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Magazine from the European Geography Association for students and young geographers

the European Geographer

Fourth issue July 2009





Entity Profiles














St Petersburg
































Entity Puzzle



























EGEA Agenda

Colophon The EGEA Magazine is a publication from the European Geography Association for Geography students and young Geographers. The EGEA Magazine is published twice a year. The magazine is produced for the EGEA community, EGEA partners and all others interested in EGEA, Geography and Europe. Postal address: EGEA Faculty of Geosciences - Utrecht University P.O.Box 80.115 NL-3508 TC Utrecht Telephone: +31-30-2539708 E-mail: egea@egea.eu E-mail EGEA magazine: egea.magazine@egea.eu Website: www.egea.eu Editors of the third issue: Vera Bornemann, Adriana Moldovan, Elisabeth Wimmer, Vlad Dumitrescu, Jan Smutek Graphic Design: GeoMedia [7537] Coverphoto: EGEA Hannover, EGEA Wien and EGEA Berlin Authors are completely responsible for the content of their articles and references made by them. The editors would like to thank: Gérard van Betlehem – GeoMedia, Margot Stoete – GeoMedia Peter Adelaar – Faculty of Geosciences – Utrecht University Jeroen van Pelt, Lisette van Leijenhorst, Jelle Gulmans, All authors A special thank you to EGEA Hannover, Vienna and Berlin for helping us in a special picture request! EGEA is supported by: ESRI - HERODOT - Faculty of Geosciences, Utrecht University This publication is financed by the European Commission through the Youth in Action Programme.

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Editorial “Our Europe. Our EGEA” Let’s take a look at us: Our Europe is a huge family of people coming from different cultures, countries, nations and cities. There are unique and wonderful places with great history which are really worth to see. Within this inspiring environment of Europe is our association. After more than 20 years of operating, EGEA still is – maybe more than ever – a growing family of entities. They sum up to a vital network in which congresses, exchanges and a wide range of other activities are organized. Last but certainly not least they are associations of people, who love geography, love to travel and love to explore new places with other interesting people, who share our passion for geography. Let’s take a look a little bit back: But how much do we really know about the entities of our association? We as EGEA family can get to know each other better. Let us take you on an imaginary journey and explore our entities. We present you: past and origin, history, activities, current situations and a bit about plans for the future of particular entities. In those entity profiles written by 42 members of 30 entities you can find descriptions of home activities, exchanges, congresses, touristy value of cities and regions, and ways of how entities did improve their activities. We hope that the profiles and images will inspire you and fill you with EGEAspirit as we editors were enthused while we were working on this issue. Along with this favorable part, we shall not suppress the fact, that it has not been easy to create this edition. This might be the most important part of our introducing words to you: The European Geographer is what YOU make it to be! Since it is the magazine from and for EGEAns, we want and need to know what EGEAns want and like. So let us start a discussion about it in our lively forum!

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Let’s take a look into the future: As within EGEA several congresses and other activities are planned, we editors also plan our next edition. Innovations and new things are entering our daily life and thus also geography. Let us work together on the scientific level and the future of the European Geographer! Contribute to the European Geographer # 5: “Innovative Geography”! Now we hope you will enjoy reading this issue of the European Geographer and discovering other entities. We wish that it will make you feel the spirit within EGEA and inspire you to further cooperations, exchanges, travels and writing about all these and other kind of activities. All in all remember what one of the authors wrote “it’s all about growing together”. Good luck and see you somewhere in Europe! Yours, Vera, Vlad, Jan, Elli and Adriana The European Geographer Editorial Team

EGEA Amsterdam Amsterdam is back! Aafke Mertens, Joost Brinkkemper egea.amsterdam@gmail.com

Logo of EGEA Amsterdam Source: EGEA Amsterdam, 2009 Amsterdam is more than drugs and prostitutes! The city also has a real EGEA entity again! How was it possible that you, as EGEAns, didn’t hear anything from the capital of the Netherlands the last years? For the last four years EGEA Amsterdam was a bit of chaos. And why wouldn’t it be? We were two universities and three completely different studies in the largest city of the Netherlands. To give you an idea of the craziness in our entity: our contact person was a physical geographer, while our board consisted of a

group of social geographers and the geology students organized exchanges autonomously. It is a wonder that with current technologies, we were not able to communicate with each other. Last year we decided to re-unite the students and form a new board out of it. So the hard work began, as EGEA Amsterdam had to be built from scratch again. Finally EGEA Amsterdam didn’t only connect geographers in Europe, but also the geographers in Amsterdam were united again. At the moment Amsterdam is a very fast growing entity. So what can you expect in Amsterdam? It’s a vibrant city with an old centre, famous canals with attractively illuminated bridges, lush parks, intimate cafes, windmills, very open minded people and a lot of bicycles! The city is situated in a peat area and surrounded by a variety of landscapes, like dunes, beaches, lakes, forests and polders below sea level. If you come to visit us we’ll let you experience Amsterdam in an unforgettable way. We don’t exactly have an entity song or an interesting way of drinking beer. Even our t-shirts are shamefully boring. But we are a rather relaxed entity like our city. And we are always diverse, and believe me; if it’s needed we can get pretty wild and party like there is no tomorrow.

Even though, our group is as diverse as our city, we all enjoy three things: travelling, meeting new people and a nice cold beer!

EGEA Amsterdam on exchanges the last months Source: EGEA Amsterdam, 2008-2009

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EGEA Augsburg Augsburg – an old city with a newly rebuilt entity Tobias Michl augsburg@egea.eu

burg! Maybe next time we are the ones who can motivate people with our stories!

For some time EGEA Augsburg has been not very active in organizing EGEA events or taking part in them. Anyway, these times are over now, as some new active members joined. What could characterize EGEA Augsburg better than letting some of those people say some words.

Ariane: Augsburg is a small part of Europe – a very nice small part – and I want to introduce it to all interested EGEAns and other people who want to come and visit us. I hope I can help to save our entity from going down and I’ll get to know a lot of young Europeans and their countries and cities. What could be better?

Logo of EGEA Augsburg Source: EGEA Augsburg, 2009 Daniel: As a newbie I just want to tell you the story how I joined EGEA. Imagine you´re sitting in an auditorium, expecting one of the most boring lectures ever. At the same time you suffer from wanderlust and you´re thoughts travel around the world. Then, the professor introduces a strange guy who is going to present a geographers community. You think: ‘Ok, average standard stuff’. But then he´s talking about travelling around Europe, getting in contact with lots of new people, taking part in really interesting congresses and, last but not least, having some nice parties! And all of this together with people that have a similar attitude. ‘Not that bad’, you think. You wouldn’t hesitate to join at least the announced information event. And when you finally meet some experienced EGEAns at this meeting, who really can enthuse you with their stories (I really can recommend you EGEA Muenchen concerning that), you’ll register at the homepage on the same evening. If you think that’s crap and it wouldn’t work at your university, just look at Augs-

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Benni: I’m very happy of being a member of EGEA Augsburg. I hope I’ve finally found an easy and quite effective way of getting myself connected with many other people with equal interests from all over Europe. Thinking of the future I also hope I can help to build up a strong entity in Augsburg. Wanting to be part of the huge European network of the EGEA community, I’m looking forward to learn a lot of geographical and cultural things. Julian: I didn’t know anything about EGEA some weeks ago. But when I heard about it, its activities, I was very interested. So I joined EGEA and hope to meet people

all over Europe who are interested in geography. I’m looking forward to exchange experiences with other students about their studies or hobbies. Sarah: I joined EGEA Augsburg because I wanted to make more geography than only listening to lectures. I’m looking forward to all the activities and to meet many geographers. Finally some facts about Augsburg: Augsburg is located in Bavaria (southern Germany). Founded in 15 B.C., it’s the second oldest city in Germany. Augsburg was one of the most important cities in the western world in the Renaissance, but it lost its importance over the years. Today it has 266.976 inhabitants (31.12.08) (cf. www.augsburg. de, 28.05.2009) and is the third largest city in Bavaria. The University of Augsburg (founded in 1970) has 14.000 students. 1.000 of these are studying geography. Members of EGEA Augsburg Source: Tobias Michl, 2009

EGEA Barcelona Sergio Cuevas Pérez barcelona@egea.eu EGEA Barcelona is one of the founders of EGEA, although it hasn’t been so much active… till now!! In the last 5 years some students from Barcelona were exchange students in Utrecht where they discovered our association. Besides, we organized the Euromed in 2007 together with EGEA Valencia, which it was a great challenge for us, and more EGEAns discovered EGEA and its wonderful spirit. Since then, we’ve been active in a lot of EGEA activities, such as congresses, exchanges, NYParties, seminars, etc. Our last activity was an awesome exchange with EGEA Wien. We are currently thinking about doing more exchanges, next one will be with EGEA Maribor. In our exchanges, we try to do different activities, usually two days in Barcelona and one day out of the city. Barcelona is a big city and for the evening programme there are always many places

to go out, bars, concerts, discotheques, etc. Moreover, we usually watch the matches of FC Barcelona since most of us are big fans of the football team. Besides, we usually have meetings and we go during the exchanges to our lovely EGEA bar, where you can enjoy delicious tapas. More formal meetings, although not yet, are excepting to be in the College of Geographers of Catalonia, which is an official institution which help us for doing and organizing activities in EGEA. A new bunch of students, who have been involved in last EGEA activities, are therefore looking forward to participate in more activities. We like our beautiful city and we welcome everyone. EGEA Barcelona is ready for you!

Congress organizing team Source: EGEA Barcelona, 2007

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EGEA Berlin Berlin: Brandenburg Gate, Reichstag, TV tower – and a quite active EGEA entity! Markus Belz www.egea-berlin.de

At the moment we are about 15 active members. Lead by our new contact persons Maike and Daniel, we will grow even faster within the next months:-). 2009 is the first year in the history of EGEA Berlin in which we will take part in all five EGEA congresses. Besides that we will organize our own event, the excursion “Berlin Wall by Bike” in July. Everybody is welcome to take part! Our Entity has a meeting every month and – probably more important – our weekly gathering, every Thursday in another bar. So by now, we already know a lot of good bars in Berlin. If you will visit Germany’s beautiful capital, it will be a pleasure for us to show you some of them! We’re waiting for you!

