A dream that comes true for over 30 years!
Do you enjoy traveling? Sharing experiences and cultures with people from all over Europe? Would you like to learn while having fun? What if I tell you that you can combine all these things for a maximum of € 14 per night? Take a look at the longest running project in AEGEE's history!
What is a summer university?
The Summer University is a summer event with an average duration of 1-2 weeks that takes place in most European cities.
The Summer University Project (frequently abbreviated as SU ) was born in 1988 with the aim of promoting European integration, and since then it involves around 50 Antennae (local) every year attracting thousands of participants from all over Europe.
The aim of the initiative is to gather participants from all over Europe and invite them to explore together the multicultural dimension of the European continent with a view to an active, tolerant and aware citizenship.
WHEN they take place AND HOW LONG THEY are?
The SUs all take place between June and September and have a duration that varies from one to three weeks.
WHAT LANGUAGE ARE SPOKEN DURING THE EVENTS?
The official language of AEGEE is English, so whatever event you want to apply for, you will always find English speaking people from all over Europe.
If you believe you do not have an adequate language level, do not be discouraged: you will find that, like you, not everyone has a high level of English.
You will also find that you are able to communicate in English better than you thought: the secret is in practice. Being in contact 24 hours a day with other international guys, you will improve your language level without too much effort, we assure you!
So if you want to practice in the languages (English or other), the SU is the holiday for you!
HOW MANY PEOPLE WILL PARTICIPATE?
Each SU is intended for a minimum of 12 - maximum 50 participants (with an average of 25 participants ) from AEGEE locals throughout Europe.
It will be the task of the organizers to put together a group of participants that is as heterogeneous as possible, both by gender and by country of origin. Usually the participants do not know each other before reaching the SU: in this way they will be forced to make friends with each other, avoiding the formation of the usual "little groups".
A characteristic of AEGEE members is to be open people, without prejudice: so jump on board without getting any problems!
WHO IS RESPONSIBLE FOR THE MANAGEMENT OF THE EVENT?
SUs are organized by young volunteers, students and guys like you!
AEGEE is a non-profit association: no one earns from the organization of such events; we are not a travel agency. Only the desire to let others discover the beauties of their own territory pushes the young local volunteers to organize a SU in their own city.
The organizers will be with you for the duration of the trip, sharing fun, food and accommodation. They will guide you and thanks to them you will be able to get in touch with the points of view and lifestyles of the country you are visiting, living experiences and practicing activities that you will difficult get to know with usual tourist routes. The organizers are local guys, so you will not travel as a tourist but as a guest!
HOW MANY TYPES OF SUMMERS ARE THERE?
There are four different types of Summer University:
Summer course (SC):
The Summer Course is a summer holiday in which a specific theme (local language and culture, environmental, political, or other) is covered through interactive methodologies in an absolutely informal environment (no one will be questioned!: P). It lasts 2-4 weeks and the participants receive a minimum of 14 hours of training per week, in addition to much more substantial recreational-cultural activities in the host city and its surroundings. Costs include: training activities, accommodation, at least two meals a day (including a hot meal) and social program (guided tours, access to events and parties, etc.).
Summer Course Plus (SC+):
The Summer Course Plus is similar to the previous one, with the difference that the training component is more accentuated (on average 20 hours a week) and is held by young experts in the sector.
The maximum costs are around 98 euros per week and, as for any SU, include: training activities, accommodation, at least two meals a day (at least one hot) and entertainment program (guided tours, access to events and parties, etc.) .
Short Summer Course (SSC):
Introduced in 2018, this type of event is the younger brother of the already well-known Summer Course: ideal for those who want to spend even less or for those who have little time to devote to a summer vacation.
The substantial difference is in its duration, which is reduced from 2-4 weeks to 6-8 days. The training activities are precisely weighted in relation to its duration, and are reduced from the usual 14 hours to a minimum of 10 hours per week.
Travelling Summer University (TSU):
Traveling Summer University (duration: 2-4 weeks) sees two or more Antennas involved in the organization. It is a cultural journey through a part of Europe, which will touch at least 4 different places (within the same country or touching different states). The purpose of the event is to immerse you in the lifestyle, culture and traditions of the places visited. Also included are training activities - non-formal education and soft skills - for at least 10 hours per week. The cost, as for any SU, includes: training activities, accommodation, at least two meals a day (one of which is hot) and entertainment program (guided tours, access to events and parties, etc.).
