Which was the number? ‘Two, eight, hash’. Hey, hello!
-Hi. Hi, how are you?
-Fine, you? Hi, Lorenzo. Everything ok?
-Yes, quite well. We have a project to show you.
-You told me on the phone. Where can I put my jacket?
-There, on the… Would you like a coffee? I’m fine, thanks.
-I’d have some water. Yes, please. Here you have. Ok, we have an idea. I mean… That’s something.
-That’s something. We’ve got a project:
there’s an association called AEGEE I don’t know if you heard of it.
-Not really. Ok… better. It’s a student association,
let’s say a… European one. It tackles lots of topics. It includes very different fields. Ok, how do you want to tell this story?
I mean… A documentary on this association.
Who can be interested in your message? How are you telling the story? That’s the question. What we wanna tell is… in which way
this association can really change… people’s lives. We wanna show how it could help other people. Basically, we already found
five people. All of them being around 18 and
30 years old? Yes, 30 years. For us, these five people
show the spirit of the association. Here, in Milan? No, actually they’re all around Europe. Let’s do something:
I’ll show you on the map. First stop is Cologne, with the couple.
-Cologne is here. Then, from Cologne the idea is to go directly to Murcia. Look here. Here it is. Kyiv. Capital of Ukraine. Which should be here. Right. Anna’s place. And from Kyiv?
-And from Kyiv move… for the last time and go to Tolouse which should be here. Tolouse, exactly. A direct flight Milan-Kyiv takes
about two or three hours. Hey, hi Jacopo.
-Hello. I’m Jacopo
-Raquel. How long would the trip be? That’s a good question. This is a great thing. One videomaker? Which camera? A videomaker, a sound director and… you for the interviews.
-And me. A month and a half? I think you’ll be travelling
for a month and a half. Yes. Plus the editing, isn’t it? So, you think we can..? Can we try it? I’d say that… let’s do it. Let’s try it. So here we go?
-Yes. Well,yougo. We follow you from here.
Send us photos, cards… I’ll wait for you with the champagne. We drink and we’ll see. So, if we get a good result,
we drink to the success. If it’s not good, we drink… Anyway! To forget.
-And for the effort. I got to AEGEE in april 2012 so quite some years ago already and it was very particular.
I didn’t know about AEGEE anything I was a student at university
but there was basically no advertising. And I was working in a company
and my collegue told me: ‘I’m organising one event
here in Bratislava ‘and I know you know a lot of people
and you can manage everything ‘could you help us to organise
this night for celebration?’ We had 20 years of AEGEE-Bratislava. And I said ‘Yeah, why not?’ AEGEE found me a job. Everything is connected with AEGEE.
And again, if you need help just… contact AEGEEans,
they will always help.And what about you, Phil?So… I was studying in Netherlands,
in Eindhoven. I was missing my Erasmus time
and I wanted to go… I wanted to meet new people in Aachen
so ‘how to do this?’ I googled ‘Erasmus Aachen’
and I found AEGEE. I applied to be a tutor which means
you take care of Erasmus students so I joined one week later
for a tutoring. I didn’t have anything to do
I didn’t have studies yet, so… I joined all the activities
like weekly meetings and festivals basically I went partying for… three weeks with the Erasmus. I quickly became active in the board
and I joined my first Agora which was in Patra. We were thinking how to go
and flight connections were terrible. So we decided to do a roadtrip and on the way we said:
‘No hostels, only at AEGEEans or friends’. The first stop was Bratislava. I’ve never been in Bratislava, so… we asked them
‘Can you host for a night?’ and they said ‘Yes, we can’. We met in a bar and we were terribly… tired because it was the night
of Summer University deadlines. It was a very rainy day and on the way they said: ‘You go by car?
Can you take some of our… ‘heavier luggage?’ We took it to Patra
and there she came back ‘Can you give our stuff back?’
And I said ‘I don’t have my keys now’ And we started hanging out
at Agora. You were chasing me all the time. Yes, of course. So, we are together
in Summer University Coordination Team which is responsible
for the Summer University project. It’s the longest
and oldest project in AEGEE-Europe involving around 4000 AEGEEans
every year. So it’s a huge project. It needs a bunch of people cooridnating
that everything goes smoothly that organisers can organise
Summer Universities and that… participants can apply. Because… Summer Universities are just awesome. I think you know most people join AEGEE
beacause of Summer Universities. This year, for example
we have 75 Summer Universities. So you can imagine that
it requires some people. Basically we’re setting up the rules and trying that people follow them. We’re trying to increase the visibility and that we have more people
coming on Summer Universities. That’s our goal. What makes the project special is
it’s one of the longest events in AEGEE. About two weeks. You’re much closer to participants
because it’s a fun event with content not the other way around and you’re always with participants.
