Did you ever want to see how Transylvania is really like? You are curious about the beauties of Eastern Hungary? You want to go wine-tasting in Tokaj – an experience that you will never forget? Then the Travelling Summer University “The HungaRomanian Adventure” is the right place for you. You will discover two great countries with beautiful cities and breathtaking landscapes – and a fantastic hospitality. It is organised by AEGEE-Debrecen and AEGEE-Sibiu and will take place from 21st of July till 4th of August. Balázs Kovács from AEGEE-Debrecen told the Golden Times readers why this SU is a must.

Sibiu – European capital of culture in 2007

Golden Times: Balázs, why will the TSU of AEGEE-Debrecen and AEGEE-Sibiu be one of the best Summer Universities this year?
Balázs Kovács: We provide some lucky AEGEEans with the opportunity of discovering the beauties of two different cultures within one Traveling Summer University: Hungary and Romania. In case you are willing to experience something different from an SU in a huge metropolitan environment, this TSU is the perfect choice. The organizing antennae’s cities are also famous for their vibrant student life. We offer great parties in lovely Central and Eastern European cities, cultural and more precisely gastronomical heaven day by day right next to an earthly spa paradise. Moreover, working together during last year’s SU was already very successful. Both antennae have already been organizing a range of events lately. Having those great experiences made us sure that together we will be able to take our SU concepts to a new level. We are working on making this TSU the best annual summer experience!

SU Deb Language Course
Balázs teaching the basics of Hungarian

Golden Times: Why did you choose the title “The HungaRomanian Adventure”?
Balázs: The final title merges the names of the two visited countries. We organizers wish to assist participants in the process of becoming “HungaRoManiacs”.

Golden Times: How did you get the idea of cooperating with each other?
Balázs: In 2012 AEGEE-Debrecen’s cooperation with the AEGEE Academy resulted in a new type of Summer University. It incorporated a serious in-class training into a Cultural Summer University, called European School: 4 Elements for You!. This year the organizers’ team focuses on the sightseeing aspect. Given that the organizing antennae are situated relatively close to each other, it came natural to us that we should further cooperate with our neighboring friends. Sibiu is a beautiful town with a picturesque medieval touch and we have numerous good friends from Romanian locals so there were no second guesses we were meant to join forces for The HungaRomanian Adventure.

Golden Times: Hungary and Romania are difficult neighbours. Is your event also aiming to show how good the relations can be?
Balázs: We are aware of how certain interest groups tend to keep on capitalizing from maintaining “history-backed” false divisions and forced differences. However, we all believe in understanding and cooperation. Historical relations will naturally be touched upon yet the primary goal is to provide participants with a general insight into Hungarian and Romanian cultural history.

Tokaj wine
Winetasting at AEGEE events in Hungary is always awesome.

Golden Times: You will visit lots of interesting places: Debrecen, Sibiu, Hortobágy, Miskolc, Tokaj. Will you also stay overnight in all of them?
Balázs: Staying overnight will include Debrecen, Miskolc and Sibiu. Since they are close to Debrecen, one day will be spent in Hortobágy and another one in Tokaj separately without having to move all our belongings there.

Golden Times: Let’s go city by city: what will be the programme highlights in Debrecen?
Balázs: As of sightseeing, a special local trademark city rally with exciting and fun tasks including all the famous spots in the city centre will be accompanied by visits to the main campus of the University of Debrecen, one of the three Hungarian higher educational institution holding the title of “University of National Excellence”. Further challenges will include interactive presentations and workshops on Hungarian language, geography, history and fun facts about Hungary.

The Bridge of Lies in Sibiu

Golden Times: What will be the programme highlights in Sibiu?
Balázs: We will walk through the beautiful narrow streets of the European Cultural Capital 2007, where buildings in the city centre have eyes on their roofs. Also, we will discover the close spots that include the best preserved historical sites in the country – and we will visit the Bridge of Lies, Romania’s oldest cast-iron bridge.

Golden Times: What will the participants see or do in the Hungarian places Hortobágy, Miskolc and Tokaj?
Balázs: We are going to take you to the Puszta, to the endless Great Plain of Hungary which is a World Heritage sight since 1999. The visitors of this magical place will be able to observe typical Hungarian species in their natural environment and take part in the cavalcade of the famous Hortobágy Bridge Fair. It is also highly recommended not to miss out on the opportunity of trying the delicious local Hungarian dishes served in the famous Hortobágyi Csárda. Hungary is very well-known for its large number of natural spas, so relaxing in the lovely Cave Bath of Miskolctapolca will refresh everyone after a visit to the Diósgyőr Castle. Going for wine-tasting in the fatherland of the world-famous Tokaj wine is among the activities that instantly make practically any Hungarian smile. We will be trying to find out the secret of the region’s wine production.

AEGEE-Sibiu is waiting for you!

Golden Times: Are there also other places in Romania that the SU will visit?
Balázs: The second largest open-air museum in Europe, the astonishing Astra National Museum Complex is located right next to Sibiu, thus participants will have the privilege to travel back in time and – among many other things – see how life was like in the pre-industrial era. Visiting the Salty Lakes of the famous spa town, Ocna Sibiului, is also among the plans.

Golden Times: Which other activities should the participants look forward to? I’ve read something about cooking, dancing, handicrafts and kayaking?
Balázs: On top of a great European Night with two hosting antennae, there will also be a cooking competition where everyone will have the chance to prepare something authentic from their countries to amaze all the fellow AEGEEans. Hungarian folk dance classes are always fun to attend while visiting a local traditional handicrafts house will also enable us to try our creativity. Professionals will be helping us all to better be able to unleash our hidden potentials. Kayaking and open-air riverside chillaxing will be decided according to general interest.

SU Deb Organisers
…and so is the organising team in Debrecen!

Golden Times: How is the atmosphere in your organizing team?
Balázs: We have a dedicated core team of long-time members as well as an additional group of enthusiastic AEGEEans full of new ideas in Debrecen. Our local has recently organized an SU and other larger-scale events such as an International New Year’s Eve celebration and a Human Library while Sibiu also has a remarkable experience in co-organizing TSUs and arranging local activities. We have repeatedly been working together on the vast majority of similar programme elements with this team before in Debrecen and we nurture solid professional and personal ties among us. Moreover personal and Skype meetings between the two antennae have already taken place.

Explore the Puszta!

Golden Times: How much is the participation fee?
Balázs: The fee is 180 Euros, for an extra 40 as optional sum the Miskolctapolca Cave Bath, Tokaj Wine Tasting and Debrecen Pálinka Night is also available. Accomodation will be dormitory-based.

Golden Times: What else should potential participants know about the event?
Balázs: The regions planned to visit have all what it takes to have a summer to gladly remember in many different ways. We are looking forward to welcoming you, Aletta, Balázs, Dóri, Gilu, Eszter, Jani, Kati, Laci, Lavinia, Nóri, Péter, Ralu R., Ralu H., Seba, Viktor, Vlad, Zita, Zsuzsa, Zsuzsi, Zsófi.

More info:
YouTube video of last year’s SU in Debrecen: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fjxPLfG9SCE