Brandenburg Gate Source: EGEA Berlin, 2009

EGEA Berlin Source: EGEA Berlin, 2009

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EGEA Bologna In the shadow of the two towers Sara Belotti bologna@egea.eu Bolognese wisdom: “Al soul vein so totti el matein anch se al gal al fa un sunilein” (“The sun rises every morning also if the cock is sleeping”) Bologna’s landmarks are two towers, the Asinelli and the Garisenda Towers, (“a tower…two towers” said somebody once walking under the arcades of the city center!) and that’s where – in their shadow – the adventure of EGEA Bologna started three years ago! Inspired by a member of EGEA Helsinki, Laura, the mother – or “godmother” of all the Bolognesi EGEAns! – better known as EBOs, decided to contact the Geographers of the Bologna University. That was the moment our entity was born. We immediately thought EGEA was something great: to get to know new people from all over Europe, cheap travels, to participate in European congresses and exchanges, to have a forum where we talk about our studies and to have the possibility to feel more like “geographers”, a really great “new world” to explore!! We started slowly, organizing meetings in the city, to know each other, to have fun together, to drink good beer and created step by step our entity….we showed immediately our enthusiasm for EGEA and finally also Italy had a spot on the EGEA map! We sent Laura, Maria Luisa and Stefano to Spain to participate in the Euromed Congress (and who was there cannot forget Stefano’s dress from the ’60!) and Daniele to Poland to the AC and to Russia to the N&B Congress, we flew to Munich and Vienna, trying to find Mario and Luigi (do you remember the two plumbers of Nintendo? Have you seen them? We are still looking for them!). And we discovered that “mamaliga” (in Romania) is the same thing as “polenta” (in Bergamo!) during a really sponta-

neous exchange with Bucharest. We organized a picnic on top of the hill of Villa Spada (in Bologna) to watch all together the sunset, but with our really perfect Italian lateness, we arrived when the sun was already gone. Nevertheless we ate risking a congestion even when a freezing wind was blowing. And we did a lot of other convivial events – we all really like convivial moments – such as “panellata” party, “spaghettata” party and everyotherthingpossibletocookparty! Finally the last year we decided to organize something special, involving also Rome (that was working to create its own entity) and born was the idea to realize the Italian Weekend, a sort of small Congress, to share a bit more of the “Italian way of life” with all the EGEAns, with a spontaneous program, between a beer and an excursion, between a workshop and a piece of pizza, between a dancing night and a football game, between an organization and being not so organized and the work in the kitchen…

logna is still here. Every one of us is still in EGEA Bologna because we are, first of all, friends. This is EGEA, a friendship, between people that share the same passion for Geography, the passion for travels and getting to know the world. This is what I understood during this adventure, that started almost for a case, with a short mail from Laura, and finished here – or better is not finish yet, and I hope it will never have a end – on my bed, tonight, laughing watching our funny pictures, with a bit of “saudade” of the past, but sure that we’ll still do a lot of things: EGEA Bologna is waiting for you! Thanks EGEA! Greetings from Bologna! And a really special thanks to – who permit to the “bolognesi” to stay always together, feel friends and have fun – thanks to our official sponsor: The Fink Brau, The LOOSERS Beer.

We survived in a great way, creating a really good atmosphere and having so much fun! Anyway, I hope that all participants thought the same. And the just born tradition continued this year with the 2nd edition of the Italian Weekend “Where the Bears Dare” that took place in Villavallelonga (in the Abruzzi National Park) the 22nd – 25th May. We’ve done a lot of things together like participating in congresses in Russia, Slovenia, Romania, Serbia or having fun and working for geography. Sorry if I forgot something to tell, these here are just some of our best souvenirs from these last three years. Today we are maybe not so much “bolognesi”, because almost all of us were not in Bologna during the last months (for their study, for work, for fun or just to find a new way). Anyway, EGEA Bo-

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BMW Exchange Source: Laura Garagnani, 2007

Dress Up Party Italian Week end 2008 Source: Sara Belotti, 2008

EGEA Bologna won the award for the most active new EGEA Entity 2008 Source: Stefania Russo, 2008

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EGEA Bratislava Historical mining town of Banská Štiavnica, place of the Exchange of Slovak-Hungarian Friendship, part II Michal Ignaťák & Marek Krajčuška bratislava@egea.eu

One of the activities and events produced by EGEA Bratislava was the exchange with EGEA Szeged. Our aim for this exchange was to show the beauty of Slovakia (other than Bratislava) and to choose a geographically interesting location. We choose old mining town of Banská Štiavnica as the best place for the 2nd part of our exchange with EGEA Szeged. Banská Štiavnica is a town in central Slovakia, in the middle of an immense caldera (one of the biggest ones in Europe, 18 – 22 km wide, more than 4000 m in height), created by the collapse of an ancient stratovolcano. Nowadays Banská Štiavnica has a population of

Banská µtiavnica – History all around Source: Ľuboš Vrobel & Marek Krajčuška about 10 600 inhabitants. The population was almost double in the times when it was considered one of the biggest mining cities. It is a completely preserved medieval town, one of the most beautiful ones in Slovakia. Because of their historical value, the town and its surroundings were proclaimed by the UNESCO to be a World Heritage Site on December 11th 1993. The town is surrounded by mountains and is important from several different views: historical, cultural, architectural,

geological, geomorphologic, environmental etc, which we discovered together during our exchange. During geologically rich volcanic development, amounts of minerals and rare metals were formed in the underground. The history of Banská Štiavnica has been closely linked to the exploitation of its abundant resources of silver ore. According to the evidence, the site was settled during the Neolithic period. The first mining settlement was founded by Celts in the 3rd century BC. In the High and Late Middle Ages, the town was the main producer of silver and gold in the Kingdom of Hungary. The town was called “terra banensium” (the land of miners) as early as in 1156. The original Slavic population was joined by skilled German settlers who started arriving in the 13th century. Banská Štiavnica gained the status of a royal town in 1238, as one of the first towns in the Kingdom of Hungary. In 1627, gun powder was used here for the first time in the world inside a mine. To drain water from the flooded mines, a sophisticated system of water reservoirs and channels, known as tajchy, was designed and built by the local scientists in the 15th through 18th centuries. Tajchy not only saved the mines from being closed, but also provided energy for the early industrialization. They are connected by a more than 100-kilometres long network of channels. These extraordinary historical monuments are now used mainly for recreation. In 1735, the first mining school in the Kingdom of Hungary was founded here by Samuel Mikovíny. In the years 17621770, with support from Queen Maria Theresa, the school was transformed into the famous Mining Academy, creating the first technical university in the

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Underground trip Source: Ľuboš Vrobel & Marek Krajčuška, 2009 outlandish plants. We (EGEA Bratislava) evaluated this event highly positive. Those days brought a lot of geographic experiences, karaoke songs and funny moments. It was a memorable event for all of us. We also got a positive feedback from our friends from Szeged that they liked the exchange very much. Much to our satisfaction. We wish that our nice Slovak-Hungarian cooperation will continue in the future. PS: Interested in Banská Štiavnica region? We can organize an exchange there with some other entities. Just ask. And about other activities, in autumn EGEA Bratislava will organize the Tatra Trek eXpedition… so join in!

world. In 1782, Banská Štiavnica was the third biggest town in the Kingdom of Hungary (with 23,192 or incl. suburbs 40,000 inhabitants), after Bratislava and Debrecen. But the town’s development was too closely linked to the mining activity which had been progressively declining since the second half of the 19th century. In 1919, after the creation of Czechoslovakia, the Academy was moved to Sopron in Hungary. Nowadays, Banská Štiavnica is an important center of recreation and tourism, benefiting from its rich historical heritage. The heart of the town is the historical Trinity Square (Slovak: Trojičné námestie) dominated by a monumental plague column. The square is used for frequent cultural events and there is also a mineralogical museum. The two castles, the so called “old” one (Slovak: Starý zámok) and “new” one (Slovak: Nový zámok), have been transformed into museums. The open air mining museum, geological GEOPARK, that we visited together, offers the two kilometers long underground excursion in mines dated back to the 17th century. Next stop was The Calvary Mount of Banská Štiavnica. It’s a complex of sacral

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buildings set in scenery to the slope of the nearest hill. It consists out of 23 objects, representing a true gallery of sacral art. About 15 km from the historic town of Banská Štiavnica, in the Štiavnické Vrchy Mountains, Vyhne village and local Steiger brewery are located, where we also made a short excursion. It is the oldest still working brewery in Slovakia, founded there by the Knights Templar in 1473. Production of beer is still based on traditional prescriptions and preparation from spring water spas in the surrounding mountains. Also a nature reserve called Kamenné more (“Rocky Sea”) lies near the village and it is the biggest „rocky sea” in the volcanic part of the Carpathians. Štiavnické vrchy Mountains lie on the border of two different climatic types and this evocates horizontal and vertical diffusion of warm-like Panonic elements and mountain Carpathian elements of fauna and flora. Here can be found the northeast expansion line of flora elements like Turkey Oak (Quercus cerris) or Tatar Maple (Acer tataricum). For this, the Botanical garden founded in Banská Štiavnica is an interesting place, because it has good conditions for many

Sources: Archive of EGEA Bratislava http://en.wikipedia.org/ http://www.banskastiavnica.sk/http:// www.sacrimonti.net/

EGEA Bucharest EGEA-ing is a serious play Claudia Lordache bucharest@egea.eu

EGEA Bucharest logo Source: EGEA Bucharest, 2009 Bucharest is the phoenix bird of EGEA. Or is it? The thing is that Bucharest entity had a very strange evolution in the history of EGEA: as further back as we could have traced it, in 1998 there was an AC organized by EGEA Bucharest in Poiana Brasov. After that, the entity became a one man show attending mostly annual congresses. Then it died. Then it resurrected again, for a short period. Then it died once more. And in 2005 the true EGEA Bucharest was born. Since then, all is history… One of the things that keep EGEA Bucharest in shape it is its humour. I’m sure that each entity has it own “internal” jokes. Well, this would be the perfect occasion to explain one of our inside jokes: the tzatza term. Tzatza is a Romanian word for a woman who gossips a lot, as in all day long. In the past it was used as a form of respect for on older sister or lady. Still, EGEA Bucharest has adapted the idea and has created a rather new „concept”. So, the first rule of being a tzatza is that we are always gorgeous no matter what. Being such a complex thing, it’d take a lot of space to explain it, so let us just give you some hints: is there a gossip that needs to be heard? That’s where the tzatza is; is there a new event taking place? a tzatza knows about it; is there a new cool pub/ teashop/shisha & coffee shop in town?