You can talk with them. So you get recognition
you usually don’t get If you make a three-day event
you don’t get to know them. For participants
the coolest point is that you…learn how to travel on your own.Because usually you have to goalone somewhere.Also to break the fear
from speaking a foreign languagealso breaking fear from other cultureswhich some people still might have.And of course, getting to know
the people in a cool way.I think what makes it the most successful is
because it’s received as a summer holidaySo if you want a holiday
you go on Summer University. It’s cheaper than a normal holidayIt’s better than a normal holidayand you meet many more people.And we put content in itbut it’s perceived by most participants,
new members oftenas…a good way to have holidays
and get in touch with AEGEE.And there’s much more behind like
intercultural exchange implicitly.But I cannot tell you how amazing it is.If I come to you as a new personI can tell you how much I travelled,
how many people I meetbut you can’t experience until you do it.
So I tell you: ‘Go on Summer alone
and you meet 20 cool people’. You’d say ‘Maybe, maybe’. But many people do Erasmus before so… I know locals where Erasmus
are the main target group and they say ‘I miss Erasmus’
and I tell you ‘It’s mini Erasmus’ ‘Ok, let’s try’
I mean, what can go wrong? And what is behind,
people notice when they notice.You cannot sell it before.For me AEGEE is
the biggest playground you can get. In a positive way.
You can… try things and… you don’t die if they don’t succeed. Of course you have responsibility but… if I want an event for 800 people
I go and try And I’ve people who support it and… I can try a lot. I don’t lose a job if I don’t do it
or anything. It’s like mini Erasmus
and the biggest playground I can imagine for trying everything for meeting people, setting up projects leading a team,
which I’d have never done otherwise. That’s… empowerment in a nice way for me. University teach me a lot but I don’t think without AEGEE
I’d gain so much as with it. University can teach you to be
a professional in your field but… where else would I ever have
the possibility to become a trainer? To speak in front of 800 people? Maybe sometimes screw up something,
but learn from those failures and learn how to… make it better next time. To be more… independent I would say. This is something
university cannot tell you and with AEGEE after years
or after travelling so many events you can become completely independent. It really creates your personality
not only your knowledge. And that’s why people should join AEGEE because it’s enjoying your youth,
enjoying your life but gaining something
you maybe don’t see right know. We have the saying
‘You will find it when you’re old’ when you really need it.It was…April 2013. It was the day of the… of the deadline at 2 a.m. for Summer Universities. I was talking with a friend online,
chatting with a friend, and he told me: ‘Look what I’m gonna do this summer
with my girlfriend’. He had no idea about the deadline or that they couldn’t go together. And I read everything. I finished at 4 a.m.
and then I woke up and called. It was Sunday. So I called AEGEE Alicante. I called Pablo. We didn’t know each other. I wanted to go to
‘The Scandinavian Dream’. Everybody wanted
that Summer University They had like 200 applications
and I had to do mine in one day so… they told me
‘No, you can’t go to that one’. I chose ‘Enschede, Utrecht and Cologne’. They chose me in the Summer University. They almost don’t choose me I realised after the Summer University,
which would’ve been quite bad for me because AEGEE gave me a lot,
and probably I’d have quit. When I came back I had a day of rest then I went to the Summer University
in Alicante to help out. I had a mix of feelings because
when I was in… in Cologne I met an… Italian guy living in Cologne
and he was from AEGEE-Köln and he told me that moving to Köln,
to Cologne, to Germany to study, was the best choice
he had ever made. And I was in a situation
I wasn’t happy with my university I was good with my job but I didn’t like the city
where I was living. And I came back with the mindset of
‘let’s move to Germany’ and… after… a week of research with courses, prices and universities,
I decided to go to… to move to Dresden. In one month after. But I didn’t know Dresden
so I didn’t know it existed. Yes, so obviously
AEGEE took me out of Spain. Somehow.When I first moved to Dresden
there wasn’t any AEGEE there.So I was thinking
‘I have to found something’. So I organised a running-dinner before I went to the university but nobody stepped on the project. There weren’t many people interested
because they didn’t know what it was. It’s hard to pull people
to something that doesn’t exist yet. Because AEGEE-Dresden didn’t exist
although AEGEE existed somewhere else. So I was really committed to founding AEGEE-Dresden
because it could give me lots of things and development
and new ideas, projects, friends and also to other people. But, it worked out. Without being a student
I created a students club without any other people. There was a moment
at the very beginning with the first
Summer University promotion. I was new to everything.
