SUPS 2014: #1 in SU-Organizer to-do list!

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After brainstorming about catchy title and description, thinking of dates and cooperation, when the  button “submit” was pushed, the first part of organizing of any SU is over. But now it comes to more important and difficult step – implementing all words and promises in the real life and here is a magic trick that might help SU-organizers who want to do their best: SUPS.

Since Summer University project is the oldest and most successful project of AEGEE-Europe, there is the need to preserve it and improve it year by year. Towards this direction, trainings play an important role as they pass the knowledge from previous generations to the next ones.
The first trainings on how to organize a Summer University took place in the late 90s, even before the Academy was born. However the first Summer University Project School (SUPS) in its present form was organized in 2004 by AEGEE-Salerno. Since then almost every year the Summer University Coordination Team and the Academy are organizing an intensive program giving the knowledge and tools to future organizers of Summer Universities.
A list of the past SUPS trainings
2004 – Salerno
2005 – Lublin
2007 – Beograd
2008 – Leon
2009 – Peiraias
2010 – Palermo
2011 – Krakow
2012 – Ljubljana
2014 – Izmir

This year, the famous and successful Summer University Project School will be held in Turkey, hosted by incredibly nice local AEGEE-Izmir.

From 14th to 21st of March 25 participants from all over Europe have an amazing opportunity to get all the answers for their questions: how to make interesting program? How to do PR? How to make good budget? Why is it important to have compulsory sessions and many, many others!

With the help of the experienced trainers of the Academy and SUCT-members participants will have a possibility to understand  the project and its goals. Through interactive trainings where everyone is able to share their experience – every question will be discussed including all pros and cons so that organizers could find the right tools of solving the problems before, during and even after SU is finished!

Antonio Carassiti, member of Advisory board of AEGEE-Genova, shared his memories after attanding SUPS in Krakow, three years ago and Costas Deltouzos, AEGEE-Patra,  adds more for you!

Antonio: I was a new member (joined 6 months before), but I was really really enthusiastic about everything related to AEGEE [I was organizer of the first TSU of AEGEE-Genova, and I just attended my first agora in Macedonia]. So, when I read about this “school” for organizing SUs, I had no doubts.

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It has been one of the best event I’ve participated in AEGEE, and I’ve done a LOT! European schools are different from any other kind of event: you get to know people on a total different level. This is the best (and also kinda shocking for me) thing about ESs (I’ve participated also to European School 2): I am a very open person, but it was the first time I opened myself that much in so short time. Apart from this, the event itself was organized perfectly (AEGEE-Krakow did a pretty good job), the city is beautiful, the parties were always great fun, the sessions were awesome, the participants were funny, I loved the trainers (and I still do!)

390073_2672678304506_233352125_nCostas: During SUPS, everyday there are several sessions with different themes. A typical training day has sessions in the morning, where the trainers are providing all the theoretical knowledge but also participants exchange ideas and practises on the themes. On the same afternoon the participants have the chance to put this knowledge into practice through an intensive simulation, and trainers provide important feedback to them. The day concludes with an evaluation, so that trainers can monitor how the training is going and potentially change the program of the next days.

Antonio: I learned a lot: we had sessions about budgeting, how to create a balanced program, how to select participants, how to work in a group, a session about leadership… I have been main organizer of two international events (a TSU and the Planning Meeting) and president of my antenna after SUPS, and I used what I’ve learned there every day. Actually, I use what I’ve learned there also in my everyday life: it helped me improving my social skills a lot!

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The format of sessions is good: it’s not like being in school, you actually get to participate to sessions. Plus, there are study cases, and real group work. For example, they divided us in groups (fake antennas) and made us organize a SU from the very beginning (following all the real steps) giving us deadlines, different tasks… It was stressful, but it helped me realizing a lot of things.

Сostas:

The sessions that are included in the training program of SUPS can be categorized into:
– General knowledge on AEGEE and the SU project. As this training is about organizing a Summer University, the participants will get general knowledge about AEGEE, but also more detailed knowledge on the procedures and regulations of SU project.
– Soft skills. Participants will get trained on their soft skills like intercultural training, presentation techniques, leadership, motivation etc.
– Organization skills. The main part of the training is about learning how to organize an event from scratch, so there are sessions about project management, time management, logistics, content management, follow up etc.

– Other sessions. Organizing a Summer University requires much more than organizing skills, so there are sessions about public relations, budgeting, fundraising, risk assesment.

Costas: The target group for SUPS is organizers of Summer Universities that will take place in 2014. These organizers, even the most experienced ones, will benefit a lot by the knowledge that will be exchanged during the training. Then going back home they will put this knowledge into practice and organize a perfectly balanced SU!

Even though this training is tailored for the organizers of SU project, it can be beneficiary for any member that want to get trained how to organize an event. The skills that they will get can be applicable anywhere!

Antonio:  It’s perfect for new members who are eager to know AEGEE in a deeper way, who want to accept the challenge of organizing great events (not only Summer Universities), who aren’t afraid to open themselves to others. It’s perfect for people who are ready to face new challenges, who don’t fear being questioned. Probably I’m being too idealistic, but really, European Schools are for people who really want to DO something in AEGEE. (I’m also talking about you, Cristina (AEGEE-Madrid) :P)

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Сostas: SUPS is a magical event, that transforms a group of people into super motivated organizers! If you are still thinking about it here are some previous participants’ words:

“I will encourage everybody to apply who wants to take part in such a great event and feels inspiration for organising!”.
Zsófi Lehota – AEGEE-Budapest, participant in SUPS 2011.

“Awesome simulations and inspiration  session! Thanks for all the tips you gave us from motivation, to  management and fundraising, etc., they will be really useful!”.
Javier Chirivella Costa – AEGEE-Tenerife, participants in SUPS 2011

“All knowledge through SUPS was really useful because it’s important for all walks of life!! I’ll always take into account everything I learned from SUPS in my life!”
Yukimune Oji – AEGEE-Utrecht, participant in SUPS 2012

Apart from the extremely interesting program, there are 10 reasons to go from AEGEE-Izmir:

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In a nutshell, the price is only 70 euros, so if you already ready to pack – apply, (go here until the 5th of February):

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1Qb5uL8KsJQKowJr8839sSxBObUDaJ9_QzR6xjZe30U8/viewform

And join official facebook group:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/599935106719004/#!/events/541373405958855/?fref=ts

Summerly yours,

Andrea, Anna, Francesca, Gerardo and Kathrinn in cooperation with the Academy and AEGEE-Izmir.