Freshman Seminar Abroad: Learn about the intersection between animal health, human health, and the environment by studying the history and ecosystems of Panama.
|Location||Bocas del Toro, Panama|
|Credit Type||Resident Credit|
|Sponsor||Learning Abroad Center|
|Student Type||UofM Students|
|Language||No Language Prerequisite|
Home to indigenous populations, host to the vast biodiversity of tropical rainforest and reef ecosystems, and visited by increasing numbers of tourists, Panama bridges more than just North and South America. Panama City and the Bocas del Toro archipelago provide excellent landscapes to understand the connectivity of human, animal, and environmental health in both tropical rainforest and reef ecosystems.
During this Freshman Seminar Abroad, immerse yourself in Panama's culture, livelihoods, and indigenous community health, the impacts and opportunities of ecotourism, and a variety of conversation efforts.
The future health of our world requires a generation of creative, motivated, and strategic thinkers prepared to collaborate across disciplines and sectors to proactively protect the health of humans, animals, and their environment. In this seminar, learn about the challenges and opportunities of human, animal, and ecosystem health (One Health) in Panama.
In Panama City, examine the history of the Panama Canal, built just over 100 years ago, which greatly impacted world trade. In preparation for this great engineering feat, public health and sanitation programs were created to deal with numerous tropical diseases, including malaria and other health threats that not only benefited the builders of the canal, but also the local populations.
In Panama City, stay in dorms in the Cuidad del Saber (City of Knowledge).
In Bocas del Toro, live in the student center on Isla Bastimentos. The student center includes classroom space, student rooms, shared bathrooms, kitchen and lounge space, and laundry facilities. Some meals, including breakfast and welcome and farewell meals, are included in the program fee. Take additional meals at local restaurants or prepare them in the student center kitchen.
While in Panama, the surroundings will become your classroom as you explore and experience the seminar coursework through site visits. These excursions in Panama City and Bocas del Toro may include:
This seminar is taught by Karin Hamilton, DVM, MPH, Pre-Health Student Resource Center. She has extensive experience working globally in 14 countries in health fields and has led multiple student programs to Thailand related to global health, interprofessional/One Health, and intercultural development. This seminar is co-led by Tricia Todd, Director of the Pre-Health Student Resource Center at the University of Minnesota and an adjunct instructor in the School of Public Health. She has led many programs abroad through the University and serves on the Center for Global Health and Social Responsibility Leadership Team. Scott Simpson, Career Counselor for the Pre-Health Student Resource Center, will also be co-leading the on-campus portion of the course.
Learning Abroad Center programs are:
|Program Level||1900-level course|
One 3-credit course
Combine on-campus class during the spring semester with study abroad during spring break. On-campus Spring Semester 2020 course meets: Tuesdays from 2:30–4:25 p.m. on East Bank. Abroad term: Spring Break 2020
During the Spring Break week, students will have the opportunity to apply the knowledge learned in the early Spring semester to observations and experiences in Panama. Site visits and discussions in Panama City will explore the culture of Panama, the history of the building of the Panama Canal and its impact on local, regional, and global health. Site visits and discussions in Bocas del Toro will explore human, animal, and ecosystem health in tropical rainforest and reef ecosystems including the culture, livelihood, and health of indigenous populations, conservation efforts, and ecotourism. The teams will ask questions during site visits from their assigned One Health perspective in preparation for their final photo poster project on One Health in Panama.
Upon returning to UofM, students will participate in re-entry activities, present their photo posters reflecting their team’s understanding of One Health in Panama from their assigned perspective, and have a final class debrief. Students will complete reflective journal entries throughout the semester and a final person reflection on One Health in Panama compared and contrasted to Minnesota/US.
Understand the challenges and opportunities of human, animal, and ecosystem health in Panama while comparing and contrasting it to the US and/or Minnesota.
Engage with local community organizations including health care providers, non-profit organizations, organic farms, and eco-friendly resorts.
Receive credit for: AHS 1901
Approved for: Global Perspectives Liberal Education theme
|Term||Program Dates||Application Deadline|
|Spring Break 2020||Mar 6, 2020 – Mar 15, 2020||Dec 1, 2019|
Important Note: This program departs for Panama early on Friday, March 6. If you have any class on Friday, March 6th, you will need to miss them in order to travel.
If the deadline falls on a weekend, submit your materials on the following business day.
Tuesdays, 2:30-4:20 p.m., East Bank
See below for tentative dates and times for your in-person session. You will be notified of the official date and time via email. Participants will receive applicable orientation materials via email approximately 1 week prior to the in-person session.
|Spring Break 2020||TBD||TBD|
The program fee includes airfare, housing, program administration, welcome and farewell meals, most additional meals, international health insurance, entrances to course-related excursions and site visits, airport transfers, and in-country transportation for all course related activities. Typically, program fees range between $4,000–$4,500. Students must also budget for passport and passport photos, a few meals, spending money, and miscellaneous living expenses.
Freshman Seminar Abroad participants are eligible to apply for a specific Freshman Seminar Abroad scholarship. Applications are due October, 15, 2019. Apply HERE.
Be aware: All programs require a $50 application fee. This fee will be charged to your student account upon submission of an online application.
To complete the online application for this program, you will need to select or provide the following information on the online application:
|Center Name||TC Learning Abroad Ctr|
|Education Abroad Term||Spring Break 2020|
|Program Name||Freshman Seminar Abroad: Health in the Tropics: Humans, Animals, & Ecosystems|
|Track Name||Freshman Seminar Abroad: Health in the Tropics: Humans, Animals, & Ecosystems|
Detailed descriptions and instructions for submitting each checklist item are included on the application checklist assigned to you.
Your participation on this program is secured by applying and confirming through the Learning Abroad Center application process.
You will also need to register for the on-campus course AHS 1901.
Note: Registering for the course, but not confirming through the Learning Abroad Center, will not hold your spot in the program.
For further information or questions about this program, send an email toAmy Garwood-Diaz or call at 612.624.1537.