Interdisciplinary & Global Studies Division

Panama City, Panama B2012

Term – B 2012

Project Opportunities – MQP (EV, CEE)

Housing – Apartments or apartment-style villas

Director – Professor Tahar El-Korchi

Preparation – 1/6 unit PQP in A 2012

Application Deadline – November 3, 2011 (before 1:00 p.m.)




The Republic of Panama is situated at the heart of the American continent. Panama forms a link between Central and South America, constituting an isthmus 80 km wide at its narrowest point. The country has over 3 million residents, with one-third living in the capital, Panama City. World-famous for the engineering marvel of the Panama Canal, today Panama City is the most cosmopolitan capital in Central America. The city has seen significant growth and is known for international shipping and banking, transportation, insurance, warehousing, and sales. The combination of colonial ruins, modern high-rise office buildings, luxury homes, and squatters’ slums reflects the blend of cultures, eras, and economic levels that are found in the city. Panama City has numerous tourist attractions, including Panamá la Vieja (the ruins of the original city), Casco Viejo (the Old Quarter), museums and national parks. The country has a tropical maritime climate, with an average daily high temperature of 30°C (87°F).



Projects will be completed in the Environmental and Civil Engineering areas. Sponsors will include various government and private organizations in Panama City. For example, the Autoridad del Canal de Panama may have opportunities linked to the Panama Canal Expansion Program, an 8-year multi-billion dollar project to deepen the canal entrances, deepen and widen the channels, and install water saving basins at the locks. Other environmental projects may be coordinated through SENACYT, the national organization for Science, Technology and Innovation. These may include environmental clean up on Coiba Island, among others. In the civil engineering area, projects in transportation, construction and infrastructure development may be available through Constructora Urbana (CUSA), a leader in the construction industry in Panama. It has been predicted that Panama will be the fastest growing economy in Latin America in the five-year period from 2010–2014.



Estimated Out-of-Pocket Expenses*


NOTE: In calculating the extra expense to participate in an off-campus project experience compare this figure to expenses incurred while living on campus: groceries or meal plan, entertainment expenses, transportation, etc.

Travel to site (RT airfare)

$    600

Local Transportation, airport to residence

$      50

Project related transportation

$    100


$    400

Dining out

$    250

Weekend tourist activities & incidentals

$    800

Estimated total out-of-pocket expenses

$ 2,200

Expenses included on your WPI bill*

Housing and program expenses

$  1,900

Dependent on the number of students sharing an apartment or villa.

Estimated Total expenses

$  4,100

Tuition and on-campus housing not included

* Subject to change due to fluctuations in the exchange rate.









 Related Links
  • Going Global @WPI 


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Last modified: August 30, 2012 11:10:42