JumpstartTU - The University of Tulsa
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What is JumpstartTU?

JumpstartTU is a one-week international experience integrated with your First-Year Experience course (FYE-1001) designed to serve as an introduction to TU’s academic and campus life through a transformative, intensive experience in Panama, Mexico, or Germany.

First-year students enrolled at TU experience JumpstartTU in July or June prior to beginning their first semester of college. Core values of JumpstartTU include:

  • Building curiosity and excitement about entering college.
  • Focus on learner-centered education through engagement with our local partner organizations.
  • Emphasis on team collaboration and interdisciplinary discovery, and
  • Help students engage with local communities to discover similarities and differences from our own.

JumpstartTU exposes students to the importance of collaborating with a multitude of experts to learn global issues, unique biodiversities, global trade, world consumption, the culture of indigenous people, and much more.

What is JumpStart TU?


New Destination: Siegen, Germany

Get ready to embark on a one-week international adventure with the unique opportunity to explore the rich cultural tapestry of Germany and immerse yourself in its diverse landscapes, history, and traditions.

During your week in Germany, you’ll dive headfirst into a dynamic academic and cultural program that showcases the university’s commitment to global learning. Engage with inspiring faculty, connect with fellow students, and local global experts, forging lifelong friendships and valuable networks that transcend borders.

Spots in each program location are limited, so start your registration ASAP to secure your spot in your preferred JumpstartTU section!

Program Dates

  • Panama – July 5-12, 2024
  • Mexico – July 12-19, 2024
  • Germany – June 20-28, 2024


TBA | Need-based travel grants are available (from $500-$2,250)

Includes airfare from Tulsa or a hub city (such as Dallas, Houston or Atlanta), accommodations, local transportation, all entrance fees and activities, three-day field experiences with the Panamanian, Mexican or German partners, some meals, local guides, travel insurance. Students will be accompanied by TU staff, faculty, and peer mentors.

Mexico: $2,500

Panama: $3,500

Germany: $4,900

Applications are now closed. If you are interested in JumpstartTU please contact jumpstartTU@utulsa.edu.


Deadlines and Contact Info

Rolling Admission deadline for Panama Program: May 1st

Payment Due: May 5, 2024

The Mexico and Germany programs for 2024 are currently closed.


Questions? global@utulsa.edu or 918-631-2329

  • JumpstartTU FAQ

    What is Jumpstart TU?

    JumpstartTU 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-April. Students will be expected to complete some readings and exercises that will prepare them for the week long experience in Panama, Mexico, or Germany. The application process provides information on the process, deadlines, and the scholarships available.

    The application deadline is April 1. Students will be notified of their status April 15th, 2024. Students have until May 5 to commit to the program after acceptance. JumpstartTU operates on a first-come, first-served basis, meaning that the earlier students apply, the greater their chances of securing their preferred location and of receiving a travel grant. Once a location’s capacity has been hit, students will be waitlisted or invited to participate in one of the other locations.

    Are there travel grants?

    Yes. Need-based travel grants are available. High need and first-generation college students are encouraged to apply. Instructions on how to request travel grants are included in the application process.

    Who is directing the program?

    This program is organized by the Center for Global Engagement. The CGE team is experienced in student services and university life and are in contact with our partners in all locations. There will be TU representatives with the students throughout the entire program.

    How will the students get to the U.S. departure site?

    TU staff will work with each student to make sure the details are in place. We are currently in the process of making airline reservations and depending upon the demographics of the Jumpstart students, we may have multiple departure cities. Students will be responsible for travel to the designated departure site. Jumpstart students will be accompanied by TU faculty and staff on site. More details will be included with registration.

    Do students need to have a passport?

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

    What is included in the program?

    The Program is designed to be a complete package, meaning students will be provided flights from Tulsa to San Luis Potosí, Panama City, or Siegen and back and transportation between the airport and the hotel. Transportation is provided throughout the week guided by our local experts and TU faculty/staff. All entrance fees are taken care of and the three-day field experience is guided by our local experts. Students should be prepared for $30-50 U.S. dollars per day for meals. Breakfasts are included as well as three dinners and a closing banquet.

    Can current TU students apply for JumpstartTU?

    JumpstartTU is tailored specifically for incoming freshmen, so other students are not allowed to go as participants. However, there are opportunities to go as a Global Engagement Mentor. A Global Engagement Mentor (GEM) is responsible for acting as a student leader, mentor, and liaison during the trip. If you are a leader at TU and interested in this opportunity, visit the Center for Global Engagement website for more information.

  • JumpstartTU Panama

    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. Students and TU staff will stay at the Holiday Inn, Panama Canal at the City for Knowledge.

    Who are our Panamanian partners?

    JumpstartTU has a number of local partners that we have worked together for many years. Here are some of them:

    • Voces Vitales
    • Luna Llena de Tambores
    • Geoversity
    • Urban Farms Global

    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.

    Do students need any vaccines?

    Please consult your healthcare provider to determine whether or not you need 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 Colombia, for example.

  • JumpstartTU Mexico

    Where do students stay?

    Students and staff will be staying at a hotel in the historical center of San Luis Potosí, a 40-block well-conserved area that was declared a World Heritage site by the United Nations in 2018. It is a beautiful district full of Spanish colonial architecture and verdant parks.

    Who are our Mexican partners?

    The JumpstartTU program in Mexico originated from the Sister City relationship between Tulsa and San Luis Potosí. This relationship was itself set up by former TU students! Now, TU has an exchange agreement with our partner university in San Luis Potosí. We have a number of local partners there, some of whom have longstanding relationships with Tulsa. Here are a few of them:

    • Universidad Autónoma de San Luis Potosí
    • Instituto Temazcalli
    • Espartec Manufacturing

    What is San Luis Potosí like?

    San Luis Potosí is a medium-sized city of about two million inhabitants. It is located eight hours south of the US border and five hours north of Mexico City (driving time), just south of the Tropic of Cancer. Founded by the Spaniards as a mining town, it has grown in industrial importance due to its strategic location in the middle of the country’s three largest metropolitan areas: Mexico City, Guadalajara, and Monterrey. San Luis Potosí is the capital of the state of the same name, located between the state’s northern desert and eastern rainforest regions.

    Do students need any vaccines?

    Please consult your healthcare provider to determine whether you need to have any vaccines. The itinerary is set to include a journey to the Huasteca area of eastern San Luis Potosí state, a region of dense tropical vegetation, rivers, and waterfalls.

  • JumpstartTU Germany

    Where do students stay?

    Students will spend the week in the city of Siegen, a small university town situated in North Rhine-Westphalia, about 52 miles (83km) from Frankfurt. Students will stay near the University of Siegen Campus in a local hotel with TU staff and Faculty. Students will also visit some neighboring towns such as Bonn and Cologne.

    Who are our German partners?

    The University of Tulsa is proud to partner with the University of Siegen, a medium sized research university in South Westphalia. The JumpstartTU program in Germany started from our longstanding exchange partnership with the University.

    Check out their website for more information:

    What is Siegen like?

    Siegen is a small German city home to various historical palaces, churches, and museums. The Oberes Schloss and Unteres Schloss are two of the more notable sites in the town as around 80% of the town was destroyed during WWII. Siegen is also labeled the greenest Germany city with 60% of the land being wooded. Students will be able to enjoy both the more natural scenes in Siegen as well as the city life.

    Do students need any vaccines?

    Please consult your healthcare provider to determine whether you need to have any vaccines.