Many people consider Hungary heaven on Earth. It’s a beautiful country with great people, very rich culture, fantastic food, a mysterious language and awesome summer climate. You can see it for yourself – at the all-Hungarian TSU “SPAice Up Your Life With Hungarian Culture”, which takes place from 8th till 22nd of August, organised by AEGEE-Debrecen, AEGEE-Pécs and AEGEE-Piliscsaba. You have the chance to visit some of the greatest spots of this marvelous country. The Golden Times asked Marcell Buzás (AEGEE-Pécs), Tünde Ress (AEGEE-Piliscsaba), as well as Zsanett Karacs, Helga Metercsik and Balázs Kovács (all AEGEE-Debrecen), what the participants can expect in detail.

The three organising antennae have a lot of experience – here a picture of AEGEE-Piliscsaba’s SU in 2013

Golden Times: Why will your SU be one of the best Summer Universities this year?
Marcell: The cooperation of the three energetic organizing AEGEE locals AEGEE-Pécs, AEGEE-Piliscsaba and AEGEE-Debrecen will ensure a healthy balance of countryside outings and big city rallies accompanied by numerous Hungarian culture-related programs.
Zsanett: Hungary is the land of surprises in many different ways. We invite our participants to taste a bit of the different parts of our country. What is more, we want to spice up the inimitable AEGEE parties’ spirit by showing how great we can all have fun in the Hungarian way!
Tünde: …and we will make sure that countless fond memories will be made.

Golden Times: How did the three organizing antennae get together and decided about this topic?
Tünde: During the past years, Hungarian AEGEEans strengthened their ties a lot. We attended each other’s events and also met on several other occasions such as Agoras, European Boards’ Meetings and European Schools.
Balázs: Pécs, Piliscsaba as well as Debrecen had already organized Traveling Summer Universities in collaboration with antennae from other countries, so this year, while cherishing our relations, we equally thought it was going to be time to team up for an all-Hungarian TSU.
Marcell: By joining forces we aim at providing a comprehensive look at our country – culturally as well as geographically.

Tasty Hungarian food in Hortobágy in Hungary’s famous puszta region – organised by AEGEE-Debrecen

Golden Times: You will present Hungary’s history, gastronomy and culture. What makes Hungary’s culture so special and different from other countries’ culture?
Helga: Our country is situated in the heart of the continent, in Central-Eastern Europe – thus it is well accessible from every direction when it comes to traveling, yet for many it is still quite an unknown destination.
Marcell: This geographical area has, for long, been the textbook definition of a cultural melting pot.
Balázs: As a result of a series of historical turmoil throughout centuries, cultural heritage and tradition from numerous different communities have been merged into the one we know today.

Golden Times: Hungarian food is very special. Will the participants learn to cook Hungarian dishes or just try them?
Marcell: Traditional Hungarian dishes are known for being spicy and quite filling. As we have many enthusiastic cooks among us, we will make sure that no needs will be left behind.
Tünde: For future interested participants, all the secret recipes and preparation techniques will be shared and explained.

Golden Times: What’s your favorite dish and why?
All: We like SPAicy Hungarian dishes such as gulyás, pörkölt and paprikás krumpli.

Winestasting organised by AEGEE-Pécs is always legendary!

Golden Times: Will there also be tasting of Hungarian drinks? Where and what kind of drinks?
Marcell (smiles): Yes, there will be time allocated for it all. We will introduce our participants to the well-known Villány wine region and we will visit Mokos Winery where they will provide us with an unlimited access to enjoying quality wine, Hungarian hospitality and good mood. Quite some Erasmus students and AEGEEans who had spent awesome time there with us could verify this quality.
Helga: There will also be pálinka tasting included where you will find out about the many different types existing. You will also be introduced to the concept of pálinka cocktails.

