Testimonials

13th Annual Study Abroad Program in Panama

“Reflecting on my time in Panama, I realize that it has been one of the most memorable experiences I’ve had to date. Not only did I acquire a greater love for travel, adventure, and fun, I was given a deeper cultural understanding of the world we live in and how we are all connected.”
-Jud Adams

“While studying in Panama, I have been exposed to so many cultural differences and people that I have even changed my perspective on many things in life. One thing that has changed is my individualistic idea. In Panama you will find that this country has a collectivist society in which everyone does what will benefit the group over all. I am used to an individualistic society that focuses on each individual benefiting themselves regardless of who is left behind. I am more open to the idea of working with others as opposed to figuring out life completely on my own.”
-Mycala Baker

“Besides the crazy rain and humidity, Panamá is definitely a location I have grown to love. I can hardly wait until I am able to return for a 3rd time!”
-Lauren Benz

“Since I’ve been here, I have been able to speak Spanish more, which is something I am not able to do in the U.S. Being in a culture where we are forced to speak the language has really helped improve my speaking skills. I am currently pursuing a degree in Spanish Education so the language skills I have acquired here will be beneficial for my future career.”
-Hayley Brown

“My courses-Panamanian Culture and Intercultural Communications- have helped me to expand my world knowledge, as well as successfully interact with others of different cultures. In my Panamanian Culture class, I was able to learn the history of Panama, the provinces, indigenous tribes, Afro-Panamanians, cultural and social norms, and so much more. In my intercultural communications course, I was able to acquire the skills necessary to have effective conversations with people who may live differently than me. I learned that it’s important to be open to learning about and cooperating with another culture if you want to be successful.”
-Raven Byars

“My favorite part of the trip was when we went to the indigenous village. Seeing people who live without technology and use the rainforest to gather resources was unlike anything I have ever experienced. I have a newfound respect for the indigenous groups around the world because their lives seem quite peaceful.”
–David Cissell

“The culture and the people here are both amazing. Every person that I have encountered was willing to take me under their wing and spend time with me to help me learn more and more each day. Not only was I able to make friends, I was able to make lifelong friends in a different country. Spending classes with Panamanians was an amazing opportunity I will never take for granted.”
–Jourdan Farris

“The staff, the activities and the professors were amazing as well. We went to an indigenous tribe, the presidential palace, and orphanage. We went to places and met people very different to us and we can now understand so much better the way other people think or act.”
–Mishael Garcia-Reyes

“The excursions added to the value of the classes. Each trip was informative and gave us more content and personal experiences that could not happen in a classroom. It was obvious that a lot of work went into planning each and every event. As a nontraditional student, the staff went above and beyond to make sure I had experiences that suited my particular needs. As a University of Louisville staff member, it was a priceless opportunity for me to meet and share best practices with the faculty and staff at this University.”
–Jeanne Guerrero

“This whole experience has reaffirmed my reasons to continue my education in pursuing the Spanish language, as well as inspired me to explore other places in the future. The world is so much bigger than Louisville, Kentucky. I have not even scratched the surface yet.”
–Savannah Guerrero

“Panama has been very good to me. I made a few very close friends that I will never forget and surely will come back to visit. These friends helped to show me the city, and were so kind and generous to me and my classmates. They took us to the best restaurants in town, letting us experience great food from Panama. They took us to different places to shop so that we could buy souvenirs for ourselves and our families. All of my Panamanian classmates were so kind to me that I am very sad to leave them.”
–Max Haddad

“Studying abroad in a country where the language isn’t English, it was a great opportunity to learn a new language. I was immersed in a culture where I was forced to at least memorize some conversation starters. It was great. Seeing and hearing the language on a daily basis is the best way to learn a new language. I was exposed to slang and nuances in the language that I wouldn’t have learned in any foreign language courses I’ve taken.”
–Davelle Heath

“The trip to Portobello, Casco Viejo, and Viejo Panama were great to see in person because it was history in front of my eyes. With the natural ancient beauty of Panama Viejo and the beautiful colonial-style architecture of Casco Viejo, each place holds a piece of history ready to be shared.”
–Joshua Lawson

