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.
On the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the Summer University Project and the European Year of Cultural Heritage 2018 AEGEE wants to underline the cultural impact of each Summer University. They offer the chance to young people to discover the true value of Europe’s cultural diversity in just two weeks, explore their own European identity and return home as a true European. Local organizers promote and share their city’s and region’s own traditions, heritage places, culinary highlights and extraordinary festivals with their participants. Receiving this direct and unfiltered inside view of a different culture and at the same time realizing the parallels to one’s own, creates a unique feeling of belonging to one continent.
These achievements will be highlighted in 2018. Teams of three adventurers (ambassadors) each will travel throughout Europe and visit different Summer Universities. They will be the once bringing the European Year of Cultural Heritage to the different cities and raising awareness among participants for the cultural heritage that they’ve just been experiencing every day. For that reason, they will deliver several workshops, designed to bring Europe’s heritage to everyone’s attention. The adventurers will additionally collect data on the identity formation of young Europeans and the influence that exploring cultural heritage and being in a direct exchange with one’s European neighbors exerts on that.
Summer Universities are on average two weeks long events that take place during summer in most of the around 200 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 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 do 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!
Some call it Europe, we call it home.