AEGEE-Manchester: “Life is Better If You Mix it a Little Bit”

In the north of Britain, pass the point where Wales breaks off from England and where the River Mersey makes its way to the sea, lies the city of Manchester. It’s a city that was once famous for its textile industry and its factories giving off noxious gases. However, time has changed. The textile mills don’t spin on the scale they once did, and large sections of the city have been demolished or re-developed. And in these new times, an AEGEE-local has sprouted and eagerly looks forward towards the future.


The AEGEEan: Could you tell us who are behind AEGEE-Manchester?

AEGEE-Manchester: The three founding members of AEGEE Manchester are Domitille, Pablo and Bryn, and since December 2015, Claire, Jeremy and John are members of our board. We are an international team, with a third of us being British!

aae2As President, Domitille is a motivating and energising leader who always challenges us to dream big. Pablo is our most experienced AEGEEan bringing knowledge and guidance from his original antenna in Alicante. Being responsible for Human Resources, Bryn keeps in contact with all our members and tries to make them active. For fun and entertainment we have Claire, our party girl and European Youth Parliament member. Jeremy joined our team to help us with our fundraising while John is our treasurer: he’s the one responsible for the money, so make sure you treat him nicely!


What kind of activities or events has AEGEE-Manchester recently organised?

aae4Since signing the convention d’Adhesion in April 2015, as a team in Manchester we have organised:
– a 3 day, 2 night RTC hosting 11 members from across the UK, with 2 international trainers
– various local events such as bar crawls, movie nights, political discussions and European food night

– we’ve also had members attending Agora, NWMs, EPMs and SUs European Night out with other national societies such as Francophone, Italian and Turkish.


In your opinion, what are the appealing qualities of AEGEE in general and AEGEE-Manchester in particular as a student association/forum for students in Britain to join?

AEGEE-Manchester is a small and friendly antenna where it is easy to make new friends from across Europe. In British universities you can join hundreds of societies depending on your degree or your nationality. But AEGEE-Manchester is the only one that brings you the awesome opportunity to go abroad and meet people from other nationalities or other degrees. Life is better if you mix a little bit!


Do you sometimes collaborate with other AEGEE locals, in Britain and beyond?

aae3We keep in good communication with all other antennas in the UK, and have hosted people from different cities.

We enjoy welcoming others to Manchester and have hosted people from Liverpool, Aberdeen, London, Madrid, and Kyiv.

Following our weekend in Leiden for the EPM, we are hoping to see further collaboration with AEGEE-Canterbury and AEGEE-London particularly on the UK’s favourite hot topic of the moment!


Is AEGEE-Manchester engaged, in any capacity, to events, campaigns, and other projects regarding the upcoming EU referendum in the UK?

AEGEE-Manchester is currently working on a 2 day event around the UK-EU relationship which we will be holding in May. This event will be organised with participation from other student societies and EU referendum groups. We would like to offer a different narrative that focuses on the positive relation between the UK and the EU.


Could you tell us something about AEGEE-Manchester’s future plans?

aae1Our immediate plans are to be upgraded to a full antenna in Agora Bergamo and assist in the referendum as we’ve mentioned above. We will continue to be active in sending our members to European events and organising local events to gain and activate new members. For the future we are also looking into hosting a NetWorkMeeting, but nothing can quite be confirmed. And finally, that question people always want to get the answer… a Summer University in the UK…??? Well AEGEE-Manchester doesn’t yet have the strength or the finances but this has always been a personal dream of Bryn’s and he’s said even if he has to stay in AEGEE until he is 50 years old he will make it happen!


Written by Willem Laurentzen, AEGEE-Nijmegen