perfect.

What are you first impressions of the field station?

What an incredible facility!  It seems so well equipped, professional, etc. that I cannot wait to feel like a legitimate researcher.

What do you think the biggest challenge will be for you this semester both academically and culturally?

In general, the amount of alone/decompression time I am able to get can really impact my mental health, mood and performance.  With such a busy schedule it will take particular effort to stay balanced in order to fully absorb and be present to academic info and cultural experiences.

What are you looking forward to the most about the semester?

I cannot wait for Boquete; I love the mountains.  But of course, literally every single thing on the schedule puts a smile on my face, so I’m really just glad to be here learning, in general.

Give three words that best describe how you are feeling right now.

Stoked!  Weary, jittery with anticipation!?