It is not a secret that new locals are being created within our big AEGEE-Europe family, so recently we have one more joining… We are talking about a recently established contact in Greece called Ioannina.
The AEGEEan is proud to present to you Ioannina through its president Dionisis Tzavaras.
1) Dionisi, whose brilliant idea was it to create this local?
To begin with, we would like to thank everyone that helped us and welcomed us by expressing every kind of positive feeling, regarding our try to broaden the Network by being a part of it! Special thanks to the Comité Directeur (CD) and Network for accepting us as another child of the AEGEE Family!
As far as the idea of the creation, we can now say that it was such a brilliant idea, indeed! Actually, there is a little story behind all this.
It all started up a semester ago, when I had a chance to go to Spain, to the city of Granada, as an Erasmus student! Granada was definitely the start of the inspiration for what was about to be continued. As I stayed there for the whole semester, I had the opportunity to get in touch with AEGEE. I participated in many events that the local of Granada did, and I can easily say that I was more than impressed by actions of the organisation. So, when I finished my Erasmus studies, I got back to Greece, while trying to get in touch with students in my city, and after spreading the news about AEGEE, by now I can easily say that we have many students interested in AEGEE, ready to help and contribute in every way that is needed!
2) Were there difficulties you encountered before getting to this point and establishing the local?
The only thing that was kind of difficult was the bureaucracy. As we had to prepare some documents that had to do with the confirmation and the support that our university was about to provide us regarding the foundation of the local, we had to wait quite a long time until the Rector approved us. But finally, everything went as we wanted, while now our university is willing to support us whenever we need it. It was really worth waiting!
3) How many members do you have so far?
By now we are about 18 members, but we hope that in the near future we will be even more. Since the day that we made AEGEE known at our university, every day we have students that are interested in joining our local, coming from every single department of each faculty!
4) Did your Network Commissioner (NetCommie) play an important role in the decision to create this local, and if yes how so?
As we were quite inexperienced about establishing and generally about all themes that refer to AEGEE, in our try to create a new contact, it was essential that we needed help and support, and as a result, we decided to ask for help. So we got in touch with Sofia Kaskari, the current president of AEGEE-Peiraias! She was such a big help to us, she supported us a lot with every single thing that had to do with the process of the establishing and she defined to be our subcommissioner! AEGEE-Peiraias offered us their approval and support. Moreover, it is ready to provide us with any help needed!
5) What is your biggest achievement so far?
Regarding our achievements, considering the fact that we are a newborn member of the Network, we have not managed to do big things yet. Nevertheless, as a remarkable movement one could consider our to try to inform every single university department separately to convince as many students as we could, in order to join our team!
Well, we can easily say that the section of promotion is rather a simple thing. In cooperation with the Office of International Relations we have managed to do a really good job, while we have arranged lectures during which we inform students about AEGEE and its actions. Unexpectedly, during first events we did not have the participation that we wanted, but every week we gladly have more and more students interested in AEGEE, and that makes us really happy and optimistic for the future of our local!
7) Tells us some of your future plans for this semester or year if there are some!
We are trying to make AEGEE known to the students as much as we can. As we have the support of our university, of our own rector, of the Office of International Relations, of the Office of Europe Direct as well, we are planning to do some thematic events for the students of Greek locals, but also we have in our plans to do events opened to all locals across Europe!
8 ) Ioannina, tell us about the vision how to attract students next season to your local!
Ioannina is the biggest city of Epirus region, the capital as well, and one of the biggest cities in Greece, having more than 120.000 residents. Regarding the university, there are 14 departments, and more than 20.000 students. Among others, Ioannina is famous for its big lake with an inhabited island, the only one in Greece that is situated in a lake! There is also a famous cave, the cave of Perama, which is one of the biggest in Greece. Ioannina is well-known in history, since the Ottoman Empire acted here, leaving plenty of residues, like the tomb of Αli-Pasha. It is such a beautiful city, really. It attracts a lot of tourists from many Greek cities and beyond!
9) You had the courage to establish this local, what would you advise others in order to achieve this in the near future?
Well, establishing a local is quite a responsibility. We suggest that they do it carefully and not trivially, by following the steps that are needed. It is possible to come across obstacles, but they should not give up. They have to be pacient until the approval comes, and then I am sure that they will feel absolutely satisfied! They will come up to say that it definitely worth it!
10) Last question. I am a fan of Greece in general, having lived there and I would clearly join your upcoming event but give me two good reasons why anyone else should?
As we have already said, Ioannina is one of the most beautiful cities in Greece! It is well-situated, just 3 hours from the second biggest city in Greece, Salonika, and 5 hours from the capital, Athens. It is a great destination for people who adore nature combined with the riches of a beautiful city!
It is a palette of many colours, blue, due to the big deep lake, green, due to the rich nature all over the city, brown, due to big mountains that surround the city. It is situated next to the Ionian Islands, that’s why is a famous destination!
People visiting Ioannina will be amazed by many beauties that it has, by the capacity of combining water, trees, mountains, clear air, and friendly people! I think these reasons are more than just two, aren’t they?!
Thank you and good luck for the future Ioannina!
Written by Andra Toma, AEGEE-Bucuresti