Wilkes University Panamanian Partnership

Wilkes in Panama

Wilkes University extended its international reach in 2016 by becoming a host university for the MEDUCA-Bilingual Panama Program. Wilkes joined a select group of only 13 schools in the United States to participate in this international outreach program.

The Panamanian partnership has featured exciting opportunities, including a campus visit by Marcela Paredes de Vásquez, Panama’s minister of education, and participation by a Wilkes delegation at the Feria Del Libro Panama 2016, for which Wilkes was the exclusive American university sponsor.

Wilkes University/IFARHU Program • December 2017

The first group of students sponsored by Panama’s Institute for Training and Development of Human Resources (IFARHU) completed the Wilkes University/IFARHU Program in December 2017. The program prepares students for academic course work in the United States.

IFARHU Students

The students are: kneeling from left, Severiano Mora Sáez, Miguel Concepción González, Oscar Dominguez Pascual, Marcos Ríos Barría, José De Gracia Mojica; front row standing from left, Yuleisy Villarreal Álvarez, Marisol Alveo, Juana Pimentel González, Ana Rivera Sánchez, Keysi Gallardo Degracia, Zuleika Vergara Cedeño, Ana Frías Frías, Wilmer Dogirama Menguisama; back row standing from left, Francisco Hernández Concepción, Elbin Rivera Ceballos, Salineth Sánchez Sutherland.

At the heart of the Panamanian partnership are the ongoing initiatives which allow Wilkes and Panama to share in each other’s language, culture and people. These include:

This program brings public school teachers from Panama to Wilkes for an immersive experience in English language and American culture. Part of an initiative of Panamanian President Juan Carlos Varela, the program aims to fulfill Panama’s national commitment to make the country’s public schools fully bilingual. 

Funded by the Panamanian education agency, IFARHU, this program allows high-achieving undergraduate students to travel from Panama to Wilkes to participate in Wilkes’ nationally accredited Intensive English Program and then pursue bachelor’s degrees.

 Under an agreement signed by Wilkes President Patrick F. Leahy and Isabel Saint Malo de Alvarado, Panama’s vice president and minister of foreign affairs, Wilkes will provide educational opportunities to Panama’s professionals doing diplomatic work in the Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores, the country’s equivalent to the U.S. Department of State. The English for Specific Purpose Program with a Concentration in International Relations will be delivered in Panama to 60 MIRE staff members for a full year.


Wilkes has signed agreements with four of Panama’s universities for academic collaboration, study abroad, faculty exchanges and joint research. The universities are:

  • Universidad de Panamá
  • Universidad Technológica de Panamá
  • Universidad Especializada de las Américas
  • Universidad Latina

For more information on Wilkes University’s Panama initiative, contact:
Rosi Ponce
Executive Director of International Engagement