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Summer Study Abroad in English in Panama City & Boquete, Panama

Application Deadline

Jul, 2025
This program has now closed. Email for late applications.
Start Date: May 15, 2025
– End Date: Jun, 2025
End Date: Jun, 2025

Program Overview

Immerse Yourself in Panama’s Rich Culture and Biodiversity! 

Join our SSA Summer Study Abroad program in Panama, an ideal combination of academic learning and cultural exploration set in the vibrant heart of Central America. Designed specifically for US students, this program offers a selection of English-taught courses that blend seamlessly with immersive experiences in and around Panama City.


📚 Academic Enrichment: Engage in a variety of courses that delve into Panama’s unique cultural and ecological landscape. Tailored to enhance your educational journey, these classes bring global perspectives right into the classroom.

🌆 Urban and Natural Exploration: Discover Panama City, a bustling metropolis where modern skyscrapers stand alongside historic buildings. Venture beyond the city to experience Panama’s stunning biodiversity and distinct ecosystems firsthand.

🎉 Cultural Immersion: Dive into the heart of Panamanian culture through interactive experiences, community engagement, and local excursions. Embrace the opportunity to learn about Panama’s rich heritage and contemporary life.

Panama City acts as the perfect backdrop for a summer filled with learning and exploration. Its unique blend of contemporary urban life and historical significance provides an unrivaled setting for academic and cultural immersion. From the vibrant city life to the serene natural landscapes, Panama offers an unparalleled environment for students looking to broaden their horizons.

Embark on a summer adventure in Panama with our SSA program, where academic pursuits and cultural experiences combine to create an unforgettable journey into the diverse heart of Central America.

Program Details

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Life Abroad

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Language 🌐

Panama offers a unique linguistic experience. Primarily Spanish-speaking, it’s an ideal place to master the language. Engage with locals and partake in language exchanges, enhancing your Spanish proficiency.

History 🏺

Panama City and Boquete are steeped in history. Panama City’s Casco Viejo showcases colonial architecture, while Boquete offers insight into Panama’s coffee culture and indigenous heritage. Explore historical sites for a glimpse into Panama’s past.

Architecture 🏛️

Panama City’s skyline blends modern skyscrapers with colonial buildings. In contrast, Boquete is known for its charming rural architecture, offering a different perspective on Panamanian design.

Art 🎨

Panama’s art scene, concentrated in Panama City, is vibrant and diverse, featuring contemporary galleries and street art. Discover local artists and indigenous crafts that reflect Panama’s rich cultural tapestry.

Food 🍲

Panama’s cuisine is a blend of Spanish, African, and Indigenous influences. Enjoy fresh seafood, local fruits, and traditional dishes like ‘Sancocho’. The culinary experience in Panama is as diverse as its culture.

Nature and Outdoor Activities 🌳

Experience Panama’s natural beauty, from Panama City’s coastal views to Boquete’s mountainous landscapes. Enjoy outdoor activities like hiking, bird watching, and coffee farm tours in Boquete, or relax on the beaches near Panama City.

Cultural Integration 🎉

Participate in Panama’s vibrant cultural life. From Panama City’s bustling nightlife to Boquete’s local festivals, immerse yourself in the music, dance, and traditions that make Panamanian culture unique.

Your Panamanian adventure is more than academic. Included in your program’s cost, we offer a rich selection of cultural events and outings. Here’s what you can look forward to:

Welcome to Panamanian Cuisine: Start your experience with a friendly welcome dinner. Indulge in local specialties like ceviche and sancocho de gallina, while bonding with your peers and our local team.

Historic Tours: Immerse yourself in the captivating stories and old-world charm of Panama City’s Casco Viejo, including the iconic Panama Canal Museum, History Museum, and Mola Museum. 

Life in 3D: Embark on an unforgettable tour of the Panama Canal Locks, complete with entrance to the locks, a captivating 3D movie chronicling the canal’s creation, and a look into the world of biodiversity at the Bio Museum.

Different Perspectives: Experience ‘Panama from a Different Angle’ on a day excursion to the Indigenous Community of Guna Yala, with pristine beaches of turquoise waters and breathtaking natural pools, as well as visits to local government systems. 

Feel the Rhythm: Discover the vibrant rhythms of Latin dance through salsa and bachata, learning the fundamentals of these passionate dances.

Taste the Flavors: Put on your chef’s hat with a hands-on cooking class and prepare authentic Panamanian dishes using fresh, locally sourced ingredients.

Enjoy the Outdoors: Experience the beauty of Panama’s nature with a guided hike in Metropolitan Natural Park, through the lush tropical forests, scenic trails, and diverse wildlife.  

Culinary Farewell: Wrap up your stay with a delightful dinner featuring traditional Panamanian dishes and enjoy live local music, capturing the spirit of Panama.

Please note, some activities may involve a small additional fee. The availability of activities can vary by program.



Staying in a homestay transforms your experience abroad. Beyond the convenience of room and board, which includes delightful local meals for breakfast and dinner, and the practicalities of laundry and room cleaning, it’s a doorway to deep cultural immersion. You’re not just a visitor; you become part of a local family. This intimate setting allows you to practice the language daily, understand local customs, and participate in family traditions. It’s a unique opportunity to form lasting connections, gain new perspectives, and truly experience the essence of the culture.

Please note that special dietary or housing accommodations are available, potentially at an additional fee.


