Panama also known as “the place of many fish” is a tropical paradise with beaches, rainforests and exotic animals, birds and and sea life of unparalleled beauty.  Sometimes called the “Eighth Wonder of the World,” the Panama Canal connects the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans and transformed this country into an international trade hub.

Academics play a major role in teen life here, with study groups a common after-school gathering. On weekends, groups of friends to go to the movies, play sports (baseball, soccer and basketball are favorites), dance and attend regional festivals.

#Pollera ?

A photo posted by Jassi 🙂 (@jasfisch) on

People & Community

You will probably live in a small town or rural area in Panama. Your host family will want to know your whereabouts, so check in with your host parents before make decisions. Also, like your host siblings, don’t forget your household chores. 


You will probably attend a public school and be able to choose your field of study. School runs in two shifts—morning and afternoon, and all students wear school uniforms. Panama has one of the highest literacy rates in the region (97%).

Las quiero mucho ❤ #nadamasquedecir

A photo posted by Jassi 🙂 (@jasfisch) on

#booklininpanama #afs55 #afspanama

A photo posted by Book Adisorn (@bookadisorn) on


The primary language in Panama is Spanish, and many people speak English as well. A basic knowledge of English will be helpful.


Panamanian food is varied and delicious. Rice is the staple of the diet and is eaten twice a day. Meals include meat, beans, platanos (a type of starchy banana) and vegetables like tomatoes, carrots and cabbage. Don’t forget to taste the chichas, sweet cold fruit drinks.

Fresh is best ?? #fresh #fish #pineapple #tuna #freshtuna #tagforlikes #healthyfood

A photo posted by Luven Bandermann (@raven.08) on

Let AFS guide your intercultural adventure

Go abroad with AFS to discover who you really are, make new lifetime friendships and immerse yourself in a fascinating intercultural experience.

Our learning program will prepare you for an amazing AFS intercultural experience. The program begins at your home country with a pre-departure orientation and continues with orientations and other supported learning activities and facilitated conversations will help you maximize your experience, cope the challenges of navigating a new culture and community and gain knowledge, skills, and a global understanding, throughout your time abroad, and as you return to you home country. AFS volunteers will be there to support and guide you and your host family through your learning journey abroad.


The Global Competence Certificate (GCC) program will support your intercultural learning experience. This state-of-the-art program prepares you to successfully navigate new cultural environments—during your AFSNext experience and long after you finish the program. Online intercultural learning modules combined with in-person sessions help you develop practical and global skills, knowledge and attitudes that employers need and mission-driven organizations believe will help achieve their social impact goals. You will receive your certification upon completion of the training program.