Summer Universities are known to be the most famous and popular events within AEGEE. After AEGEE-Mannheim organised the last SU in 2014 and several of our members helped AEGEE-Heidelberg out with their SU in 2016, it was therefore not far away this year to join forces and organise a common SU!
Preparations began more than six months in advance: After the joint decision in December, the first organisation team often sat together until late into the evening to clarify the framework conditions: How many participants would we invite? Where would we put them? In which period should the SU take place? And most importantly: under which motto should it run?
After many considerations the first program of our SU, which we called Castlemania – get to know the SUnny side of the Kurpfalz!, was drafted. Months of planning followed. Not only the programme was well thought out, but also the transport from A to B, the daily meal plan and the workshops we wanted to offer in cooperation with the Civic Education Working Group of AEGEE. Not to forget that we had to work to a strict budget and every cent was turned over three times! But fortunately we were also able to get numerous sponsors enthusiastic about our project, who supported the success of the event considerably by donating money and goods.
Finally the big day had come: On September 1st we moved to our accommodation in Heidelberg-Ziegelhausen (with real beds) around noon to expect the arrival of our 24 participants and the CEWG trainers. From Spain to Russia and from Estonia to Malta our guests came to the Rhine-Neckar plain to experience a packed program for the next 10 days. Not only did we visit the three largest castles of the region in Heidelberg, Mannheim and Schwetzingen according to our motto, but we also went to Strasbourg to the European Parliament and to the Neckar to go kayaking. In the Viernheim Forest, the participants swung through the tree tops of the climbing forest and then explored the bunkers of the tank forest during geocaching session. During a wine hike we got interesting information about the real enjoyment of regional wines and had a blast at one of the famous Schneckenhof Parties in Mannheim. The workshops, which the CEWG trainers held almost daily, were a welcome break, as well as the evening when we cooked german cheese noodles together. In this way we were not only able to introduce our guests to the culture of the Kurpfalz, but also showed experienced and new members of AEGEE new opportunities to become active. After 10 days we had to say goodbye. But as it is with AEGEE, it will not be a farewell for a long time, because as we say – see you somewhere in Europe!
Text & Photos: Sarah Cramer
The Kraut Version you will find here