I didn’t designed anything before. I didn’t give a speech. I had, but really small things. And I… I made the Summer University promotion
in Dresden. So promoting a meeting at university
to explain Summer Universities, no? I went to the meeting and there was
nobody.No!Zero people. Then two friends of mine came to see how it was going but… It was hard, no? That nobody came,
after all that work, and so much… like… I was excited to get people,
but it didn’t work out as I expected. First I was like
‘Man.. what am I gonna do? ‘Nobody. ‘I cannot believe it’. But then… I saw it from other perspective ‘Ok, then I did something wrong.
I have to do it better’. It gave me strength
to keep going and… working hard because I had the…Determination to…Yes, it was my dream back then
to found it and to… make it happen. So that could not get in my way. Yes. So I went to an event in Prague organised by AEGEE-Eindhoven
and AEGEE-Prague and they had an exchange there. And there I met Lucia which was the president
of AEGEE-Bratislava and during the Summer University
she told me: ‘Jorge, send me your CV ‘because we have a really good… ‘you fit this job perfectly and I want you to apply
to work in Google with me ‘in this project. ‘And it’s perfect for you’.
So I said ‘Ok… ‘I gotta do it’.
I loved Google before, I was a fan. But, I don’t have studies. Because I quit my studies
to do AEGEE full time before. I did. I drove to Dresden.
I left the Summer University half a day so that I could have the interview. And the interview went quite well. They asked me some questions of management which I couldn’t have answered
the way I did without the AEGEE experience. Thanks to AEGEE
I’m organising so many events my problem-solving skills went up a lot because you always have problems when you work with volunteers,
with no budget. It was also a good answer
and at the end I got higher even during the interview. He told me it was a good interview,
one of the best. AEGEE was key again to get this job. AEGEE network got me the interview
and my AEGEE experience got me the job. I’m trying to start
finding something else that will… bring me so much as AEGEE does. I know it’s not gonna be easy but it’s doable
and at a point you have to step up and take it to the next level again. In the end AEGEE is a platform where you can develop your skills
that you might not know they exist but you have them inside you or you can develop new ones
that you’re not very good at. You can get out of your comfort zone your area of friends
where you have a position and come to AEGEE and have
a new perspective and… learn things that you’re not learning
at the univeristy. For me this is the most important
besides meeting amazing friends and… getting to know interesting people it’s the developing part,
where you can really grow as a person and as a professional. Everybody has a degree. We’re living the most educated
generation in history. Everybody has a degree. Not me, but… in general, most people have a degree,
not like 20 years ago. You have to step out. Everybody is here and if you join AEGEE and do things
you have a degree but also other things that others
don’t have. It’s really, again a key to get a job.So AEGEE makes the difference?Of course AEGEE makes the difference.I first heard of AEGEE from my best friend.She came back after
her first Summer University in FlorenceSo you can imagine. So we’re going to party and she said
‘When I was in AEGEE ‘there were 35 people from all the world’. ‘So, better than here?’
She said ‘Yes’ Ok, cool. And it was like this for two weeks. In the end I said
‘I must be there and try this experience. ‘I should go there’. It was my first experience abroad
so visa and so on. In Ukraine it’s such a big story.
You have to collect lots of documents. I had to put a lot of money to my account. I was running to all my friends
‘Can I borrow some money for a week?’ I put them on the bank just to show I had them
because otherwise they don’t let me because they think
I’d stay there to work. For Italian Embassy it’s a popular story ‘A blonde Ukrainian going abroad’ Ok. Sure, you’ll come back. I opened the Summer University website
and I was like…There’s a world outside.I’m going there by myself two weeks. It’ll be something incredible. What to choose?
I really want to go and to see some sea. And I want to sunbathe and
parties and… I love culture and history. So I’m at the airport and I’m in Rome. I’m absolutely lost. It’s my first time in Salerno. And I see a guy holding an AEGEE sign written on this stuff
they use for hitchhiking. When I came back I was a different person How different people are,
how open they are. They don’t have the prejudices
we have in our country. They have others,
but still so interesting. It literally blowed my mind. I was talking about our politics. I was surprised Ukraine isn’t popular.
Nobody knew about it. Not so much. When speaking to a Dutch: ‘Amsterdam!
