“We wanted our participants to use less plastic”
Photography, history, local culture and especially sustainability were in the focus of the Travelling Summer University “Discover your SUtory” by AEGEE-Eskişehir. It took place from 5 to 19 July 2019.
Golden Times: What was your Summer University about?
AEGEE-Eskişehir: Our Summer University was about sustainability, photography, history and local culture. However, we had also extreme sports and other outdoor activities. For example: diving, trekking, camping and rafting. Our SU was Travelling SU. The route was Eskişehir, Ayvalık (Balıkesir), Pamukkale (Denizli) and Antalya.
GT: How many participants and how many organisers did you have?
AEGEE-Eskişehir: In total, we had 18 participants and ten organizers – five board members and five members of the SU coordination team.
GT: What were the greatest thematic programme highlights of the SU?
AEGEE-Eskişehir: In order to make our participants aware of sustainability and the environment, we had different activities about the topics. First off all, we wanted our participants to use less plastic. We told them to bring their own cup. Also, when our participants used a plastic bottle, they gave us the bottle caps because there is a project – if you get enough caps, you can get a wheelchair and you can donate this wheelchair to someone who needs is and is unable to afford it. Also, we visited a recycling factory in Antalya to show our participants how recycling happens. Moreover, we had a workshop about the importance of recycling. To teach our culture, we had a workshop about Turkish expressions. In this workshop, we showed our participants how Turkish people react in specific and general situations. For the photograpy part, we had a workshop about it. We gave our participants professional cameras for one day and made a city tour. During the city tour, our participants took a lot of good pictures with the cameras.
GT: What were the funniest or most exciting moments?
AEGEE-Eskişehir: The funniest moment happened in Ayvalık. When we used public transportation it turned out that our bus was small. It means we had the chance to make it a party bus! There was a big sound system in the bus and we played songs. Our participants had really fun during that time. The most exciting moment happened during rafting. There were three boats for us. One was dangerous, other one was less dangerous and the last one was safe. We made a water war by using our shovels. There were a lot of OMG moments while rafting, such as big waves. Also, during our stay in Ayvalık, we stayed on a yacht, which we used for a mythology party. There we made a contest which was “God’s Got Talent”. Our participants were divided into three groups. They prepared shows for the jury. The first group danced, the second group made a magic show and the third group danced and sang.
GT: How was the group of participants? How did you manage to integrate them?
AEGEE-Eskişehir: The group was mostly Spanish speaking. Our participants got along well from the first day. They didn’t have any problems about making friends and getting used to Turkey. Therefore, we as organization team did not have a lot of difficulties while managing the group.
GT: How was the cooperation in the team? Any special moment you would mention here?
AEGEE-Eskişehir: The team did a great job during the SU. When a problem occured, it got solved quickly. Even though most of the organization team did not had experienced an SU as organizer or participant before, they really did a great job and had fun!
GT: How was the romance factor of the SU? And what were the highlights from the gossip box?
AEGEE-Eskişehir: Of course, we had couples and nice gossips. This is a fact about SUs.
GT: How successful was the SU overall?
AEGEE-Eskişehir: We are very happy about our SU. We knew it would be hard for us to reach our goals, but in the end we managed it. Our participants left with smiles and this is the most important thing for us.
GT: Anything you would like to add?
AEGEE-Eskişehir: We as AEGEE-Eskişehir want to thank our participants for being with us and we want to thank our organization team for the good job. Also, big thanks to our sponsors! See you somewhere in Europe!