After the water rafting adventure and exploring San José Downtown on the past weekend it was now time for the first ISU-Monday in Costa Rica. Back home in Germany the starting day of the week is often not filled with lots of motivation and anticipation for the coming days. But the atmosphere was different here in Central America, we were excited and curious about the coming experiences and knowledge input.

The day was starting with our academic which is supposed to be a change in the way of human´s conception about the world and their lives. Thus this can be an extra-ordinary and fundamental shift in our factual knowledge about our planet with a capability to change our values, belief systems, scientific concepts or lifestyle.

A reasonable insight of this class was the interconnection between science and business. The latter is responsible for the successful implementation of research results and scientific solutions. On the other hand can science be the fundament of economic success. Thus one is able to push the other and vice versa.

Accordingly, the following discussion was about Top-Down versus Bottom-Up Revolution or a combination of both as way to induce a paradigm shift. Little surprising was in this regard the insight that the distribution of wealth is one of the main issues to tackle to realize a sustainable development.
In the second half of our class we watched a quite evocative documentary about Lagos, the capital of Nigeria as one of the biggest and based on increasing numbers of climate refugees one of the fastest growing and likewise poorest cities on our planet. Problems, challenges and opportunities were discussed.

Right after having a good lunch at university and some minutes of rest, the Spanish language course for everybody was on schedule. We are split up in three different groups depending on our different levels of Spanish knowledge. Speaking for my beginners’ class it is a lot of fun and very refreshing to learn this language with our great teacher Karla Duran. She is very encouraging and always in a good mood and therefore constantly able to make us talk in Spanish.

Afterwards, the students were gathering in their four project groups to prepare their presentations for the next day about own conceptions to induce or support a sustainable development.

In the evening some of us were meeting up at the home of one of our friendly and welcoming Costa Rican host families to watch the Soccer Game Costa Rica versus Argentina within the Copa America. Unfortunately the latter lost which meant to be their elimination from the cup.
Nevertheless it was a nice and relaxing end of an interesting, busy and typical weekday here in San José.

text and picture: Laurin Wuennenberg

lunch break