“Personally, I have always wanted to travel speak Spanish language abroad. As an avid language learner, this was one the most exciting and intriguing experiences of my life. I finally got to use my language skills in a Spanish speaking environment, and it was thrilling. I got to speak Spanish with all kinds of people too! Latin Americans from all over central and South America live in Panama; I even used the language with a group of indigenous people!”
–Thomas Lawrence


“My study abroad trip to Panama has been one of the most enriching and rewarding experiences of my college career thus far.  I have been exposed to an entirely new culture that is very different from my own.  I have been forced outside of my comfort zone, and for that I am extremely grateful.”
–Allison Mayes

“From an early age, I have known that language, and its uses to express ideas and emotions, was my greatest passion… Spanish was the driving force behind my primary decision to apply for this program and without it I would not have been able to grow so tremendously, both mentally and spiritually, over the past few weeks.”
–Tyler Mercer

“I feel like I really gained a lot coming on this trip and all the wonderful experiences I had I will never forget. I also really enjoyed the Panamanian culture class; I loved everything about the class from the food to the Pollera and everything in between.”
–Alieshia Nunnally

“It has been my dream since high school to study abroad, but I thought it could never happen after hearing how difficult it is to take a semester off of nursing school. When I heard about this trip, I knew it was perfect for me. Since it was in the summer it did not put me behind in my nursing curriculum, and I always wanted to travel to a Spanish-speaking country.”
–Vanessa Pfeffer

“The history of Panama was very intriguing and was not something I had learned in any previous history courses.  From the being conquered by the Spaniards, to the French coming over to build the Canal, to the Americans taking over the Canal Building in 1904, Panama has had various cultural influences and has found a way to take the good pieces of these cultures and incorporate it into the larger culture.”
–Jordan Ringham

“It’s an honor to have shared this intercultural experience with a great group of students. Not only have I learned more about myself, I’ve learned about Panama’s thrilling history, their people and their culture. However, the most precious thing I’ve gained is hopefully the everlasting friendships I’ve made on this trip.”
–Kelcey Robinson

“I cannot express how grateful I am to have been given the opportunity to study abroad. Given the fact that I am the first football player from the University of Louisville to study abroad should give you a good indicator as to the future we hope to achieve with athletics and academics. Since high school, it was something I’ve always wanted to do but felt that it would conflict with athletics but somehow I was able to find a way around it.”
–Pedro Sibiea

“Without the resources provided from the University of Louisville, I would never have acquired an appreciation and understanding of compassion, cultural awareness, and the rich Spanish language. While I have travelled to my fair share of countries, I can safely say that this study abroad experience is one that I will forever cherish. Thank you so much for helping me grow as a student, but more importantly—as an individual.”
–Ayesha Singh

“One of the great things about this trip is that we learn about the excursions in class and the same day or next day we are able to go can actually see what it is like. For instance, in class we learned about some of the indigenous tribes that exist within Panama and the next day we were able to visit the Embera Tribe.”
–Donté Smith

“As a communication graduate student, I also had the benefit of observing and experiencing interactions in an intercultural context and evaluate them with a cross cultural mindset.  This will help me in the future as I will have a more relevant understanding of the similarities and differences that potentially exist between people of different cultural backgrounds.”
–Bethany Stopher

“As a student in the 321 Spanish conversation class of Dr. T. Edison, I had a chance to practice speaking like never before.  I had never actually used the subjunctive in conversation and here is where I got that experience.  Through activities which included the textbook exercises, the class covered the required materials and through activities such as developing a telenovela, making oral presentations before the class and through guided speaking practices, the ability to talk using more than one or two short sentences expanded to actually talking in paragraphs.  This was my primary reason for coming to Panama and this is what I got - mission accomplished.”
–Lillian Stratmon

“The opportunity to study abroad was one of the main reasons that I chose to transfer to the University of Louisville last semester. I had previously been attending a small school in rural Illinois and was disappointed in the lack of chances I had to be able to study abroad. I wanted so badly to study and explore in a country that spoke a different language. Then, I found UofL, and the LALS program, and everything fell into place. I transferred and applied to study abroad in Panama immediately.”
–Tavi Wallace

