Time Travel Through the Flatlands
AEGEE-Tartu and AEGEE-Eindhoven made a very ambitious idea come true: a Travelling Summer University that connects two countries, which are actually quite far from another: the Netherland and Estonia. Their event was called “Tarthoven presents: Time Travel Through the Flatlands” and took place from 8 to 24 July 2019.
GT: What was your Summer University about?
SU Team: AEGEE-Tarthoven’s SU was a historical journey through space and time! We discovered the history of Europe from the Second World War up until this day. For the content, we collaborated with the Politics Interest Group and had an amazing trainer Roberto Meneghetti who was the captain of our time machine. Very important factor was also real travel as we passed through four countries during our SU: Estonia, Latvia, Belgium, The Netherlands.
GT: How many participants and how many organisers did you have?
SU Team: We had 17 fabulous participants and about 20 organizers from two antennae but also several helpers.
GT: What were the greatest thematic programme highlights of the SU?
SU Team: All Roberto’s workshops, museum visits to the KGB cells’ museum in Estonia and the museum of the liberation of the Netherlands, and of course a tour at the European Parliament.
GT: What were the funniest or most exciting moments?
SU Team: We had so many special moments, but to name a few:
- – camping night by the lake Peipus in Estonia,
- – a spontaneous party night in Tilburg: we were on a train back from the Hague and decided to just go to Tilburg instead of going to sleep in Eindhoven!,
- – renting an apartment in Jõhvi to give people a chance to use warm water as we unexpectedly didn’t have warm water at the accommodation,
- – spending a night at the CD house attic in Brussels.
- – And a fun fact: in total we had seven people in the SU whose name or one of the names was “Maria”.
GT: How was the group of participants? How did you manage to integrate them?
SU Team: We had our own lovely Spaghetto of course, but everybody mingled with each other and despite the mini-dramas people got along well. We had some literal sunshines among us who lit up the whole group no matter what happened.
GT: How was the cooperation and mood in the organising team? Any special moment you would mention here?
SU Team: The teams of both locals worked pretty well together and helped each other out whenever they could. Already from an early stage good contact was created and maintained. We really bonded with each other as well during the SU, this also happened because most of the teams joined both parts.
GT: How was the romance factor of the SU? Where there many couples and what were the highlights from the gossip box?
SU Team: We had two or three more solid couples but potential for many more. Also the very last night of the SU was quite fruitful in romantic terms! “Tiki-tiki miau-miau” was the catchphrase that was most frequently used in the gossip box. A very sweet message was written to the gossip box by our helper and trainer Diederik right after we had left from Estonia: “9:50 am. The participants are gone, and the gym is a ghost town. We’ve cleaned the entire gym, and divided the left-over food. There is a sadness that it is over for us and we won’t be able to spend more time with all of you. Though I know you still have an amazing week ahead of you, so don’t dwell in sadness, rather poor an extra shot for us and party harder. My bed and hot shower at home are calling to me, so I’ll say goodbye and see you sometime, somewhere. Xoxo Diederik. PS group hug for the wake-up responsible of today.”
GT: How successful was the SU overall?
SU Team: We are very pleased that this ambitious plan to organize a SU with two antennae that are geographically quite far from each other actually worked out so well! We had an amazing time and this whole experience is definitely something that both the organizers and the participants will remember for a very long time.
GT: Anything you would like to add?
SU Team: Dare to dream and in spite of all the difficulties things will work out in the end!