? asked in TravelLatin AmericaPanama · 1 decade ago

Studying Aboard In The Republic of Panama This Fall Need Information Or GREAT websites with info on Panama!!?

As stated above I will studying aboard in the Republic of Panama this Fall and I would like a bit of information. I would PREFER FIRST HAND ANSWERS & INFORMATION, due to the fact that I have already visiting numerous websites. I will be staying in the city of Knowledge.

Information needed: -> -> Cost of food (typical food and fast food)? -> -> Cost of clothing (such as shirts, jeans, shorts)? -> -> I have been told that police can stop you and demand money, so how are the people/government/ and police? -> -> How do the citizens dress? Shorts, jeans what -> -> Is there a time difference? -> -> Are African Americans treated negatively?


And I am aware that their funds are equal to ours but their standard of living is cheaper.


2 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    1. Livng in Panama City, you will have a variety of food options. In you choose the fast-food route, expect to pay about the same or more that you pay in the States. You will find great food and great prices at local restaurants ($3-$6). A lot of guide books say not to eat street vendor food.

    2. Like food, there are a lot of options in terms of buying clothes. The Allbrook mall will have everything you're looking for, whether it's $5 shirts or $40 jeans.

    3. Throughout my stay in Panama, I never had any problems with the police, nor did I see any foreigner have any problems. I was advised to carry my passport on me everywhere I went just in case the police asked for it. To make things easier and safer, I made a Xerox copy of my passport and my tourist visa just so I would have something to show the police if I needed to.

    The people are wonderful. They will be patient with you if you're struggling with your Spanish, offer directions or advice, and generally help you if you need it.

    4. The dress varies depending on where you are. If you're cruising around the city, wear something comfortable. However, you must wear covered shoes and more formal clothing if you go into a bank or government building.

    Panamanians wear jeans, polos, shirts, hoodies, tennis shoes, heels --- pretty much everything that we wear in the States.

    5. Their time zone: UTC/GMT -5 hours

    6. I can't speak from experience, but I would say that African Americans are NOT treated negatively. In fact, you might be surprised by the amount of Panamanians with African heritage. The word they use for a black man is "chombo" (feminine:"chomba") and don't be offended by this. It's not deroggatory.

    * When you arrive at the international airport, expect to pay anywhere from $20-$27 for a taxi to Panama City.

    *Do not say "Adios" for "bye." Instead, use "ciao." Saying "adios" means that you are never going to see that person again.

    *Take advantage of the great bus system. You can go to Costa Rica for $50 roundtrip from Panama City. The ride is something like 17 hours long but the views of the Panamanian and Costa Rican countryside never get old. The buses are large and comfortable and you can watch movies. I would even recommend traveling on these buses within the country. You can go David, which is an 8-hour drive from Panama City, for $25 roundtrip. The little town of Boquete, which is about one hour by bus from David, is a lovely little town and is popular with tourists. You can do a zip-line or river rafting adventure there. The bus from David to Boquete will cost $1.40 each way and is about an hour or more long.

    *Traveling by taxi within the city should cost about $5-$7. Of course because you are a foreigner, all the drivers will try to charge you more, and they will, but anything more than $9 is ridiculous.

    Another way to get around is on Panama's famous "diablo rojo." You will see these "flashy" buses all over the city and apparently they are very cheap to ride.

    * I recommend buying a cell phone. You can get one basically anywhere (grocery stores, mall, etc.) and they are really cheap. I bought one for $15 and used it a lot during my five-month stay. The cell phones in Panama are the same as the pay-as-you-go plans in the States. You can buy the cards to refill your minutes virtually everywhere. They cost anywhere from $3-$20+.

    * Enjoy! You have picked a wonderful country to study in!

  • 5 years ago

    I agreed with previous answers about Panama being a better choice. it's not true that there is no culture in Panama. There is not as much as NY or Madrid, but if you are into it, you'll stay busy. Don't be afraid and lots of luck!! T.S. Panama was a province of Colombia over 100 years ago.

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