“Reflecting on my time in Panama, I realize that it has been one of the most memorable experiences I’ve had to date. Not only did I acquire a greater love for travel, adventure, and fun, I was given a deeper cultural understanding of the world we live in and how we are all connected.”
-Jud Adams

“While studying in Panama, I have been exposed to so many cultural differences and people that I have even changed my perspective on many things in life. One thing that has changed is my individualistic idea. In Panama you will find that this country has a collectivist society in which everyone does what will benefit the group over all. I am used to an individualistic society that focuses on each individual benefiting themselves regardless of who is left behind. I am more open to the idea of working with others as opposed to figuring out life completely on my own.”
-Mycala Baker

“Besides the crazy rain and humidity, Panamá is definitely a location I have grown to love. I can hardly wait until I am able to return for a 3rd time!”
-Lauren Benz

“Since I’ve been here, I have been able to speak Spanish more, which is something I am not able to do in the U.S. Being in a culture where we are forced to speak the language has really helped improve my speaking skills. I am currently pursuing a degree in Spanish Education so the language skills I have acquired here will be beneficial for my future career.”
-Hayley Brown

“My courses-Panamanian Culture and Intercultural Communications- have helped me to expand my world knowledge, as well as successfully interact with others of different cultures. In my Panamanian Culture class, I was able to learn the history of Panama, the provinces, indigenous tribes, Afro-Panamanians, cultural and social norms, and so much more. In my intercultural communications course, I was able to acquire the skills necessary to have effective conversations with people who may live differently than me. I learned that it’s important to be open to learning about and cooperating with another culture if you want to be successful.”
-Raven Byars

“My favorite part of the trip was when we went to the indigenous village. Seeing people who live without technology and use the rainforest to gather resources was unlike anything I have ever experienced. I have a newfound respect for the indigenous groups around the world because their lives seem quite peaceful.”
–David Cissell

“The culture and the people here are both amazing. Every person that I have encountered was willing to take me under their wing and spend time with me to help me learn more and more each day. Not only was I able to make friends, I was able to make lifelong friends in a different country. Spending classes with Panamanians was an amazing opportunity I will never take for granted.”
–Jourdan Farris

“The staff, the activities and the professors were amazing as well. We went to an indigenous tribe, the presidential palace, and orphanage. We went to places and met people very different to us and we can now understand so much better the way other people think or act.”
–Mishael Garcia-Reyes

“The excursions added to the value of the classes. Each trip was informative and gave us more content and personal experiences that could not happen in a classroom. It was obvious that a lot of work went into planning each and every event. As a nontraditional student, the staff went above and beyond to make sure I had experiences that suited my particular needs. As a University of Louisville staff member, it was a priceless opportunity for me to meet and share best practices with the faculty and staff at this University.”
–Jeanne Guerrero

“This whole experience has reaffirmed my reasons to continue my education in pursuing the Spanish language, as well as inspired me to explore other places in the future. The world is so much bigger than Louisville, Kentucky. I have not even scratched the surface yet.”
–Savannah Guerrero

“Panama has been very good to me. I made a few very close friends that I will never forget and surely will come back to visit. These friends helped to show me the city, and were so kind and generous to me and my classmates. They took us to the best restaurants in town, letting us experience great food from Panama. They took us to different places to shop so that we could buy souvenirs for ourselves and our families. All of my Panamanian classmates were so kind to me that I am very sad to leave them.”
–Max Haddad

“Studying abroad in a country where the language isn’t English, it was a great opportunity to learn a new language. I was immersed in a culture where I was forced to at least memorize some conversation starters. It was great. Seeing and hearing the language on a daily basis is the best way to learn a new language. I was exposed to slang and nuances in the language that I wouldn’t have learned in any foreign language courses I’ve taken.”
–Davelle Heath

“The trip to Portobello, Casco Viejo, and Viejo Panama were great to see in person because it was history in front of my eyes. With the natural ancient beauty of Panama Viejo and the beautiful colonial-style architecture of Casco Viejo, each place holds a piece of history ready to be shared.”
–Joshua Lawson