You’ve this street and that’. And he says ‘Uh, Kyiv’. ‘Capital of Ukraine’. That is something. It’s really cool. After I came back I realised:
‘What can I do here on local level?’.I decided to run for the presidentof our local. And I had to present myself
on local Agora. So I made a presentation
and one of the facts was… ‘We’re gonna organise
an international event in our city’. And everybody was ‘Uh!’ Why we decided to do the Agora?
Because… It’s the most powerful event in Aegee.It’s the place, for four days.
It has so much power.It has so much different cultures
coming together.So many different
interesting spiring people you meet.Some decisions are made.And it proves the fact that
AEGEE is all about communicationbecause you cannot do
so much for two monthsas when you meet and do it live.And that was the moment:
we are in Agora Cagliari. It was that moment on the stage. The president said
‘Agora goes to… ‘Kyiv!’ I was so… surprised and shocked by the audience. They stood up and started to applause. They were supporting us. There was no conflict in Kyiv,
but it moved to east. But still on the news. There were prejudices, stereotypes,
people afraid of coming. And I was like… ‘Ok… ‘Let’s do it’. AEGEE did lots of things for this country,
for its people, for its youth. It existed in Ukraine for 20 years. And when I see people coming back
from Summer University, Agora and this atmosphere, this sunshine,
I’m like… Agora Kyiv
was the biggest challenge in my life because… I think I challenged myself
as a Ukrainian, as a leader as a girl who had to take all the stress
and get over it as AEGEEan member as a president as a daughter who didn’t call her parents
because I was too busy. That’s what I did for AEGEE. It was a time
when everything was over, I was… sitting, looking at the stage,
looking at everything and doing ‘So fast?’ So, life exists after AEGEE because actually my life is AEGEE still
although I’m not active anymore. Also I met the person I love in AEGEE. When you meet a person and he says
‘I’m from AEGEE’ You’re like ‘I’m also from AEGEE’ It’s already your person
because he knows how to travel how to save money,
how to survive, he’s open-minded he’s multitasking, he’s… not introvert. He’s active and he wants more,
he wanna change the world. It means he wanna do
something in the community He wants to develop himself. And… It’s something common in all of us. It doesn’t matter which country
we come from. There’s always something
that we can find something that unite us. It doesn’t matter where we met.
It’s always like: ‘You’ve a sticker on your lugagge,
at the airport. You’re from AEGEE’ ‘Me too. That’s cool’. AEGEE is like a glue. It’s like a glue.
-You know the way of person you are.My parents, my grandparents for them the world was different.
It was closed. They couldn’t left the country
with the Soviet Union. For me everything is open. Ok, I don’t have visa now but I will,
it’s not a problem. I can go and travel,
I can talk to people, learn from them. It’s crazy how many opportunities
are open to me. Why not? I could live in the States because I was there. Five years ago, before I joined AEGEE I think I would be still ok but I think I would be much more
into… my worryings and this bubble we have in Ukraine because those people
not travelling the world from Ukraine they cannot see or talk to people,
they cannot understand them. They cannot realise
how the world’s changing fast. So fast. How much we should run to
at least touch something. So, I think I’m one of the lucky ones. And people who are gonna join AEGEE they’re also choosing the right way
for their personal development whatever they wanna do in their life.The first time I heard about AEGEE
was about a year ago.a friend I met at work
told me about…about Summer Universities.Everyone,
and that’s the great thing, everyone coming to
the Summer Universities are really open-minded. They want to meet new people
with the same… mentality.
They wanna meet people, learn. You can see it, for example,
during the European Night. It’s a night when
everybody has to bring some kind of… something typical from their country. Especially food. It’s an opportunity to try new food
from different countries. Stuff you don’t know
because it’s so traditional. A lot of alcohol, too.
That’s something to tell the… Russians, Belarusians, Polish, Czech it’s not worth bringing
a bottle of vodka each. Right after the Summer University
I left again. I went eight months to South America. Now, I just came back. I have a couple of things to do here
and then I’ll go back again.Why South America?I was hesitatingbetween two regions quite…quite cheap to travel. South America or Southeast Asia and I finally chose South America.
