NWM Aachen – “It Takes Two Bears to Tango”

From the 24th till the 27th of November, AEGEE-Aachen is hosting a Network Meeting (NWM). They will have a panel discussion within the context of Brexit, an education in cooperation talk, two days in the Eifel Mountains and a Christmas Party in November. To know more about this fantastic NWM, we interviewed Leonie Riebesam of AEGEE-Aachen


1The AEGEEan: What is the focus of your NWM and how does it relate to the title?

Leonie: The topic is cooperation on different levels, e.g. within an AEGEE local or board, but also with the municipality, the university or other partners. A more special part of it is that we are organising a panel discussion about cooperation in Europe for our participants and other students in Aachen on the first day.


Can you tell us more about your schedule?

When the participants arrive on Thursday and come back from the city tour, we start with a nice opening ceremony with some speakers and art performances. Afterwards we will have a panel discussion on the topic “Hurry up Europe! Time for new cooperations”. The next two and a half days will be full of interesting sessions and awesome parties.


What are the objectives of the NWM?

Since cooperation is the theme of our NWM, we want to gather many ideas and experiences on cooperation with different entities, so that our participants can start working on the implementation when they get back. Of course, it’s a NWM, so there will be room to share experiences and knowledge, and get to know the other participants and their locals. And last, but definitely not least: have an awesome weekend full of fun!


4What can you tell us about  the place where it will be?

Since it’s hard to find a place to sleep in Aachen, we decided to book a house outside of Aachen. It’s in the Eifel Mountains, directly next to a lake and perfect for team building during the NWM.  Plus, we have real beds there!


How big is the organising team and who is in it?

We started with only four people, but now we are seven. Damien Latacz, whom you might know as President of MedCom, is our Main Organiser. Other than that our President and two other board members are organisers. Also Lucia from Summer University Coordination Team (SUCT) and a new member have started helping the participants as incoming responsibles.

Who would be the ideal participant for your NWM?

A cooperative one [she winks, ed.]


2What was one of the biggest challenges that you faced in organising this NWM?

Probably the biggest challenges will arise in the week before the NWM, so we can’t say yet. Until now, the most difficult part was getting interesting speakers for our panel discussion. But we managed it! Now it’s time to coordinate them to be sure that the discussion itself is interesting and that our participants can learn a lot from it. That also brings its load of challenges, but don’t worry, you won’t be disappointed!


Tips and tricks for future organisers?

For a NWM find a good topic that will give you the main direction for your plan. That way you can focus your effort because you know what to achieve for your participants. Start planning early and making a to-do list with an integrated timeline is a good way to keep an overview of your whole project. And don’t forget, that the main ingredient for success is communication!


Is there something that you would like to add?

If you missed the deadline to apply to our NWM, don’t worry, you’ll get plenty of other chances to visit the polar bears!


Written by Violeta Croitoru, AEGEE-Iași