Summer School 2020 POSTPONED

ISTHMUS, KARLS Concept and StudyInBali have decided to postpone the Summer School 2020 – Smarter Panama to February 2021 due to the growing concern about the international coronavirus outbreaks.

Study Smart – SMARTer Panama City

Panama City – February 2021



From clear turquoise seas to the coffee farms and cloud forests of Chiriquí, to a humming metropole. Panama can be as chilled out or as thrilling as you wish.

4 Weeks

4 Weeks

With lectures, workshops, excursions, a design project, guest lectures, and social activities, this 4-week program provides an exciting learning process within a short period of time.



5 subjects focus on sustainable urban development, architecture & design, new urban mobility, digitization, climate impacts, and cooperate social responsibility in urban change.

Credit Points

Credit Points

Within this program you can receive up to 12 credit points. All credits are transferable to the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS) and other credit systems.

What’s it all about


The Summer Course “Study Smart” at Isthmus Escuela de Arquitectura y Diseño de América Latina y el Caribeis in Panama City, is a 4-week interdisciplinary program for international students and graduates about architecture, sustainable development, and urban challenges. The course aims to inspire and engage with participants in an intensive daily combination of lectures and discussions, excursions, workshops, cultural visits, and hands-on activities.

How is the course organized?

The 4-week SMARTer Panama Summer School is composed of

    • Lectures in English
    • Excursions
    • Workshops
    • Design projects
    • Social activities
    • Selected cultural events

Who can participate?

The program addresses international students & graduates from the fields of

    • Architecture
    • Landscape Architecture
    • Urban & Regional Planning
    • Civil Engineering
    • Sustainable Management
    • Geography & City Development
    • Graphic Design & Media Design
    • Software Development
    • Economics
    • Marketing / Communication
    • Tourism

Why Summer School in Panama?

With the SMARTer Panama Summer School 2019 you will

    • Work on an exciting group-project focusing on sustainable development and urban challenges.
    • Participate in weekly excursions and workshops, leisure activities, and cultural events.
    • Explore the mega city of Panama as well as its beautiful Caribbean surroundings.
    • Make friends with other participants from around the globe
    • Earn up to 12 credits



Study Smart – SMARTer Panama


Panama City – A journey…

This module focuses on traditional middle American architecture and the function of public spaces with special emphasis on local issues from Panama City. On the one hand, the city is famous for its ultramodern skyline but on the other hand traditional neighbourhoods like the old town are developing while getting renovated.

Digitization of the City

The ongoing digitization process is a call for the future. People wish to be connected and online in their homes, work, and also with their city. We keep talking about “smartness” in urban planning, we talk about Smart Cities and the designated Digital City. The Internet of Things offers new opportunities in living, architecture and living in a city.

Mobility and Transport

As part of the Summer School “Study Smart” 2019 there will be lectures on urban mobility issues and smart sustainable transport solutions. It starts with public transport infrastructure needs, over active mobility planning issues and gives a broad overview over upcoming shared-mobility trends.

People and Environment

Smart City is often associated with technological solutions. There is a danger that Smart Cities do not really meet the needs of its citizens and that the public does not accept the concept. Concepts, plans, and technologies should therefor not only be made for the people but with the people. This module focuses on possibilities of citizen involvement, gives an overview to methods and instruments of participation, and shows examples of different participatory processes.

Student Project

The Student Project is central to the learning strategy within the “Study Smart” summer program. Students from interdisciplinary studies will undertake project work that allows them to integrate learning from the four other modules (Mobility, Participation, Architecture and Public Space, and Digitalization). Designing and presenting a project, with guidance from practising planners and architects, provides the vehicle for demonstrating the students’ understanding of the topics.

You can download the full course program and module description here

Facts & Figures

  • February 2021

    • Registration Deadline 15.12.2020

      Welcoming Dinner: TBA

      Orientation Day: TBA

      Classes: TBA

      Graduation & Farewell : TBA


Lectures & Guest Lectures in English

Excursions, Workshops & Events

Welcome & Farewell Dinner

Help with Application and Preparation

Enrolment & Administration

Contact and Support in Panama


Accommodation on the Campus

3-day Island Trip

Spanish Language Course

Tuition Fee

Stay in Double Bedroom on Campus

Spanish Course

Island Trip


You can book the summer school either with or without accommodations, language course, or island trip.