Romanian spirit at the ERC08 - Source: EGEA Bucharest, 2008 a tzatza has already been there; is there a new trend going around these days? it was probably a tzatza who set it. We are all tzatza in our entity and we very much enjoy it. Some are in denial and don’t want to embrace their true self, but tzatzas always prove patient and supportive with each other in difficult times. Now let’s get back to some serious things and tell you more about EGEA Bucharest’s this year activities. The most important event that EGEA Bucharest is organizing in this time of year (summer/ autumn 2009) is the Protected Area Seminar, which is at its first edition. We wish to introduce EGEAns to a new concept of activity, a seminar that wants to present and enrich their knowledge in regards to both human and cultural heritage and aspects of nature conservation. The seminar will take place in the Buila – Vanturarita National Park which is located in the middle Carpathians area. It represents the natural habitat for several animal species and plants, like lilies (ex: Lilium martagon) or orchids (ex: Orchis mascula). Also, the area has

raised high interest for human geography specialists as its surroundings hold one of the areas where traditions have been best conserved. The aim of this seminar is to offer an area of research for EGEAns, in order to practice their geography skills. Here you can find more information regarding the area, the seminar and other: http:// www.egea.eu/congresses/pas09/index. php?content_id=4 Another fun and interesting activity that we will also put together is the Black Sea Seminar – the weekend edition. This everlasting already traditional EGEA event will be at its 4th edition this year, a very relaxed, short and funny edition, in August, in Vama Veche (the most southern point of the Romanian seashore). For whoever will attend this edition we have some surprises in store, but we can definitely guarantee a blasting weekend at the Romanian seashore. Another event to which EGEA Bucharest is looking forward to take part in is the Exchange with EGEA Saint-Petersburg which will take place during July – September 2009. What will we doing in this

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European spirit (still) at ERC 08 - Source: EGEA Bucharest, 2008 exchange? The program of an exchange usually differs from one exchange to another. Still, we hope to include in the program Bucharest with its beautiful parts and not so beautiful parts, with its tone of churches and, of course, the House of People. Also, Romania has a lot of beautiful natural landscapes and that’s why usually we organize an excursion outside the city, for the guests to enjoy them. Bucharest is a city of combinations and it has no real architectural structure. Here you can find streets which remind you of the beginning of the 19th century, when it used to be the „little Paris” and there are areas where you see where communists stopped by, and, of course, that glass skyscrapers could not miss this city and you can find them both in the city center or outside of town. Someone once said that Bucharest is not beautiful. But it has a “vibe”.

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And we always want to show that “vibe”. But Bucharest shows it’s best part at dawn, when the cultural life begins. That’s when it offers a lot of possibilities for everyone to enjoy a night out at best known or non-conventional, indoor or outdoor theatre plays, fairs, and concerts of all types, pubs and teashops, and great clubs. Well, that’s all about EGEA Bucharest… for now. Stay tuned for more new activities the year to come.

EGEA Cluj-Napoca Sabin Potinteu egea_cluj@yahoogroups.com In the heart of Transylvania, Cluj-Napoca awaits its visitors, with the silence full of history walls and hospitable people. Treasures of architecture and years of shaping people’s minds have made this county special in its uniqueness. You’ll see here the famous Transylvanian calm and reflexive mind, seriousness and pride. Places of interest: Botanical Garden, St Michael’s Cathedral, Mihai Viteazu Square, Calvaria Church, Matei Corvin Statue, National Museum of Art, Ethnographic Museum of Transylvania, History Museum of Transylvania, Central Park, Fortress Hill, Tailors’ Bastion, Calvinist Reformed Church, Union Square, St. Peter and Paul Church, The New Synagogue, Emil Racovita Speleology Institute & Museum, Pharmacy Museum, Romulus Vuia Ethnographic Park etc. Cluj-Napoca is also known as a true university center with a great tradition in education. Here you will find a lot of students’ organizations. EGEA Cluj-Napoca is one of these and is a great example of involvement desire and support for the nature. What projects has EGEA Cluj-Napoca done this year? Team-building Weekend at Miceşti: an action with the purpose to improve our communications skills; Romanian Freshman Weekend Homorod: our new members had their first

contacts with all the Romanian EGEA entities; exchange with EGEA Iasi: sharing experiences and ideas with other entities (Iasi in this case) is one of the best ways to learn and have fun in the same time; ecological Haşdeu: recycling paper from one university campus after the exam session it was a good way in which we supported the nature; Apuseni Weekend: another event that has brought us together and give us the possibility to explore the beauty of Apuseni Mountains; aforestation week in Borşa Maramureş: thousands of saplings were planted on different areas from Maramures; Earth’s Day: we celebrated this day by trying to teach others about the importance of nature; Geographer Student’s Days: trainings, trips, presentations and parties for every geographer. In addition to all this major projects EGEA Cluj presents different kind of geographic films and pictures every Tuesday. We invite people who traveled in many places from the Earth to share their experience with us. We also exchange experience with other EGEA entities from Romania.

EGEA Cluj-Napoca Source: EGEA Cluj-Napoca, 2009

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EGEA Erlangen Here we are! – Egea Erlangen is born Carolin Ziegler, Jana Dusik EGEA-Erlangen@gmx.de We are some students of the geography faculty of Friedrich-Alexander-University in Erlangen and want to introduce ourselves in brief. How we got the idea of joining EGEA? Two students (Caro and Anna) from our student association were invited to the WRC by Phips from EGEA Muenchen. As they were rather interested in, they went there, got back in excitement, spread their experience over the whole institute and quickly found a lot of other students who got fascinated. To keep a long story short – that’s who we are: we are a bunch of 13 students, studying in the small but cosy and exciting city of Erlangen. Our institute has a

very close cooperation between the cultural and physical parts of geography, what mirrors our equal distribution in the new entity. As we are really young, we don’t have anything to report about and found it better just to talk a little bit about our town and the surrounding region. So if you like rock climbing, hiking, mountain biking, canoeing or just having fun outside, you are perfectly right to be here. And if you additionally like drinking beer you’re just more perfectly right here, because we have the highest density of good and small breweries all over Europe. You are very welcome to prove this fact! But you should take some time as the number of breweries is about 300. Erlangen itself is most famous for

Medicine and Siemens who are working closely together in the name of health research and with that cooperation Erlangen is keen on becoming the capital of medical technology. Some other astonishing facts: in 2008 Erlangen won a “Which city is cycling most” competition among several Bavarian towns. As you can see Erlangen is quite sportive and its inhabitants like to party during the semester. Especially in early June, when there is the “Erlanger Bergkirchweih” everyone (not only people from Erlangen, but from all over Germany) is out, dancing and drinking beer above the “Bierkeller” (beer cellar) on the Burgberg in the north of the town. During the university holidays Erlangen is turning into a tranquilly ghost town, while – with 25 000 students going home – the city shrinks to ¾ of its size. That are the facts about Erlangen, the ones about our entity are following as soon as there are some. As a little preview we plan a Bavarian weekend with the entities of Augsburg and Muenchen to get some contacts and start into EGEA networking. We are looking forward to really getting into EGEA!

Rock climbing around Erlangen Source: Simon Steuer, 2009

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EGEA Hannover EGEA Hannover hannover@egea.eu The entity was founded (or re-founded) in December 2008, due to the initiative of our current CP 1 Alexa. While she was studying as an Erasmus student in Austria she got involved with EGEA Wien and got inspired by the amazing activities of the entity. Right after we started, we gained a lot of new motivated and interested members within a few weeks! Our special quirk: everyone of them picked a really weird nickname. For example chefkoch (Engl.: head cook), Romantik (Engl.: romance) or sandman (Engl.: sandman) etc.. Usually we meet once a month to discuss our upcoming plans and activities. On average we have ten constant active members. The rest of us studies abroad

or is doing an internship at the moment. By now, we have done an exchange with EGEA Wien in May 2009 and at the moment we hope that they have had as much fun in Hannover as we had in Vienna! Furthermore, we visited EGEA Berlin and hope to see them more often. We will join the Germany Weekend in June and would like to go to the Annual Congress in Heeg. In autumn 2009, we plan to organise a Krรถkel-/Wuzzel-/Kicker-Derby in Hannover. Everyone interested in this event is warmly welcome. We are almost sure that many EGEAns like this kind of sport. There are many ideas for future exchanges. Actually our biggest problem seems to be: enough time! With this in mind: hope to see you soon! EGEA Hannover Source: EGEA Hannover, 2009

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EGEA Helsinki Great people make great entity! Eeva Ruuska egea-hallitus@helsinki.fi Our entity was officially founded in October 2005, though already before some active geography students from University of Helsinki had been representing Helsinki in several congresses and exchanges (Sevilla and Bonn as the first ones). In March 2006 EGEA Helsinki organized the NBRC ’06 in Lammi which was a great event and a boost-up for our new entity. New members have joined since those years, and some older ones have proceeded to the EGEA Helsinki Alumni, which means that even many of the graduated students want to keep up developing EGEA and be part of our active entity! Over the years, some members of EGEA Helsinki have also been chosen to present EGEA Europe; Heli Rekiranta was the Chairwomen in 20062007 and Dennis Söderholm is currently the Treasurer. We are very proud of our enthusiastic entity! A sign of the vitality of our entity is the continuous income of new members into our entity. In a nutshell, the membership of EGEA Helsinki means great experiences through organizing things together! Currently we have about 20 active members from freshmen to alumni. The board of EGEA Helsinki is curently formed by chair(wo)manCP#1 (Katri Heiskala ’08-09), vice-chair(wo)man, secretary, treasurer and two other board members (exchange responsible CP#2 and website manager). Besides these positions there are other responsibilities held by several people that work together with the board. EGEA Helsinki organizes a full range of activities from exchanges to congresses, parties and recreational events both among our entity as well as on national and international level. The most legendary party of our entity is the Birthday party in October which we usually celebrate with guests from other European entities! Before Christmas we hold Pre-Christmas party and, as a tradition,

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NYP 2008 - Source: Satu Muukkonen and Eeva Ruuska, 2009 we organize EGEA Rock in the spring semester with annually changing theme and bands. Last year we also held the New Year’s Party in Ylöjärvi with some 50 guests from all-around Europe! Upcoming events include EGEA Rock ’10, NBRC ’10, several exchanges, and recreational summer days with Finnish entities. In August we have our traditional mini-exchange with Tartu (to meet our neighbours). Why people want to make exchange with us has not just to do with our beloved Minttu, but with our great organizational skills and good co-operation among our members. At least that’s what we want to believe. Great people make great friends and a good entity! Rainy city games turn out great experiences with positive attitude and SISU, sauna and traditional delicacies. Exchanges usually include some days spent outside Helsinki, in the country-side or in another town. The impact of the last ice-age to our landscape is always presented to our guests, too. And if the exchange takes place in winter we are more than happy to introduce our lovely winter sport – ice-hole swimming – to our guests!

Feel free to contact our entity in case of arisen interest, or just to say hello! We are best reached through the entity shoutbox or email. We’d be happy to make some more new friends around Europe. Hopefully we’ll see many of you egeans next year in NBRC in Finland! Until the next time, KIPPIS!

