AEGEE members in Poland and Slovakia are usually known for their crazy spirit, their enthusiasm, their creativity when it comes to organizing event. You can experience all this at the Travelling Summer University “Become a Slavic Hero” of AEGEE-Bratislava and AEGEE-Katowice. This amazing event will take place from 18th of July till 1st of August. The participants will see many different aspects of the culture and history of Slovakia and Poland, from ice caves and coal mines to the concentration camp Auschwitz and the amazing Tatra mountains. “It is going to be wild roller-coaster ride”, promises Lenka Stancelova from Bratislava. Together with her fellow organisers from both antennae, she gave the Golden Times readers a preview what you can expect.

2013herocoverGolden Times: Why will the SU of AEGEE-Bratislava and AEGEE-Katowice be one of the best Summer Universities this year?
This is not the first SU organized together, which means we all know each other and can make the best out of this summer. We are great team of organizers, all with true AEGEE spirit! During our SU we will visit amazing places and also the programme will be fun. Plus, we are going to have the greatest participants who will rock it!

Golden Times: The title is “Become a Slavic hero!” What does it take to become a Slavic hero?
You don’t need to be from Slavic country to become a Slavic hero. What you need, is to be passionate, adventurous, curious and brave hearted person, who is not afraid to fight your dark side of you.

Polish coal mine

Golden Times: What are the biggest similarities between Poland and Slovakia in general?
We share Tatra mountains and we have very similar languages, both from Slavic language family. Due to the same history, we have many common traditions and habits which make us unique. Also the landscape and nature is very similar. Producing beer is also something we can share.

Golden Times: How did your two antennae get the idea of making an SU together?
Two years ago we already prepared one amazing SU together. It was great event, we had lots of fun and both sides were collaborating as one. Therefore we decided to cooperate again, of course with some fresh new ideas and themes.

Golden Times: Your event is a Travel Summer University. So which major places will you visit? 
Our Summer University starts in the industrial city of Katowice, from there we will take some fresh air in Dabrowa Gornicza and sink into a dark part of history, in Auschwitz. After that we will move to the mythical city Krakow. That will be the part in Poland. From now on the tour continues in Slovakia, in a city under mountains, Poprad. We will cool ourselves during the day in the ice cave “Dobsinska ladova jaskyna” and later we will continue our journey in Liptovsky Mikulas and relax in aquapark Tatralandia. Finishing in the capital of Slovakia, Bratislava, also well known as Partyslava.

Beautiful Bratislava

Golden Times: Which place of the ones mentioned are you personally looking most forward to?
I love our mountains, High Tatras, which we actually share with Poland. It is a breathtaking and relaxing place, where you can fully recharge your batteries. We will spend in that area the middle part of our journey, so that’s the place I’m mostly looking forward!

Golden Times: You will also visit Auschwitz. This will probably be the most shocking part of the event?
Yes, visiting Auschwitz is always very emotional for everybody. The place itself gives you goose bumps. Especially in certain rooms where you see and understand how many people died there. I believe it is an experience that you will remember forever.

Golden Times: I am sure about that – I was there already with AEGEE. It left a deep impression. Talking about lighter issues: one focus of the event will be ecology – what does that mean precisely?
Katowice is one of the most industrial cities in Silesia. We would like to show that we can take care also about ecology. We’re going to prepare an ecological city game for participants.

The fanous ice cave in Slovakia

Golden Times: What will be the content focus in Slovakia? In the SU description there is something written about discovering national heroes…
We will continue the Polish focus on sports and ecology and add something small from our history. The participants can be sporty in Aquapark we are gonna visit, feel ecologically during the workshop which a Slovak NGO is going to give and they discover national heroes by visiting castles and some historical places where the heroes were born to dramatically die!

Golden Times: The participants will see a lot of exceptional places, for example a coal mine or ice caves. But wait – doesn’t the ice melt in summer? 
C’mon, we are so cool that even ice won’t melt! We will see many interesting and unique places. The coal mine in Poland is a very exciting experience where you can see and appreciate the hard work of the miners. In Slovakia we will see the beauty of our nature. Dobšinského ice cave is phenomenal – it is named after our best fairytale collector – and when the weather is hot you can cool yourself underground with real ice as in winter! Not that our participants would not be cool enough…

Lenka Stancelova

Golden Times: At the end the group will make its own theater performance, where people can show their heroic side. How do we have to imagine that?
Slavic people – and especially Slovaks and Polish people – are known for their interest in fairy-tales. Many people think that fairy-tales are only nice stories with happy ending. You can find many horror fairy-tales in Slovak and Polish culture. We would like our participants to learn a bit about our culture, history and customs and perform a small thematic play in the way they want. We are also thinking about a really hard competition, where each group can choose their coach organizers and start a real battle!

Golden Times: Will the participants also learn some Slovak and some Polish? 
Of course they will! At least names of traditional food and drinks and some useful pick-up lines…


Golden Times: How is the atmosphere in your organizing team? Will you try out programme elements together before the participants arrive?
Our team is super nice and we are all friends, not just organizers. We are very passionate and want to create the perfect SU. Unfortunately we don’t have so much time to set up meetings and see each other face to face, but because we organized summer universities before together, we learned how to cooperate with each other also over distances. Our program is based on our own experience, so we know precisely what to expect from certain parts. We created our programme to show you how both countries are beautiful.

Golden Times: How much is the participation fee?
180 Euro for amazing two weeks and 30 Euro as optional fee for visiting the biggest and the most awesome Aquapark Tatralandia in Slovakia!


Golden Times: What else should potential participants know about the event?
They should get ready for this crazy trip! It is going to be wild roller-coaster ride. One day up in mountain, another deep down in mine! All of the information and our promo videos you can find in Facebook group „TSU Become a Slavic hero!“ We are looking forward to meeting all our crazy participants!