Picture of Panama City, Panama, that shows the skyline and the bay on a beautiful blue sky and puffy clouds day

Energy and the Environment: Panama City, Panama


Explore the amazing biodiversity of Panama in the Take the World by the Horns program through visits to wildlife preserves, marine exhibition centers, and field work excursions to sites such as a 300-island archipelago. Panama is ranked No. 1 in the world by the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity due to its location between three distinct bodies of water: the Caribbean Sea, the Gulf of Chiriqui, and the Gulf of Panama.

You will make an immediate impact and gain invaluable experience by participating in internships with environmentally focused non-profit organizations. Enroll in four academic courses with our partner, SIT, focusing on environmental study, fieldwork ethics, and research design, including an internship to jumpstart your academic and professional career.

There is no language requirement for participation. Spanish language lessons will be incorporated throughout the semester, but will not appear on your transcript. Upon your return, you may take a placement test or seek an evaluation to assess your UT Austin language course level.


Course TitleUT Course NumberCore/Flag Credit
Internships 101 & First Year Foundations for Success: Career PathwaysLA 321Potential Bridging Disciplines Connecting Experience
Introduction to Environmental StudiesGRG 306CSocial Behavioral Sciences Core
Introduction to Cultural AnthropologyANT 302Global Cultures Flag
Social Behavioral Sciences Core
Fieldwork Principles and EthicsLA 319SEthics Flag

The academic design for this program combines an introduction to the theoretical frameworks of environmental studies with the practical experience of an internship focusing on environmental issues.

  • “Introduction to Environmental Studies” provides an academic foundation to explore the Earth’s physical environments, while “Introduction to Cultural Anthropology” examines civil and social structures that impact the environment.
  •  “Internships 101” credit-bearing placements for internship work at environmental nonprofits.
  • “First Year Foundations for Success: Career Pathways” course will help students explore how their internship experience will create further professional and academic opportunities.

Signature Course Offered Spring 2025

Professor Lito Porto’s signature course, “Process Ecology Across Lifeforms, Disciplines, and Dimensions,” uses a multidisciplinary lens to examine how ecological systems inform human interactions within an environment. The approach challenges the traditional divides between hard sciences and humanities, and will provide students with context and vocabulary to connect their experiences in Panama with a variety of disciplines as they transition to life on campus in Austin.

Program Dates

ArrivalAugust 17, 2024
Classes StartAugust 22, 2024
Classes End and DepartureDecember 15, 2024

Costs and Financial Aid

The total cost of the program is $18,260. This cost includes all registration fees and tuition, overseas insurance, flights, passport, visa, pre-departure costs, housing, excursions, meals, and estimated personal expenses during the semester abroad.

You will be able to apply for federal and institutional financial aid to cover a portion or all costs of this program.


The inaugural program starts August 2024.