travel – 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. Mon, 23 Oct 2017 14:20:43 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.5.10 Is youth mobility socially mobile? /is-youth-mobility-socially-mobile/ Fri, 25 Apr 2014 00:35:46 +0000 /?p=5074 by Monica Nica

Heading to Naples we were hoping that the sunny weather we had experienced up to that moment would get even better. Instead, rain and clouds insisted to tag along with us through the two days we spent there. But the outside chilliness was counteracted by the warmth with which Nicola and his family welcomed us in their home. His mother not only treated us with a delicious traditional Easter dinner, but also with some interesting thoughts on the youth’s situation nowadays. For example, something that worries her is the fact that young people do not consider family and community ties as an important piece of the puzzle called life.

During the event, although we started the presentation on the topic of youth mobility, the conversation quickly went far beyond it as most participants were knowledgeable in the area. We touched upon issues of identity, the future young people envision for the EU, the moral values defining society today, and equal opportunities for youths.

We have already travelled 4000 km, visited 5 cities, met and discussed with almost 100 hundred people, and they unanimously agreed upon one thing: travelling is great! Everyone should travel, everyone should meet people from other countries, and everyone should experience other cultures. Many young people said that after returning from yet another trip they feel different relative to their friends who stay at home, they feel they know more, they feel they can do more. As I travelled a little bit myself during the past 3 years, I can say one thing: travelling is addictive! Once you start, you can hardly stop. There is always a new place to discover and interesting people to meet.

DSC01189If only everyone could indeed profit from all the advantages of travelling: independence, self-confidence, better language skills, adaptability, and inter-cultural communication abilities among others. The main recurrent reason for not travelling given by the young people we talked with was unsurprisingly related to the financial situation. Most simply cannot afford it.

Since my travelling has all the time been connected with something educational or professional, I had some kind of scholarship, but there were always expenses which I had to cover myself. If it weren’t for my parents and friends helping me out with that part, I wouldn’t have been able to travel anywhere. Even when all the expenses were covered by the organisers of the conference, the procedure usually involved a reimbursement. So there’s no such thing as free travelling, which means that the majority of young people can’t enjoy the benefits of it.

Mr. Luciano Griffo from Europe Direct in Napoli said that the EU mobility programmes are very good and that all young people should participate in them. At the same time, when asked about the real availability of these programmes for all youths, he admitted that they indeed represent opportunities mainly for university students. And the majority of university students come from middle and upper-middle classes.

DSC01174Without the support of family or friends, it can be very hard or even impossible to rely solely on the grants offered through the various mobility programmes. Even in AEGEE members have to pay in order to avail themselves of the wonderful travelling opportunities highly praised by everyone we have talked with.

Unfortunately those who can’t afford it are the ones who need it the most. The active youths already possess the skills and resources necessary for political participation. If decision-makers want all young people to be active citizens they need to offer everyone the tools necessary to address the barriers for participation in terms of skills, language, knowledge and ethos. Studies show that the more socially excluded young people are, the less they participate. But if given a good social condition, they are willing to exercise their formal rights. It might seem like an enormous task to undertake, but why not start with making the mobility programmes truly available for every young person, irrelevant of their social condition.

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Youth opinion on the future of Europe: AEGEE-Europe launches “Europe on Track” project /youth-opinion-on-the-future-of-europe-aegee-europe-launches-europe-on-track-project-2/ Fri, 05 Oct 2012 08:49:48 +0000 http://aegee.blogactiv.eu/?p=137 Where is Europe headed? What can young people expect from the Europe of tomorrow?

These questions have been of great concern for many young Europeans recently. In order to find answers, AEGEE-Europe (European Students’ Forum) is launching the “Europe on Track” project in the fall of 2012. In the framework of this initiative, six young Europeans will travel the continent by train at the end of 2012, and in the course of one month, gather the answers to these, and further questions, through photography, videos and interviews.

More information about the initiative: www.aegee.org and www.facebook.com/EuropeOnTrack

The “Europe on Track” project was launched to advocate for a better future for European youth, and to capture young people’s vision of the Europe of the future by the end of 2020, as well as provide a snapshot of AEGEE and its members. The main topic of the project is “The Europe I want for the future”, involving young people around the continent in discussing the current situation and their own prospects. At a time when the idea of European integration is being questioned, and young people’s future prospects have become hazy, AEGEE considers it fundamental to give voice to the young generation, in order to take their opinion, their realities and their wishes into account.

“We will give six young people the opportunity to travel the whole European continent. They will be reporting about their experiences through social media and blogging, channels used by youth as impartial loudspeakers, which allow them to communicate with greater audiences, and which provide them with the possibility to communicate with an independence from traditional media. This will allow them to promote and spread the idea of a common European identity among youth.” says Pavel Zborník, European Institutions and Communications Director of AEGEE-Europe about “Europe on Track”. After being present at Rio+20, the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, AEGEE puts emphasis on sustainability in this project as well, as the six ambassadors will travel Europe in a “green” way, by train. By documenting every detail of their journey, they will later enable others to reach conclusions and find ways to remedy the situation, and through creative and innovative approaches they will promote the vision of young people through the social and other online media.

Applications for taking part in the project as an ambassador – travelling and reporting about young people’s opinions – are open until 20th October 2012. More information can be found on AEGEE-Europe’s official website (www.aegee.org) and the project’s Facebook page (www.facebook.com/EuropeOnTrack).

This initiative is possible thanks to AEGEE-Europe’s partner, Interrail.

 

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