Perfect participant: how to become one?

So, you are participant this time. First time or not, but these advice are useful for everyone!

Remember that all organizers are volunteers

Despite the fact that participants are paying the fee in order to attend Summer University, there is no such thing as salary for organizers. All money is paid to cover the costs of lodging, transport, food, entrances to museums and clubs and other things.  The only thing they will receive in return is experience which is priceless and your personal evaluation.

7CW2mdCBe the part of the group and socialize

When it is your first Summer University you might be surprised by the fact that participants spend almost all the time with the group. But that’s the way of how the project runs and why it is exists for such a long time – for a short period of time you become a family! Moreover, if it is not your first Summer University, you can always help organizers and suggest some energizers, ice-breakers, talk to participants and explain them some traditions.

Speak English

First of all, it is not really polite to use your native language with people who also speak it having even one person who doesn’t near.  Of course using English all the time is difficult and even more difficult when you think that your knowledge is not perfect, but Summer University is the very best place to use it, to know more about slang and practice!

Respect the rules

The program of any Summer University is created by organizers, who started to work on it in early January. Moreover, as locals, they really know the routes and the place where you go so you should trust them. Of course there will be different situations and maybe unexpected last minute changes, but your support will be much more appreciated than your complain.

Be responsible for your own safety and health a2Nd2Ew_460sa

You might not remember, but when you filled in the form you had to accept the disclaimer «… I, the Participant, agree that the organizers of the Summer University I participate in and AEGEE Local are not liable and will not be held liable financially and/or otherwise for any theft, loss or damage of any items in my possession for the duration of my stay in country where SU takes place..». Therefore, you are the one who is responsible for your safety and health, especially when there are no organizers around you. It doesn’t mean that they won’t help, for sure, organizers will do their best, but as you are adult, act like adult when it comes to serious things.



Complain or not to complain?

There is always should be the happy medium  in everything. When it comes to complains, think first and then talk if you find this important. If you were partying till the morning knowing that early wake up and going to mountains is waiting for you in the morning, should you complain to organizers, who warned you about it? Probably not. In most of the cases, participants are not happy with cold water and living conditions, but there is no point in complaining as probably organizers did their best to find the places. But there are always things that you can change – you can ask if it is possible to have eggs and milk, not sandwiches for breakfast, can they announce the whole program in the morning, not evening and so on.. What’s more, always better to suggest organizers some changes during SU than afterwards, in the evaluation, which will be pointless.

1236966_707713112592014_1637802628_n Less Internet, more live communication

Do we really have to prove that live communication is better? Try to take less gadgets with you for the trip. Nowadays one Smartphone is also a MP3-player, doc-reader and camera in one. So you can use Whatsapp to talk to your friends, Skype your parents several times during the SU and always ask organizers to borrow their laptop for some time.

Fill in the evaluation correctly, it’s not the revenge

Every participant who attended Summer University is able to evaluate the work of organizes. This evaluation is great possibility to tell how amazing it was – and make organizers happy. It is also important for Summer University Coordination Team and of course, the best SU is chosen according to the results. You can even write some comments and even complains, but think twice before doing it –yes,  if you really think it is important and organizers should avoid it next summer; no, if you could ask for it during the SU but you didn’t. Anyway, be honest and spend only 10 minutes. Don’t be lazy, remember that organizers spent more than half a year to make this event!

Say «Thank you» and give organizers a hug! They might be not perfect and make mistakes, but they for sure tried to their best, so you at least own them a hug!

Let this summer be #summerofyourlife

Special thanks to When You Are in AEGEE creafors for permission to use the pictures!

Summerly yours,

Anna, Francesca, Gerardo, Kathrin, Tercio.