How European do people feel in Las Palmas, Porto or Sankt Peterburg? How do the AEGEE antennae in these cities cope with living on the edge of Europe? In the third part of the series “Living on the edge of Europe”, Bernice Saliba, Secretary General of AEGEE-Valletta, reports from the Mediterranean.

AEGEE-Valletta partyGolden Times: Let’s start with the basics: how many members do you have? And when was your antenna founded?
Bernice Saliba: We have around 180 members, around 20 to 30 are active. AEGEE-Valletta was founded in 1997.

Golden Times: How European-minded are normal people and students in your city?
Bernice: Malta is part of the EU so we hear a lot about Europe. With regards to culture, Malta is a unique situation, a hybrid of cultures.

Bernice Saliba
Bernice Saliba

Golden Times: Is it hard to find members?
Bernice: Members are not difficult to find, encouraging them to be active is.

Golden Times: What do you tell potential members when they say: “AEGEE sounds nice, but all the events are far away…”
Bernice: On the contrary. Many are excited by the travel prospect, even if it is more difficult and expensive for us, having to rely solely on airplanes.

Golden Times: Are there also positive aspects from your geographical location?
Bernice: The climate mostly and our centralized location.

Golden Times: How much does travelling cost to Central European locations, such as Munich or Vienna?
Bernice: It depends on the availability of airlines, approximately it may take between 50 and 200 Euros.

DIGITAL CAMERAGolden Times: Do you cooperate in 2012 with other antennae or do you plan that for 2013? With which one on what event?
Bernice: In 2012 we cooperated with AEGEE-Catania for the TSU. This year we are cooperating with AEGEE-Tilburg for exchanges.

Golden Times: Which international events are you planning for 2013?
Bernice: The EBM and the mentioned exchanges with AEGEE-Tilburg. We’re not planning on an SU, maybe a Summer Event, but we will see in the future.

Golden Times: Do you sometimes wish your antenna was more central or do you enjoy being at the edge of Europe?
Bernice: It’s difficult to say, although from a financial point of view it may be easier to be more centralized.