We got a new contact in Europe, in Denmark! Denmark is known for many reasons: it is not only the land where many fairy tales were written, for instance, “The Little Mermaid”, or the happiest place in the world, but it is also the wonderful place where a new contact of AEGEE-Europe has been established. In fact, some interested people decided to refound an antenna there. We have asked some questions to Philip Laeborg about their future projects.
The AEGEEan: What is the reason behind the establishment of the contact of AEGEE-Europe in København?
Philip: I think there are several reasons that led to the establishment, personally I have always been highly interested in cultural exchange and understanding how other people live and see the world. Thus, I ended up going on Erasmus in Vilnius which was my first encounter with an exchange on a large scale. This experience really gave me some motivation to explore the option for cultural exchange further. Almost accidentally, I stumbled upon the Summer University website and ended up going to Cagliari which was probably the most crucial aspect. I encountered more than 40 amazing people coming together. I think we managed to create a fantastic atmosphere that inspired me. I wanted to take more part in international events, pay the AEGEE community back and give people the option to experience the place I call home and why I am so proud of being a Dane.
Do you already have a board? How many people are in there?
Well, we are still a small community, though. We are working on expansion. We have formulated a recruitment strategy which we need to execute upon. Currently, we have a core team of around five people and some former members who are interested in our work and want to assist us in the best way they can. Additionally we have already been contacted regarding the Summer University applications, so hopefully, this could bring some more people in here. However, it is a lot of hard work and I do not expect it to be an easy task.
Did you already plan some future events?
We are working on something! Locally we are trying to meet every week. In a bigger perspective and probably more relevant to your question here, we are working on an event to mark the return of AEGEE to København. Though right now we are working on some fundraising which is important because Scandinavia is an expensive place. Therefore we should figure this out before anything is possible. However, I am crossing my fingers for something after this summer.
Did someone help you with the establishment of the contact?
A lot of people! I am humbled by the whole support we have received by existing members. Though, I feel the most important people to mention is the core team. Especially, Sara Jacobsen and Sonia Hlel who had never heard of AEGEE before I introduced them to it. Julian Robertson from Groningen is also a big help as he is on exchange in København right now. Without them I would be nowhere in this process and still alone in all this. I could mention a lot of people who have shown support, a lot of support and interest in supporting us. In general, I want to say that everyone I have met have shown me some positive reason for establishing København again.
What do you expect for the future of the contact?
Truth be told, we really need to find some interested people this semester as we have a couple of members who are done as students after this semester including myself. Though I do not plan to let all the work go to waste, but it is crucial for the survival that we get some new members and preferably some from bachelor studies. If we get this done right, then the sky is the limit. Hopefully, we will get the right members who will get some AEGEE experiences thus giving them the same motivation that I got when I went on SU last year.
Written by Paola Letizia Murru, AEGEE Cagliari