AEGEE’s award-win­ning project Europe on Track goes into it’s fifth round. Next spring nine younf trav­el­ers will go with an Inter­rail tick­et around Europe to deliv­er work­shops, inter­view young peo­ple and attend local events. This year the con­tent focus is sus­tain­abil­i­ty and cli­mate change. It is still pos­si­ble to apply for becom­ing trav­el­er – the dead­line is the 27th of Novem­ber! You got curi­ous? Check out what Ola Mik­lasińs­ka, Social Media Man­ag­er respon­si­ble of the project, has to say.

Ola Mik­lasińs­ka

Gold­en Times: Can you explain in three sen­tence what Europe on Track is about in gen­er­al and how it works?
Ola Mik­lasińs­ka: The idea of Europe on Track is that select­ed ambas­sadors trav­el by train across Europe for one month to deliv­er work­shops, inter­view young peo­ple and orga­nize local events in coop­er­a­tion with AEGEE anten­nae about the main top­ic of each edi­tion. Although, the aim of the project is not only to trav­el and have fun, but above all to raise aware­ness, to cre­ate a space for dis­cus­sion and to cap­ture the opin­ions of youth in Europe on impor­tant social issues while hav­ing an amaz­ing time and con­nect­ing dif­fer­ent parts of our con­ti­nent — or even fur­ther! This is an amaz­ing jour­ney for every­one involved in it, ambas­sadors, project team and local organ­is­ers, who work hard to pre­pare this month full of adven­tures, events with great con­tent and vis­i­ble out­comes.

GT: What’s new in EoT5?
Ola: There are so many new things! But the most impor­tant ones are:

  • We got big­ger. Three teams instead of two. This year we will have nine ambas­sadors and go to 36 cities.
  • The team. We are cur­rent­ly 16 peo­ple work­ing: Project Team, assis­tants and CD appoint­ed per­son. It is quite a big team, but it is work­ing great!
  • CO2 neu­tral. This year Europe on Track’s car­bon foot­print will be mea­sured and neu­tral­ized by plant­i­ng trees and invest­ing in renew­able ener­gy projects. We need your help for that!
The project team of Europe on Track 5

GT: When will the EoT5 trip take place?
Ola: The actu­al trav­el­ling will take place from 22nd of March to 22nd of April, but the ambas­sadors will begin their train­ing on the 13th of March in Thes­sa­loni­ki. After the route, we will have an exten­sive eval­u­a­tion and attend the Spring Ago­ra Kraków 2018.

GT: Right now you search for trav­el­ers. How many appli­ca­tions have you got for ambas­sador?
Ola: We have a big num­ber of appli­ca­tions, but we are always look­ing for high qual­i­ty appli­ca­tions from AEGEEans! We have most­ly appli­ca­tions from peo­ple out­side of AEGEE and we would love to have more AEGEEans on the board with us!

GT: Until when it’s pos­si­ble to apply?
Ola: You can apply until 27th Novem­ber at 23:59 CET for ambas­sador — check out our appli­ca­tion here! The host­ing locals’ appli­ca­tion was over in Octo­ber and we already have all three routes pre­pared.

Jorge Sánchez Hernán­dez was trav­el­er of EoT4 and is now project man­ag­er.

GT: What human qual­i­ties and what prac­ti­cal skills should an ambas­sador have?
Ola: Basi­cal­ly we are look­ing for peo­ple with expe­ri­ence in giv­ing pre­sen­ta­tions or devel­op­ing train­ings that are inter­est­ed in Sus­tain­abil­i­ty and Cli­mate Change. Ambas­sadors have to be expe­ri­enced with trav­el­ing and prob­lem solv­ing and also need to have the tech­ni­cal skill of a blog­ger, pho­tog­ra­ph­er or video­g­ra­ph­er. To know more, you can check the full descrip­tion here. Our ambas­sadors should also have a bit of crazi­ness or, as we like to say, be “full of AEGEE spir­it”! Charis­ma and open minds of ambas­sadors make this jour­ney tru­ly unfor­get­table.

GT: How do we have to imag­ine the life of an ambas­sador?
Ola: Being an ambas­sador is an amaz­ing adven­ture, but it’s also quite demand­ing and tire­some at the same time. You obvi­ous­ly move a lot, meet dif­fer­ent peo­ple every two or three days and need to think about your tasks and respon­si­bil­i­ties like prepar­ing high qual­i­ty work­shops and mate­ri­als even if you spent your night in a train. On the oth­er hand, every two or three days you vis­it dif­fer­ent, amaz­ing city where your friends or future friends are wait­ing for you, ready to make your stay in the city a unique one. Check out one of the videos from last year!

One of the many stopovers this year: Europe on Track 4 in Kraków.

GT: Let’s come back to the envi­ron­ment top­ic. Why was it cho­sen? And how exact­ly will it be dealt with dur­ing the trip?
Ola: Sus­tain­abil­i­ty and cli­mate change was one of the top­ics sug­gest­ed by our net­work. After detailed research we decid­ed to put it as the main top­ic, because of its obvi­ous impor­tance and the real action we should and we want to take. We feel that this top­ic is still not that pop­u­lar among youth as it should be. Irre­spon­si­ble human activ­i­ty has severe­ly dam­aged the con­di­tion of the plan­et: cli­mate change, CO2 and gasses’ lev­els aris­ing, defor­esta­tion and the destruc­tion of bio­di­ver­si­ty are all con­se­quences of our actions. As we will be the first gen­er­a­tion affect­ed by the cur­rent envi­ron­men­tal destruc­tion, it’s up to us to final­ly take action and work hard on our future.

