Where Europe meets Asia – AEGEE-Rostov-na-Donu

If you ask me which adjective would describe AEGEE-Rostov-na-Donu the best, I would say “motivated”. Being their former Network Commissioner, I am happy to tell you about the new member in our AEGEE family and present to you this local, born at the Spring Agora Enschede – AEGEE-Rostov-na-Donu.

Unusual city Rostov-on-Don

AEGEE-Rostov-na-Donu is originated from the city of Rostov-on-Don, located in the center of the area which used to be known as Northern Caucasus, but currently it is proudly named Southern Federal District of Russia. The city itself is very unusual – it is a wonderful mixture of Caucasian spirit and truly Russian traditions, with old history, rapid river Don, and one more amazing thing – the bridge in the city center is the official geographical border between Europe and Asia.

Among other unusual things in Rostov-on-Don, there is also the public toilet. It is not mistake, as one might think. However, this is not your usual public toilet. In the beginning of the 20th century, located in the so-called “red light district” of Rostov-on-Don, it was a place of art rebels and Bohemia with continuous exhibitions, public actions and art events, and in 2011 it was recognised as the most famous toilet in the world and the place where contemporary art in Soviet Russia was born.

Successes and failures of the contact

However, let us return to our AEGEE people in this unusual city. From the very beginning of their history, future Rostov-na-Donu contact was facing lots of difficulties and obstacles – first it was bureaucracy, difficulties in receiving a support letter from the University, later after they became a contact, it turned out to be extremely difficult to travel from the small city of Rostov-on-Don in Russia to the even smaller city of Struga where the Autumn Agora Skopje 2011 took place, and this made it impossible for them to sign Convention d’Adhesion there and to finally become an AEGEE local.

At this stage one can naturally ask himself “Why do I need this weird organisation, if so far it has only given me more and more problems?” Indeed, all these difficulties might demotivate anybody, but not future AEGEE-Rostov-na-Donu. Irina Burmistrova, their leader, somehow seemed to know the magic way to motivate everybody, to get them involved, and to not let people leave this AEGEE movement while facing difficulties.


Moreover, being motivated and “burning” so much with AEGEE spirit, while still not even being an AEGEE local, but only a contact, they already started to help in establishment of one more AEGEE contact in another Russian city at the Azov seaside – Taganrog!

After some time and local events organised as AEGEE Contact in Rostov-na-Donu, they finally became AEGEE-Rostov-na-Donu and with full rights of an AEGEE local, this summer they will organise a great Summer University with AEGEE-Voronezh, their mentors and close friends.

Telling about such an outstanding local is interesting, but getting to know them personally is much more interesting.

Do not hesitate to visit Rostov-on-Don and tell them personally “Welcome to AEGEE, our dear AEGEE-Rostov-na-Donu!”


Written by Olga Iatsyna, AEGEE-Dnipropetrovsk

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