Course Selection

The available courses for students vary by program and are distributed between the SSA center and local institutions. Please see the selection below, and contact us for the most current course information:





PANAM 330 is designed to explore the dynamic and multifaceted world of business and entrepreneurship within the context of U.S.-Latin America relations. This course provides an in-depth look at the economic interactions, trade policies, and business strategies that shape the commercial relationship between the United States and Latin American countries. Key elements of the course include: Economic Partnerships: Analysis of trade agreements and economic partnerships between the U.S. and Latin American countries. Entrepreneurial Ventures: Examination of the entrepreneurial landscape, focusing on successful business ventures and startups that bridge the U.S. and Latin American markets. Business Strategies: Understanding the business strategies and models that are effective in the U.S.-Latin American context. Cultural Considerations: Insights into the cultural nuances and considerations crucial for successful business operations and negotiations in this region. Students will gain valuable knowledge of the business environment in Latin America and how it intertwines with U.S. economic interests, preparing them for careers in international business, entrepreneurship, and economic policy. Taught in English.

Contact Hours: 60

Credits: 4

Language/History/Cultural Studies

PANAM 320 offers an in-depth exploration of Panama’s rich history, diverse culture, and political landscape. This 4-credit course is designed to provide students with a comprehensive understanding of the key events, figures, and movements that have shaped Panama. Key topics covered in the course include: Panamanian History: An overview of Panama’s history from pre-colonial times to the present day. Cultural Diversity: Examination of Panama’s unique cultural heritage, influenced by indigenous, European, African, and other cultures. Political Developments: Insights into Panama’s political system and significant political events, including the role of the Panama Canal in the country’s development. Social Dynamics: Discussion of contemporary social issues and challenges facing Panama. Through this course, students will gain a nuanced perspective on Panama’s role in global affairs and a deeper appreciation for its cultural richness. The course is ideal for students interested in Latin American studies, history, and political science. Taught in English.

Contact Hours: 60

Credits: 4

Language/History/Cultural Studies

PANAM 301 is tailored for students who have achieved an intermediate proficiency in Spanish and are ready to advance to a higher level. This course focuses on refining and enhancing language skills to achieve advanced proficiency in Spanish. Key components of the course include: Complex Grammar and Advanced Vocabulary: Mastery of complex grammatical structures and expansion of an advanced vocabulary set. Fluency in Conversation: Emphasis on achieving fluency in speaking, including understanding and participating in complex, fast-paced conversations. Advanced Reading and Writing: Skills development in reading and writing sophisticated texts in Spanish, with a focus on nuanced expression and style. Cultural and Idiomatic Understanding: Deep dive into the subtleties of the Spanish language, including idiomatic expressions and cultural references, to achieve a near-native understanding. The aim of PANAM 301 is to elevate students’ Spanish language skills to an advanced level, enabling them to communicate effectively and naturally in a wide range of academic, professional, and social contexts. Taught in English.

Contact Hours: 60

Credits: 4

Language/History/Cultural Studies

📚 Course: PANAM 201 – Spanish Language – Intermediate Level Category: Language, History & Cultural Studies 📚 Course Description: PANAM 201 is an intermediate-level Spanish course, building on the foundations laid in beginner-level studies. This course is designed for students who have a basic understanding of Spanish and are looking to enhance their proficiency. Key aspects of the course include: Advanced Grammar and Vocabulary: Deepening understanding of Spanish grammar and expanding vocabulary for more complex communication. Enhanced Speaking and Listening: Focusing on improving conversational fluency, including understanding and participating in more nuanced dialogues. Reading and Writing Skills: Developing the ability to read and write more complex texts in Spanish, with an emphasis on correct structure and style. Cultural Immersion: Further exploring the cultures of Spanish-speaking countries to gain a more comprehensive understanding of the language in context. This course aims to advance students’ Spanish language skills to a level where they can confidently engage in intermediate conversations, comprehend intermediate texts, and express themselves more fully in Spanish. Taught in English.

Contact Hours: 60

Credits: 4

Language/History/Cultural Studies

PANAM 101 is a comprehensive introduction to the Spanish language for beginners. This 4-credit course is designed to build a solid foundation in Spanish for students with little to no prior experience with the language. Key components of the course include: Basic Grammar and Vocabulary: Introduction to essential Spanish grammar, vocabulary, and sentence structure. Speaking and Listening Skills: Emphasis on developing basic conversational skills through practice in listening and speaking. Reading and Writing: Foundations in reading and writing Spanish, enabling students to understand and construct simple texts. Cultural Context: Insights into the rich and diverse cultures of the Spanish-speaking world to enhance language learning. The course aims to equip students with the skills necessary to communicate effectively in everyday situations in Spanish and lays the groundwork for further study of the language. Taught in English.

Contact Hours: 60

Credits: 4

Academic Institutions

EPA: Español en Panamá, reconocida por su calidad en la enseñanza del español como segunda lengua o lengua extranjera, destaca en Panamá. Con más de 15 años de experiencia, la institución educa a estudiantes de diversas nacionalidades y forma parte del Grupo ELS Panamá. Acreditada por el prestigioso Instituto Cervantes y homologada por Bildungsurlaub en Alemania, EPA: Español en Panamá se posiciona como una referencia en la educación lingüística en la región.

Why This Program?

Language Mastery and Cultural Immersion 📚

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