From 16th to 19th of February AEGEE-Tartu had an incredible opportunity to organize Summer University Project School in our lovely hometown. Andrea, the president of AEGEE-Tartu, was happy to share her impressions with us:
16 aegeeans from all over the Europe came to Estonia to get know-how for organizing a Summer University. Through rainy days, intense workshops and long parties, we all – participants, trainers and organizers – shared our experiences, developed and felt the amazing AEGEE spirit float among us.
The aim of the training was to cover topics starting from participant’s management and public speaking to promoting the event and fundraising. And it wasn’t only about the knowledge – real practical skills were delivered to the enthusiastic future organizers. This would have been impossible without our trainers Mayri Tiido, Gerardo Garcia Diaz and Ralitsa Mihhailova – from the character building exercises to case studies about (seriously) everything supported with masterpieces on flip-charts and cute energizers they kept all participants on their toes.
Every day we started at 9 am with the workshops and went on until 7-8 pm planning our own events, learning about managing conflicts and how to use time wisely. The evenings were spent having fun at the sauna night, discovering Tartu during the pub crawl and sharing cultures at the European Night. Although some parties got wild, we managed to pull ourselves together for the next day to take in all the information and knowledge (and an extra large cup of coffee).
Tartuunians purpose in the event was to organize the accommodation, rooms for trainings, all the meals and needed materials plus social part of SUPS. For me it was the first time to be a main organizer to an international event and boy, I got to learn a proper way to organize an event. It sometimes seemed that I even didn’t know what I need to do to bring the event to life. Fortunately, I had experienced people around me. The most important thing that I knew already from the start but what got even clearer was that the key to success is the team you have with you. I want to thank the whole team of 7 people – Hanna, Margus, Valter, Katrina, Kätlin, Mihkel, Merilin – for making it real, always helping out, always being there. The second thing I learned was that AEGEE-Tartu has a privilege to have Mayri and Gerardo in a reachable distance as they are truly inspiring trainers and awesome people! In addition, all the participants were amazingly driven and cool.
Even though the all concept was thought through, the unexpected was bound to happen. There was a visit to the hospital, some things got stolen (but also found!) and we had our little errors due to communication, but it all worked out eventually. I really appreciate the calmness we operated with – again thanks to my team, trainers and participants for trusting us. It meant the world to me.
All in all, the event was (in my modest opinion) a success! I would love to do something like this again here in Tartu and hope that even more people are able to be a part of it.