You don’t need to spend a lot of money in order to visit a great SU. Many Summer Universities offer you a high quality event for very little money. The Golden Times spoke with the organisers of AEGEE-Napoli, AEGEE-Cagliari and AEGEE-Zaragoza.

AEGEE-Napoli: “Past & Fasul – Through the Ages of time!”

Fee: 95 Euro, optional costs: 40 Euro

Gregorio Tomasillo
Gregorio Tomasillo

GT: What’s the title of your SU in 2015?
Gregorio Tomasillo, AEGEE-Napoli: Our title is: “Past & Fasul – Through the Ages of time!” It isn’t the first case we use a play of words between Neapolitan and English as title for an event. The double meaning comes from the term “past”, with both a temporal and a culinary sense to merge the huge historical and gastronomic richness of our land. And not only that! Because it’s like in Dean Martin’s song “That’s Amore”: “When the stars make you drool, just like past and fasul – that’s amore!”

GT: What’s the date of your SU?
Gregorio: From 23rd of July to 4th of August. It’s the best period to visit the south of Italy!

GT: Your SU is the cheapest of all SUs. How do you manage to do it for such a low price?
Gregorio: It’s never easy to combine a good programme and a cheap fee, but this is the challenge for every organising team. For us it wasn’t simple, but also not that difficult. The biggest success was to get free accommodation in a school – with beds! Also important are a small economical support from University and the help by local associations and the municipality. Nevertheless, we could have chosen a higher fee, but we have also to thank our two previous boards that filled our bank account with their work, so we are covered in case of an emergency and can put all our efforts into organising a great and cheap AEGEE event.

GT: What do you think about so many expensive SUs? Is this a bad development?
Gregorio: Well, even though it is still cheaper to travel with AEGEE than in a common way, it is clear that the increase in prices will make it more difficult. This can be improved. If you look at our fee, you notice that even if you add the optional fee of 40 Euro, the whole price is 135 Euro, a bit less than 10 Euro per day! We showed everybody that it is possible to go fairly under the AEGEE limit on the daily fee, hoping other locals will follow our example in the future, to create not only a fantastic SU, but also a very convenient one.

GT: What do your members say about the recent price increases of SUs?
Gregorio: We love AEGEE. A little increase in price won’t stop us and our members, but our dream is to see great and cheap SUs to give everybody the chance to feel Europe as a home.

GT: Why should AEGEE members specifically apply for your SU?
Gregorio: You should apply because for the lowest fee you get a high-quality programme and our usual craziness. Some details? We will visit fantastic places from the natural, historical and artistic point of view. We offer a lot of non-formal historical and cultural activities that will let people truly feel like walking into the past. There will be tons of typical food and drinks …especially the true pizza and Limoncello experience! In cooking workshops our participants will learn how to prepare them and feel like a true Neapolitan! Our SU is a typical summer in Southern Italy – with hot weather, sea, beaches and a boat trip. Moreover, there will be a full load of fun with our activities such as the treasure hunt in a former royal hunting park, the photo-contest in the streets of the city and the surprising esoteric tour, which will show us a hidden side of Napoli. Finally, you will enjoy a lot of crazy parties, starting from the thematic ones to the clubs on the beaches.

GT: What’s the main topic and the three main thematic highlights?
Gregorio: The leading thread will be time: we will bring our participants back to the past, in order to discover the different dynasties and civilizations that ruled the south of Italy. This will stretch from the Greek colonization and the Roman empire to the troubled medieval times when Byzantines, Longobards, Normans and Arabs battled without break to gain control of the region. Time-travelling along the centuries, we’ll see many others who took over – from the Aragons to the Angevins, until the Bourbons in the XVIII century became the last sovereigns of the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies, before the unification of Italy and our current age. So the three main thematic highlights are history, with special attention to the architecture of different ages, nature and gastronomy, all wrapped up by our genetic craziness.

