In 11 days the appli­ca­tion peri­od for the 65 Sum­mer Uni­ver­si­ties of 2017 ends. For many peo­ple SUs are real life-chang­ers. They get mar­ried and also have chil­dren. This is the sto­ry of Klau­dia Hei­jer­man (néé Węglarz) and Jonas Hei­jer­man. In sum­mer 2008 Klau­dia and Jonas met at an SU in Cau­ca­sus, sev­en years lat­er they mar­ried in Eind­hoven, fol­lowed by a church wed­ding with 130 guests in Kraków.

Engage­ment in Lon­don

GT: How did you meet? And when?
Klau­dia and Jonas: We met at the SU “Lost in Cau­ca­sus”, orga­nized by AEGEE-Tbil­isi and AEGEE-Baku in the sum­mer of 2008. We first saw each oth­er at the Tbil­isi air­port around 3:00 a.m. while try­ing to find the organ­is­ers.

GT: When did you know that your rela­tion­ship became seri­ous?
Klau­dia and Jonas: There def­i­nite­ly was a click dur­ing the Sum­mer Uni­ver­si­ty. And we man­aged to meet many times through­out the fol­low­ing year, in Barcelona, Kraków, Sofia, Lyon and Magusa… But it was only just before our next Sum­mer Uni­ver­si­ty, dur­ing a pre-SU vis­it of Jonas in Kraków, that we real­ly got togeth­er.​

This is how it start­ed: at a Sum­mer Uni­ver­si­ty in 2008.

GTHow dif­fi­cult was it to main­tain the long-dis­tance rela­tion­ship? And which oppor­tu­ni­ties did you use to see each oth­er as often as pos­si­ble?
Jonas: After we got togeth­er we spent a great SU togeth­er, after­wards Klau­dia imme­di­ate­ly invit­ed me to join a wed­ding of her best friend. So anoth­er vis­it quick­ly fol­lowed. After that, Klau­dia got an intern­ship in the Euro­pean Par­lia­ment in Lux­em­bourg. This made the dis­tance – I lived in Eind­hoven — a bit short­er and made it pos­si­ble to meet almost every week­end. I was skip­ping lec­tures on Fri­day after­noon to go leave to Lux­em­bourg as soon as pos­si­ble, and often only leav­ing on Mon­day very ear­ly in the morn­ing.​

The great cou­ple also went to an SU togeth­er in 2009: “The fire of the Mediter­ranean”

GT: When and how did you pro­pose?
Jonas: For our five-year-anniver­sary, I orga­nized a sur­prise week­end in Lon­don, sight­see­ing in the city and going to the musi­cal “Wicked”. It was on the 5th of July 2014 that I pro­posed to Klau­dia. I decid­ed to do it in the Lon­don Eye, dur­ing sun­set, with Lon­don stretch­ing around us and some tourists who were shar­ing our gon­do­la fran­ti­cal­ly mak­ing pic­tures.​

The church wed­ding took place in Kraków in 2015.

GT: When was the wed­ding? And where did it take place?
Klau­dia and Jonas: The wed­dings were one year lat­er, in the sum­mer of 2015. We first had a lit­tle cer­e­mo­ny at the city hall of Eind­hoven, to get the admin­is­tra­tion in order, fol­lowed by a din­ner with the close ones and a drink with even more friends. Then, on the 18th of July 2015, time came for the big wed­ding in Poland. It was in a church in Kraków, fol­lowed by a won­der­ful par­ty in the Śmiłow­ice Palace, a near­by vil­lage. We fin­ished the sum­mer with a wed­ding par­ty in the Nether­lands, in Cadier en Keer, to allow guests and fam­i­ly that couldn’t make it to Poland to join.

Dutch wed­ding recep­tion in 2015.

GT: How many wed­ding guests did you have? And how many of them were from AEGEE?
Klau­dia and Jonas: In total we had 130 guests in Poland and around a 100 in the Nether­lands with a total of around 20 AEGEE guests from all over Europe.

GT: Did your AEGEE friends or your anten­nae pre­pare some wed­ding sur­pris­es for you?
Klau­dia and Jonas: Yes! Dur­ing the wed­ding they sang a song — it was a mixed group of friends — with catchy lyrics about the his­to­ry of our rela­tion­ship to the melody of a very famous Dutch song: “Het don­dert en het blik­semt” of Guus Meeuwis. They added a pho­to-slide with lots of match­ing pho­tos from our var­i­ous adven­tures and trips. When we arrived home, we also found the whole house dec­o­rat­ed with bal­loons, hang­ers and oth­er dec­o­ra­tions!                ​

Dutch wed­ding recep­tion with AEGEE friends.

GT: Where do you live now? And what do you work?
Klau­dia and Jonas: We still live in Eind­hoven, moved to a house three min­utes from the AEGEE office actu­al­ly! Klau­dia works as a recruiter for a Euro­pean Leisure Sup­port and Jonas as an elec­tri­cal design­er and inte­gra­tor for Kulicke & Sof­fa — both in Eind­hoven.

Wed­ding par­ty in Poland.
Hon­ey­moon trip in Bali

GT: You already have a boy named Flo­ri­an. Which lan­guages are you teach­ing your child and future kids?
Klau­dia and Jonas: We will def­i­nite­ly speak our moth­er tongues to our chil­dren, which we already do, mean­ing Pol­ish for Klau­dia and Dutch for Jonas. How­ev­er, since we still speak Eng­lish to each oth­er, they may also hear a bit of a third lan­guage around. Fur­ther­more, hav­ing fam­i­ly in France, we would like our chil­dren to be able to speak French too and many oth­er lan­guages!