How to apply to a Summer University (SU)?
- Become a member of AEGEE Burgos
- Become an account in AEGEE.org
- Choose up to 3 SUs
- Send your application including a motivation letter explaining who you are, why you want to participate and the SU you chose, etc. Important: the selection of participants is mainly based on the motivation letters, so be creative and sell yourself well!
When do I send my application?
The application system will be open from 2 March until 24 April, but your antenna may have an earlier deadline. Please note that your application must first be approved by your antenna to be valid.
Can I go with a friend to the same SU?
The application process is individual, so there is no guarantee that this will happen, although you can give it a try. However, by going on an SU to another country you will get to know a different culture, learn many new things and meet many new people from day one – it’s an adventure you can embark on alone! The vast majority of participants travel alone, so you’ll make friends straight away.
How much does it cost and what is included in the price?
The application fee is € 2,50. This fee is charged to the antenna for each application. Each antenna decides if you have to pay it or if it is included in the annual membership fee. In addition to this fee there is another fee that covers the SU itself, and the latter depends on the type of SU you want to attend: Language Course (LC) and Summer Course (SC): €77/week. Travelling Summer University (TSU) and Language Course Plus (LC+): 98€/week. This fee includes: accommodation, breakfast and one other hot meal per day, workshops and social programme. Some SUs may offer an extra fee for excursions or other activities – this extra fee is optional and you are not obliged to pay it! The compulsory fee, the optional fee and the method of payment are described in the brochure of each SU.
How is the accommodation?
The type of accommodation, as well as the necessary equipment, is specified in the brochure of each SU. It may vary from one SU to another: student dormitories, hostels, tents, gyms… Remember: the price set is very low and the organisers of each SU will have to carry out fundraising campaigns to finance the SU.
How is quality controlled?
The quality and efficiency of the SUs is controlled by the Summer University Coordination Team (SUCT). Statistics and questionnaires show that the quality of the SUs increases from year to year, but it should not be forgotten that AEGEE is not a travel agency and the SUs organisers are not professionals, but students who are not paid for their work and give their effort and free time to make the SU the best possible experience for you. Mistakes can happen, but the organisers will always try their best to make your stay unforgettable. Remember: the group makes the spirit and it’s up to you what you personally get out of the SU!
The selection process – what happens after I submit my selection?
After submitting your application, it will follow several steps:
- The SUCT makes a pre-selection and you will be pre-selected for one of the SUs you marked in your application (maximum 3).
- The pre-selection process is done automatically, it is impossible to make changes to it once it has been done. Also, we cannot guarantee that you and your friend will be pre-selected for the same SU, as the process aims to ensure that the organisers receive enough applications and that the applications are varied in terms of background, age and gender of participants.
- Your application is sent to the organisers of the SU for which you are pre-selected, and they make the final selection. This last step is entirely up to them, although they usually follow the same criteria. Again, the organisers will try to select a group as diverse as possible in terms of gender, nationality and age, also based on the motivation letters. Each antenna then publishes a shortlist and informs all members who submitted applications.
What does it mean to be on the waiting list for a Summer University?
Being on the waiting list does not mean that you cannot go to the SU. Until a deadline set by the organisers, people on the waiting list may be accepted because of cancellations or lack of confirmation of previously selected participants. The antennas are obliged to inform you, but it might be more effective to contact the organisers directly and ask them about your chances of being accepted. You can also ask them to remove you from the waiting list in order to be able to send applications to other SUs offering open calls (new application deadline due to not having filled all the places).
How do you know in which Summer University there are still places available?
In the application form you will be asked if A) you want to be informed about open calls, and if yes, if B) you want to receive this information by e-mail. All applicants can subscribe to a mailing list where open calls will be published with the SUs offering vacancies. Last minute vacancies will be published on the AEGEE-SU-L public mailing list and on the website. Only members who have applied for a place in an SU in the official application period can choose to apply for a place in the open call period.
Do I need a Passport?
To travel to certain countries you may need a passport and sometimes a visa. Getting a passport or visa can take time, up to two months in the worst case. So when applying, pay attention to the start date of the SU you choose! And remember that you will not know until May if you have been selected for the SU in question. In general, most AEGEE antennas have experience with this process of getting a visa, as it is a problem that our members are constantly facing.
How can you organise an SU with only about 150€ per person?
Each organising antenna applies for grants from universities and public administrations, as well as from private companies for low-cost accommodation, cheap meals in restaurants, in-kind sponsorship, etc. This is a lot of voluntary and non-profit work carried out by the organisers! In short, to organise any event, AEGEE has three sources of funds: annual membership fees, event-specific fees (in this case around 150€), and grants and sponsorships (from public and private institutions). So you pay less than you would normally pay for this kind of travel.
How can I contact the SU organisers?
In the description of the SUs, on the left hand side there is a section where it says “email”. This is the official email address through which you can contact the SU organisers.
Should I travel alone to my SU’s country?
Yes, you must travel on your own to the SU meeting point.
A tip: If you find that the flight the day before or the day after is cheaper, this may not be a problem. Contact the organisers and they may be able to help you with your arrival before or after the official meeting point. Also, when the list of participants is published, you can get in touch with other participants to travel together if you live nearby. Once participants are selected for the SU, organisers often create email lists or social media groups to facilitate communication between participants and organisers. Organisers will send you information on how to pay the event fee, how to get to your destination, etc. Therefore you should check your email frequently.
Is there an example of a motivation letter?
No, that is very personal and entirely up to you. It is decisive for being selected, so take your time and be creative.
Do I have any obligations towards AEGEE?
No, AEGEE is a voluntary association. The only requirement is to pay the annual membership fee and to respect a minimum code of conduct. In addition, you are welcome to become an active member of AEGEE by getting more involved locally or at European level.
Do I need to learn English to go to an SU?
English is the official language of AEGEE (along with French). Without a basic knowledge of English you will find it difficult to communicate wherever you go. However, you will discover that not everyone has a high level of English, and that you may know more English than you think! If you want to practise and improve your English… You’re in the right place!
What if I follow a special diet?
The organisers will provide vegetarian, pork-free or other menus on request.
Who makes money out of this?
NOBODY. The members of the organising antennas do this without any economic interest. For us (active members of AEGEE), meeting new people, travelling for little money, learning languages, getting to know new cultures and lifestyles… is payment enough for the effort we make.
Don’t know if the destination of the SU is safe?
If after reading all this you still have questions or doubts, contact members of your antenna or write to the following email (preferably in English): firstname.lastname@example.org