GT: What will be the social programme highlights?
Gregorio: The sea, beaches, the fantastic boat trip in Amalfi and the aquatic park will be extremely enjoyable during the day, but the social programme will surely focus on parties, from the thematic ones with different historical ages to the beach clubs and the wild pool party in the savage Francolise, surrounded only by nature.

GT: Which cities or other interesting places will you visit?
Gregorio: Apart from Napoli and its beauties, such as the breathtaking seafront and the wild “royal wood of Capodimonte”, we will visit four Unesco heritage sites: Pompeii, the best preserved Latin town; Napoli’s historical center with a true Greek Agora and building from all ages; the Royal Palace of Caserta, which is the Italian Versailles with 1200 rooms and a huge park; and the gorgeous Amalfi Coast with marvellous Amalfi, Positano and Sorrento.

GT: How can interested people find out more?
Gregorio: To find out more join our Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/1069195976431218/! We’ll be posting pictures and infos every day. Also check out the official SU page: http://www.projects.aegee.org/suct/su2015/show.php?su_id=NAP1. You are curious to know what Past and Fasul taste like? Join our SU and find it out!

 

 

“Cagliarifornia” by AEGEE-Cagliari

Fee: 110 Euro, optional costs: 40 Euro

Valentina Atzori
Valentina Atzori

GT: What’s the date of your SU?
Valentina Atzori, President of AEGEE-Cagliari: 31st of July till 11th of August.

GT: Your SU is one of the cheapest of all SUs. How do you manage to do it for such a low price?
Valentina: Our SU costs 110 Euro. We want our participants to feel that they don’t have to break into a bank to take part in our Summer University, also because we know that Cagliari is not the easiest place to reach for some AEGEEans. We have just nominated a new Fund-raising Responsible and we are sure he will do an amazing job in helping us with cutting costs.

GT: What do you think about so many expensive SUs? Is this a bad development?
Valentina: I think it’s because a lot of them are Travel Summer Universities, which surely has an impact on the price. Also some antennae do struggle with finding and receiving funds. I hope it won’t be a permanent trend though, we are all students and we have little money to spend! But I am sure every single Euro spend in the more expensive SUs will be more than worth it.

GT: What do your members say about the price increases of SUs?
Valentina: Some of them have approached me and made a comment about the prices, but they do understand that there are reasons behind it.

Cagliarifornia
Meet the crazy organisers!

GT: Why should AEGEE members specifically apply for your SU?
Valentina: I think we have proven ourselves during Autumn Agora Cagliari. We know how to manage an event and we are kind of a crazy bunch. We have planned a lot of fun activities and some surprises. Just apply and see!

GT: What’s the main topic and the three main thematic highlights?
Valentina: Our main topic is History and Local Culture, we will be focusing on history, art, culture, environment and of course traditional food!

Tina Karin in the air
Visit the best beaches of the Mediterranean Sea!

GT: What will be the social programme highlights?
Valentina: Well, I don’t how much I can spoil – I hope our main organizer Matteo Secchi won’t kill me… but we are keeping a classic element of our events: the famous “treasure hunt – pub crawling”. I won’t say anything else, so stop asking!

GT: Which cities or other interesting places will you visit?
Valentina: We will visit Cagliari, the beautiful Poetto, Pula, Villasimius and many more amazing places. Our island is incredibly stunning in the summertime.

GT: How can interested people find out more?
Valentina (laughing): Just look at the picture I sent! Wouldn’t you want to hang out with those beautiful faces? I promise you: we will give you the summer of your life. Check out our programme here: http://www.projects.aegee.org/suct/su2015/show.php?su_id=CAG1. And check out our Facebook event!