YES BUT LET'S SPEAK CLEAR ... HOW MUCH DOES IT COST?
The maximum cost per week is 77 € for SC and 98 € strong > for SSC, SC + and TSU.
And as already mentioned ... 98 € divided by 7 days is just 14 € per day!
Obviously the cost varies depending on the duration of the Summer University and the activities proposed by the host Antenna.
The payment method depends on the SU specification. You may have to pay 50% of the total in advance and the remaining 50% upon arrival, 100% in advance or 100% upon arrival. The costs and methods of payment are always indicated in the description of each SU.
What is included in the participation fee:
- Accommodation for the entire event
- At least two meals a day, of which at least one is hot. We will provide vegetarian, gluten free meals and any other request according to your needs.
- Transport costs for the entire duration of the event.
- Expenses for admission to museums, parties and events, and for each activity included in the program.
What is not included in the participation fee:
- The transport (plane, train…) to get to and from the place of start / end of the event.
- Activities not included in the program. Some SU may offer the opportunity to participate in some "extra" activities (eg entrance to the thermal baths, amusement park, etc.) upon payment of a optional fee : participation is entirely optional and you will be free to decide whether to participate or not to such activities (always indicated in the description of each SU under the heading “optional fee” ).
ALL VERY INTERESTING… SO WHAT'S THE CATCH?
Let's say that for many this is the biggest obstacle, but if you have a fair mental openness combined with a sense of trust in humanity, you will have no problems of any kind. We ask you a question:
You won't think of spending so little and sleeping in a 5-star hotel, do you?
Well yes my dear, if you want to spend little you have to give up the mini bar and room service:
the type of accommodation in fact depends on the SU specification!
It could be a hostel, a campsite, a gym with inflatable mattresses or you could be hosted at the home of other AEGEE members (the latter in the days following or before the event, not covered by the participation fee).
We know, it's not for everyone, but I assure you it's just a small sacrifice necessary to live one of the best experiences of your life.
Anyway, the type of accommodation is always easily available information through the appropriate events on the site, in order to know well in advance if you need a sleeping bag / mat etc.
OK MI HAI CONVINTO! COSA DEVO FARE PER PARTIRE?
First, you need to be an AEGEE member with an active account. nel nostro portale online.
Have no idea what we're talking about? Take a look at the page Join us.
By receiving more requests of participation than the places actually available, the organizers of the SU are forced to make a selection. They will then ask you for a Motivation Letter in which you will explain why, among all the applicants, they should choose you as a participant!
This letter must be written in English (don't worry, we will help you in drafting and correcting the text if you need it of course) and it must be as original as possible! It must not be a formal letter... the opposite instead: remember that organizers have span> approximately your same age , so be nice and confident!
Once all the Motivation Letters have been received, the organizers will evaluate who to include among the participants: obviously their job will be to create a group as heterogeneous as possible, both by gender, nationality and place of origin.
The selections will be announced in spring , in order to allow all selected participants to purchase a flight / train / etc ticket at an affordable price. to reach and then leave the event. In case you haven't been selected, don't despair! You can always propose yourself for the Open Call: a list of vacancies you can apply for will be made known (by sending a new Motivation Letter which will be followed by a new selection).
WHAT SHOULD I BRING WITH ME?
It depends on the SU specification and its program. For example, if you sleep in the gym, you will be required to bring your sleeping bag and mat. If there are any beach events scheduled, bring your best swimsuit. If you go to the mountains, bring some heavy clothes and comfortable shoes. However you will find more information about it from the organizers of the chosen Summer University.
During each SU it is tradition to celebrate the European Night , in which each participant will prepare a traditional dish from their country or offer a typical drink from their region. So before leaving, remember to leave a small space in your suitcase for a delicacy from your home to offer to the other participants!
JUST TO GET YOUR HEAD STRAIGHT
This article was used to get a general overview of what a SU is, but certain things should be seen with your own eyes.
At the site below you will find all the info that the 1983 youngsters of the last year had when they applied to live the summer of their lives too: prices, accommodation, places visited, extra fees, everything.
AEGEE-Cagliari also organizes every summer the Summer University! Check out the video from previous years