“Personally, I have always wanted to travel speak Spanish language abroad. As an avid language learner, this was one the most exciting and intriguing experiences of my life. I finally got to use my language skills in a Spanish speaking environment, and it was thrilling. I got to speak Spanish with all kinds of people too! Latin Americans from all over central and South America live in Panama; I even used the language with a group of indigenous people!”
–Thomas Lawrence


“My study abroad trip to Panama has been one of the most enriching and rewarding experiences of my college career thus far.  I have been exposed to an entirely new culture that is very different from my own.  I have been forced outside of my comfort zone, and for that I am extremely grateful.”
–Allison Mayes

“From an early age, I have known that language, and its uses to express ideas and emotions, was my greatest passion… Spanish was the driving force behind my primary decision to apply for this program and without it I would not have been able to grow so tremendously, both mentally and spiritually, over the past few weeks.”
–Tyler Mercer

“I feel like I really gained a lot coming on this trip and all the wonderful experiences I had I will never forget. I also really enjoyed the Panamanian culture class; I loved everything about the class from the food to the Pollera and everything in between.”
–Alieshia Nunnally

“It has been my dream since high school to study abroad, but I thought it could never happen after hearing how difficult it is to take a semester off of nursing school. When I heard about this trip, I knew it was perfect for me. Since it was in the summer it did not put me behind in my nursing curriculum, and I always wanted to travel to a Spanish-speaking country.”
–Vanessa Pfeffer

“The history of Panama was very intriguing and was not something I had learned in any previous history courses.  From the being conquered by the Spaniards, to the French coming over to build the Canal, to the Americans taking over the Canal Building in 1904, Panama has had various cultural influences and has found a way to take the good pieces of these cultures and incorporate it into the larger culture.”
–Jordan Ringham

“It’s an honor to have shared this intercultural experience with a great group of students. Not only have I learned more about myself, I’ve learned about Panama’s thrilling history, their people and their culture. However, the most precious thing I’ve gained is hopefully the everlasting friendships I’ve made on this trip.”
–Kelcey Robinson

“I cannot express how grateful I am to have been given the opportunity to study abroad. Given the fact that I am the first football player from the University of Louisville to study abroad should give you a good indicator as to the future we hope to achieve with athletics and academics. Since high school, it was something I’ve always wanted to do but felt that it would conflict with athletics but somehow I was able to find a way around it.”
–Pedro Sibiea

“Without the resources provided from the University of Louisville, I would never have acquired an appreciation and understanding of compassion, cultural awareness, and the rich Spanish language. While I have travelled to my fair share of countries, I can safely say that this study abroad experience is one that I will forever cherish. Thank you so much for helping me grow as a student, but more importantly—as an individual.”
–Ayesha Singh

“One of the great things about this trip is that we learn about the excursions in class and the same day or next day we are able to go can actually see what it is like. For instance, in class we learned about some of the indigenous tribes that exist within Panama and the next day we were able to visit the Embera Tribe.”
–Donté Smith

“As a communication graduate student, I also had the benefit of observing and experiencing interactions in an intercultural context and evaluate them with a cross cultural mindset.  This will help me in the future as I will have a more relevant understanding of the similarities and differences that potentially exist between people of different cultural backgrounds.”
–Bethany Stopher

“As a student in the 321 Spanish conversation class of Dr. T. Edison, I had a chance to practice speaking like never before.  I had never actually used the subjunctive in conversation and here is where I got that experience.  Through activities which included the textbook exercises, the class covered the required materials and through activities such as developing a telenovela, making oral presentations before the class and through guided speaking practices, the ability to talk using more than one or two short sentences expanded to actually talking in paragraphs.  This was my primary reason for coming to Panama and this is what I got - mission accomplished.”
–Lillian Stratmon

“The opportunity to study abroad was one of the main reasons that I chose to transfer to the University of Louisville last semester. I had previously been attending a small school in rural Illinois and was disappointed in the lack of chances I had to be able to study abroad. I wanted so badly to study and explore in a country that spoke a different language. Then, I found UofL, and the LALS program, and everything fell into place. I transferred and applied to study abroad in Panama immediately.”
–Tavi Wallace