What is a SU?
The Summer Universities are AEGEE events that last on average two weeks and take place during summer in most of the cities where AEGEE is present. Understanding and exploring the multicultural dimension of the European continent, fighting for tolerance and creating open-minded citizens who are not afraid to share their opinion in an open discussion about the future of Europe, are some of the reasons why 30 young Europeans come together in each Summer University to taste the diversity of European integrity.
The Summer University Project was born in 1988 with the intention to promote the European integration. This project is the main tool of AEGEE to attain this ambitious but challenging target ever since. Since that time, it has been continuing every year with the participation of more than 50.000 young people, inside and outside of the European Union.
The activities carried out during a Summer University range from academic classes, such as learning a foreign language or technical subjects to multicultural activities, such as: Getting familiar with British culture, Spanish history or Greek mythology. But also, non-formal education takes place: You could learn how to sail, attend a photography course in Turkey or hike in Polish woods. Each Summer University follows a thematic throughout its duration that can be related to European Integration, International Politics, Intercultural Dialogue, Active Citizenship, Democracy, Education, Culture, Peace and Personal Development.
In a Summer University you will be given the chance to taste local food, to discuss current political topics, to listen and dance to different music, to be good friends with people from different countries and then arranging trips together. You will learn to say “Hello” in another 20 languages, you will feel free, you will love, you will experience, you will learn new things, you will do things you hadn’t imagined… You will feel the AEGEE spirit, you will feel what is an SU!
Types of Summer Universities
Summer Course (SC)
The Summer Course is a course about a specific topic ranging from language and local culture to environment and politics. It has a duration of two to four weeks. Participants receive at least 14 hours of tuition per week. The fee of 14 Euros/night includes tuition, lodging, two meals per day (of which one is warm) and a social program.
Summer Course Plus (SC+)
The Summer Course Plus is mostly the same as the previous one with the great difference that participants receive at least 20 hours of intensive tuition per week by professionals on the topic, with duration between 11 and 28 nights. The fee of 14 Euros/night includes tuition, lodging, two meals per day (of which one is warm) and a social programme.
Travelling Summer University (TSU)
The Travelling Summer University is organized by two or more locals. During the 2-4 weeks of cultural trip through a part of Europe, the group stays in at least 4 different places. The aim of this event is to combine the different lifestyles and cultures of the places visited with a course provided like in Summer Course. Since there is a lot of time spent in travelling, the tuition hours are less than Summer Course, but at least 10 hours per week. The fee of 14 Euros/night includes lodging, two meals per day (of which one is warm), travel costs from the first to the last place mentioned in the programme, and a social programme.
Short Summer Course (SSC)
The Short Summer Course is intended to function as a shorter duration event that will provide more concentrated content in the Summer University project. A shorter duration will serve better the needs of some locals that do not have the ability to participate in the project with the existing types due to finances and human resources. As tested in the Summer Break pilot of 2018, which was part of the 30 Years of Summer University Project, A SSC is defined by a duration between 6-8 nights, a minimum average of 2 hours of tuition per day during the course of the SU and a minimum of 15 participants. The fee of 14 Euros/night includes tuition, lodging, two meals per day (of which one is warm) and a social program.
Duration & Dates
From one to three weeks. The usual duration is two weeks. All SUs are held between June and September.
The price per week is 98€ (14€ a night).
The method of payment depends on the SU. You may have to pay 50% in advance and 50% upon arrival, 100% in advance, 100% on arrival, or you might be asked to send as confirmation your flight tickets.
See “Payment” on the left of each description of a SU to find out how payment should be done for that particular SU.
What’s included in the price?
- Accommodation during the whole event.
- Meals: Two per day of which at least one is warm. Vegetarian, non-pork food and other special requirements will be provided.
- Transportation during the event, tickets to recreational sites, cultural landmarks, activities, museums… and everything else included in the program. And of course the parties!
What is not included in the price?
- Transportation (plane, train …) to where you are going to participate in a SU.
- Activities not included in the program. Some SU can offer a unique activity for an extra fee (for example, entry to a water park), which is optional and if you do not want to participate, organisers will provide you with an alternative program.
- Your pocket money to spend during evening social activities.
It depends on the SU. It may be a hostel, camping, tent, gym, houses of AEGEE members, student flats,… In any case, if you want to know more details about the accommodation, read the “lodging” specification in each SU description and if you still have doubts, contact the organizers of the specific SU.
If your SU has a cooperation with a Working Group or Project, you are given the chance to learn more about specific topics and through interactive workshops or games, gain more knowledge on a specific content. Lastly, all Summer Universities this year have a theme throughout all the event.
Things to bring
It depends on the SU. There is a specification of “special equipment” in each SU description. For example, if you sleep in a gym, you have to bring a sleeping bag and an (air)mattress. If you go to the beach, bring a swimming suit. If you go to the mountains, you’ll need warm clothes, etc.
During basically all Summer Universities it is tradition to organize an evening called “European Night,” in which each participant prepares typical dishes from their country, or brings a traditional drink from home. Depending on the SU, they will tell you if you can cook there, or if you should just take some non perishable food or drinks.
Do not forget also to pack some pocket money (amount depends on the country you are travelling to), evening activities and additional food are not included in the fee.
English is the official language of AEGEE. You will be able to discover that you know more English than you think because you’ll be 24 hours a day with about 30 people from across Europe, which necessarily have to communicate in English! It is also a great way to practice your various other languages with native speakers.
Each SU has a different program according to their topic and capabilities. Usually every local has a website or facebook page specifically appointed for their SU where they share lots of details about the program.
The minimum number of participants is 15 and maximum 50. The average is 25 places.
The participants come from any of the other AEGEE locals who are scattered across Europe. Normally participants don’t know each other before coming to the SU, so everyone will be eager to make friends with others. What characterizes AEGEE is that people are very open and there is no prejudice about people and where they are coming from.
The SUs are organized by students like you, voluntarily (AEGEE is a non-profit association) and it has nothing to do with a travel agency. You will become friends with the organizers, because they’re like you; you’ll have fun with them during the day, they will show you their city, sleep in your same accommodation, and go out partying with you.
If you want to enjoy the sun and a beach holiday in a luxury resort, this is not for you. If you want an unforgettable holiday with other young Europeans like you in, this is what you’ve been looking for!
Are you ready to take part in an amazing SU? This might be the summer of your life! For more information about the Summer University project, check the SU official page!