Exchange Belfast – Helsinki Source: Satu Muukkonen and Eeva Ruuska, 2008

EGEA IASI It’s all about growing together Andreea Stoican, Lucian Rosu lsgg_iasi@yahoo.com Four years ago, some very ambitious and creative students from the Faculty of Geography and Geology, from the “Alexandru Ioan Cuza” University of Iasi, in the north-eastern part of Romania, had the genuine idea to found a students association to represent their academic, cultural and social interests and activities, mainly in the geographical and geological field and they named it the Geography and Geology Students Association (LSGG Iasi – the Romanian acronym). “Initially designed to unite a group of friends, LSGG evolves to a very competitive organization, which takes the responsibility to represent the students, to offer them self development and knowledge opportunities and to gather all of them for a common purpose: to take the advantage, as much as possible, of the years spent in faculty, from both academic and recreational viewpoints.” (Mihail Eva – President of the EGEA Iasi) Since then, year by year, the young association gained prestige and new members, developed many interesting

and useful projects, organized important events, in this way being among the most active and popular students associations not only in the city, but in the whole country. Another important step we made on our evolution is the European opening we have since last autumn, when we became part of EGEA. How did we find out about this European Association? It was because of our geographer colleagues from Timisoara, who explained us the concept. We realized that we have common activities and its values and goals are similar to ours, in consequence we became also EGEA Iasi. We organized or collaborated for several events concerning EGEA such as: Triple Romanian Exchange, Iasi – Cluj and Iasi – Timisoara exchanges, Romanian Freshmen Week-end, Apuseni Week-end, and in spring, some of our members participated at Eastern Regional Congress, in Poland, where we met other European entities and established connections for future common projects. Our activities cover various fields of interests like the geographical, ecological, social, scientific, academic fields and youth events. Good examples for all these are: organizing a national student’s festival – Unifest, tourist orientation contests, parties, proms, concerts, fairs, photo exhibitions, ecological actions, debates on environmental subjects, workshops and trainings for our members. We also have special guests at our weekly meetings in faculty, like the Ministry of Education, the Dean and other professors, with whom we discuss specific problems or we have slide-show presentations of the expeditions and trips we had (in Norway, Unites States, New Zealand, on Mont Blanc etc). Besides the indoor activities, we organize very often trips and hiking sessions. What characterizes us and why we have

The GEG-GEO touch - Source: EGEA Iasi, 2007 such an intense activity? It is because the thing we are most proud of: the GEO-GEO (geographical-geological) spirit which gives us power, ambition, and dedication to work to reach our goals. The proof of this spirit is the good co-operation we have between us, working as a true team, with other EGEA entities from Romania, other associations and, least but not last, with our professors, who helped us and promoted our cause. LSGG – EGEA Iasi represents the association where students from the Faculty of Geography and Geology from Iasi come in contact with each other, organize themselves, defend their rights, implement projects, no matter from which department or year of study, because we are part of the same family of geographers and geologists!

Geographers and geologists at the metro station - Source: EGEA Iasi, 2008

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EGEA Izhevsk Kirillova Aino egea-izhevsk@mail.ru Izhevsk is a city inside the Russian Federation and the capital of Udmurt Republic. It is located on Izh River and is dated first in 1760. The city was known as some kind of “Ural Petersburg”. There are long straight streets where you can find the majority of historical buildings. Izhevsk is the weapon capital of Russia. Based in the XVIII century as a settlement of a factory, it supplied the Russian army with weapons since the times of the Napoleonic wars. The most known fire-arm of the planet, the Kalashnikov’s automatic device is made here. But our city is known not only for designing great guns. You can find here old small-arms factory buildings (the first industrial classical style buildings constructed in Europe), the Izhevsk pond (the biggest artificial reservoir in Europe), Saint-Mihail Cathedral (one of the biggest orthodox temples of Europe). Izhevsk is also the informal capital of electronic music in Russia. The city is a multinational city with signboards and posters also in the Udmurt language. There are several annual ethno festivals, interesting monuments (the crocodile or a goat) and friendly people. You can

Exchange with Warszawa - Source: EGEA Izhevsk, 2009 check it when you will arrive here! Now some words about our entity. The last event of EGEA Izhevsk was an exchange with Warszawa! Polish friends had been acquainted with Russian and Udmurt traditions like Russian bath (banya). This was also the first exchange which took place in Asian part of Russia!

places like Chertovo Gorodische (unique geomorphologic monument), ancient settlement Idnakar, and archeological monuments. We would like to show it to all of you!

So, our main feature is that we are the most eastern entity! Izhevsk lies at the border of Europe and Asia. There are a lot of interesting unusual unique

University place Source: EGEA Izhevsk, 2007

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EGEA Koper Matej Gregorčič egeakoper@suop.si For EGEA Koper, it all started in 2004. It was back then, that Staša Mesec, an assistant professor at Faculty of Humanities Koper, pointed out some exciting new (at least for us) thing. You guessed it, it was EGEA. Four young, promising and inspired geographers, two of which turned Alumni not so long ago, packed their bags and went to discover an EGEA world at the Annual Congress in Baarlo, Netherlands. The 10th of October 2004 marks the beginning of numerous adventures for young geographers from Koper – the birthday of EGEA Koper. Koper is a coastal town and the largest commercial port in Slovenia on the coast of the Adriatic Sea. The town has a population of 23,726 and is officially bilingual, with both Slovene and Italian as official languages. Situated at a latitude of 45o 32,5’ north and at longitude 13o 45,5’ east, with a characteristic Mediterranean climate, it is partly influenced by the continental interior. This is Koper with its mild winters and warm and dry summers. Once an island, now a laid-back town embraced in carved grey Istrian limestone, eight squares situated at the outer edge of the town covered with a carpet of white stone, remnants of an ancient city wall, narrow intertwining streets leading to the main square with the largest cathedral in Slovenia – all this tells the story of the past and of the present

Enjoying an exchange with EGEA Koper - Source: EGEA Koper, 2007 moment. Step by step the facades of the buildings and their interiors reveal the millennial history of Koper. EGEA Koper’s meeting place is…the bar! And it’s not just an ordinary bar. In all these years it became a special EGEA bar with special discount on beer for EGEA members! And from the opening in the 1980s it has not changed at all. Just for the record, its name is Museum Bar and every Tuesday at 20.00 it magically turns into a place where all great travelling and other ideas were, are and will be born for many years to come. Among those ideas are some of our annual events, like motivation weekend with the purpose of motivating old members and attracting new ones. Pending for the second part of quadruple exchange Koper-Ljubljana-HelsinkiTampere, we already started to plan our trip to the next activities on our entity’s agenda: the AC in Heeg, Netherlands. Exchanges organised by EGEA Ko-

per are quite picturesque and diverse. Mostly due to the fact that our members come from all corners of Slovenia (and come to Koper to study). We try to take advantage of that situation, especially because our members are not just good hosts, but also excellent local guides. In one week, we first await our friends in Koper, show them around our transformable coastal town a little bit and spend the next couple of days on Slovene coast. The rest of the exchanges usually take place in eastern Slovenia, where there is so many thing to see and places to visit, anyway we have so few time. So, an exchange with Koper includes meeting a lot of crazy people, seeing a lot of interesting stuff, getting lost on the way and having loads of fun! Other “activities” of EGEA Koper include… Well, as stated above Koper is a coastal town so the impact of the »Mediterranean« way of life is quite big. Going for a cup of coffee or having a drink several times a day is a must in a town next to the sea, and thus all members of EGEA Koper must follow these unwritten rules. No meetings can be held without loud speaking in a way that can be (wrongly) understood as quarrelling. But nevertheless, we always get to the bottom of things, prepare ourselves for activities and in most cases even agree with one another. So, if we caught your attention and if you want to visit Koper or have an exchange with us, don’t hesitate and write us.

Meeting at Museum Bar Source: EGEA Koper, 2009

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EGEA Ljubljana Jerneja Milost egea.ljubljana@gmail.com EGEA Ljubljana was founded in September 1997, when our student section became more and more active at the local and international level. That year we also took part in Annual EGEA Congress in Portugal. Today we are one of the most active entities, especially in Euromed region. EGEA Ljubljana has many projects through all the year round. At the local level, we organize an annual geographical research camp, a motivation weekend for new members, lectures of physical geography, excursions, travelogs and twice a year we publish our entity paper – GEOmix. We also take an active part in EGEA affairs. Our “history” is full of exchanges, we participated in every congress and organized three of them. At the moment we are more focused on exchanges, so we really like to travel a lot. Slovenia is well-known for its diversity. Exchanges are very exciting, because we are able to show our guests a “big piece” of our land in a very short period of time! We usually go to Triglav National park (mountains, lakes …), to the seaside and to other interesting (e.g.

City tour in Ljubljana - Source: Jerneja Milost, 2008 Karst region…) and various places. We always offer a good balance between physical and social geography or with other words: between sightseeing and adventure. Ljubljana is “the heart” of our entity and of course the most important “touristic” point. It is the capital city of Slovenia and its largest town. It is located in the centre of the country and is a midsized city of some 270,000 inhabitants. Ljubljana is regarded as the cultural, scientific, economic, political and administrative centre of Slovenia, independent since 1991. Throughout its history, it has been influenced by its geographic position at the crossroads of Germanic, Latin and Slavic culture. Ljubljana is a city of students, with one tenth of the city’s population studying in one of the faculties here. Everywhere you look around, you will see students. And according to legend, …after steeling the Golden Fleece from king Aeëtes, Excursion on physical geography Source: Jerneja Milost, 2007

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the Greek hero Jason fled with his ship Argo and sailed vast seas. Instead of heading for the south, the Argonauts reached the spring of the Ljubljanica river, where Jason fought a great monster and, as it usually happens in legends, beat it. The monster – a dragon – is featured in the town’s coat of arms and is the main symbol of Ljubljana. Thus Jason, the great winner, became the first inhabitant of Ljubljana. Interesting legend, isn’t it? But this is only a brief overview of our entity….. there is much more to tell! That’s why you are more than welcome to experience our country and to spend your most incredible moments in Slovenia!!!

