This week the network was really busy: 98 antennae handed in their Summer University applications, together they want to organise 73 SUs in 2016. The Golden Times asked the Summer University Coordination Team about the most original titles, cooperations, the new website – and the deadlines for organisers and applicants. Prepare for the summer of your life!
GT: How many SUs were registered for 2016?
Lucia Gavulová: This year we received 73 applications, which we still have to check and accept. We are happy to see an increase in numbers again, even if it’s not the biggest one: goal achieved. Wait a moment, there is another one just coming in.
GT: How many antennae are applying for organising these SUs?
Lucia: 98 antennae from all over the network are organizing SUs this year – five of them are even involved in organizing two!
GT: Which trends are there compared to last year or years? Is the number of SUs and antennae going up or down?
Lucia: We have five more applications than last year, so the trend looks promising and we hope for even more in the next years. Young people, mainly now, should observe life in other countries and lose their cultural judgments. The number of Travelling SUs went down, and we see an increase in Summer Courses as well as Summer Courses+. This is probably due to the reform of the fee, allowing locals to organize a SC with the same money as a TSU.
GT: How is the SU distribution according to types?
Carolina Beatriz Alfano: We have 34 Summer Courses, 3 SC+ and 36 Travelling Summer Universities, but these numbers might change after our deep analysis.
GT: How many cooperations are there with other bodies such as WGs or the Academy?
Carolina: 22 SUs have chosen a body or even external organisation to cooperate with. The most popular cooperation is with the Civic Education Working Group, closely followed by cooperations with other NGOs. Most probably due to the aim AEGEE set for this year – having at least 10% of SUs with a topic of intercultural communication, environmental sustainability, human rights or active citizenship.
GT: How many language courses are there this year?
Carolina: There are three language courses this year, one more than last year. You will be able to learn German, Spanish and Russian! In addition, there are two more Summer Universities offering some language workshops, but not as a main topic.
GT: Which topics are the most popular?
Philipp Blum: Civic Education, Human Rights, and even working with refugees are definitely popular this year. Also, it seems like quite some SUs have developed a playful way to explore the theme of their SU, for example by doing city quests in four capitals and exploring different pieces of cultures.
GT: You checked all SU titles and topics – are there some you find especially interesting or funny?
Philipp: You want to know something about titles? Fasten your Lederhosen then! You can have 12 pints this summer, because someone wants to organize an SU in Ireland! Is a Wurst really different from a Frikandel? Let’s find out! YOLO! Furthermore, “Georgia on my mind” is no longer just a song, House of Cards is no longer just a TV series, and even Fifty Shades has found its way in! “This summer, the myth becomes the truth, the truth becomes a myth…” Generally, there’s quite some playing around with abbreviations and capitals in the title that suggest some content of the SU.
GT: When will we be able to check the SUs? And when will the application period be opened?
Yevgeniya Gagarkina: From 1st of February you will be able to see all SUs with short descriptions, dates, maps and some basic information online! Also, we are trying our best to put online statistics for that time. On 15th of Match, the application period will start, and you will be able to see all details of the Summer Universities! The deadline for applying is on 25th of April.
GT: You are preparing the website – anything new or interesting coming up?
Philipp: Yes! You can now mark SUs as favourite, to easier mark which SUs you might want to go to. You can also filter and sort the list of SUs according to your needs, including the dates. Some more things that we are working on are a better SUpport option – what if you could chat live with the SUCT? Also, an interactive map would be quite cool, so you see search results live on the map. Do you have any other features you would like to see?
GT: That sounds pretty good. How is the cooperation in the SUCT?
Yevgeniya: Really, really awesome! Even though we didn’t know each other before, our cooperation goes very smooth, without misunderstandings and always in a good mood. In the seldom cases that we get a bit upset with some organizers or some members, we are making fun of it all together and master the situation in a good way.
GT: Anything else you would like to add?
Yevgeniya: We are very excited about the overall process this year and are sure that summer 2016 appeals to be the #summerofyourlife for every organizer, participant and for us as well! The quality of SUs is going to improve due to all of us! Also SUpporters – the Summer University Interest Group – seem to be a good idea, because due to some of the teams we really work more efficiently already. Of course, there will be more challenges, so if you want to develop the brightest project of AEGEE – just write us!
GT: Are you going to put the polar bear everywhere?
Philipp: Yes. Did you already find the hidden AEGEE-Aachen mascot on the new website?