GT: What are the anten­nae sup­posed to organ­ise pre­cise­ly?
Ola: As in pre­vi­ous years, we will offer a range of activ­i­ties for locals to orga­nize and they can choose the ones they like the most. This year we are plan­ning to give even more pos­si­bil­i­ties, some of the things we have in mind are clas­si­cal the­mat­ic work­shops or pan­el dis­cus­sions but also watch­ing a doc­u­men­tary con­nect­ed with the main top­ic or eco action in a city — for exam­ple tak­ing care togeth­er of the green areas in the city. We are also think­ing about spend­ing more time out­side, not only doing inter­views, as the top­ic is per­fect to car­ry out some out­doors activ­i­ties.

The project team of EoT5

GT: What’s your task in the team? And who are you?
Ola: My name is Ola Mik­lasińs­ka, I’m a mem­ber of AEGEE-Kraków and Social Media Man­ag­er of Europe on Track 5. I’m respon­si­ble for all our social media chan­nels but luck­i­ly I have an amaz­ing Social Media Team to help me with it! I’m most­ly tak­ing care of our Face­book page and pro­mot­ing the Open Call for Ambas­sadors with the help of anoth­er team mem­ber — Maryam, and there’s also Melis­sa with whom I share Insta­gram activ­i­ties and who’s work­ing on Twit­ter too! Besides, I’m one of three Routes Man­agers so I will be in con­tact with the locals of one route — help­ing them with prepa­ra­tion of the events and tak­ing care of the team, their jour­ney and com­mu­ni­ca­tion between them and the their host­ing locals.

GT: What moti­vat­ed you to be part of the project?
Ola: This is kind of my dream project, for me it’s full of AEGEE spir­it and it com­bines every­thing what I love about our organ­i­sa­tion, that you can trav­el so much, meet amaz­ing peo­ple in every cor­ner of Europe, have a lot of fun but at the same time do some­thing valu­able and impor­tant for soci­ety and youth in gen­er­al. Dur­ing EoT3 I was active only at local lev­el, I didn’t know many peo­ple out of my anten­na and I sim­ply didn’t know the project at that time. When I saw an Open Call for host­ing locals of EoT4, I knew I want­ed AEGEE-Kraków to be a part of this awe­some jour­ney. I orga­nized a stop in Kraków and I liked it so much that I decid­ed to join the project team of the next edi­tion. I’m upgrad­ing every year so I can’t wait for Europe on Track 6!

EoT4 in Dres­den

GT: Will you also apply as trav­eller?
Ola: Being an ambas­sador of EoT is for me one of the coolest things you can do in AEGEE, but this year I want to focus on work­ing in the project team and obvi­ous­ly on the Ago­ra orga­nized by my local. Besides, there are rumors that I’m still study­ing and I’m even think­ing about fin­ish­ing my stud­ies next year!

GT: Where can mem­bers find out more about the project?
Ola: For any updates we rec­om­mend to fol­low our Face­book Page. For some of the back­stage stuff and mem­o­ries from the last edi­tion we use our Insta­gram. All impor­tant info is on our web­site www.europeontrack.org and on our Face­book event. Besides, if you have any ques­tion about EoT, you can always write on our Face­book page!

GT: How will the results of the projects be doc­u­ment­ed?
Ola: The results of the project will be pre­sent­ed in a quite dif­fer­ent way than from the pre­vi­ous edi­tions but that’s one of the sur­pris­es that we are still work­ing on! What we can say is that there will be an Open Call for Pol­i­cy Offi­cer on Sus­tain­abil­i­ty and cli­mate change that will draft the pol­i­cy paper based on all the data that we will pro­vide after Europe on Track 5.

GT: Any­thing you would like to add?
Ola: We would like to say huge “Thank you!” for all the kind words we received so far, both from our net­work and out­side, because it’s real­ly a huge moti­va­tor to work even more! We said in the begin­ning we will make it big and after six months we can say we are real­ly going into a good direc­tion! Our coop­er­a­tion with Inter­rail is much clos­er this year and soon we will intro­duce new part­ners that will help us to take this project to the next lev­el. What keeps us going is that we real­ly want to bring the top­ic of sus­tain­abil­i­ty and cli­mate change clos­er to AEGEE and young peo­ple, to take action and to help the plan­et as much as we can. Per­son­al­ly I would like to say even big­ger Thank you to all mem­bers of the Project Team because each of them is doing an amaz­ing job and thanks to these peo­ple and the atmos­phere inside the team I can­not imag­ine bet­ter place to devel­op myself in AEGEE than Europe on Track.

Some links:
Face­book Page: www.facebook.com/EuropeOnTrack/
Web­site www.europeontrack.org
Videos from last year: Youtube chan­nel
Become ambas­sador: Appli­ca­tion form

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