EGEA Mainz Carolin Heymann, Miriam Ziegenhagen egea@geo.uni-mainz.de

Logo of EGEA Mainz Source: EGEA Mainz, 2009 Mainz is a highlight in every way: It is the city located on the latitude of 50 degree north, where the letterpress was invented by Johannes Gutenberg, where one can look at the unique church windows painted by Marc Chagall, where the river Rhine flows and vineyards are essential landmarks, where you can find an important centre of the Rhenish carneval and of course, where one of the most glorious EGEAentities can be found. Historical facts about Mainz The region around Mainz was already populated in Celtic times, where the city’s name has origin. The most important settlement began in 12 B.C. when a huge camp of a Roman legion was built by General Drusus, who named the city Mogontiacum after the Celtic god Mogon, to protect the eastern boarder of the Roman Empire. Mainz grew up to a major station of Roman influence until the big empires consisted in the fifth century. Up to the present time one can see the great architecture from these old times in endless archaeological excavations which are still being excavated e.g. one can visit an old amphitheatre or the ruin of a Roman temple under the shopping mall «Römerpassage». After the great migration period in the middle of the fifth century and a big decline in the population, Mainz recovered to become a meaningful domicile of an enormous bishop power on a cultural,

Dome of Mainz - Source: Vera Bornemann, 2006 religious and political level during the Middle Ages. This significant time brought us the dome, which has its 1000 years jubilee this year. The dome is still the most famous sight that can be visited in Mainz. With the beginning of the Renaissance and the Baroque the elector built the very nice castle of Mainz among a lot of other very beautiful buildings constructed by the nobilities of Mainz and in 1655 a fortress was created according to the ideas of Vauban, which is still utilised today for administrative functions. During the Second World War 80% of the city centre was destroyed by bombs and the population was nearly cut in half. After that great decline the rehabilitation of

Mainz followed. Many parts of Mainz were reinstalled and also the Johannes Gutenberg-University, which had been founded in 1477 and closed down in 1798 because of the French invasion, reopened in 1946. Since now the university advanced a lot and attracts many students to come to Mainz. Furthermore Mainz is both an important media site in Germany and a location with some renowned economic enterprises today. The rise of the EGEA-entity Mainz The entity of Mainz as it is today was founded by Sandra Blum in 2006. During the last two years it flourished and became more and more active. Mainz is on its way by starting out with organizing the Germany Weekend in 2007 and

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Big Schnitzel in the restaurant “Waldgeist” Source: Hac Dinh Van, 2008 moving on to organizing the Western Regional Congress in March this year. Mainz therefore shows its active interest in EGEA and asks itself what comes next. Last year the structure of EGEA Mainz was completely rearranged. We have built up a Board consisting not only out of the usual Contact Persons, but also of positions with different functions

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e.g. getting new members, organizing the exchanges and fundraising. Beside the official EGEA-events, we try to make money to finance activities by grilling sausages or baking waffles and sell them at our university. So we interact by putting together our ideas and therefore we are mixing our strengths. Since the beautiful city is home for the majority of our entity the Board meets at least once a month in different flats of the Board-members as we do not have an EGEA room at university. In our short entity-history we did a few exchanges with Marburg, München, Groningen, Warschau, Münster and our current exchange with Tartu. Very nice and funny memories, like a flying microwave are still subjects in EGEA-discussions in our entity as well as our favorite restaurant “Waldgeist” with enormous big schnitzel and beers where we went with some exchange-partners during their stay in Mainz.

common: we are all interested geographers and enormous travel-fans. So we have the sporty guys who cannot miss any football-event; we have the crazy girls who like to go out to dance or stay home to cuddle; and there are ones you can ask everything you want to and you can be sure to get an answer. EGEA Mainz is a very friendly group of students which is sometimes known as „Teddy-Entity“(because we like to cuddle a lot), but we are also very powerful when something has to be done. Many of us are also friends and because of our really good friendships we get together to party, enjoy singstar in one of our many EGEA-flat shares or to barbecue spontaneously on our „Geo-Yard“. So, if you or your entity wants to visit the city or wants to explore the fantastic geomorphologic situation around Mainz next to the Rhine and to get to know our entity even better, come to visit us!

EGEA-Mainz also participated in the birthday of EGEA on April 15th, 2009. Some members built rooms (in a geographical sense) in the city centre of Frankfurt with subsequent ice-eating and beer-drinking. About the EGEA-Mainz members This entity shows lots of different characters, but we all have something in

EGEA Mainz in summer 2009 Source: Judith Bernet, 2009

EGEA Marburg In the heart of Europe Karl Wutzer egea-marburg@web.de

Logo of EGEA Marburg Source: EGEA Marburg, 2009 EGEA Marburg – What is that? Ok, you may know that EGEA stands for the European Geography Association. But what else? Well, as well as all the other fabulous entities in Europe, EGEA Marburg means nice people, a lot of fun, nature, science etc… in brief: everything that is dealing with our subject and passion – geography. You might say: That is what all entities have in common. But what makes it so special to study geography in Marburg, being part of EGEA Marburg, or visiting us? First of all, we are not studying in a modern city. No, living in the «village» Marburg is like saying goodbye to civilisation. As you walk through Marburg, you are surrounded by old half-timbered houses which are overlooked by an enchanted castle on top of the hill – you will feel like you are back

in the middle-ages! Don’t panic though, we are enlightened and not burning witches anymore. We have the oldest protestantic university in Germany. Yes, and this is what Marburg actually is: a university – not more or less. There’s always a refreshing ballance of old buildings and young minds. So if you come to Marburg, a guided tour through the old city as well as the pubs is compulsory! While strolling through the streets of Marburg, you may notice a lot of blind men and women. This is due to the “Blindenstudienanstalt” (Blista), a school where blind people can pass their Abitur (the degree that enables pupils to study at university), located in the heart of Marburg. One speciality we show our guests here is Blista’s department for

cartography. Can you imagine that, they are creating maps for blind people! But that’s enough for now. There is much more to see and explore here in beautiful Marburg – so come, visit and see it yourself! Our latest event: THINK OR SINK! – The ultimate raft building contest on 21st – 24th of May. In combination with the MaMüExchange (Marburg-München) we prepared a raft building contest on the Lahn river. We had a great weekend, with strolls through the old town, fun nights in the bars, clubs and our apartments and of course excellent weather for our day on the Lahn. Thanks to the participants from München and Mainz!

Participants of the Think or Sink event Source: Nicolas Caspari, 2009

Beautiful view over the city of Marburg - Source: Nicolas Caspari, 2009

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EGEA Maribor Mojca Kramberger and Maruša Babič mojca.xy@gmail.com EGEA Maribor is a new born entity with no history, because it has been active only since February 2009. We started with our first quattro exchange (Ljubljana, Maribor & Münster, Groningen). Our entity was established in 2004, but it did not become properly active, because of different interests of its members and poor promotion. However, some members still had the wish to experience the EGEA spirit and decided to participate in Annual Congress in Russia in 2008. In participating they saved our entity from its deletion. In October 2008 there was a big promotion among students and new members started to sign up. The promotion was a great success, because now our entity has more than thirty members and around 10 active. Current and planned events: Local events: • English course • GPS orientation • hydro geographical analysis • GIS course • Summer hiking • picnic International events: •e  xchange (EGEA Ljubljana, EGEA Maribor & EGEA Muenster, EGEA Groningen)

English course – Improving our English because we don’t have any English lessons at university. - Source: EGEA Maribor, 2009 • E uroMed Congress 2009 •e  xchange (EGEA Maribor & EGEA Barcelona) •A  nnual Congress 2009 City of Maribor Maribor is the second largest city in Slovenia. It is the economical, cultural and sport centre and has the main university of the north-eastern part of the country. It lies in the heart of central Europe. It is located next to the Drava River, at the meeting point of the Pohorje Mountain, the Drava Valley, the

Drava Plain and the Kozjak and Slovenske gorice hill ranges. Maribor is the centre of south Styria viticulture and viniculture which produces the highest quality white sorts. Here you can find the oldest living example of a noble grape vine on our planet. Exchange plan Since we only started being active, we have so many plans and desires for the future. And our country has so much to offer, from the sea to the mountains and beautiful natural parks and untouched nature. In the region where Maribor lays you can explore nearby hilly areas and visit thermal water springs, waterfalls, lakes, primeval forest, or taste the wine produced in our region or visit the beautiful countryside.

The famous quattro exchange. Last day in Slovenia … saying goodbye. Source: EGEA Maribor, 2009

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EGEA Muenchen A scientific self-contemplation of EGEA Muenchen Kati Spannraft, Fee Stübing muenchen@egea.eu Analysis about EGEA Muenchen Not long ago EGEA Muenchen proudly celebrated its fifth birthday with many guests from all over Germany, Austria and Poland. This great day was reason enough to hire an own tramway to have an awesome party inside, while riding through the nightly illuminated city of Muenchen. Our impressive age encouraged us to have a closer view on the structure and characteristics of this entity. Demography The group of EGEA Muenchen is a tasty salad- bowl, with the following ingredients: The first ones are the matured who joined EGEA Muenchen from the very beginning. They already graduated successfully and spread out to work in Muenchen, Bremen, Berlin, Salzburg and Mexico, but still keep contact and stay linked to their entity. The second ones are the last diploma students, at the moment occupied with their theses, but nevertheless highly involved in EGEA activities. The third ingredients are the crispy Bachelors who make up a great active part of EGEA Muenchen and who are getting more and more. The change from Diploma to a Bachelor Distribution of sexes in EGEA Muenchen in the different years of study - Source: Katharina Spannraft, 2009

Places of residence of EGEA Muenchen members; red pin = inside city of Muenchen, yellow pin = outside the city of Muenchen Source: GoogleEarth, 2009, modified by Katharina Spannraft, 2009

degree first caused a significant rupture of the participation, with just one new member from the first Bachelor year. The next year showed a rise of around 600 % in participation. A special contemplation deserves the distribution between the sexes among the active EGEA members: 75 % of the active members are female and 25 % are male. Due to the under representation of male people we tried to increase its number and were already successfully thanks to one person- Manu! Besides that we compensated this lack with exchanges with male-rich entities (Nijmegen 100 %).

Spatial distribution A more appropriate name for EGEA Muenchen would be EGEA Greater Muenchen Area because our entity is spread in all directions around Muenchen, as our map shows (see figure 2). Thus our exchange partners get to see also a lot of Muenchen’s surroundings. Spare time activities The heart of EGEA Muenchen meets every second week in the attic of the yellow builing (coordinates: 48° 08’ 52,19” North, 11° 34’ 00,17”East: try to find!). There we plan our future activities, sit and laugh together and drink some beers. Beer plays an important role of

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Result of the study EGEA Muenchen is a highly interesting, coloured mixture of some men and a lot of women of all ages and different origins. Anyway they are linked by the geographical interest which brings them together. We are very sociable, adjunctive to our city and love to welcome other EGEAns and spend time with them. Thus we highly recommend you to pack your luggage, save the coordinates, and come to Muenchen. We are very happy to welcome all of you here.

A collage of EGEA Muenchen members Source: EGEA Muenchen, 2009 life style in Muenchen – because as you all know, Muenchen brews the best beer of the world….In summer our meetings often take place at the historical Königsplatz (Royal Place) or at the bank of the Isar, our lovely river, where we have barbecues and chill around. Moreover we meet in beergardens, in pubs – and in the attic. In wintertime we meet for watching movies in our home cinema in the attic. Furthermore Muenchen is famous for its proximity to the Alps, where we often go with our guests.

