First Impressions of SFS Panama

Posted: September 10, 2013

Why did you choose to study abroad with SFS?
I wanted to study abroad in a more remote area and be able to learn in the field. I also wanted to be with a smaller group of students while I was learning.

What are you first impressions of the country?
Panama is beautiful; flying into Panama we saw dense rainforest right next to a huge city. The sight was so different from what I saw in the US, it was really exciting.

What are you first impressions of the field station?
The field station is set in a very uninhabited island off of Bocas del Toro town. Being surrounded by just rainforest and water is an amazing feeling. The whole island is so natural and beautiful.

What do you think the biggest challenge will be for you this semester both academically and culturally?
I think learning Spanish will be difficult. I’m really glad we are starting the program with an intensive Spanish class. This will really help us be able to connect with the locals. I’m a little nervous about being in an area that doesn’t speak English as a first language, but hopefully learning Spanish will help us connect with them.

What are you looking forward to the most about the semester?
I’m really looking forward to snorkeling out on the reefs near the field station. The water here is really clear and warm. I can’t wait to be able to swim in it.

Give three words that best describe how you are feeling right now.
Excited, isolated (in a good way), ready for anything.