This year AEGEE saw the pre­miere of a new type of sum­mer event as part of the 30th anniver­sary cel­e­bra­tion of AEGEE’s Sum­mer Uni­ver­si­ty project: the Sum­mer Breaks. With max­i­mum one week and low­er fees this type of event also tried to tack­le the SU appli­ca­tion fatigue, the decreas­ing num­ber of appli­cants. Four Sum­mer Breaks took place, in Pisa, León, Paris and as Pal­mas. The very first one was orga­nized by AEGEE-Pisa. The organ­is­ers’ con­clu­sion is pos­i­tive: “We think that it was the per­fect com­pro­mise between a sum­mer uni­ver­si­ty and an AEGEE event”.

Gold­en Times: Why did you decide to orga­nize a Sum­mer Break and not a stan­dard Sum­mer Uni­ver­si­ty?
AEGEE-Pisa: We are a small anten­na, which is grow­ing quite fast, but with few active old mem­bers. Apply­ing for a Sum­mer Break has been already a chal­lenge for us, since “C’mon Pisa light fire!” was born as an AEGEE meet­ing of 4 or 5 days. This is the first year that we suc­ceed­ed to include it in the SU project.

GT: How do you like the idea of the Sum­mer Break?
AEGEE-Pisa: We have the tra­di­tion of this sum­mer event, which is in the week of the biggest city fes­ti­val in hon­or of the patron Saint Ranieri. This year, putting our event under the umbrel­la of the Sum­mer Uni­ver­si­ty project gave us more vis­i­bil­i­ty, this is also why for us it has been an impor­tant goal.

GT: Did orga­niz­ing a Sum­mer Break ful­fill your expec­ta­tions? Or is a full Sum­mer Uni­ver­si­ty bet­ter? What are the pros and cons?
AEGEE-Pisa: We think that it was the per­fect com­pro­mise between a sum­mer uni­ver­si­ty and an AEGEE event. We had a lot of ideas for this year and maybe there was space for a full Sum­mer Uni­ver­si­ty but we hadn’t enough ener­gies and peo­ple for it.

GT: How many par­tic­i­pants and how many organ­is­ers did you have?
AEGEE-Pisa: We had 20 par­tic­i­pants, 1 helper and 11 orga­niz­ers.

GT: What was the Sum­mer Break about?
AEGEE-Pisa: It was all about Tus­can tra­di­tions and folk­lore. We decid­ed to pro­mote games, dances and songs which are well known among locals, but not so wide­spread abroad. Even in the choice of the cities to vis­it, we gave much more impor­tance to their his­to­ry: we vis­it­ed the ancient mar­itime repub­lic of Pisa and lat­er the Medicean city of Livorno, well known for its mar­itime past, and also Luc­ca, where we had a tour by bike through the old medieval streets. We learned how to make a real Ital­ian piz­za and how to bet­ter digest, as well as join­ing a Col­or Run up the city walls of Luc­ca. The last day we spent In Flo­rence where our par­tic­i­pants were able to admire the Ital­ian renais­sance.

GT: What were the great­est the­mat­ic pro­gramme high­lights of the Sum­mer Break?
AEGEE-Pisa: For sure the work­shops about Tus­can folk­lore like Gio­co del Ponte, piz­za work­shop, quadrille dance, but also the Col­or Run in Luc­ca and the impro­vi­sa­tion work­shop.

GT: What were the fun­ni­est or most excit­ing moments?
AEGEE-Pisa: One of the most excit­ing moments was before and after the col­or run, when danc­ing par­tic­i­pants and orga­niz­ers start­ed throw­ing col­ors in the air. Anoth­er one was the fash­ion night, in which we had an aper­i­ti­vo in a club where mod­els were walk­ing the cat­walk and lat­er we went wild on the dance floor.

GT: How was the group of par­tic­i­pants and your coop­er­a­tion in the orga­niz­ing team?
AEGEE-Pisa: We couldn’t hope for a bet­ter group! We have been a fam­i­ly from the first day, with the art lovers, sport-addict­ed guy and the Span­ish ghet­to always ready for par­ties! Also the orga­niz­ers suc­ceed­ed in spend­ing enough time with the par­tic­i­pants, enough to become all mama and papa!

GT: How was the romance fac­tor of the Sum­mer Break? Where there many cou­ples and what were the high­lights from the gos­sip box?
AEGEE-Pisa: We had just one cou­ple but sev­er­al rumors about oth­ers in the gos­sip box, which was always full of new gos­sips.

GT: Any­thing you would like to add?
AEGEE-Pisa: It was an amaz­ing expe­ri­ence, and we hope next year we will apply for a real SU!

Check also the Face­book album of this year’s Sum­mer Uni­ver­si­ties!