 

 

“Kingdom of Dragon vol.IV: platform 9 3/4” by AEGEE-Zaragoza

Fee: 120 Euro, optional costs: 40 Euro

Alejandra Pérez Martínez
Alejandra Pérez Martínez

GT: What’s the title of your SU in 2015?
Alejandra Pérez Martínez, main organiser, and Ander Guerrero Ruiz, President of AEGEE-Zaragoza: Kingdom of Dragon vol.IV: platform 9 3/4

GT: What’s the date of your SU?
Alejandra and Ander: From the 5th August to the 16th August

GT: Your SU is one of the cheapest of all SUs. How do you manage to do it for such a low price?
Alejandra and Ander: Our Summer University only costs 120 Euro. Our SU is a travel course of 11 days and we will travel around four different cities of Aragón. Although the fee is so low, we will do a lot of activities. The rest of the costs will be covered by fund-raising of AEGEE-Zaragoza, as it is typical in our Summer Universities.

GT: What do you think about so many expensive SUs? Is this a bad development?
Alejandra and Ander: Although we are getting concerned as well for the increase of the fees of the SUs, we also understand why antennae are charging the maximum fee per day. It is quite complicated, for not saying impossible, at least in Zaragoza – like in many other cities in many countries – to cover the whole event just with the fee, even though we try to make it as cheap as possible. The duration of the SUs is also getting longer and the majority of the SUs are TSUs, which increases the prices. All of the antennae want to organize the best SU, so, we believe that this leads to an increase of the fee. In Zaragoza we want to give the members all the possibilities, that is why this year we are organizing two Summer Universities: this SU course and also a TSU. Each one different, but both will be epic!

Ander Ruiz
Ander Guerrero Ruiz

GT: What do your members say about the price increases of SUs?
Alejandra and Ander: Last year, when fees were increased after many years, many members expressed their concern and some of them couldn’t attend an SU due to monetary reasons. Also, this has some repercussion for recruiting new members, because the majority of them are attracted by the low price of this event.

GT: Why should AEGEE members specifically apply for your SU?
Alejandra and Ander: Because it will be the Summer University and one of the cheapest SUs of all. Everybody knows that AEGEE-Zaragoza rocks in their events. It is one of the most active antennae, and we are putting all of our passion and effort in it. We will do a lot of different activities, offer an awesome social programme and, as well, the best organizers. This SU is always a killing choice. What else do you need to be convinced?

GT: What’s the main topic and the three main thematic highlights?
Alejandra and Ander: Cooking, creativity, arts and sports. We think these topics are very interesting and fun. We will do workshops and activities about it like kayaking, body painting and many trips…

GT: What will be the social programme highlights?
Alejandra and Ander: It is very important to have a good social programme in a Summer University, and of course, an epic European Night for tasting the different types of food and drinks. We are also planning a workshop about cocktails, watching the falling stars in the mountains of Albarracín, organise a pub crawl and a lot of fun in general!

GT: Which cities or other interesting places will you visit? .
Alejandra and Ander: We will visit Zaragoza, Alquezar, Barbastro and Albarracin. Zaragoza is the capital of the region, the fifth biggest city of Spain. A very historical and cultural city, where we will do a lot of activities. The city is famous for its folklore, local gastronomy and landmarks such as the Basílica del Pilar, La Seo Cathedral and the Aljafería Palace. Alquezar, the surrounding area to the South towards Barbastro in the direction of the flatter Ebro basin, is part of the Somontano, an area known for its fine wines. There are more than 60 limestone caves with prehistoric cave paintings which made the region a Unesco World Heritage Site. Basbastro is a city in the Somontano county, in the province of Huesca – with mountains, stone villages, green countryside, peaks and valleys of untouched natural beauty… It is one of the highest ranges in the continent. And last, but not least: , in the province of Teruel, is a picturesque town surrounded by stony hills. The town was declared a Monumento Nacional. It has being voted as one of the most beautiful villages of Spain.

GT: How can interested people find out more?
Alejandra and Ander: You can find more information in our Facebook event: Kingdom of Dragon vol.IV: platform 9 ¾, on the webpage of the Summer Universities (http://projects.aegee.org/suct/su2015/show.php?su_id=ZAR1) or by contacting with us by e-mail: suzaragoza2015gmail.com. You can also write to the Facebook page of AEGEE-Zaragoza. It will be a fantastic Summer University, with a lot of surprises and an amazing thematic part. We are waiting for you!

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