The Summer University is back! The GT is presenting the some of this year’s courses, including a very important aspect: the covid prevention measures. Check out what AEGEE-Istanbul is planning for you. Their event is called Mysteries of Centuries, and will take place from 24 th of July to 4th of August. The fee is 154 Euros, with an optional 40 Euros for a visit to Topkapı Palace and other excursions.

Golden Times: What is the main SU topic?
AEGEE-Istanbul: Our theme is a cultural one, which is about the many legends and mysteries in our lovely city İstanbul. Mysteries of Centuries! Well it’s kind of funny because at first, we decided to organize a post-apocalyptic zombie-like event, but later we realized that might not turn out the way we would want it…

GT: SU means Summer and University. Can you elaborate more on the thematic part of your SU?
AEGEE-Istanbul: Given our theme is culture-oriented, our workshops are mainly designed around that idea such as the city tour, Turkish Language, Shisha and History Workshops. When we say History Workshop, we urge you not to think about only Turkish culture, because İstanbul is a city that was under the influence of many other great civilizations like Roman, Greek and Byzantine, for instance. We also have some self-improvement workshops but we would rather keep it as a secret for now.

GT: Let’s talk about the leisure part of your SU. What are the three main programme highlights in this area? Which cities and landmarks will you visit?
AEGEE-Istanbul: First of them, which is a signature event of our antenna, is the boat party! For one of our party nights we arrange a boat to tour along the Bosphorus and party like crazy. The second one is a not so crazy one, which we will be spending a day in a campsite, away from everyone and everything, a peaceful day to forget about our daily stress and just relax.  The third one would be the barbeque we are planning on one of the four islands of İstanbul. Again, it is far from the city’s fast-paced life and a natural, quiet place to play games and relax. There are also some beaches for those who would want to swim. For landmarks, it is very hard to experience Istanbul’s full potential in just two weeks but we try to do our best. Most of the city’s landmarks are situated what we call Historical Peninsula, such as Hagia Sophia, Topkapı Palace, Basilica Cistern, Spice Bazaar and some others. So we will spend some time here but we won’t forget to pay a visit places like Taksim Square, Beşiktaş District, and most importantly, to the Asia side!

GT: Some applicants might be concerned about the corona crisis. What kind of precautions will you take? For example, will you test the organisers and participants at the beginning and during the SU about the virus? Will you have a mask mandate for certain programme parts?
AEGEE-Istanbul: We are aware of the possible risks and we are trying to organize a corona-free event as much as we can. Of course, wearing a mask is mandatory for certain parts of our event, such as city tours, for example, and we will provide hand sanitizers and masks during the programme. We care not only for our participants’ health but also our organizers. We will self-quarantine ourselves before the event. Having said that, complying with our countries regulations is at upmost importance and we trust our participants with that.

GT: Will you ask the participants to get vaccinated before the event?
AEGEE-Istanbul: According to Turkey’s travel guidelines, everyone must submit a PCR test three days prior to traveling to Turkey with some exceptions for a couple of countries. However, for the sake of all, we require every participant to be tested in order to keep the risk as low as possible. We will inform our participants more about the regulations and changes if necessary before their arrival. There are also some useful links about this issue in our application page.

GT: What will you do in case a participant gets tested positive on the corona virus?
AEGEE-Istanbul: Well, that is the worst case scenario, isn’t it? We would feel very sorry for anyone who missed the chance to be a part of our amazing event but not to worry! We have a separate house only for those who have the risk of carrying coronavirus.

GT: Can you say a couple of words about your antenna: what does it make it special?
AEGEE-Istanbul: We will give you one word: people! I mean, sure, we live in one of the most wonderful cities in the world but where our antenna peaks the most is our lovely members’ hospitality. Our members are in many occasions doing everything possible to please our participants. Almost makes us sad that we can’t be a participant in an AEGEE-Istanbul event really…

GT: Where can interested people find out more about your SU?
AEGEE-Istanbul: Firstly, they can check out the application page. Also we send posts about our SU in our Instagram channel. And feel free to contact us from our Instagram or Facebook pages.

GT: Anything you would like to add? Do you have a message to potential applicants?
AEGEE-Istanbul: We know how you feel people and we know what you need. We are ready for you in Istanbul but the real question is: are you ready for us? 🙂