university of tulsa logo


Presidential Leaders Fellowship Class Photo

Jumpstart TU Abroad is a short term intensive experience designed to prepare new TU students for the challenges and opportunities that distinguishes a TU education. Jumpstart TU, an introduction to study abroad is designed for the incoming TU student in order to:

• Build curiosity and excitement about university studies,
• Expose entry-level students to global issues in context,
• Expand their lens on the world and other cultures,
• View themselves as players rather than observers,
• And encourage study abroad while at TU.

JumpstartTU Abroad is a one-week experience that blends learning about another country and culture with field experience with local NGOs and intergovernmental agencies in order to discover global issues in an international context. Summer 2019, up to 150 incoming first year students will be selected to participate in JumpstartTU in Panama. Specific costs and details will be made available at time of application.

Date: Two JumpstartTU Sessions will be offered. Each camp will have 150 participating students:

  • June 14-21, 2019 (75 students)
  • July 5-13 (75 students)

You will need the email address and password you used for your TU application to access the JumpstartTU application. If you forgot your password, use the prompts on the login page to create a new one.


Application Deadline: May 1, 2019

Location: Panama – check back for full itinerary in February

Costs: $500

Total cost:  Cost includes program fee including airfare, accommodations, in-country travel, entrance fees, 3 days field experience with NGO or inter-governmental agency, and some meals.


Panama is the epicenter of the Americas serving as a connecting point between North and South America. The City of Knowledge Foundation is a non-profit city housing over 180 NGOs and intergovernmental agencies conducting research on sustainability pertaining to the environment, economics, policy, education, and women rights and social justice. Located on the former U.S. base for the Canal, the City of Knowledge is a full-service campus designed for student groups. JumpstartTU will expose students to the importance of research on global issues, the unique Biodiversity characteristics of Panama, global trade and world consumption, and the culture of indigenous people and their contributions to Panama. Examples of experiences include a 3-day intensive field experience with TU’s partners, a site visit to Embera Village home to one of five indigenous people, walking tours of the world’s most researched rain forest, sightseeing of natural wildlife in Panama’s variety of national parks and experiences in Casco Viejo & the Historic Panama Canal including the recent expansion.

Jumpstart TU FAQs

What is Jumpstart TU?

Jumpstart TU is a week long program designed to prepare students for university life prior to beginning their first year as a college student. The University of Tulsa is committed to providing the necessary preparation and skills for incoming students and national research shows that students who are connected with peers, faculty and staff prior to beginning college are significantly more successful in transitioning to college.

How does it work?

Students selected to participate in JumpstartTU will receive detailed information regarding the program by Mid-May. Students will be expected to complete some readings and exercises that will prepare them for the week long experience in Panama. The application process provides information on the process, deadlines, and the scholarship application process. The application deadline is May 5, 2019.

Are there scholarships?

Yes. Students who are want to participate on the program should apply. Instructions on how to request scholarships are included in the application process.

Who is directing the program?

The Vice Provost for Global Education along with a team of 5 staff/faculty are leading Jumpstart. The team TU are experienced in student services and university life and are well-versed in Panama and the partners that we will utilize throughout the experience. There will be TU representatives with the students throughout the program.

Where do students stay?

The City of Knowledge is a foundation located on what was previously the U.S. base when the United States operated the Panama Canal ( It is a full scale campus with new residence halls with 24/7 emergency information, local markets, an open air pavilion and other amenities. The Residence Halls are conveniently situated; the open air pavilion for dining is less than 2 blocks away ( The Faculty/Staff reside on the campus too so students have 24/7 access. More details on amenities (wi-fi is included, for example) will be provided.

Who are our Panamanian Partners?

JumpstartTU will be partnering with 2 organizations at the City of Knowledge:

CATHALAC and Voces Vitales.  Our third Partner, MUCEC is located in the historic city of Colon.  Information on partners is available through the following links:

  • Voces VItales:
  • MUCEC:


What is included in the program?

The Program is designed to be a guided package meaning students will be provided transportation from the airport to residence hall check-in upon arrival to Panama. Transportation is provided throughout the week guided by our local experts and TU faculty/staff. All entrance fees are taken care of and the 3 day field experience is guided by our local experts. Students should be prepared for $30 U.S. dollars per day for meals. Some meals are included including 3 dinners and a closing banquet.


What is Panama like?

Panama is one of the most biodiverse countries in the world. Being the major trade hub with the Panama Canal, companies from across the globe trade through Panama. In the heart of the rainforest, Panama is a humid and tropical, yet a beautiful country surrounded by the Pacific to the south and the Atlantic to the North. Because of the U.S. control of the Canal until 1999, Panama utilizes U.S. Currency and there is just one-hour difference in time. And yet it is culturally rich making it a wonderful location particularly for individuals experiencing another country for the first time.


How does my student get to Panama?

TU staff will work with each student to make sure the details are in place. We are currently in the process of airline reservations and depending upon the demographics of the Jumpstart students, we may have two departure cities—Dallas/Fort Worth and Houston. Jumpstart students will be accompanied by TU faculty/staff. More details will be included with registration.


Does my student need a passport?

Yes.  Passports can take 6 to 8 weeks so it is recommended if your student does not have a current passport that they begin the process now.  The passport is good for 10 years so it is well worth the investment whether or not your students goes to Panama.  You can get an expedited passport in approximately 2 weeks, however, it is more expensive.  Most countries require a passport have at least six months left prior to expiration.  If your student’s passport will expire within six months, we recommend you have it renewed now.


Does my student need vaccines?

Please consult your healthcare provider to determine whether or not you want your student to have any vaccines.  For your information, we do have walks in the rainforest and national parks in the Panama City area.  We do not travel deep into the jungles near Columbia, for example.