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Networking EGEA Muenchen loves to coorperate and welcome members of other entities, a deep friendship links us to the entity of Wien. In cooperation we organised the Alps Seminar in 2005 and the AC 2006. Our recent project is the organisation of the Germany Weekend 2009 on the island Hallig Hooge, together with Augsburg and Kiel. This year the Muenchen entity was present on every congress and took part in several exchanges which brought us unforgetable times.

EGEA Mytilene EGEA Mytilene and its habitat Kyriakos Kolokouris egeamytilene@gmail.com

EGEA Mytilene Logo Source: EGEA Mytilene, 2009 Mytilene is situated on the eastern part of the island of Lesvos in the Northern Aegean Sea, just seven miles from the Asian coast. It is the capital of the third biggest Greek- and ninth biggest Mediterranean island, in terms of area (1634sq.km, population 100,000), being at the same time its financial, administrative and cultural centre, the population of the town is around 40,000 inhabitants with the 5,000 of them being students!

The Boat is leaving, Mytilene - Source: Kyriakos Kolokouris, 2006 Since 1984 there are the headquarters of the “University of Aegean” in Mytilene, an university which is formed by 16 departments (there are also departments on the islands of Chios, Samos, Rhodes and Syros). In 1994, the “Department of Geography” (back then called “dep. of Human Geography”, its name changed

in 1999) was established in Mytilene – the first one set up in Greece! (The 2nd is in Harokopeio University, in Athens, since 2000). The same year (2000), a company of geography students decided to create the first Greek EGEA-entity! Lefteris Eleftheriadis “the kingpin” of that venture might not have imagined that in these nine years, EGEA Mytilene would have been transformed into an active entity in which more than 150 students have been associated with. In addition, EGEA Mytilene during that time has been responsible for the organization of two congresses (EM RC – 2003 in Skala Kallonis & AC – 2005 in Pelio), excursions in Turkey, promotion galas, cultural and sport events, introduction-events for the Erasmus-Socrates students and many other events. Needless to say that Mytilene’s members are participating habitually in the various EGEA-activities which keep our beloved association

St Therapontas at dusk, Mytilene Source: Kyriakos Kolokouris, 2006

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alive all these years (31 congresses and 12 exchanges so far…)! We would be very happy to see more and more EGEAns coming to Lesvos in the near future. We would like to share with you our lively town with its rich historical and cultural heritage (castle, ancient theatre, museums, churches, mosques etc.), unique local architecture and marvelous beaches. Moreover we would be very glad to introduce you with our faculty, its facilities, staff, restaurant (Greek cuisine) and of course with our EGEA-room! Last but not least, if you come to Mytilene you will have the opportunity to come in touch with the rest of the island; Plomari (the birthplace of “ouzo”, with its delicious seafood), Agiassos (chestnut forest), gulf of Kalloni (flamingos) and gulf of Gera both “NATURA 2000” protected areas, Molyvos (a picturesque medieval town), Skala Eressou (the centre of the international lesbian scene along with a long sandy beach), the unique Lesvos Petrified Forest Geopark (in the Western part of Lesvos),

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the Natural History Museum in Sigri, the numerous “thermal springs” throughout the island (famous for their therapeutic attributes) and many others… Important! Mytilene has more than 220 sunny days annually! EGEA Mytilene is waiting for you!

Skala Eressou, beach Source: Kyriakos Kolokouris, 2009

EGEA Nijmegen Olaf Kamphuis egea@fm.ru.nl It was a cold Sunday afternoon in January in a train in the periphery of the Netherlands. A male EGEA Groningen member and a girl studying geography in Nijmegen started chatting by accident. They spoke about EGEA. Something they never heard of before in Nijmegen. From the one came the other and in March 2006 four geography students from Nijmegen travelled to the WRC in Mendig. After a not so pleasant first evening, they realized in what kind of fantastic world they had arrived. Soon more people started to participate and even a New Year’s Party was organized close to Nijmegen to celebrate the beginning of 2008. The highlight was the performance of Dutch (street) music star Harald Ivangh. After his great performance he decided to stay for the night. When he woke up in the morning, all beds around him turned around, he declared: “This was the best night of my life”. Even without EGEA it’s fun in our city. The beach of the river Waal is a popular spot to spend the evening. It’s beautiful to see the sun go down and make a fire there. When it’s getting late it’s wise to go home, to go to cafe Twee Keer Bellen (Two Times Calling) or cafe Sint-Anneke (the last hope).

Munich girls in Nijmegen - Source: EGEA Nijmegen, 2008 Professors of our university love the city as well. Some of them even educated the parents of EGEA Nijmegen members and are still very eager to show around all visiting EGEAns in the city. This characterizes the family atmosphere within geography in Nijmegen. At the moment there are around 250 human geography and urban planning students. One big achievement in the EGEA Nijmegen history is the attraction of a big amount of women from Munich for a weekend. All men (99% of all members) from EGEA Nijmegen put their money together and convinced the girls to come. They even were allowed to come

to Munich afterwards for several days! Together with EGEA Groningen, Nijmegen went to EGEA Moscow for an exchange. Even two girls from Nijmegen decided to join! After the exchange it appeared both of them lost their hearts with EGEA men from other entities. So if you like to hang around with nice guys come to Nijmegen! For the rest it’s quite difficult to find men in Nijmegen as 60% of all 20.000 students are female. Last of all a top 3 of EGEA Nijmegen favourite habits: New Year’s Diving in the Baltic Sea Holding your arm straight on shoulder level and moving the hand to the axilla and back Running from Nijmegen to Enschede After all the girl and the boy who met in the train in January 2006 are still together. The girl however decided to join another entity… PS: A nice time to come to Nijmegen is 18th until 24th of July this year. During the day other people are hiking 30, 40 or 50 kilometres and in the evening (EGEA) people are partying! Contact us. Sunset in Nijmegen Source: Judith Bernet, 2009

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EGEA Riga On a new wave Baiba Bekisa riga@egea.eu This year begun with hope for the revival of EGEA Riga which already exists for a couple of years but, at the moment, it is only a point on the map of EGEA entities that don`t work. We have not been very active due to a lack of people and knowledge about EGEA but right now we are working on this issue. As you may have noticed, EGEA Riga was represented in all regional congresses and, therefore, we hope it will continue in the same direction, and there will be some representatives at the Annual Congress in the Netherlands. Currently, EGEA Riga is organizing various promotion events, such as presentations, posters and meetings in order to stimulate the interest in geography students.

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And, in this relation, we would like to thanks the Geography Student Council (Studentu Padome) with whom we have built up a good cooperative contact, which hopefully will continue in the future. Also we would like to underline that the Student Council will give an opportunity for two students to get a free ticket to the Annual Congress (refunding participating fee), which in today’s economic situation is an important and valuable support. As you see, there are plenty of possibilities and now everything depends on the students’ interests and their ambitions to make EGEA Riga active again. EGEA Riga is also very much willing to cooperate with the entities inside the North & Baltic region in order to facilitate the mutual flow of experiences and further develop good contacts while, at the same time, participate in local

events which could be useful for new potential members of EGEA Riga. All of us hope that EGEA Riga would not be just a point on the map anymore but it will be one of EGEA’s activ points which welcome EGEAns Europe.

Riga Source: EGEA Riga, 2009

EGEA Roma Lazy Romans in action … Andrea Porru roma@egea.eu Eighteen months passed since a new spot appeared on the EGEA entity page. And since then, Rome’s pace has been really unsteady. The official birthday of “EGEA Roma” is November 20th, 2007. We called our entity “EGEA Roma” and not “EGEA Rome” as we chose to use the Italian name of our city. It’s just a vowel, and often people don’t care, but it has a specific meaning. But what happened before this day? Every child has parents, and our entity is no exception. Some of our current members entered EGEA after a short visit in Rome by a member of EGEA Moldova in 2006, Dorin Lozovanu; some other got in after some “online recruiting” by EGEA Bologna in 2007. And after meeting some aunts and uncles all around Europe, taking part in the Bologna-Bucharest exchange in May 2007 and the AC 2007 in Ustron, thanks

to the support of a lot of people (to name some of them: 2007 EuroMed RCP and RCPA Alexander Ziogas and Maja Muskinja, 2008 EuroMed RCP Ales Oven, Vlad Dumitrescu, EGEA Bologna CPs Laura Garagnani and Daniele Clemente, and all the people who showed their enthusiasm and offered their support to the newcomers), we succeeded in joining the EGEAn community. Rome hosts the oldest Italian Geography department (established in 1936) which is also the biggest in Italy concerning enrolled students. Anyway, it’s still small compared to other European Geography departments, so the recruiting of new members has always been hard. Egea Rome, in cooperation with EGEA Bologna, organizes each year the Italian Weekend. The second edition of the Italian Weekend took part in end of May 2009. If you already took part in one of the two editions you already know that

the IW rocks. If you didn’t, well, we’re waiting for you to the third edition. But as a drawback, we aren’t really good in exchanges. We already have two really patient entities (EGEA Koper and EGEA Mainz) which are waiting for us. We really hope to solve our problems soon and start with these activities as well. So now EGEA Roma is idly sitting in its cradle, often asleep, with some sudden outbursts of joyful frenzy. But we know we can do much more than this… just you wait.

Some participants of the Italian Weekend 2009 Source: Luca Lustro, 2009

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EGEA Saint-Petersburg An entity profile Svetlana Romanova mail@egea.spb.ru When you’re a teenager time flies fleetly, the World is opened for you. There are so many things to discover and so many people to meet and certainly it’s one of the most incredible and unforgettable time! Well, why are we talking about teenagers?! The thing is that this year our entity celebrates its 13th Birthday, we’re so young but already have real life experiences and of course great motivation to improve our knowledge about Europe. Since 1996 EGEA SaintPetersburg has been growing up, became stronger year after year. Some things went good, some things didn’t, but unlucky experiences are also useful stuff for the future. Actually it was a great period and now we’re ready to be unbelievable active, enthusiastic and interested in everything what surrounds us! During last year, besides some Russian events (like introduction, motivation, team-building weekends in Vyborg, Novgorod, Pskov respectively and many excursions, parties), our entity took a part in regional congresses and some members joined AC’08 organizing team. The members of our entity are always proud of being participants of each event. But the most exiting time we spend is during exchanges. Our new Mediterranean friends from Spain &

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Does EGEA grow up its members or do its members develop EGEA?! Our entity considers that EGEA is an amazing, interesting and very friendly world of crazy geographers. What can EGEA give to you? You really have a great opportunity to learn a lot about geography, share experience with other students, travel around Europe, make new friends and just enjoy student’s life!! Once you join EGEA you’ll never stop anyway! It becomes your life guide & compass. Then one day you understand that you can do something for EGEA and it’s also a great feeling! Improving yourself, you develop your entity, EGEA in general and represent your country in the best way. Supporting culture by ourselves Source: EGEA Saint-Petersburg, 2009 Slovenia weren’t afraid of Russian winter & even had an ice experience on the skating-rink! And of course we’ll never forget crazy people from Amsterdam, who were swimming in the Gulf of Finland in the beginning of May! Please, note that everyone survived! Nowadays EGEA Saint-Petersburg as a usual teenager is strong enough for more inconceivable activities!

