Transylvania is more than just Dracula. In case you want to get to know one of the most beautiful regions in Europe, then the Summer University “Transylvania beyond its city walls” by AEGEE-Cluj-Napoca and AEGEE-Sibiu is the right choice for you. It takes place from 1st till 15th of August. Monica Rațiu, PR Coordinator of AEGEE-Cluj-Napoca: “There will be two unforgettable weeks!”

Peles Castle

Golden Times: Monica, why will the SU of AEGEE-Cluj-Napoca and AEGEE-Sibiu be one of the best Summer Universities this year?
Monica Rațiu: Because our team is made of friends, of people who connected from the very first moment. The programme is very diverse, including cultural activities, eco ones and also fun elements. We are giving the participants the opportunity to visit different sides of Romania, from the most important cities in Transylvania to beautiful villages, where they will taste the lifestyle as it is there. The castles, the waterfalls that we will visit are the most important and also beautiful in Romania. This is the best opportunity to discover the beauties of our country!

Golden Times: The title is “Transylvania Beyond Its City Walls”. What does the title mean?
Monica: Step outside from the city and see the beauties the surround you: villages, mountains, lakes, waterfalls. There is much more to visit around than the cities.


Golden Times: Transylvania is indeed a region of incredibly beauty. Which places will the participants see?
Monica: The SU will start in Cluj-Napoca, then we move to Daneș, next on the list are Brașov and Sibiu and then back to Cluj. Except for these places, we will also visit the famous Salt Mine in Turda, Cheile Turzii Gorges, Bran and Peleș Castles, Bâlea Waterfall and Bâlea Lake.

Monica Ratiu
Monica Rațiu

Golden Times: That’s a lot of places. How did you choose the two villages Daneş and Saschiz that you will also visit? There are much more famous places in Transylvania…
Monica: Both Daneș and Saschiz are old German villages in which the traditions are still kept. They will get the opportunity to see how a mix of Romanian and German culture still works. In the middle of the nature, we will both discover how life in the countryside is. Besides this, we are taking our participants to the most important cities and outdoor spaces in Transylvania.

Golden Times: This is a very busy programme. Will the participants be lodged in all places or will they just make day trips there?
Monica: The participants will be logded in Cluj-Napoca, Brasov, Sibiu and in Daneș. We are visiting the rest of the other mentioned places in day trips. The programme might sound busy, but the activities will be very pleasant, so the participants won’t feel under pressure.

Cluj1Dracula Party
Dracula Party, one year ago

Golden Times: When people hear “Transylvania”, they think first of Dracula. In your programme is even a Dracula Party. Aren’t you tired of hearing: “Oh, that’s the vampire country”?
Monica: We, as people living in Transylvania, are tired of this stereotype, but we know that the people are attracted by this name. No worries, though, we have the chance to teach people more about this famous character that made Romania so popular in the world.

Golden Times: Last year you organized nearly the same Summer University. How was it?
Monica: Last year’s Summer University was similar because of the majority of the places that we will visit this year are the same. The difference is that this year we will focus more on the cultural side than on the ecological one. There are many funny stories to be told about last year, it is hard to choose. For example, when we visited the Mud Volcanoes, both participants and organizers sank in the muddy “lava”, laughing and trying to escape. Some parties that were legendary were the eco one and the sex-change party, where everybody had to create surprising outfits for which they also received prizes.


Golden Times: Which place will the participants like most, based from past experience?
Monica: The participants liked all the places visited, all for different reasons: they like Cluj for the lifestyle, Brașov and Sibiu for their beauty, the same for the other places that we visited. We are trying to get people to the most important and iconic places in Transylvania. The daily programme will always be improved based on the feedback given by the participants.

Golden Times: This time you will have a new co-organiser with AEGEE-Sibiu. How is the cooperation going?
Monica: The members of AEGEE-Sibiu are old friends of ours, so the team is giving its best on doing everything right. We can’t wait to meet again the people from Sibiu, as now we are discussing everything virtually or on the phone.

Turda Salt Mine

Golden Times: Will you test the SU by visiting some places beforehand?
Monica: Yes, as we are doing every year. We have a team of people that go in every place to check the lodging, food and other details that we need in scheduling the programme for the 14 days.

Golden Times: There is also an ecology aspect in your programme. What can you tell about that?
Monica: This year we are focusing more on the cultural side, but we still can’t ignore the ecological one. We will be collecting rubbish in Cheile Turzii Gorges, we will go hiking to one of the most beautiful waterfalls. In Saschiz there is one of the most famous eco food factory in Romania and we will take our participants there and teach them how to prepare eco jam, for example.

Balela Waterfall

Golden Times: There will also be a Romanian language course. How well did the participants in Romanian in last year’s SU?
Monica (smiles): The Romanian language course couldn’t miss in our schedule. People love to learn the basic expressions in our language, so that they know what to say to girls or how to order a drink.

Golden Times: How much is the participation fee?
Monica: The participation fee is 180 Euros and the optional fee is 35 Euros. We are using it for visiting the Peleș Castle, one of the most important ones in Transylvania and to spend a day in an adventure Park in Brașov.

Golden Times: Peles Castle is indeed great. What else should potential participants know about the event?
Monica: There will be two unforgettable weeks, it will a perfect opportunity to discover the culture and the beauty of Transylvanian cities, villages and nature. Whoever likes adventure should join us and become transylmaniacs!

More info about this SU
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