Member of the Month: Hara Kogou about the SUCT, flagship project and an amazing summer experience

Leading such a big project as Summer University for sure is a challenge. But to do it for the second time and simultaneously start from scratch a new international project…That would be for sure a challenge for many AEGEEans. But not for Hara. Maybe because she answers e-mails in few minutes or she is attached to Skype all her free time. Or just because as usual AEGEEan she does 100 different things and she likes it. I don’t know which is the right answer so I suggest you to find out together.

The AEGEEan: Congratulations, Hara! For sure it has been a busy summer for you. Tell us, please, how did you manage it?

Hara: Thanks a lot! The truth is that during summer the work for the Summer University Coordination Team (SUCT) is way less. The load of it is before and after the summer. So, it is like we are working one whole year for just 3 months. But it is something that totally worth it. Coordinating all those Summer Universities, giving advice, talking with the participants and the organisers is something that brings you closer with all these unknown people from all these countries and yet you feel you know them at the end!

And of course, this couldn’t have been real without the members of the Summer University Coordination Team (Maurits, Magda, Costas, Alma and our two assistants Hans-Peter and Peppe) and of course without all the organisers from all the AEGEE network who decided to do these amazing Summer Universities this year!

But you also work, right? How do you find time?

It’s a part time job and the truth is that I like to keep myself busy with lots and different things. They can be language courses, new hobbies, whatever I find  interesting to spend my time. And actually I’m back to school! I decided to do a Master in Oenology, so this year will be a different one according to my past couple ones!

Did you have vacation at all?

Oh yes, I had a very interesting summer that combined work with fun and volunteering. I had the opportunity to visit Baku, Azerbaijan,  to attend the 1st Great Silk Way International Youth Congress; I went to Izmir, Turkey, to attend a Grundtvig workshop about culture and oenology and at the same time to meet again with our AEGEE friends. I was also a main organiser of the IT Summer University “Hack your Summer” that was held in Kefalonia island in Greece etc. Of course I spent a lot of time in the way-too-hot Athens with my friends, but the beach is close so life is good here in the South. It’s October and it is still summer here  :) (devoted to all my Northern friends)

Tell us, please, more about the Flagship topic you are part of. Is it ready? What it will consist of?

The Flagship topic is about the students’ mobility in Europe and the Mediterranean countries. It has been formulated and at this Agora we will see if it is going to become the next and at the same time the last Flagship Project of AEGEE.

In general, our idea is to let all the students and young people in Europe and neighbourhood countries to take part in mobility programmes. Among the objectives are making students better informed about mobility programmes, increasing the number of destinations and possibilities for mobility, opening the possibility to apply for mobility programmes to more and younger students. And actually all this could be achieved by simple actions as  Info events or workshops at local level, European student mobility days, organising workshops in high schools, etc. Nothing too unrealistic and at the same time very close to AEGEE nature.

You are part of the core team? Who else is there?

Yes, but I just decided to stay out of it at the end due to my time and priority issues as I really believe in 100% commitment. Unfortunately, this is something I cannot offer at this period. Jorge Miguel is the one who had the initial idea and has done the majority of work, then it’s Alberto Cuesta, Liliya Buyukliyska, Veronika Velkovska, Giorgos Diamantopoulos, Iro Argiropoulou, Davide Verderame etc.

Two years in organisation are already quite big commitment. What are your future plans in AEGEE? 

Two amazing years have passed and now it’s my time to let the Summer University Project to the new ones. I still haven’t realised it and I am not quite sure that I feel ready to give it away, but I see it as an opportunity to try new things as working for the SUCT requires a lot of time. Two years might seem nothing compared to other projects or tasks, but at least for the SUCT is a lot! The truth is that I love it so much that I could do it again, but I think that both the SU and me, we need some time apart.

I am still not sure whether I can commit to another project or team in AEGEE as I first want to see how much time I will need for the university and all the other things I want to do. I still have the mentality of the Summer University and I compare all the tasks with the one in the SU, so it might be wise to have some time out of it. But for sure I will be around as AEGEE is like a narcotic!

So which will be your next AEGEE event?

The Agora in Budapest of course!

See you there then!

Written by Liliya Buyukliyska, AEGEE-Sofia

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