Student Life

No Hurricanes • Well Developed Infrastructure • Currency – U.S. Dollar • Modernized Facilities and Surroundings • Beautiful Beaches in Tropical Panama • Safe Surroundings
Here at Columbus University we understand that students need a place to call their own. We are proud to offer students a space where they can work together, exchange ideas, and develop a student community. At the Student Office, students are encouraged to voice their concerns and questions amongst their peers. Each class will have the option of nominating and electing a fellow student to act as a representative for that class. The elected representative will work directly with the faculty and administration. Acting as student liaison to the administration, the class representative will address any questions or concerns pertaining to his or her particular class. The administration is devoted to properly addressing and resolving these concerns within a 24-hour period.

The Student Office is open Monday – Friday, 8:00AM – 5PM.

Books and course materials
The average cost of books is around $600.00 per semester.  In Panama, specialist medical texts are best ordered through an online book seller, like our online bookstore, and delivered to an air facility in USA for quick delivery to Panama.

Currency
Panama uses the US Dollar as its official currency.

Climate
Panama, located between Central and South America at 8.5 degrees latitude has a tropical climate with weather conditions vary depending upon elevation, location and season. Temperatures are around 80-90 degrees Fahrenheit (approximately 25-30 degrees Celsius) and humidity is always high. There are only two seasons, the “dry season” from November to April and the “rainy season” from May through October.

Drinking water
The water is of good quality and is potable throughout the country with the exceptions of San Blas and Bocas del Toro.

Electricity
Electricity is 120V / 60 Hz. US electrical items can be used without adapters.

Food
There are wide variety of fast food restaurants that are similar to the United States, as well as many specialty restaurants within walking distance of the campus.

Health Insurance
A student health insurance plan is available for students of Columbus University College of Medicine while they are in Panama and or the United States. There are many hospitals in panama that are similar to the United States such as the Johns Hopkins International. All students are required to show proof of insurance coverage.

Immigration
This is a onetime deposit for your student visa, will assist with the immigration process. Please contact our office for further information.

Language
Spanish is the official language. English is widely spoken.

Money, banking and currency
While referred to as the Balboa, the currency of Panama is the US dollar. US coins are used along with Panamanian coins and look exactly like American coins except for the imprint. Credit cards are accepted at hotels, major stores, and most restaurants in Panama City. Outside Panama City, cash will be necessary. Using your debit card and PIN, you can withdraw funds from an international bank account in Panama City at the ATM machines that have “Cirrus” or “Plus” sign on them.

Orientation
Here about academic policies, student activities and health and support services that are offered by the University. Expectations regarding professional behavior are discussed and medical ethics are introduced. Students will meet the dean and the administrator of the institution. In, addition, students will learn about the history and variety of foods of Panama. An additional orientation for spouses, significant others, parents and family members are also offered.

Post and letters
The quickest and most reliable way to receive your mail and letters from home is to sign up for an air facility service. Columbus University staff use Air Facility Panama, located in Via Brasil (264-0785). There is no charge to apply for a mail box, but you will need to pay postage fees when you receive mail or letters. Fees depend on the size and weight of your mail.

Religious Services
Most religious denominations are represented in Panama.

Road safety
In Panama, we drive on the right side of the road.

Safety, security and carrying your ID
Panama is a large, modern city. Like all big cities, however, there are suburbs that are best avoided. During your orientation week, you will be briefed on which area will give you the most pleasant and safe experience of living in Panama City.

Please also note that it is a legal requirement of all citizens, residents and visitors of Panama that official identification is carried at all times. For Panamanian citizens, this means carrying a cedula, or national identity card. For residents and visitors, please carry your passport at all times and ensure you have colour copies in safe places at your accommodation.

Student Housing
Average cost of living per month varies from student to student.
At present time we are negotiating with different owners to make it more affordable for our students.
Obtaining roommates, conserving their utilities, cooking at home, and budgeting for daily, semester, and future expenses will enable students of Columbus University College of Medicine in panama to remain fiscally responsible while attending school.

Telephone communication
Panama has the most advanced private telecommunications systems in Latin America. It is inexpensive and convenient; direct-dial calls can be made to any country in the world.

Time zone
Panama is on Eastern Standard Time (EST). No day light savings is observed.

Transportation
The average cost of transportation will vary depending on the quality of what the student is willing to invest in, renting or using the public transportation. The public transportation is similar to the United States, many buses and taxis.

Travel to Panama
There are many direct flights to Panama from the United States and Europe.

This post is also available in: Spanish