The reason? The language. I found interesting both… both regions, but I wanted to be alone
and talk with people. A trip to meet people to discover new places, cultures,
new ways of thinking new people. My trip lasted seven months:
First, one month in Bolivia then I stayed a month an a half in Peru then I only stayed 15 days in Ecuador I decided not to visit
the Ecuadorian coast as I thought to see it later in Colombia or Costa Rica. Then Colombia for one month… a month and a half in Colombia. Then Costa Rica, where my parents
joined me for three weeks. After, I went again to Colombia,
a country that I really loved for many reasons. And finally… Mexico. I stayed three weeks in Mexico. Then I came back to rainy France very, very sad. At first I thought
I’d have stayed four months before arriving in Colombia. But I saved some money
because travelling is very cheap there when taking local transports sleeping in hostels eating in restaurants with the locals. That’s how I saved money
and why I stayed longer so I could go to Mexico. In total, seven months
in South America, Latin America. My plane left from… from Barcelona the 15th September and landed in Santa Cruz, in Bolivia. And then… the adventure started. I was totally alone. Damn! This is great. Titicaca Lake. The highest navigable lake in the world. Hello, I’ve got a new friend. The great thing of travelling alone
is that you always find others both travellers and… and local people. It’s fantastic that you’re never alone. I’ve not changed, but evolved instead. That is… I am still the same person but some things changed
in my way of being and thinking. Now, I can endure more… many more things. And regarding those little troubles
we face in Europe I learnt that are nothing
compared to what some people face. Our idea of some cultures
can be totally wrong. This kind of expatriate experience was a combination of
assimilation and new things. I had to adapt to the local culture improve my Spanish,
to properly speak the language and try to integrate myself with… with Colombians. But I also gained something personal in my way of behaving and being while trying to integrate myself
in Colombia. And they love it. South Americans love
we try to speak their language. They see all
English, Australians, Americans who are used to the entire world
speaking English. And I realised that there’re things
we need in our daily life which can’t be learnt at university or at school in general. Things that we can learn by travelling as in the Summer University
with AEGEE. AEGEE helped me a lot. It was like a test before the trip. In particular about travelling alone and being with strangers that we meet with whom
we have to share, to work to set up projects together. So it’s an experience… to meet people from other countries.It’s been one month
since I came back to FranceI’m gonna stay other two monthsand I’ll try to go again…to Colombia. This time to
experience a real expatriation not only travelling. So I’ll be back
with a work and holiday visa which let me go to Colombia one year maximum to travel and work. Maybe in tourism,
or as a French teacher. Even opening a cake shop. Colombians are very bad at baking.And will you make the cakes?Why not? Why not?
No, I don’t really know yet. Also, I’m gonna travel in Europe
as my Colombian girlfriend will come in a few weeks this summer. So we are going to spend
some time in France then a few weeks in Italy to visit it. Then we’ll go together to Colombia. I don’t know yet. I’m leaving for between
one month and one year or more without any real project.Well…Well…
-You made it?Is it true?
-It is. This journey… to know these people,
these stories you’d heard of but you hadn’t gone in depth. No, exactly.
-Did all this inspire you in some way? I was surprised
because you could see and feel how touched they were how proud they were
of everything they achieved. Those things really… they motivate you.
-Sure. You find all these people
who made a great effort and so many things. And… And you look at them and think: ‘Wow, they’re just volunteers. They’re not paid even a euro. I thought it was just an association. A nice one,
but volunteering was someting that… was hidden in some way. You have to enroll in it to realize
how much time it requires how much money, too. How much effort, mainly,
and how much… commitment. You must be
ready to open your mind, and… for sure, these people we chose… were absolutely… Capable. Regarding these stories I wonder: ‘What’s their common thread?’ The conclusion.
A journey always brings a conclusion. Some months ago you said:
‘Here we go’. And now that you’re back? For sure… the fact that certain things
which seemed far from us not only
at a geographical level, but… also culturally. They are not that far. You have some cultural stereotypes and… then you find someone like you. Just like you. What I probably learnt was… to analyse people in a different way. This journey was, in some way… I mean… an experience really intense about all the possibilities offered by AEGEE. In just a few days we heard stories about experiences
that lasted even years. Tell me any funny story of this… month and a half. Transport in Kyiv. It was fun in Kyiv. It has a particular transport system. Everything in Russian? It’s not about the language it’s because you get in and… you find a kind of little buses. Kind of van. And when you are inside, you feel… as if you were in the living room at your grandma’s
because there are curtains… Carpets. Carpets. These surprising cultural aspects really open your mind. It’s a totally different world and… it’s just around the corner. I mean… How long did it take, three hours? Three… Quite affordable… and it’s just here. What about the end? How are you gonna do it? How do we finish it? How? We finish it.
-Do we? A journey never ends. What a metaphorical statement. Champagne, guys! Let’s celebrate!