Florence is a magical place. What’s better than visiting such a great city alone? Discovering it with AEGEE — during a Summer University. It’s just great that in 2017 the Summer University (SU) of AEGEE-Firenze got the second highest rating of all SUs in the network! Main organizer of the event was Lorenzo Cozzi, who is also at the helm of this year’s summer course: “Under the Tuscan SUn”. Lorenzo told the Golden Times more about AEGEE-Firenze’s magic SU formula – and what you can expect in this year’s event, which takes place from 4th to 15th of August.
Golden Times: Your SU was one of the top 10 SUs in 2017. Why, how did you manage?
Lorenzo Cozzi: I would be lying if I said that it was easy for us to attain this outstanding goal. The position we reached was the result of a huge organizational and financial effort for our local and was also due to the wonderful group spirit developed during the event: our participants were amazing, the best group I’ve ever handled in my AEGEE experience as SU organizer, which started in 2015. Another key aspect was for sure the good compromise between time for activities, free time and social programme. Finally, the beauties of our city and region helped a lot in leaving warm and charming memories in the participants.
GT: What’s the main topic of your SU in 2018? And why did you choose it?
Lorenzo: The main theme will be, as traditionally in Firenze, connected with history and local culture: discovery of Tuscan cities, history, tradition, sea and food. We will also include some thematic content related to civic education.
GT: SU means Summer and University. What’s the University aspect, what is in the tuition part?
Lorenzo: There will be sessions about Italian culture and language, especially a really funny one about stereotypes connected with Italian people. Our participants will also have the chance of exploring the main cultural highlights of Firenze, with guided tours to worldwide famous museums as the Uffizi Gallery. Civic education related workshops will then guide the participants in developing a better awareness about all the advantages and opportunities that European Union can offer to young people.
GT: Let’s talk about the Summer part of your SU. What are the three main programme highlights in this area? And which cities or landmarks will you visit?
Lorenzo: Well, it’s difficult to provide such a short list as I think that most of all deserve a spot on it. If forced to, I’ll chose these: European Night in a huge countryside house with industrial kitchen, swimming pool by night in an amazing location in Firenze and a day trip to the marvelous Elba Island. As far as cities and landmarks are concerned, we’ll have the chance to visit Firenze, Pisa, Poppi, which is a small city in the Tuscan countryside, San Vincenzo and Elba Island.
GT: What will you improve in your SU compared to 2017?
Lorenzo: We’ll use the constructive feedbacks we got from our participants last year to organize an even better event, for example we’ll have some hiking in the countryside.
GT: Can you say a couple of words about your antenna: what makes it special?
Lorenzo: AEGEE-Firenze is not a huge local but we try to be really active at least at local level — if you haven’t done it yet, put a like on our Facebook page to check it! Being in constant contact with foreigners and widen our borders are the main reasons that make us proud of being part of such an amazing international association. Our local has been organizing Summer Universities since 1994 — without gap years. For us, the Summer University is always a great challenge but definitely worth to be done: it’s a way of connecting Firenze with the rest of the Network and give a chance to young Europeans to see and live our beautiful city and culture.
GT: Where can interested people find out more about your SU?
Lorenzo: To find more details you just have to wait till the 22nd of March, more information will be published on the official Summer University website.
GT: Anything you would like to add? You can give a message to potential applicants here…
Lorenzo: Don’t miss the chance to be one of the amazing participants of “Under the Tuscan SUn”. Summer Universities organized by AEGEE-Firenze have been on the podium of the ranking for the last two years, and we look forward to being there also in 2018: join the group and live an unforgettable summer adventure!