International events are the heart of AEGEE’s activities. Our Identity reflects five different means: Intercultural exchange, personal development and non-formal education, thematic projects, policy and advocacy and forum for discussion. During conferences, exchanges, trainings and many other events, students have the opportunity to meet and to exchange their opinions, ideas, and impressions on various topics. These events are organised by AEGEE locals, Working Groups, or projects, often based on a cooperation among these bodies.
Agora and European Planning Meeting
Plenary at AEGEE’s General Assembly, the Agora
The Agora and European Planning Meeting are AEGEE’s biggest events. The Agora is the General Assembly of the association, held twice a year, in spring and in autumn, gathering 600-1000 students for four days. It is one of the most important events in AEGEE. Apart from being the venue where the board of directors of the organisation, the Comité Directeur (CD) are elected every spring, it is also a life-changing experience for the participants, the young Europeans who are gathering in one place to build the future of the organisation and together. The main discussions and decisions take place during the plenary meetings. The participants of the Agora also join workshops, prytania (to discuss changes to the statutes of the organisation), progress meetings about ongoing projects, and other programmes.
The European Planning Meeting (EPM) gathers together around 300 experienced AEGEE members in order to draft the Action Agenda for the upcoming year. Besides working on the preparation of AEGEE’s Action Agenda, participants take part in workshops, panel discussions and round table discussions related to the general topic chosen for the event.
European Schools and Training Events
Non-formal education is an integral part of AEGEE. Most of AEGEE’s training events are organised by the Academy, often in cooperation with other AEGEE bodies who are experts in certain fields such as committees of project teams. These training events are called European Schools. The events focus on a certain theme or topic, for example including Project Management, Public Relations, Fund Raising, and others. During these events, participants get a chance to understand the workings of NGOs operate, at the same time developing their skills. Diverse training methods, which include lectures, workshops and case work, create the perfect environment for fast knowledge absorption among the trainees. The following events are examples of AEGEE’s regularly organised training programmes.
AEGEE organises several training events throughout the year.
European School 1
European School is a one-week training course for people who want to discover AEGEE and learn how to run an AEGEE local and organise successful projects. A balanced mixture of lectures and casework in multicultural teams offers the participants the chance to gain hard skills such as antenna management, event organisation, public relations, fundraising, information technologies as well as soft skills such as intercultural teamwork and communication, leadership, presentation, interview and motivation techniques.
European School 2
European School 2 (ES2) is one of AEGEE’s most advanced training course. Focusing on higher project development within the framework of NGO work, the ES2 is a place for visionaries to blink to the future, where youth leaders get together and work together building a solid base for future projects to start from. In the program of the European School 2, two aims are clearly reflected:
- Stimulate development of ideas to achieve AEGEE’s aims
- Motivate and prepare people to take responsibility at the European level of AEGEE
The training lasts 10 days. The participants though, start the pre-case of the ES2 already couple of weeks before the event. Divided into smaller groups they work together on special assignments, which are the basis for further examination during the event itself. If you want to professionally be active at the European level, the best place to start is the European School 2.
Fundraising European School
The Fundraising European School is a one week event focused on one of the main parts of organising events: fundraising and financial management. During this week, the most experienced fundraisers within AEGEE share their experiences during the lectures. Another part of the programme is the case study, where participants get possibility to put their newly acquired knowledge into practise.
IT European School
AEGEE has always had an innovative approach to Information Technology. It was one of the first organisations to start using E-mail and listservers as a means of communication. At the present moment AEGEE is depending on a lot of different Information & Communication Technologies (ICT). Especially since AEGEE has locals in close to 200 cities within 35 countries of Europe, communication is heavily influenced and relies on ICT. The aim of an IT European School is to transfer the accumulated knowledge of AEGEE’s current IT-cracks to new members, so that they will know the ICT used within AEGEE and are able to design and implement new uses with them. After following courses of the IT European School, the participants will be able to set-up and maintain list- and webservers, create applications in Lotus Notes and Access, have a basic understanding of internetworking technologies and know AEGEE’s current installed base concerning the IT-infrastructure. They will also be able to act as teachers at coming ITESs, European Schools and Regional Meetings.
Public Relations European School
Public Relations European School (PRES) is a one week training designed for potential and present PR activists on local level of AEGEE. It aims at giving the participants the necessary tools and theories to design a sound PR strategy for an AEGEE branch. During the mornings the participants will take part in lectures and workshops, which focuses on providing them the theoretical background that they will be able to use during the simulations carried out in the afternoon. Participants of the event get trained in both internal and external public relations becoming qualified to handle the public relations activities needed in an AEGEE branch. The topics of training include:
- designing a PR strategy for an AEGEE branch and for a project
- strategic partners of an NGO on local level
- building an image and corporate identity,
- human resources and public relations management
- types of media and media relations
- presentation techniques
- making powerpoint presentations
- creating promotion materials
- designing webpages
Public Relations European School 2
Public Relations European School 2 (PRES2) is a one-week training event intended for potential and present PR activists of international NGOs. It aims at developing their communication skills, intercultural competence, exchange and increase knowledge of public relations, as well as discuss its application in the management of communication strategy of a European Youth NGO with a profile like AEGEE. The programme is designed in order to facilitate the work of the youth sector and achieve the best possible results of its activities. The topics of training include:
- communication in cross-cultural environments
- building public relations campaigns
- media relations and advertising
- branding and corporate identity
- a wide range of topics on types of media
Summer University Project School
The Summer University is AEGEE’s biggest project, where every year, over 2000 students travel for one to four weeks to a place in Europe, where they will meet with students from all over the continent. Understanding and exploring the multicultural dimension of the European continent, and becoming open-minded citizens are some of the reasons why 20 to 50 young Europeans from all over Europe come together in each Summer University to taste the diversity of multiculturalism. For the organisers of these Summer Universities, the challenge is to provide the participants with an interesting and well organised event. During the Summer University Project School, participants learn how to organise a Summer University.
Training for Trainers
The internal education within AEGEE is in continuous development. Training for Trainers is the event organised by the Academy
, aimed at training the next generation of trainers within the organisation. Fresh trainers get the opportunity to learn how to prepare and run training sessions, the link between different training elements and how to address, in a balanced way, knowledge, skills and attitudes to support the learning process of their future participants.
Network Meetings provide a possibility for AEGEE members to develop a cooperation for organising future events.
A Network Meeting is an event organised by a member of the Network Commission in co-operation with an AEGEE local. The event consists of discussions and training sessions about different topics connected to the work of AEGEE, and topics of interest for young europeans. Every AEGEE member can join one of the up to 11 Network Meetings organised every six months all over Europe. A Network Meeting is the place where new AEGEE members can learn about youth work from experienced AEGEE members. It is also an ideal possibility for AEGEE members to discuss common problems and develop a cooperation for organising future events. It is also a great opportunity to meet old friends from the association. The program of the Network Meeting is designed by one of the Network Commissioners. During a Network Meeting, several types of activities are conducted: workshops on e.g. project management, public relations, fund raising, presentation skills, NGOs, the European level of AEGEE, making movies, presentations of past and upcoming projects in the Network, discussions concerning current youth issues e.g. youth unemployment, students’ mobility, Higher and Non-Formal Education.
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