Russian style Source: EGEA Saint-Petersburg, 2009

As you probably know, St-Petersburg is the second biggest city in Russia; sometimes we call it “North capital” because of its beauty & rich history. However people say it doesn’t look like Russian city. Maybe it’s the truth, because of its geographical position & architectural style, but everyone who comes here, only in a few minutes understands that it has the Russian spirit. St. Petersburg is also famous for its beautiful suburbs and white nights in summer. That’s why during our activities we usually try to show St-Petersburg heritage & Russian life style as well. Would you like to walk in the mysterious streets, along the amazing embankments of river Neva and enjoy opening bridges or maybe you prefer to taste traditional cuisine & national drinks, sing Russian songs and get folk dancing lessons till the morning comes?! Come to St-Petersburg and you can make a decision on the spot if you really wish to “taste” this cultural mix!

EGEA Szeged The EGEA-landlady Teodóra Fáta Kristóf egeaszeged@gmail.com Our gatherings are held in a place which is mysterious for ourselves as well. The place is located right in the city center of Szeged. It is not just a gathering place, but also serves as a mutual dining-room during our exchanges. You can discover no connection between the inhabitant of the flat and the name written at the gatephone. But on the other hand, the inhabitant is well-informed about you: after your ringing, she opens the gate without asking who you are. And on the second floor, you are welcome with wide smile by Marina Božić (Maya, emmababy).

Relaxing outside Source: EGEA Szeged, 2008

She has managed very skillfully as a landlady. Her flat is used almost every week (we are pretty active concerning gatherings) and she tolerates it/us very well. Maya is very kind as a host, but be careful if you are the one who takes her somewhere. Particularly if you haven’t told her exactly where. It isn’t enough to write the information in an e-mail: as she opens her mailbox rarely, she is faced with more than one hundred e-mails in the same time. So she rather don’t read them. It is easier to contact her during the live meetings. Maya is a hospitable but strict host. If the discussion drifts into funny directions, she immediately tells us to return to the scheduled topic. So off-topics are not allowed. We can meet the same teacher-like character when leaving. After Torci packed his belongings, and got rid of the u2u

comments posed by the ever-anxious Miki, Maya asks Torci: „Why are you always the last one to get prepared?”, and gives a thin smile. And Torci feels that he has no excuse. Hopefully a separated EGEA room will be provided for us at the University, so Maya doesn’t have to be afraid anymore that Torci breaks one of her mirrors while roaming in her flat.

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EGEA Timisoara Or how chatting online can revive an existing geography students association Martina Iursitza timisoara@egea.eu

Logo of EGEA Timisoara Source: EGEA Timisoara, 2009

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Most of you probably have profiles on Hi5, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, My Space and so on, but have you ever considered the use of these sites? You’ll probably say: making friends all over the world, keeping contact with old friends, classmates, co-workers etc. But have you ever thought that they might have a role in creating an EGEA entity? Well this is how EGEA Timisoara was born! Timisoara is the 4th university center in Romania, most known for its medical and informatics departments. Geography was also studied in Timisoara since 1944, but in 1990 the Department of Geography was established at the West University of Timisoara, where EGEA Timisoara’s members study today. In 1991, the Association of Geography Students from Timisoara „GEOTIM” was created. Its initial purpose was to

promote geographic activities; so GEOTIM organized hiking and study trips in the Carpathians, mountain hiking competitions, geographic seminars and presentations, photo-exhibitions; and it participated to geographic activities organized in Romania. Unfortunately, ever since 2003 GEOTIM entered a period of ‘decay’, fewer activities were organized and the many attempts to reactivate the association failed. But then in 2006, one of GEOTIM’s members began chatting with other geographers on Hi5 and found out that there is a certain European Geography Association, called EGEA, which organizes a lot of interesting activities for young geographers. At that time, the chairman of GEOTIM agreed that this was a great opportunity not only to revive the association, but also to participate to

activities at a European level. So from that moment on, a lot of EGEA presentations were held and recruitment of new members started. EGEA-GEOTIM Members Source: EGEA Timisoara, 2009 EGEA Timisoara’s first activity was the exchange with EGEA Szeged, in March 2007; both new entities had a great experience that motivated them to get involved more and more in EGEA. Since that first exchange, EGEA Timisoara had several exchanges with Utrecht, Cluj and Iasi; participated to Syros Youth Congress 2007, Black Sea Seminar part 2 2007, AC Ustron 2007, Romania vs. Moldova Weekend 2007, ERC Sinaia 2008, Potoci Youth Camp 2008, AC Pushgory 2008, European Simulation Game 2008, WRC Bingen 2009, ERC Jastrzębia Góra 2009. On the local level, EGEA Timisoara – GEOTIM organized 3 editions of GEOTIM – EGEA Days, an activity meant to celebrate geography and exchange of geographic information; it invited some of Romania’s most important mountaineers (Cristian Tzecu and Zsolt Torok), explorers (Alin Totorean – the 1st Romanian to cross Atacama Desert alone by foot), and professors (professor Petru Urdea, assistent Mircea Ardelean) to share their knowledge and experi-

ence with the students present at the event. At the Annual Congress in Bad Aussee, in September 2006, Timsoara was officially recognized as an EGEA entity and, during GBM, at the AC in Pushgory, in September 2008, it became an entity with voting rights. The entity has now 74 members with an EGEA profile and about 20 active ones, who are looking forward to getting more involved in EGEA. We would like to take this opportunity to give our thanks to: Denis Redzovic, member of EGEA Skopje, for telling us about EGEA; EGEA Bucharest and Cluj for their support in creating Timisoara entity; professor Petru Urdea, who supported and still supports our activities; lecturer Cătălina Ancuţa, for the help and support; university assistants Alina Satmari and Mircea Ardelean, for their help and involvement in our activities; and all former GEOTIM members and EGEA members for their efforts which all contributed to what GEOTIM -EGEA Timisoara is today.

EGEA Timisoara members Source: EGEA Timisoara, 2008

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EGEA Trier EGEA Trier egea-trier.de egea-trier@gmx.de Trier Trier is known as the oldest city in Germany. It was built 16 B.C. from Imperator Augustus and was the capital of the Western Roman Empire. Today it has about 100.000 inhabitants. 20.000 students are studying in the only 40 years old University and in the University of Applied Sciences. The most famous sights in Trier are the Porta Nigra, the Emperor Thermals and the bishop seat, the catholic cathedral. In the region around Trier you can go hiking, find old volcanoes and fairytale castles.

EGEA Trier Source: EGEA Trier, 2009

Logo of EGEA Trier Source: EGEA Trier, 2009 EGEA Trier was founded in 2001. We meet every month in a bar to talk about the latest news. We often offer activities like hiking, parties or visiting cities in the region. • Our last activities: •G  PS-hiking-tour • Visit of the Christmas market in Luxemburg & Christmas party The last EGEA-activities EGEA Trier took part: •B  endelux-Weekend 2009 • E astern and Western Regional Congress 2009 • E xchange Groningen – Trier Contact us… we’d like to welcome you in Trier!

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Toruń Short profile

EGEA Utrecht

Karolina Swiderska skng@stud.umk.pl Toruń

Utrecht is one of the entities which founded EGEA in 1988, so it has a long history. In these years Utrecht became a central point as regards to postal office and several main functions. But EGEA Utrecht is not only active in Europe, in Utrecht there are a lot of activities too. Every year there is a board consisting of several board members, who have their own tasks. Beside the chairman, secretary and treasurer there are some specific functions. EGEA Utrecht organizes namely activities for and with foreign Erasmus students, a unique cooperation. The name for this committee is ForeignStudentsonExchange. This practically means activities nearly every two weeks. These activities show a great variety, for example ‘international drinks’, football tournaments, city trips and night canoeing. There was also a hitch hiking competition with the theme ‘From Heidelberglaan (where our university is situated) to Heidelberg’. The commissioner provides introduction weekends in September and February for the new Erasmus students, so they meet each other before studying. Beside these functions, there are also commissioners for Exchanges, Promotion, Events and there is the Secretariat Director of the BoE. On the university complex we have an EGEA room. That is the work place for the board, but also a meeting place to relax after class and eating a tosti (grilled sandwich), which we weekly sell. This is also the place where the board has its meetings. In this room we have a map of Europe, where is shown which exchanges we had in the past. It shows we had great exchanges with Vilnius, Chisinau, Bern and Kiel this year. Later this year we will have an exchange with Hannover. On these exchanges we show them our great EGEA room, combined with a day of discovering Utrecht. The other days we usually visit Amsterdam and Rotterdam or The Hague, the first, second and third city of the Netherlands where we

One warm evening in September 2005, when the HERODOT Conference was taking place in Toruń, the new idea about creating a brand new EGEA entity was born. Then, a small group of young EGEAns invited other geography students to join EGEA. Generally, our meetings concern geographic subjects like scientific issues, travels, EGEA events and the development of the Toruń entity. Our entity is always pleased to show Toruń and places surrounding the city to others. Toruń is one of the most beautiful cities of Poland. The city is located on both banks of the Vistula River. The gothic buildings of Toruń’s Old Town, which won the designation of World Heritage Site from UNESCO in 1997, represent proof of Toruń’s centuries-old economic, cultural and intellectual ties with the leading cities of Europe associated in the Hanseatic League. Here, Nicolaus Copernicus was born in 1473 and the University of Torun is named after this famous astronomer. Here you can find many clubs with enigmatic, gothic atmosphere. The other thing worth mentioning is the Gingerbreads of Torun for which the city is widely known. They have been baked here since the 14th century in the traditional moulds. Gingerbreads were by no means the only specialty of Torunians who, except trade, also dealt with crafts. Nowadays, Toruń has vibrant new life. Let’s visit Toruń! Resources: http://www.torun.pl/ http://www.visittorun.pl/

Kevin Vijftigschild egea@geo.uu.nl have city tours. With the Lithuanians we visited the Maeslant flood barrier, which protects the Netherlands against floods. The Swiss people did see Giethoorn, which has the nickname ‘Venice of the North’. So we have some basic visits, but we try to add every time different parts to show nice parts of the Netherlands. For both Dutch and Erasmus students we have a monthly EGEA drink in our favourite pub. Together we drink a beer or more and thereafter most of us visit the night life. A few days after this writing there will be the Utrecht Experience, where every EGEAn can show his/her football capacities and the day after we will have a city quest, followed by a BBQ, City Quest and a pub crawl. Earlier this year we already organized the Bendelux weekend, where especially Dutch, Belgian and German EGEAns had some good parties and drove a bike. But it was not a usual bike, it was a bike train! All this makes EGEA Utrecht an enthusiastic entity with a lot of activities!

