The amazing organisers of AEGEE-Brescia

From zero to hero: In the late 90ies AEGEE-Brescia was one the greatest shooting stars in the network. Founded in 1997, the antenna became quickly famous for amazing events and for its active members, who combined hard work with great fun and enthusiasm. In autumn 1999, they presented themselves in AEGEE’s main magazine, the News Bulletin. Here is the original article.

Summer 1999: Brescia goes European

The participants and organisers in the townhall of Brescia.

Many of us had spoken nothing but ltalian in our life, when the AEGEE-Brescia adventure started in April 1997, and hardly anyone of us active members could write an e-mail then. If at the time somebody told us that a couple of years later we would involve hundreds of European friends in our activities, becoming one of the biggest antennae in Italy, maybe the most active – we would have probably laughed!
We lacked experience, organisation, funds… and we had no clue about how to run an NGO, especially a very international one in such a provincial town as Brescia! But we were already in love with the AEGEE spirit, and this gave us the enthusiasm to face this great challenge.
And finally, in the last months, our efforts finally seemed to be rewarded, as about 150 young people will always remember AEGEE-Brescia while thinking of summer 1999.

The amazing co-founder Patrizia Menchiari at the very professional townhall press conference.

Some figures?

* 15 crazy Summer University organisers shared the unforgettable experience of organising “lnSUperabile l” – our first own SU after making two skiing weeks and a Travelling Summer
University together with AEGEE-Treviso and AEGEE-Venezia last year. Our marvelous team was getting closer and closer day by day. This started already in out preparation phase, when we held our organisers’ meetings in beautiful parks or the castle. We also tried out all the excursions, laughing and singing all the way. Regardless all differences in age and level of AEGEE experience, everybody gave a contribution, developing new skills while having fun: teaching Italian, organising the city rally, coordinating a press conference, fund-raising, finding creative solutions to everyday small emergencies and much more.

The most legendary moment: the SU group became background dancers for a gospel group from San Francisco.
The participants were singing all the time – no wonder, when you had talented guitar players among the organisers.

* 35 incredible people from 17 different countries took part in “InSUperabile!”. We had an unforgettable time with this amazing group of people. Wherever we went, whatever we did, our group changed the atmosphere of every place. Like during an open-air gospel concert that we visited in Brescia. As soon as the singers from San Francisco sang their first notes, our participants started to dance, while the hundreds of visitors were sitting on their chairs. The singers were so amazed, that they asked “the funny crowd over there” – this means us – on the stage, were we were singing and dancing with the group until the concert was over.
And nobody in the staff will ever forget the moving Thank You ceremony during the European Night, when we were awarded golden chocolate medals and the participants sang the self-composed song to the melody of Adriano Celentano’s “Azzurro”, whose chorus sounds like this:
“In Brescia there s always sunshine/ even if it sometimes might rain / This sunshine is in the heart of all the people / here in AEGEE / They made us feel here at home immediately /and we all just say / when we go now home from Brescia /we’ll tell it was InSUperabile!”

There was a serious language course with three levels for beginners, intermediate and advanced speakers of Italian. Many participants were learning even in the parks!

* 40 AEGEE-Brescia members enjoyed the SU experience abroad. Our crazy members conquered Europe, spreading some of our spirit to many other Summer Universities. They returned to Brescia not only full of enthusiasm and amazing experiences. While showing all the others tons of pictures, many of them stated they felt “different “. And now they want to be updated weekly about the new events – looking forward to seeing their new friends again.

Of course the SU was not only about studying.

* And finally… 60 local students took part to Foreign Languages Summer Courses for free. These courses were organised parallel to the Summer University, in the same building, organized by AEGEE Brescia with the support of the University. So the local students could practice the new languages with the SU guests.

The year 2000 will represent a new exciting season for the AEGEE-Brescia team, involved in the organisation of three events in few months. Would you like to taste our crazy spirit? Come to one of our events and see!
But if you think Brescia is too far – don’t worry, because Europe is not too far for us. You can meet people from the squadra azzurra (we are nicknamed like this because of our shining blue shirts, worn for the first time at the Agora in Barcelona) almost in every event!

The legendary Thank You ceremony at the end of the SU! The organisers were crying tears for joy!