blue team – AEGEE-Europe | European Students' Forum AEGEE (Association des Etats Généraux des Etudiants de l’Europe / European Students’ Forum) is a student organisation that promotes cooperation, communication and integration amongst young people in Europe. As a non-governmental, politically independent, and non-profit organisation AEGEE is open to students and young people from all faculties and disciplines – today it counts 13 000 members, active in close to 200 university cities in 40 European countries, making it the biggest interdisciplinary student association in Europe. Tue, 17 Oct 2017 22:02:01 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.5.10 Team Blue: Hungary is not as closed as we think nowadays! /is-hungary-as-closed-as-we-perceive-it-nowadays/ Sun, 01 May 2016 11:17:23 +0000 /?p=6441 By Hanna Polishchuk

One more long train journey directly from Warsaw to the capital of Hungary was ahead of us. However, with Interrail trains it was comfortable and light. This time we decided to sleep in the train almost all the way to get more energy for the evening. Agi from AEGEE-Budapest met us in the train station, and we went to her home. Together with Mate they prepared a tasty traditional Hungarian dish.

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The day after, we met other members of this wonderful local (Peti, Bernadett and Dorottya) who took us to the outdoor session. We were walking through the beautiful streets of Budapest, passing by architectural masterpieces, green parks and astonishing university, which made us exclaim “Wooooow!”

The Corvinus University opened its doors for us to reveal the secret of why this local has so many active members. Every place we passed had a poster of the Summer University project, it was literally everywhere, we felt like in the AEGEE headquarters!

During the next couple of hours we were watching a Hungarian movie that raised the questions and problems young people are facing in their lives, ‘For Some Inexplicable Reason’. We highly recommend it to those who have not watched it yet!

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The day after, we had the workshop at the same university. This time we concentrated on the debating part. Participants were divided into two groups from which one is in favour of borderless Europe, and another one is against. Their task was to persuade their opponents with facts. Both teams had well-structured arguments, and both sides were quite convincing.

Those debates could be going on forever, but at some point we needed to stop them in order to make a decision. Even though both teams were fighting to defend their side, later the task was changed and they had to express their own opinion. As a result, most of them voted in favour of abolishing borders. We all agreed that it was not easy to make decisions, and this is what politicians in the EU are doing every day, affecting the life of each of us. Our views over some questions, such as borders split up, probably because it was an international meeting that included not only Hungarians but also participants from Turkey, Serbia, Ukraine and Italy. It seems that Budapest is indeed an international city.

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During the interviews and discussions, young Hungarians expressed their concerns about the problems such as xenophobia, bureaucracy, corruption and nationalism. There is not enough information about refugees; people complain about them but in fact, almost no one of them has ever met any.

Another problem is that not many people are aware about youth mobility opportunities and they miss them because of the poor information they have. Hungarians believe that if youth is more aware of them, more people will participate in cultural exchange projects and the cooperation between countries will be better. However, we didn’t hear only problems, but also solutions such as better institutions, no prejudices, acceptance of different cultures, breaking stereotypes, supporting national minorities, and being more efficient in implementing the basic idea of the EU. These solutions are not hard to implement but if we do it, it will bring more peace to the society.

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We want to thank AEGEE-Budapest, and especially Peter Sczigel,  for the opportunity to participate in this event and learn about the opinion of the Hungarian (and not only) youth about very important issues like borders, Shengen, refugees and the EU in general. I personally have to admit that I was astonished by the answers and debates during the event. I am sure if we had such politicians, the world would be better!

Please keep changing the future, don’t be afraid to express your opinion and fight for a better reality.

Thanks for welcoming us, the city tour, sessions, food, accommodation, and all sort of help you gave us! We were lucky to take part in this event organized by the AEGEE-Budapest!

