Belarus is a white spot on the map of most Europeans. AEGEE-Minsk is trying to change it, event by event. After the very successful “Discover Belarus” event in June the antenna invites 16 AEGEE members to the event “Time Travelers in Belarus: True Story”, taking place from 12th till 18th of January 2015. If you apply quickly, you can be one of the lucky participants! Nadia Fomenok, President of AEGEE-Minsk, told the Golden Times, why noone should miss this event.

Belarus Nadia
Nadia Fomenok

GT: Why will be your event about?
Nadia Fomenok: Have you ever heard the saying: “The way you meet the new year, this way you will spend it?” AEGEE-Minsk sure did! We are looking forward to a very active 2015! That is why we want to start the year in the most active way – by organizing the winter event “Time Travelers in Belarus: True story”! The motto is “Travel in space and in time with AEGEE-Minsk”. Our participants will see many sides of Belarus, it’s present and past… and we will think about our future, we will try to predict where we will be in ten years from now…

GT: Your previous event in June was more focused on Minsk, while this one is travelling more, right?
Nadia: Well, during our previous event the participants definitely showed their interest in the history and culture of Belarus. That is why this time we decided to make it a more unique opportunity to understand this country. We will be travelling from the capital Minsk to the skiing resort Logoysk and then to the ancient city of Brest, which is one of the largest cities of Belarus. Brest is situated on the South of our country near the Polish border. Our event ends there, letting the participants easily go to Warsaw – and use low-cost airlines on the way home.

GT: So will there be also a serious programme with lectures and presentations?
Nadia: Yes, yes indeed! We are planning presentations and discussions on Belarus. I think for us it would be interesting to see how Europe sees the future of our country. And we, in our turn, will do our best to show how and where we see the future of Belarus, and maybe shatter the stereotypes, even a bit.

Belarus poster
The poster of the event

GT: What else will the participants see during the event?
Nadia: We will be visiting Białowieża Forest, one of the largest forests in Europe. We will be able to visit the Brest Fortress and touch the history by looking where the Nazis attacked the USSR for the first time. We will be enjoying the marvelous and gracious auroch bisons, Europe’s heaviest land animals. Our participants will be able to feel themselves true children, make wishes talking to DedMaroz, the Belarusian Santa, and such wishes will come true without any doubt! In addition, we will enjoy the Old New Year, what can be better than celebrating once again after you think that all the holidays are over? Sauna, city tours, museums, parties and Belarusian food workshops is just the shortlist of what is waiting for us! We willa also do future telling with the help of magic – something we always do! That is going to be so much fun! This is part of the “future” aspect of our travel!

GT: The programme description on the AEGEE Intranet says about Minsk: “the most progressive city”. In fact, the participants in your June event were quite surprised how modern Belarus is, right?
Nadia: Belarus is just different. You can see a catholic cathedral, a soviet parliament building and a modern mall just in one street. Belarus has everything to offer! One thing our participants loved is our money! Come and feel yourself like a millionaire!

Belarus route
The travelling route

GT: The previous event in June was very successful, I heard..
Nadia: Yes, indeed! We loved our participants so much. And we hope that the event in January will be just as that great, and different. Also our participants were very happy. The fact they advertise our event and help us means a lot to us. I hope their friends will come and see what they expierenced for themselves.

GT: Did you already get applicants?
Nadia: Yes! It is so nice to see the enthusiasm from all the people in this event! I hope they won’t wait long to apply, since we have just 16 places!

Belarus BrestFortress
The fortress of Brest

GT: Most people will need visa. How long does it take to get them? Is it very hard? And how much does it cost?
Nadia: No, getting the visa is not hard. We will send the letter via e-mail to our participants, who will go to the embassy with some other documents, such as a passport, pay 60 Euros and get the visa in five  business days. The procedure may be slightly different for different countries, but we were in touch with every participant last time and no one was stuck in the border! So do not let some paper stop you from visiting us. We can even assist you with obtaining a longer term visa, if you plan to travel further after the event.

GT: Why did you chose the period 12th till 18th of January for the event?
Nadia: The dates are chosen to cover Old New Year, which we think is a very interesting holiday to celebrate. There were many other reasons as well… for example, we have university vacations, which for sure is also important for the event. So you will have all of our attention!

Minsk organisers2
AEGEE-Minsk is waiting for you!

GT: What is Old New Year?
Nadia: One of the questions for our applicants is actually: “What is Old New Year”. So I cannot unveil all the mystery of this holiday! Try to answer without googling when you apply!

GT: Alright! Anything else you would like to add?
Nadia: We for sure feel stronger after our previous event. And we very hope that many AEGEEans would love to join us once again and feel the spirit of AEGEE-Minsk!

The fee is 140 Euros plus an optional fee of 32 Euros for the winter activities in the skiing resort Logoysk and for visiting museums. The visa costs are not covered by the event.

Further info: