• Barge traveling up the Panama Canal

    Capstone in Panama

  • Hills with coffee plants at sunset

    Capstone in Panama

  • Course Leader, Chris Schrage, overlooking a section of the canal

    Capstone in Panama

  • Large crane structure at the canal for lifting materials

    Capstone in Panama


Spots still available on the summer 2019 program! Application deadline February 15th, 2019. 

On this program, students will have the exciting opportunity to visit the Panama Canal, an isolated indigenous community, hike through rainforest, learn from coffee and papaya growers, bathe in geothermal pools, and much more! 

Panama is emerging as a leader in business and trade and is one of the newest free trade partners to the United States. In this context, students will gain experience in trade and supply chain in a totally different environment than Iowa and the United States. At the same time, students will learn about rich traditions, cultures, and indigenous peoples in order to better understand the relationship between culture and business. All majors are welcome, and College of Business Administration majors will find the experience particularly enriching. 


Course Leaders

Chris Schrage, Instructor

Department: Marketing
Phone: 319-273-2126
Email: christine.schrage@uni.edu
Campus Address: CBB 5

Chris has traveled extensively with students, including trips to Ghana, China, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Panama. Chris has taught at the program's partner university in Colombia twice and conducted research in Panama since 2006.  Chis is excited to share the unique experiences this program offers with students! 


CAP 3154: Global Skills (3 credits)

To view the course syllabus, click HERE. Note, this is a draft syllabus. Course objectives include the following: 

  • Learn about working in Emerging Markets
  • Understand the importance of the Panama Canal to commerce
  • Assess opportunities with new trade pact partners
  • Adjust to cultural nuances in doing business
  • View unique global value chain situations

Several orientation sessions will be held during the spring semester of 2019. Sessions are tentatively scheduled for 3 - 5 pm on March 1, March 29, April 19, and May 3 as well as 9 am - 12 pm on May 10. Please contact the program's course leader for more information.


  • In order to receive Capstone credit, program participants must have completed 60 credits hours prior to the program's course start date (i.e. be of Junior standing). Students who participate in capstone programs without meeting the credit hour prerequisite will receive elective credit. In this instance, students should consult with their academic advisor(s) regarding how the elective credit fits into their specific plans of study. 
  • Students planning to participate in the spring commencement ceremony in May can enroll in this summer term program, however, their degree will not be conferred until the end of the summer term and is contingent on the successful completion of the program and all required coursework.
  • Students attending colleges and universities other than UNI are welcome to participate in this program. If you are not currently a UNI student, but would like to participate in this program, please contact the UNI Study Abroad Center prior to starting your program application.
  • Capstone courses cannot be repeated. If you have previously taken the program's capstone course, please contact the UNI Study Abroad Center prior to starting your program application.


Tentative Program Dates: Monday, May 13 to Friday, May 24, 2019

Sample itinerary is subject to change.

Day 1: Arrival to Panama City; remainder of the day free

Day 2: Panama City and Canal Tour (Miraflores) Museum

Day 3: Visit Isla Barro Colorado, a man-made island formed when the Chagres River was dammed to form the Panama Canal. The island is managed by the Smithsonian Institute, and its isolated tropical ecosystem is studied by scientists from around the world.

Day 4: Train ride alongside the canal from Pacific to Atlantic and then to MIT Port in Colon 

Day 5: American Chambers of Commerce as well as the offices of Maerks, the largest container ship and supply vessel operator in the world

Day 6: Handcraft projects with the children of the Embera Pura Tribe with overnight stay on-site

Day 7: Visit with the Embera Puru Tribe; return to Panama City

Day 8: Explore the operations of the new Canal and visit the control tower 

Day 9: Visit El Valle, a picturesque town in the crater of one of the world's largest extinct volcanoes. Visit to a papaya farm as well as the homes of local artisans, where you can see them working in preparation for the weekend market. You will also be able to purchase their work.

Day 10: Visits with local businesses

Day 11: Rainforest activities: aerial tram ride and visit to Monkey Island, home to 4 different species of monkeys, toucans, sloths, and other animal species

Day 12: Return to Iowa

Housing & Meals

Students will stay in hotel or hostel-style rooms arranged by the Study Abroad Center and paid for before departure.  Breakfast is included in the program cost as well as 2 other meals. The remaining meals will be paid by students on-site. Students are encouraged to try the local foods.

Program Costs

Capstone in Panama

Estimated Program Cost:


* estimated total cost of participation, actual amount depends on type of housing accommodation selected, actual airfare purchase price, personal spending habits, and other factors

Click Below to View Detailed Budget Sheet:

Cost of studying on-campus*

*per semester, estimated, will vary per person

Tuition & Fees:


Room & Board:




Personal Expenses:






Source: https://admissions.uni.edu/costs

Dates & Deadlines


App Deadline: 
Friday, February 15, 2019
Program Dates: 
Monday, May 13, 2019 to Friday, May 24, 2019

The Study Abroad Center reserves the right to determine participants' eligibility to Study Abroad. Students must meet all of the following in order to be eligible to Study Abroad:

  • Have a cumulative 2.5 GPA or higher at the time of application and maintain this GPA prior to departure and throughout the study abroad process
    • If your cumulative GPA is between 2.40 to 2.49, submit the following to the Study Abroad Center (28 Gilchrist):
      • A letter of reference from your academic advisor supporting your pursuit of study abroad
      • An essay, which should explain why your cumulative GPA is below a 2.50, include how your cumulative GPA is stable or improving, a detailed plan for improving your academic performance a strong academic and/or personal interest in your study abroad location and/or course, and a compelling academic rationale for studying abroad.
  • Must be over the age of 18 years old
  • Must meet the course prerequisites (participation in the program is dependent upon meeting these)
  • Must be in good standing with the University
  • UNI's partner institutions may require additional eligibility requirements to be met, these vary from institution to institution. Please consult with the Study Abroad Center staff to discuss these additional requirements if applicable.
  • Applicants traveling to a region of a country or a country with an overall Travel Advisory Level 3 (Reconsider Travel) or 4 (Do Not Travel) will not be eligible.
  • All study abroad applicants must pass the Study Abroad Applicant Assessment with a score of 70% or greater.
  • Applicants may be selected for an in-person interview before being accepted. Selection for an interview does not guarantee acceptance into the program. You will be contacted directly by the Study Abroad Center if selected for an interview.