There are single, double, and triple rooms with all the amenities, which include: private bathroom, air conditioning, hot water, cable tv, telephone, Wi-Fi, balconies with a view to the inner gardens, housekeeping services, a safe, etc.

In addition to the comfortable rooms, the complex offers shared facilities such as a kitchenette on each floor, sitting rooms, and laundry area, in addition to all the other services on campus.

  • Single Bedroom

    825 Euro
  • Double Bedroom

    575 Euro
  • Triple Bedroom

    490 Euro

*prices are per month per person


Excursions & Workshops

Walking Tour Panama City

Exhibition 500 Years Panama

Panama Canal & History

Workshop with Carlos Cruz Diez

Monkey Watching

Biosphere Museum Frank Gehry

Who we are and what we do


The Summer School “Study Smart – SMARTer PANAMA” is a cooperation project of Isthmus Escuela de Arquitectura y Diseño, Panama City, KARLS concept, Agency for Productive Habitats from Vienna and StudyInBali, organizer of study abroad programs in Bali, Indonesia.

Isthmus Escuela de Arquitectura y Diseño

ISTHMUS is an Architecture and Design international school in Panama City that specializes in Design and Architectural Education. The school offers programs in Architecture, Industrial Engineering, Interior Architecture, and graduate degrees in Bioclimatic Architecture and Service Design. The higher education institution has an innovative academic structure and a faculty of high academic and professional level.


ISTHMUS is a member of Panama’s internationally acclaimed City of Knowledge (Ciudad del Sabar), a Campus with more than 280 institutions that work together in the advancement of scientific research, innovation, and knowledge dissemination in a variety of fields – Just a few minutes from Panama’s urban center and right across from the Panama Canal.

KARLS concept

KARLS concept is an office for urban and regional planning and agency for communication. We coordinate, moderate, and create innovation incentives. According to the respective project, we provide further expertise, research, and develop independently and accompany our customers throughout the entire process. Our main focus is on digitization in the city and housing. For this we develop our own strategies, concepts, and products like platforms, via the web and apps.


Together with Austrian research institutes such as Vienna University of Technology or the Center for Virtual Reality and Visualization Research Austria, we conduct research in the field of Smart Cities. Our communication agency supports real estate developers in the communication of their construction projects and always puts the topic of future living in the foreground.


StudyInBali goes Panama – In fact, StudyInBali is a provider and organizer of study abroad programs in Bali Indonesia and arouses the enthusiasm of international students to live and study in Bali. We make it our mission to provide support during their trip to Southeast Asia. Together with universities on the island, we develop study programs offered exclusively as a semester abroad or short course (Summer School). Topics include Architecture, Interior Design, Travel Photography and Videography, Fashion Design, Tourism, Sports and Physiotherapy, and Engineering.


With the StudyInPanama Summer School “Smarter Panama” we are leaving the borders of Indonesia. Together with ISTHMUS and KARLS concept, we look forward to a new exciting project in the beautiful surroundings of Panama.




Camping at the beach: Just in front of the ocean. Narsagandup is a small Island that is approximately a 20 minute boat ride from the Main island of San Blas. With white sand and turquoise sea, Narsagandup is a real paradise. It has a volley ball kind of court and also hammocks all around the island. Camping equipment and inflatable beds are provided, showers and toilets are available. 



  • Tent with camping equipment
  • Return transportation from Panama City
  • Boat transfers between islands (Puerto-Isla Narasgandup-Puerto)
  • Guide (Spanish speaking)
  • Three daily meals
  • Water
  • Visit to Natural Swimming pool


220 €

The trip is organized by San Blas Tours Panama who support the local Kuna Community by providing hospitality trainings. So the money you spend stays in local hands.

The islands around San Blas offer multiple and varied activities like bonfires at the beach, beach games, snorkeling, cayuco rides around the islands, or you can just relax, try the delicius food and work on your tan. 


Ready to Learn Spanish Basics in Panama?

Immerse yourself in Spanish with an intensive small group course to learn the Spanish basics in the fastest, most enjoyable way possible. Three sessions and a 3 hour conversation practice class in a Mini Group.

The Program is aligned with and based on the Cervantes Institute. The curriculum and teaching plans are framed by the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages.


The course includes some activities, like salsa class, happy hour, a bike tour in Casco Antiguo, and volleyball in the afternoons.





140 €