Flo­rence is a mag­i­cal place. What’s bet­ter than vis­it­ing such a great city alone? Dis­cov­er­ing it with AEGEE — dur­ing a Sum­mer Uni­ver­si­ty. It’s just great that in 2017 the Sum­mer Uni­ver­si­ty (SU) of AEGEE-Firen­ze got the sec­ond high­est rat­ing of all SUs in the net­work! Main orga­niz­er of the event was Loren­zo Cozzi, who is also at the helm of this year’s sum­mer course: “Under the Tus­can SUn”. Loren­zo told the Gold­en Times more about AEGEE-Firenze’s mag­ic SU for­mu­la – and what you can expect in this year’s event, which takes place from 4th to 15th of August.

Loren­zo Cozzi

Gold­en Times: Your SU was one of the top 10 SUs in 2017. Why, how did you man­age?
Loren­zo Cozzi: I would be lying if I said that it was easy for us to attain this out­stand­ing goal. The posi­tion we reached was the result of a huge orga­ni­za­tion­al and finan­cial effort for our local and was also due to the won­der­ful group spir­it devel­oped dur­ing the event: our par­tic­i­pants were amaz­ing, the best group I’ve ever han­dled in my AEGEE expe­ri­ence as SU orga­niz­er, which start­ed in 2015. Anoth­er key aspect was for sure the good com­pro­mise between time for activ­i­ties, free time and social pro­gramme. Final­ly, the beau­ties of our city and region helped a lot in leav­ing warm and charm­ing mem­o­ries in the par­tic­i­pants.

GT: What’s the main top­ic of your SU in 2018? And why did you choose it?
Loren­zo: The main theme will be, as tra­di­tion­al­ly in Firen­ze, con­nect­ed with his­to­ry and local cul­ture: dis­cov­ery of Tus­can cities, his­to­ry, tra­di­tion, sea and food. We will also include some the­mat­ic con­tent relat­ed to civic edu­ca­tion.

The group of the Sum­mer Uni­ver­si­ty in Firen­ze in 2017.

GT: SU means Sum­mer and Uni­ver­si­ty. What’s the Uni­ver­si­ty aspect, what is in the tuition part?
Loren­zo: There will be ses­sions about Ital­ian cul­ture and lan­guage, espe­cial­ly a real­ly fun­ny one about stereo­types con­nect­ed with Ital­ian peo­ple. Our par­tic­i­pants will also have the chance of explor­ing the main cul­tur­al high­lights of Firen­ze, with guid­ed tours to world­wide famous muse­ums as the Uffizi Gallery. Civic edu­ca­tion relat­ed work­shops will then guide the par­tic­i­pants in devel­op­ing a bet­ter aware­ness about all the advan­tages and oppor­tu­ni­ties that Euro­pean Union can offer to young peo­ple.

GT: Let’s talk about the Sum­mer part of your SU. What are the three main pro­gramme high­lights in this area? And which cities or land­marks will you vis­it?
Loren­zo: Well, it’s dif­fi­cult to pro­vide such a short list as I think that most of all deserve a spot on it. If forced to, I’ll chose these: Euro­pean Night in a huge coun­try­side house with indus­tri­al kitchen, swim­ming pool by night in an amaz­ing loca­tion in Firen­ze and a day trip to the mar­velous Elba Island. As far as cities and land­marks are con­cerned, we’ll have the chance to vis­it Firen­ze, Pisa, Pop­pi, which is a small city in the Tus­can coun­try­side, San Vin­cen­zo and Elba Island.

GT: What will you improve in your SU com­pared to 2017?
Loren­zo: We’ll use the con­struc­tive feed­backs we got from our par­tic­i­pants last year to orga­nize an even bet­ter event, for exam­ple we’ll have some hik­ing in the coun­try­side.

The group of the 2017 Sum­mer Uni­ver­si­ty vis­it­ed great places.

GT: Can you say a cou­ple of words about your anten­na: what makes it spe­cial?
Loren­zo: AEGEE-Firen­ze is not a huge local but we try to be real­ly active at least at local lev­el — if you haven’t done it yet, put a like on our Face­book page to check it! Being in con­stant con­tact with for­eign­ers and widen our bor­ders are the main rea­sons that make us proud of being part of such an amaz­ing inter­na­tion­al asso­ci­a­tion. Our local has been orga­niz­ing Sum­mer Uni­ver­si­ties since 1994 — with­out gap years. For us, the Sum­mer Uni­ver­si­ty is always a great chal­lenge but def­i­nite­ly worth to be done: it’s a way of con­nect­ing Firen­ze with the rest of the Net­work and give a chance to young Euro­peans to see and live our beau­ti­ful city and cul­ture.

GT: Where can inter­est­ed peo­ple find out more about your SU?
Loren­zo: To find more details you just have to wait till the 22nd of March, more infor­ma­tion will be pub­lished on the offi­cial Sum­mer Uni­ver­si­ty web­site.

GT: Any­thing you would like to add? You can give a mes­sage to poten­tial appli­cants here…
Loren­zo: Don’t miss the chance to be one of the amaz­ing par­tic­i­pants of “Under the Tus­can SUn”. Sum­mer Uni­ver­si­ties orga­nized by AEGEE-Firen­ze have been on the podi­um of the rank­ing for the last two years, and we look for­ward to being there also in 2018: join the group and live an unfor­get­table sum­mer adven­ture!

AEGEE-Firen­ze is wait­ing for you!