The Sum­mer Uni­ver­si­ty is AEGEE’s most famous project. Start­ing in 1988, ten thou­sands of stu­dents par­tic­i­pat­ed in at least one of the many cours­es. One of the most suc­cess­ful this year was the SU “Shardana: Sar­din­ian Leg­ends”, organ­ised by AEGEE-Cagliari from 2nd till 13th of August. Main coor­di­na­tor Anto­nio Pin­tus and Loren­zo Lig­as, con­tent man­ag­er and PR respon­si­ble, told the Gold­en Times what made their event so spe­cial.

Prizes for the great organ­is­ers: Loren­zo Lig­as, Eleono­ra Mur­ru and Anto­nio Pin­tus (from left).

GT: How many par­tic­i­pants and how many organ­is­ers did you have?
Anto­nio Pin­tus: We had 29 amaz­ing leg­ends and a big group of 18 moti­vat­ed orga­niz­ers plus one very pre­cious helper from AEGEE-Ioan­ni­na, Vasi­li­ki Andri­oti, who has been in Cagliari before the SU already three times: par­tic­i­pant in our SU 2016, par­tic­i­pant in the NWM 2016 and par­tic­i­pant in one Eras­mus+ project this spring.

GT: What was the SU about? And how suc­cess­ful was it over­all?
Anto­nio: The SU was about Sar­din­ian cul­ture and his­to­ry with a spe­cial focus on the Shardana, ancient war­riors. We are real­ly sat­is­fied about the over­all suc­cess of the Sum­mer Uni­ver­si­ty, and espe­cial­ly we are hap­py that the group real­ly bond­ed.
Loren­zo Lig­as: I am real­ly sat­is­fied by the out­come of the ses­sions “What is AEGEE?”, “Spread­ing Europ­ti­mism” and “Youth Mobil­i­ty”, in which inter­est­ing and con­struc­tive dis­cus­sions were born.

GT: What were the great­est pro­gramme high­lights of the SU?
Anto­nio: We vis­it­ed Cagliari and oth­er cul­tur­al sites in the east and west coast of the Island. Here are some high­lights:

  • we vis­it­ed some arche­o­log­i­cal sites, which are thou­sands of years old. The tour end­ed with a typ­i­cal lunch in an amaz­ing loca­tion on the moun­tain, and under a mil­lenar­i­an tree we had a his­tor­i­cal ses­sion about the Shardana war­riors. The ses­sion was pro­vid­ed by young experts, the same which worked in the ‘’Nuragh­es’’ pro­duc­tion, a short movie about the same top­ic
  • we took a boat trip on the amaz­ing sea and went to the small pecu­liar beach­es of the Gulf of Oro­sei, while tast­ing our tra­di­tion­al seafoods and drinks on board. It was an enchant­i­ng expe­ri­ence
  • an inter­est­ing high­light was indeed our famous cook­ing work­shop, in which thanks to the grand­moth­er of one of our organ­is­ers, we pre­pared and cooked typ­i­cal Sar­din­ian ravi­o­li
  • the trekking we had in the Devil’s Sad­dle, fol­lowed by an aper­i­tif on the top of the hill, from where it was pos­si­ble to admire the Gulf of Angels and the city.
  • the vis­it of the pro­tect­ed area Molen­targius, a saline region­al park, where hun­dreds of flamin­gos can be spot­ted.

GT: What were the fun­ni­est or most excit­ing moments?
Anto­nio: The whole event was extreme­ly fun, but if I have to choose a few moments I would say that the boat par­ty in front of the Devil’s Sad­dle in Cagliari dur­ing the sun­set was real­ly excit­ing. And for the fun­ni­est moment every­one would agree that it was the pool par­ty we had on the fourth day. We had a pool just for us with a bar­be­cue area. Every­one went total­ly crazy dur­ing this par­ty. The day after, almost every­one was named in the gos­sip box! We can total­ly say we can divide the Sum­mer in two parts: pre pool par­ty and post pool par­ty!
Loren­zo: dur­ing one of my ses­sions a group of par­tic­i­pants was using a water gun to shoot peo­ple that were not focused. It was real­ly fun­ny to see that! #Sleepin­gaegeeans were not allowed! In one of our nights in Baunei, we were sup­posed to have a chilly par­ty in the lodg­ing, but at a cer­tain moment every­one start­ed to get crazy, organ­is­ers first! We put the speak­ers to the max­i­mum, had one lati­no playlist, and the sit­u­a­tion became hot and incred­i­bly fun­ny! ‘’For­tu­nate­ly’’ we were inter­rupt­ed by the police, oth­er­wise a no-sleep night would have come! Final­ly, the dress exchange par­ty was also an hilar­i­ous moment. Boys dressed like girls, and girls like boys! We were all laugh­ing real­ly hard! At a cer­tain moment, the sit­u­a­tion got absurd, because we realised we weren’t alone in the build­ing: we had to share a part of the accom­mo­da­tion with a local folk group which was real­ly sur­prised because of the unusu­al par­ty. They are prob­a­bly still won­der­ing what was going on there! After the dress exchange, we had a crazy rooms crawl, with very spicy tasks!

GT: How was the group of par­tic­i­pants?
Anto­nio: The group is deci­sive in order to have a good SU, and I could not have asked for a bet­ter group. We didn’t even need so many ice-break­ing games, because our par­tic­i­pants were open and friend­ly from the begin­ning. We had a lot of fun! I am hap­py also because our par­tic­i­pants were always involved in our activ­i­ties and thanks to their under­stand­ing atti­tude the pro­gramme went easy, even when we had to change it because of bad weath­er.

GT: How was your coop­er­a­tion in the orga­niz­ing team?
Anto­nio: The orga­niz­ers’ team always man­aged to face the sit­u­a­tions with extreme deter­mi­na­tion, always giv­ing 200% of ded­i­ca­tion. So orga­niz­ers and par­tic­i­pants togeth­er made an explo­sive group!

Hap­py SU par­tic­i­pants and organ­is­ers dur­ing the leg­endary boat trip.

GT: How was the romance fac­tor of the SU? Where there many cou­ples and what were the high­lights from the gos­sip box?
Loren­zo: The romance fac­tor was high­ly present in our Sum­mer Uni­ver­si­ty, prob­a­bly because of the roman­tic sce­nar­ios and the warm weath­er. Few cou­ples were born dur­ing the event, mean­while the gos­sip box was always quite inter­est­ing and full of papers! The most pop­u­lar gos­sip was ‘’got­ta catch them all’’. You guess why…

GT: Any­thing you would like to add?
Anto­nio: As usu­al­ly in AEGEE events, dif­fer­ent cul­tur­al her­itages were per­fect­ly mixed togeth­er. The cli­mate was hap­py, fun­ny and chilly, and every­one was inte­grat­ed in the group. I am very sat­is­fied of the result of the event, every­thing went bet­ter than expect­ed! After hav­ing spent all these months work­ing with ded­i­ca­tion and pas­sion, the best reward is the hap­pi­ness of both par­tic­i­pants and organ­is­ers. Our goal was to make our par­tic­i­pants hap­py and to give them an unfor­get­table expe­ri­ence that will last for­ev­er. This is what we took home: an incred­i­ble Sum­mer Uni­ver­si­ty, in which every­one had a spe­cial place.
Loren­zo: This event was absolute­ly amaz­ing, prob­a­bly my cra­zi­est one! The atmos­phere of this Sum­mer Uni­ver­si­ty was one of the cru­cial rea­sons for me in order to can­di­date again for SUCT in Autumn Ago­ra Cata­nia. I want to give my con­tribute to one of the best projects we have in AEGEE!