SU Story: AEGEE-Athina Summer University 2012: Like there, nowhere!

Hello my dearest readers, and welcome to my article about my experiences participating in the AEGEE-Athina Summer University. In a minute I will tell you all about my time in Greece, visiting the cities of Athens and Nafplion and the beautiful island of Lefkada, but before I continue I would first like to state something else.

I could have written two very different versions of this article and, in fact, I did. I wrote one article about everything that I did not like about the Summer University I participated in and I wrote another one about the truly amazing time I have had despite these issues and downsides. I have deleted one and you are reading the other: The positive one, because one week after returning to my beloved city of Utrecht it is a lot harder to remember the negative parts than the positive. Enjoy!


When I got off my plane and first set foot onto Athenian soil I immediately cursed myself. Not because I just remembered I forgot to feed my fish back at home or because my foot slipped on the airplane stairs. No, I cursed myself because of the intense heat my body would have to get used to for the next 14 days. It was 37 degrees Celsius, a mild day by Greek standards, but it easily doubled the amount of degrees I encountered when I left The Netherlands.

Maybe it was because of this heat, but in my experience, time in Athens goes very slow. In just 48 hours I met 37 new young people from 18 countries all over the world, learned all of their sometimes very ‘interesting’ names (I can tell you ‘Fanni Kiss’ was one of the crowd favorites) and learned the sentence ‘Who are you, sleeping naked by my side???’ in Greek by heart.

On our third day in Athens we climbed the Acropolis. I think it is safe to say that this climb created more togetherness and group spirit than any introduction game in the world would be able to. But the reward after this ‘experience’ made up for all of : A beautiful ancient temple which we learned about in the Acropolis Museum and a magnificent view of the truly enormous city of Athens.


Of course there is a lot more to write about my time in Greece, but for the sake of convenience I will fast-forward to our bus-ride to Nafplion. After we left the current Greek capital, we traveled to the first capital of modern Greece: the seaport town of Nafplion. There, we had our first encounters with another one of the beautiful things Greece has to offer: the clear, deep blue ocean. While heroically risking the well-being of our hands and feet due to the all the sea urchins, we took our first dives in the fresh salt water, something we would do a lot more during our stay on the island of Lefkada. The next day, on a safer part of the sea  we had water sports, which was a lot of fun but unfortunately prematurely ended the Summer University of Marta Nowak, whom we of course wish all the best.


Lefkada is an island that is known for its beautiful beaches, and we have sure seen our fair share of them! After just one day there, in an instant we all believed in the mantra organiser Nikos Magounis was trying to indoctrinate us with on our daily bus-rides: Like here, nowhere.

We spent six days on Lefkada. Six days of lying on the beach, playing the odd game of volleyball and six nights of partying in togas, partying in regular clothes, laughing about the pronunciation of the word ‘water’ in Austria (‘wòdá’), the word ‘exactly’ in Romania and the word ‘cruise’ in Greece (‘Cru-iz’), drinking every time that we forgot to say ‘Kiss’ after somebody said ‘Funny’ and having a European Night that some of us might never forget and others might never remember. 35 students, great weather and a beautiful environment. What better way to spend a vacation?

Like there, nowhere

Our theater plays, the photography workshop and the Greek dances; the beautiful ocean, the archeological sites and the great people I’ve met.

Those will be the things I remember from my Summer University in Greece. After two amazing weeks I can do nothing but wholeheartedly agree: Like then, never. Like there, nowhere.

Written by Martin Rombouts, AEGEE-Utrecht

Pictures by:
Nadia Biletska, AEGEE-Lviv
Ayaz Ismayilov, AEGEE-Bakı
Zoi, AEGEE-Athina