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Program description

Participation in the 13-week McGill Panama Field Study Semester (PFSS) program is a unique and exciting opportunity for Panamanian university students. This joint venture between STRI and McGill University of Canada allows Panamanian students to immerse themselves in a challenging learning environment, both in and outside the classroom, while investing in their future. The program offers to the students the opportunity to take two undergraduate classes taught by professors from McGill University, and to interact with a group of highly motivated Canadian students.

This semester-long program provides hands-on experience and the opportunity to make contact with internationally renowned STRI researchers, local NGOs, government agencies and foreign academics. In addition, students will have the opportunity to improve their English language skills, become familiar with the academic culture of a Canadian university and receive support in future academic and career endeavors. They will also have the opportunity to travel throughout Panama, from Guna Yala to Bocas del Toro, and to live with a group of visiting Canadian students, allowing them to take part in their daily activities and engage in a cultural exchange.

During this time, participating Panamanian students are also encouraged to apply to STRI’s general internships program. You may find additional information about these internships here.

Participants should be hard-working, committed, and open to new experiences. Applicants from all academic backgrounds will be considered, as the objective of the program is to learn about the social and environmental issues in Panama from a variety of perspectives.


All courses combine formal lectures with hands-on experience. Theoretical issues will be presented in a classroom setting through a combination of lectures, guest speakers and student presentations. However, not all learning takes place in the classroom and each course involves field trips to relevant sites throughout the country. These excursions allow the material learned in the classroom to be applied to real-life situations. Past students have had the opportunity to explore the Panama Canal and its history, the enormous biodiversity of Panama's forests and the breathtaking marine ecosystems of the Caribbean.

The courses offered from January to April 2024 are:


Undergraduates from any faculty at any Panamanian post-secondary institution may apply. Applicants are not required to be studying for a career in science to be eligible.

Basic requirements:

-Current enrollment in an undergraduate program

-Basic knowledge of the English language

-Availability seven days a week for the entire duration of the four-month program


How to Apply

Applications must include:

Copy of your Curriculum Vitae, with information on your English-language proficiency

Two letters of recommendation

Copy of your university transcript

Letter of intent not exceeding two pages that covers:

-Reason for interest in program

-Specific skills in field of study

-Ability and interest in collaborative learning experiences

Please send your application to:

Lady Mancilla
Phone: +507 212-8185

More information

The McGill Panama Field Semester website can be visited for additional information.

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