Golden Times: The participants will travel a lot. Where will you go with them?
Marcell: The event starts in Pécs and its region. Afterwards we will be spending time in Piliscsaba, in Budapest, in Debrecen and in Hortobágy. The SU will end in Debrecen. It is hard to point out highlights among the many activities we are planning, but in Pécs the winetasting, the spa party and probably the laser tag are the events that got the most positive feedback in the past. But of course during our stay in Pécs, we will be hiking around in the mesmerizing surrounding area and our lucky AEGEEans will be able to see extraordinary sights, many of which are reminders of our common history with the Turkish Empire.
Tünde: In Piliscsaba, the tranquilizing nature will set the perfect mood for some relaxation and meditation will also be involved.
Zsanett: Then in Budapest, we will SPAice up ourselves a bit again by visiting some of the hottest touristic spots.
Helga: In Debrecen we will jump into folklore mainly via the local trademark Flower Festival. When staying there, popping out for getting to know Hortobágy, a World Heritage Sight since 1999, will also be a must. We will visit unique, typically Hungarian animal species there.
All: We will also go to those famous spas, too, for some quality chillaxing time.

See the famous flower carnival in Debrecen on 20th of August

Golden Times: In Debrecen you will attend the Flower Carnival. Why do people there celebrate carnival in summer?
Zsanett: The 20th of August is a national holiday in Hungary when we celebrate the foundation of the Hungarian State.
Helga: Debrecen has its very own way of doing it with an internationally acknowledged Debrecen Flower Festival.

Golden Times: You will tell the participants also about Hungarian inventions, such as the ballpoint pen. Can you name some more famous things which were invented by Hungarians?
Marcell: In most of the cases, our foreign visitors have not really yet been aware about well-known inventions deriving from Hungarians. I am quite a visual type so I would show you this great video that lists some of those inventions.
Tünde: We are a small country, it is understandable.
Zsanett (smiles): Since there have been quite some of these significant inventions though, it is always an effective way of making our participants remember that these Hungarians invented quite a lot of useful things.


Golden Times: There will be cultural workshops: What will the participants learn there?

Marcell: Apart from introducing the new members to everything what AEGEE is about, fun facts and some interesting aspects of Hungarian history, geography, language and inventions will be discussed while national stereotypes will also be touched upon.

Folkdance group at an SU in Debrecen – learn their dances!

Golden Times: You will teach them also folksongs, right?
Balázs: We will invite a folk dance group to teach our participants some nice Hungarian dance moves as well as some funny folksongs.

Golden Times: How much Hungarian will the participants learn?
Tünde: Since Hungarian language is pretty complicated, we will be providing them with the basics but the sky is the limit.
Marcell: It will be up to them how much they will intend to learn from us.
Balázs: Surprisingly enough, quite often strange words tend to stay in the heads such as “megszeretgethetlek?” or “csinos”.

Golden Times: To people who don’t know the language it sounds mysterious, weird and many don’t consider it as attractive as French or Italian. Why are these people wrong? What makes Hungarian so beautiful?
Helga: The answer is simple. Hungarian language is totally out of the mainstream thus it might sound weird at first.
Tünde: Moreover, it barely has any detectable resemblance to any other languages. It is also utterly complicated to learn.
Marcell: Yet, according to some, if Hungarian language was a drug, it would be magic mushroom.

Each of the three organising antennae is looking forward to meeting you soon!

Golden Times: Can you tell a few words about the organizing antennae?
All: We are three of the four currently existing Hungarian AEGEE antennae and we are super thrilled to be able to show you around in Hungary.

Golden Times: How is the atmosphere in your Summer University organizing team?
Balázs: We have been all excited and enthusiastic about this joint project ever since we had our very first meeting via Skype prior to Christmas.
Tünde: Quite some brainstorming and preparations are already in the works.
Marcell: …and we believe in the magical strengthening power of cooperation.

Golden Times: Will you try out program elements together before the participants arrive?
All: Most of them have already been tried.

Golden Times: How much is the participation fee?
Balázs: The basic event fee is 180 Euros while the optional sum is an additional 40 Euros.

Golden Times: What else should potential participants know about the event?
All: Apply to be able to SPAice Up Your Life With Hungarian Culture or you will miss out on something earth-shattering this summer.

More info:
Official Facebook Page of the TSU: