Europe is ready to go on track!

By | April 15, 2014 at 12:39 pm | European Bodies | Tags: , , , , ,

Europe on Track and The AEGEEan are very happy to announce that they will cooperate in publishing some exclusive “back-stage” articles about the personal experiences of the travellers. Through the channel of The AEGEEan, you will get to know a bit more about the funny and exciting adventures that we’re having along the track. So, make sure to check the Facebook and the website of The AEGEEan regularly in order to know more about our personal stories during the project.

First of all, we will explain you a bit more about what Europe on Track actually is, in case you’re new to the project. After a very successful edition last year (which even won the Charlemagne Youth price!), two new teams of three travellers are traveling through Europe again by train. During their travel, they will visit AEGEE antennas and, together with those antennas, organize events that will focus on different themes. This year’s themes are: Youth mobility and Europe; which are sub-divided into the topics of youth participation, youth employment, Europtimism and the European elections. By covering these topics, we are trying to create a good picture of the opinions and opportunities of young people in an European context. We will do so by communicating as much as possible about what we are doing, making videos, writing blogs, giving interviews and doing great street actions. The Red team (Lucia Sobeková, Monica Nica and Geri Kalamar) will especially get in contact with the locals in the south of Europe, travelling from Orléans to Napoli, to Patra. The Blue team (Yana Broudi, Javier Castillo and Wessel Reijers) will focus on the east; going from Aachen to Warsaw, to Kyiv.

Preparing in Brussels

Before going on track, we met each other and the coordination team of the project in Brussels, where we had a training weekend and a presentation at the Network Meeting in Leiden. After months of only contacting each other on Skype or Facebook, it was great to finally meet in real-life and to talk with the people we have to travel with for a whole month. From the first moment on, the team was really close. We shared a lot of ideas about the project, had many (often fanatic) discussions and enjoyed some good Belgian beers.

In the first days, we spend a lot of time in the CD house in Brussels, which was filled with AEGEE members from all kinds of different countries. Next to the CD, the participants of the Yvote convention were often in the house and as always there were AEGEE members visiting Brussels on their travels. Amongst them were also Nicola Guida from AEGEE-Napoli and Luc from AEGEE-Eindhoven, who even helped us with brainstorming about different ideas for street actions on the way. Next to that, they even took care of the Europe on Track flag (some classic AEGEE flag stealing) – which meant of course that a punishment would follow. The punishment took place during the European Night of the Yvote convention, where Réka Salamon and Rocío Leza had to dress up in animal costumes and tell them how awesome the antenna of Napoli and Eindhoven were.

Meeting the Network in Leiden

Our first trip took place on the 6th of April, when we went to the Network Meeting in Leiden. At the Network Meeting, we met some people of the locals that we would visit during the travel; which showed that we are not the only AEGEE members traveling through the network. During the session, Réka Salamon presented the idea behind the new Europe on Track project and the routes of the two teams. We could also present ourselves, and the topics that we prepared for the sessions along the road. After the session, we got some very useful feedback from the group that we hope to be able to implement during the street actions in the different cities.

At the moment of writing, team Blue is already traveling through Germany and team Red is in Spain. Until now, the journey is great (though exhausting as well): we are meeting many awesome people, discovering new places and having very valuable discussions about the topics of the project. We are getting to know a bit more about the ideas that people have about the European elections, youth mobility and other topics. During the interviews, we’re often forced to leave the so-called AEGEE bubble of people that are generally positive about Europe and all are going to vote during the elections. By getting to hear stories from different people, we have realized that many of them are not interested in the European elections or Europe in general. This shows the relevance for the Europe on Track project, not only for involving people in the topics but also to learn that Europe is a continent that has as many opinions as it has people.

We will soon post another update about our personal experiences during the Europe on Track project. Keep an eye on The AEGEEan website and the Europe on Track and AEGEEan Facebook pages!

PS. Soon, the official Europe on Track song and video clip will be published! For more information about that, check out the FAME project and the Fratoj sen Limoj (“Brothers without Borders” in Esperanto) Facebook pages for lyrics, media files and ways to participate in the European music making!


Written by Wessel Reijers, Europe on Track

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