The TSU of AEGEE-Helsinki and AEGEE-Kobenhavn had the most applicants of all Summer Universities in 2013. And it got the second highest rating of all SUs, after the one in Catania. In 2014, AEGEE-Helsinki will switch partners and organize a TSU with AEGEE-Tartu. Their ambitious plan: “We Will Take the First Place From Catania!”, said Seppo Hälikkä, PR-Responsible of AEGEE-Helsinki.
Golden Times: You want to organise a TSU with AEGEE-Tartu 2014. How did you get the idea?
Seppo Hälikkä: We heard from many directions that the AEGEE-Tartu Summer University was a success this year and we have huge will to be the Number One Summer University next year. During the Network Meeting in Tartu we realized that they are feeling the same way. We don’t have no doubts now that together we can succeed.
Golden Times: Do you already have ideas what it could be about? Some programme ideas?
Seppo: We have just been throwing ideas for now. One idea got a good reaction and it was basically how we can lift the level of our lives, knock down barriers and get motivated whatever we have to do in our lives. There might be something to build a Summer University around that. The final theme will come soon!
Golden Times: Where will you go during the TSU?
Seppo: The basic idea this far is to start from Tartu and from there we would go to the summer city of Estonia, Parnu. After few days there we would continue to Tallinn and we’ll see if we need help in that part. After Tallinn we will have a party boat to Helsinki and finish our journey to a dream-like cottage in Märkiö. This year we were the second best Summer University in the participants’ evaluation of all events and next year we’ll take the first place from Catania!
Golden Times: Your TSU 2013 got more applicants than any other, 242 in total. What’s your secret?
Seppo: We think the reason for the huge amount of applications was the result of the theme and the reputation as good organizers. Also, it was the cheapest way to travel to Northern countries and have fun at the same time. We also think that many of the countries we visited during our TSU were in the bucket list of many people.
Golden Times: What were the highlights of your TSU this year? And how was the atmosphere?
Seppo: Based on the feedback we received, some of the biggest highlights were the party boat, the cottage weekend, the organizers and the level of food. When you get that amount of applications, you know that the level of participants will be good. It was a dream team of participants and that made the atmosphere just amazing. We are always accurate who we select. It has to be 50/50 boys and girls, a big variety of different countries — 16 countries this time — and a very good motivation letter or video.
Golden Times: Except for SUs — what else is AEGEE-Helsinki planning for 2014?
Seppo: We are planning an exchange with another local, a lot of local events – for example a photo rally and a restaurant day — and maybe one international event. Our Facebook page is a very good way to reach the information about our local and our events.
Golden Times: Finally: your T-shirt “I’m in Helsinki Bitch” is really famous! How far did it travel this year?
Seppo: It has been a huge success and we are very pleased about that. Most of the shirts we have sold in Helsinki and at the moment we are not sending shirts abroad — this is actually a good reason to visit us! Still there have been shirts going to Australia, Mexico, Spain, The Netherlands, Poland, UK, Russia, Macedonia, Portugal and many other countries. Now we are planning our next hopefully successful shirt. It should come out before our Summer University.