SU Story of the Week: Smells like pushing limits spirit

It is often said that what makes a Summer University a successful event is the group of participants more than the program and organization. Well, this is true, but what if 26 awesome people were gathered and guided through an unforgettable adventure that would tour some of the most attractive spots of northern Europe? The answer is that it already happened.

Organised by AEGEE-Tartu and AEGEE-Helsinki, “FinEst Way To Push Your Limits” is a SU that didn’t get its name by chance. As a starter, ropes and heights were the protagonists at the adventure park in Tartu, followed by a refreshing day in the extreme park where everyone tried something new: wake boarding

Pushing limits, and pushing limits again… not only in a physical way. City rallies and pub crawls were the perfect test for the participants’ imagination and social skills, who, eager to squeeze every drop of this summer cocktail, did their best dealing with the elaborated tasks the organisers had prepared. A pure example of “limits pusher” was Oleh Hladchenko from AEGEE-Kharkiv, whose injured shoulder seemed to be an extra motivation  rather than a handicap to be the most active and energetic when it came to face any activity or task. Also, “evxaristó polí malaka” to Panos Mousketas from AEGEE-Peiraias for the improvised Greek language workshop he gave.

After the amazing Estonian part, which included Tartu, Pärnu (a spa-session recharged everyone’s batteries here) and the stunning Tallinn (where the tough guys Tambet Lepp and Hendrik Roland Helm, both from AEGEE-Tartu, gave a bearable military workshop), what was coming next wasn’t less exciting: partying on boats for two nights in a row.

The first boat brought the group to Stockholm. Here, a grey sky didn’t bring too much rain, so it was possible to walk and photograph this incredibly classy city, which unfortunately has no AEGEE antenna. Only half of the event had passed when the second boat arrived to Finland, where all the tired and “slightly-affected-by-a-lot-of-party” people received a salmon soup that felt better than a mushroom for Mario Bros.

Walking through Helsinki and discovering the beautiful island of Suomenlinna (where games and improvisation workshops took place under a shining sun) was really nice, although it had to end… but for some reason people were not sad at all. Could it be because the next stage consisted of three days in paradise? A cottage was waiting in the middle of the forest, touching the lakeshore: Märkiö, the place to be.

Sports, games, parties, swimming in the lake… no one else around, and everything surrounded by a natural landscape. A musical touch was added by María Ibañez from AEGEE-Valencia, Juanlo Alonso from AEGEE-Helsinki and this writer, who, with guitar and ukelele, played the music for anyone willing to join the improvised singing sessions.

Even the parties happened to be really special there, since they usually ended going to the sauna as a group, naked, and then running to the cool and cold lake, and then to the sauna again and so on…


It is hard to imagine a better ending to such amazing days. Even for those who were staying after the SU time, AEGEE-Helsinki did not stop taking care of them with the same interest. Here comes a special mention to the Finnish organiser Seppo Hälikkä (AEGEE-Helsinki), who, besides becoming the great DJ of the SU, demonstrated being a remarkable chef whose banana pancakes gave life back to more than one person.

After those unforgettable days it could be said that this SU was amazing, perfect, the best… yet it had one big problem: the only limit that could not be pushed anymore: the end.



Written by Ander Fernández, AEGEE-Bilbao

Photos by Ander Fernández, AEGEE-Bilbao