Skip to content

Programs : Brochure

This is the program brochure page.
  • This program is currently not accepting applications.
Program Description


Panama Wildlife

Panama Group

Quick Facts

Application Requirements

To apply for this program, click the "Apply Now" button above. This will generate an online application with the requirements listed below. Please also refer to the "Academics" tab for specific eligibility information. Note: Non-ASU students should consult these instructions before applying.


 Cloud Forest Hike

Location Details

This course will be located primarily at a Biological Field Station operated by the globally renowned Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI) in the town of Gamboa, and approximately 45 car minutes northwest of Panama City. Gamboa is adjacent to the Soberanía National Park, an immense, easily accessible, well preserved, highly diverse, and beautiful tropical lowland rainforest in which most of the learning and all of the student course projects will be carried out. The location is an ideal balance between a secure, amenable setting and direct access to prime rainforest locations including the famous Barro Colorado Island Research Station in Lake Gatún. Field experiences will be abundant, daily, and extensive. They are a central and expansive aspect of this course. Day trips to Panama City, Barro Colorado Island, the Panama Canal, an indigenous village, and other surrounding areas and habitats will round out experiences of Panamanian nature and culture.

Visa Information

It is each student’s responsibility to independently determine if a visa is necessary for travel to any foreign countries visited on this program. Limited information may be provided by the ASU Study Abroad Office, your faculty director, and/or partner organizations/institutions. Where visas are required, failure to obtain a visa may result in your inability to participate and, ultimately, your withdrawal from the program, subject to the terms of the Study Abroad Payment and Withdrawal Policies

Consult this page for additional information regarding visas. If you need assistance securing a U.S. Passport, visit the ASU U.S. Passport Acceptance Office in Tempe.

PLEASE NOTE: Visa requirements for non U.S. citizens may differ from those for U.S. citizens; students who are not U.S. citizens are advised to contact their International Coordinator and begin independently researching the visa requirements for their nationality as soon as possible.


Eligibility Requirements

  • 2.0 GPA
  • Students must have completed with a C or better an introductory biology course series, either BIO 181-182 or BIO 281-282 or equivalent


This four credit academic program  consists of daily on-site lectures by faculty and local experts (including ASU and STRI scientists) as well as topic-oriented excursions to experience and develop an understanding of the local habitat, flora, fauna, and culture. Students will take a scientific curiosity, develop it into a testable hypothesis, and then design and conduct an experiment to explore the hypothesis. View the course syllabus here

Students will analyze data and present their research orally and in the form of written report. This experience will likely be the only one during their undergraduate tenure where they take their own idea and work it all the way through to an end product. 

  • BIO 494 Tropical Biology Research (4 credits)


Faculty Director

Jon Harrison 
School of Life Sciences
Arizona State University
Phone: (480) 965-9459

Juergen Liebig
Associate Professor
School of Life Sciences
Arizona State University



Netted Spider


Program Housing

The main location for the Tropical Biology course is Gamboa, Panama, where STRI operates the Gamboa Field Station. The facility is a secure, relatively small field station with hostel-style  accommodations, three prepared meals per day, air conditioning, and WiFi access. Furthermore, the facility provides a lecture room and field laboratory space to plan and support research projects. The adjacent 22,000-hectare Soberania National Park is a protected area containing a wide variety of forest and freshwater habitats. One night will be spent exploring the flora and fauna of Barro Colorado Island, reachable by using a STRI-operated ferry in the Lake Gatún segment of the Panama Canal.


Accessibility Information

Individuals with disabilities will find accessibility and accommodation in the majority of this program’s locations very different from what you find in the United States. There will be a great deal of walking over uneven and wet surfaces. The Study Abroad Office cannot guarantee access to public transportation, buildings, or public sites on this program.

Although ASU cannot guarantee the accessibility of all program sites, students with disabilities can and do study abroad. Upon request, the ASU Study Abroad Office can provide information about the availability of accommodations and accessible facilities on specific programs and can help you determine whether a program can meet your accommodation needs.


Cost Information

The Program Fee for Summer 2019 is $4,385.

Program Fee includes: ASU tuition for 4 credits, housing, transportation, 3 meals per day, entrance fees for all group activities while in Panama, ASU faculty support, and international health insurance.  Not included: Airfare to and from Panama, passport, ASU student fees, books and materials, and personal expenses.

Faculty Directed program participants are also responsible for paying a non-refundable $50 Application Fee, in addition to the Program Fee listed above. All other costs associated with participation in the program are the responsibility of the individual student. Be sure to reference the program cost sheet for information on program fees and any additional estimated expenses.

This program does not allow for much time that can be spent in non-program activities. However, prior to or after the program, participants can opt to travel, sight-see or participate in activities or events in which they have a personal interest. Please note that the participant is fully responsible for making arrangements and for all costs of transportation, lodging, food, and additional expenses that may be associated with any non-program activities.


Funding Your Study Abroad Program

Studying abroad is an investment in your future, which requires careful planning and management. However, the personal, academic, and professional rewards that you will gain from this experience will last a lifetime. You should carefully consider costs, budgets and financing when selecting and preparing for your experience abroad. If you have questions at any step of the process, we encourage you to reach out to your International Coordinator for guidance.

Steps to Financing Your Study Abroad Program

  1. View the program Cost Sheet to find a breakdown of program expenses.
  2. Attend a Financing Your Study Abroad Workshop.
  3. Consider your Financial Aid options.
  4. Search and Apply for Scholarships and Grants.
  5. Exhaust your options by exploring Additional Funding Resources including our Community-Based Funding Guide.
  6. View our  Financing Your Study Abroad Program Handbook for more information, including Payment Information.

Unique Funding Opportunities for This Program


Dates & Deadlines
Dates & Deadlines
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Summer 2019 03/01/2019
Rolling Admission 06/04/2019 06/21/2019
NOTE: Dates are subject to change. Do not purchase airfare until Study Abroad Office contacts you to do so.

** Indicates rolling admission application process. Students will be immediately notified of acceptance into this program and be able to complete post-decision tasks prior to the term's application deadline.

Indicates that deadline has passed

This program is currently not accepting applications.