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Poland Opens Its Doors to Team Blue! /poland-opens-its-doors-to-team-blue/ Thu, 28 Apr 2016 14:47:49 +0000 /?p=6411 By Hanna Polishchuk

Early in the morning we departed from Prague to Warsaw. This time we did not have as many stops as before, only one, in Ostrava, a small Czech city.dAY3 (1)

We decided to try to interview people in the train station but they were not very open for the conversation. Nevertheless, before getting on our train, we managed to talk to a girl who shared with us her views about borderless Europe. Inspired by her, we decided to continue this task in the train. There we found interesting people, mostly from Poland, but also from the Czech Republic and the U.S.A. We even managed somehow to make one interview in Polish, speaking with the participant in Polish-Ukrainian-Russian language mixture. It was quite an exciting experience, and we learnt many impressive facts. After work, and running from one wagon to another, we decided to rest. To our surprise, we got free snacks and soft drinks from Interrail. Everything that we had in our compartment made our trip comfortable and exciting.

DSC_0008-2When we went out of the train, the president of AEGEE-Warszawa, Marta, was already waiting for us. In the evening, we went out to relax before the important day. On Saturday we organized a workshop for the members of the the local representative of our organization. This time we did not have as many participants as in Prague but the discussion was deeper and more specific. Participants shared their worries about the problems with Schengen area and the threat of strengthening borders. During the debates and mapping workshop we all saw that each of us travels to various European countries constantly for different reasons, and setting borders among our countries is ridiculous.

DSC_9861-2On the next day, we went out to the city for more interviews. We met people near the public library, in the city center and other places around. All young people shared our idea of a borderless Europe and that the relationships between the European countries should be improved. In their responses, we see that people are demanding freedom, understanding, mobility, unity, less bureaucracy and more support for other countries. As for refugees, they are not ready to accept every economic immigrant but those who really have to leave their homes behind and ask for the shelter in other countries.

Our visit to Poland was productive because we didn’t only ask people’s opinions but also shared ours and talked about difficulties with which we live in our non-Shengen countries. In one of such discussion about European values with a German and a Canadian we gave them lots of shocking information that they did not think about before. This way, spreading as much as we can, more and more people will get informed.DSC_9744-2
Coming back to the host’s home we kept discussing about the outcome of our work and people’s opinions. Later, while eating true Italian pasta prepared by Benedetto, we were sharing our emotions and excitement from this visit. In the morning we will wake up and go to the Hungarian capital that either divides or unites its two parts Buda and Pest. Are they so diverse in their opinions about the European issues? We are going to discover it soon. Stay tuned!

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]]>  Team blue: The First Step Towards a Borderless Europe /team-blue-the-first-step-towards-a-borderless-europe/ Fri, 22 Apr 2016 18:18:31 +0000 /?p=6357 By: Hanna Polishchuk

 

Early Wednesday was our departure day from Brussels and at the same time the first day of the trip. At the beginning, it felt uneasy but as we hopped on the first train with our InterRail passes, all the doubts dissolved. After the previous sleepless night, we got the chance to relax in the train until our next stop, which was Frankfurt am Main.

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The time passed very fast while we were in the next train heading to Dresden. One of our team members, Ksenia, found a big spacious room with a table that was usually for the mommies with babies. However, as there were not any moms with their little toddlers, we were allowed to use this place for the Europe on Track temporary headquarters. This room was the perfect place for teambuilding activities and discussions of our future mutual work and collaboration. We spent the time nicely together for the next four hours and suddenly approached Dresden. In our pursuit of the Wi-Fi, we were running from one side of the station to another, and at the end, the internet connection we found was so bad that we could not upload any picture!

The final train of that day was the best experience ever: fast, comfortable, with a good Wi-Fi signal and four sockets! We could not dream for more! This journey was so pleasant that we hardly noticed when we crossed the German-Czech border, it was indeed the experience of a borderless Europe! At some point we heard the train driver making an announcement in Czech and we realised that we were approaching Prague.

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When we left the train, we saw Karolina from AEGEE-Praha and Anichka from AEGEE-Kyiv, who came at the station to meet us. After a warm greeting and exchanging of our excitement, we went directly to our host’s home to leave the luggage. The apartment was just in the center of the city, and I have to say we all fell in love with this place! In the evening, we gathered for dinner and real Czech beer. Afterwards, we interviewed our first candidate. It was interesting to see how borderless Europe is for an Ukrainian living Czech Republic. We finished our day with a romantic city tour in charming Prague with Thomash and Sasha.
We are ready for more!

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