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EGEA Warszawa Praga – a district with character Kamila Kopec EGEAwarszawa.kn@uw.edu.pl When we organize an exchange, we always try to concentrate on our lovely city – Warsaw. There are so many places to explore that only a few days are not enough to do it. The majority of attractions are on the left bank of Vistula River, but if you cross the river you can see a different world. Why different? What is behind the water? You will find the answer below… You come to Warsaw and you ask yourself what you can visit. Usually a guide shows you the most beautiful and

popular places like Royal Castle, Łazienki Park, Palace of Science and Culture, The Old Town. Of course, they are impressive, but they don’t represent the real Warsaw. Completely destroyed during the 2nd World War, it was rebuilt from scratch. That is why our capital is called Fenix City. But if you turn aside from the typical tourist ways you can find the original Warsaw. On the right bank of the Vistula River lays the district called Praga. In the past this was the area where Poles, Jewish and Russians lived together. Praga survived World Wars, but then it got

Mała Street - Source: Ewa Koprowska, 2008

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unlucky. Beautiful tenement houses were forgotten and turned into hovels. Avoided by inhabitants from other parts of the city, Praga had the bad reputation. Few years ago everything started to change. People recognized Praga as the real bead. More and more people were not afraid to come here and some of them have opened galleries, cafés and small theatres. You maybe wonder why? The reason is simple: Praga has something, which other districts don’t. It is the AUTHENTICITY, which works like a magnet. The most visible point from the left side is the St. Florian Cathedral. Neo-gothic

Praga is also well known for the scenery for movies, mostly in Małą Street, where all tenement houses were built in XIX century and the outside of the houses were not changed ever since. Polish director, Roman Polański, made here the famous “Pianist” – the movie about Jewish life during the 2nd World War. What else you can find here? Have not you ever heard about a hotel for furniture? Here you can find one. Wróblewski storehouse was the place where you could leave stuff from your flat while on holidays. The biggest attraction for children is the Warsaw Zoo opened in 1926 and inhabited by 4 203 animals. As an evidence for multicultural character of Praga we have St. Maria Magdalena Orthodox Church, built in 1868 – 1869. In front of this Church stands the Memorial of the Polish-Soviet Brotherhood of Arms – exposed 18th November 1945, as the first monument after the 2nd World War. Nobody remembers the original name as everyone calls it – “Four sleeping men”. If you wonder what is the reason for this name and also how it is possible that during a stroll in the park you can smell chocolate, where the oldest open market in Warsaw exists, how long are the longest buildings in Warsaw… you just need to come here, to Praga, to find out the answers and experience thie magic atmosphere…

Studnia – Poznan – Warszawa Exchange Source: Ewa Koprowska, 2008 and compared to medieval cathedrals, it was acknowledged as the most beautiful XIX century building of the city. But the main purpose for visiting Praga should be the atmosphere. Coming in this district you can see how Warsaw looked before or during the 2nd World War. When you look at the bullet holes in the walls you can feel that these buildings were witnesses of history. Several kilometers away from this place stand skyscrapers, shopping malls and people who run in rush. What can you see and feel here, in Praga? By going through the gate of any building, you can feel almost like going into a time machine. You are now

standing in the well (it is the name for these kinds of courtyards). Surrounded by brick buildings (they were plastered many years ago) you see a small chapel in the middle with fresh flowers and old women who pray to Saint Family. In the back you notice small children playing typical courtyard games, a couple of men sitting on the bench and smoking cigarettes (ok, maybe drinking cheap wine as well), you see people who have time for others – to chat or just to sit together and you feel this special atmosphere, which you will not find in other districts. There are still milk bars instead of fast foods and many small services shops, where you can find everything.

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EGEA Wien Vienna – where EGEA meets Alois Humer, Elisabeth Gruber, Christine Ornetsmüller and Philipp Vollnhofer egea.vienna@gmx.at

Good times in Vienna Source: EGEA Wien, 2009

Everybody knows that Vienna is located in the heart of Europe. NO, SORRY! Please don’t stop reading! Too many cities and its entities already promoted themselves to be the central place of the continent. The following article tries to give a picture, why EGEA Wien sees itself as one of many nodes of the EGEA network. Politeness demands to first introduce oneself. So, who is EGEA Wien? The entity was already taking part in the 1st Annual Congress of EGEA in 1989 in Poland and kept being active until 1997 – e.g. organizing the 3rd Western Regional Congress in 1992. Due to not fully restored reasons, the entity diminished

EGEA Wien group - Source: EGEA Wien, 2008

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for several years and finally returned to EGEA with its participation at the 15th AC in 2004 in the Netherlands. In our selfunderstanding we see this date as the new beginning of EGEA Wien. Since then, EGEA Wien got deeper and deeper into the network, organized events (like the Alps Seminar in 2005 and the 18th AC in 2006 in Bad Aussee – both in cooperation with EGEA Muenchen), started to participate in almost every Regional and Annual Congress and exchanged with 11 entities from all regions until now. Furthermore, EGEA Wien also engaged itself into the official affairs of EGEA (memberships in the BoE, Regional Assistants, and Committees) and found out that there is some specific service to bring into EGEA…

Picnic during a multiple birthday event Source: EGEA Wien, 2009

Vienna, the conference city Since 2005, the “Creating Alumni meeting”, 2 BoE meetings, 2 committee meetings, 1 congress organizer meeting, as well as many more informal meetings and several extra social events, like the “Viennese Ball” or multiple birthday weekends took place in Vienna. One reason for this really might be the central location of the city with its easy accessibility by different modes of traffic. But more reasons can be found on the micro scale: The high hosting capacity, the open and flexible organizational structure of the entity – which allows a high degree of freedom in organizing events for every member – as well as the embedment of the entity into the local students’ organization and the close contact to our geography department provide the essential infrastructure to host conferences and meetings at low costs.

Vienna, the meeting point Due to a lack of statistical records, the authors can only estimate the number of visits and assess that in those few years EGEAns from approximately 30 entities of all regions came in the context of conferences and social events to Vienna and spent in total at least 400 nights (excluding the many visits of the steady-exchange with the sisterentity EGEA Muenchen as well as the 11 exchanges stated above). Additionally, Vienna indeed often serves as a hub for EGEAns to travel to or back from EGEA events in other countries. Is it because of the central location of the city? Again, that might be a factor, but maybe an even stronger reason could be found in the open attitude of EGEA Wien to welcome and host EGEAns from all over Europe and the self-understanding of an active node of the network. The next big opportunity for passing by

in Vienna will be the WRC 2010, where around 100 EGEAns will gather in Austria and probably some of them also say hello in the city of Vienna itself. EGEA Wien will do its best to welcome, host and guide them through the city. EGEA Wien – always there for EGEA, always there for You.

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Further entities‌ Now, you already read many interesting profiles of EGEA entities all around Europe. However, there are much more EGEA entities all around Europe. You can also find these entities in this issue of the European Geographer. Good luck!

Further entities Source: European Geographer Board, 2009

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BoE – Board of Executives

to be loud not only during the day, but also at night. Lots of people say that she can always devote her energy to work and partying… we managed to confirm that it’s true! At least regarding the latter, since we’ve heard some rumours that once, well, maybe twice, all off her energy went to this. As BoE Vice-President Kamila coordinates the work of committees (Activities and Events, Entity Support, Official Affairs and Scientific) and is also responsible for the contact with EGEA external partners, especially the IFISO network. Besides, she is considered to be the BoE’s innovator, always bombing the rest of the team with new ideas. Unfortunately, not always with sensible ones. The only problem is that Kamila sometimes disappears in some strange parts of the globe (no one knows what she is doing there) and the team is forced to set all the e-meetings according to her schedule. And even then, there is no certainty that the connection with her will be sufficient…

Some time ago Milena, Kamila, Jeroen, Dennis and Martinus met for the first time, bound their fates together and were elected EGEA Board of Executives. The answers to questions like ‘was it a good decision’, ‘who will suffer more, they or EGEA’, ‘is there a light in front of us’ are yet unknown. You are all more than welcome to take part in the last phase of their mandate, the Final Revealing, coming soon in Heeg, during the 21st EGEA Annual Congress. But for those who would like to hear some stories before, we proudly present the results of a special investigation, carried out to find the truth about the BoE… The Board of Executives (BoE) is the main executive body of EGEA. It is empowered by the General Board – the main decisive body of the whole association, consisting of the official representatives of all EGEA entities. The BoE is elected each autumn during the General Board Meeting (GBM), held at the Annual Congress. From that time on until the next GBM, the BoE takes legal responsibility for the association, ensures its management, regulates its activities and finally represents EGEA in all external affairs, acting in the name of the General Board. Four members of the BoE are elected by and from the entities according to the regional structure of the association; the fifth element is the main Annual Congress Organizer.

Currently, EGEA’s capo di tutti capi, Jeroen (25), felt comfortable in his new role straight away – ‘I think I need someone to carry stuff for me…’ the rest of the team heard before their first live meeting. Except for feeling comfortable, Jeroen also likes travelling a lot, what he proved this spring after showing up at every single regional congress. We also got some informal information that Jeroen is EGEA’s secret mole at Utrecht University this year, where he works as a student exchange coordinator. As President Jeroen coordinates the work of the entire BoE, sets and chairs the meetings, coordinates the work of WebCom and is responsible for the developing the new website. He also deals with official issues of the association (e.g. organizing e-GBMs, working on Statutory Base changes and translation, finalizing applications and reports for YiA funds) and is an official representative of EGEA. Jeroen also likes to discuss with his colleagues about EGEA’s current challenges and problems, as he deeply cares about them – ‘I think praying is the best idea…’, he said once when asked about the best solution to the problem. ‘Hello guys’, says Kamila’s mom during almost every BoE e-meeting, ‘Is everything all right?’. It’s because even she doesn’t trust her daughter enough to leave her alone. Kamila (24) is known

Always look at the bright side of life’ says Milena (25), so we managed to find out that apparently the brightest side of her life (besides singing) is talking. Our secret informer claims, that the e-meeting during which Milena’s headset broke down is believed among the entire team to be the best one ever. When we asked her what is her favourite duty in the board, the answer came offhand: playing Jungle Speed with the rest of the team. Except for playing, as a BoE Secretary Milena takes care of the

Jeroen Source: BoE

Kamila Source: BoE

Milena Source: BoE

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all minutes (e-meetings, live meetings, brainstorming sessions), publishes all the BoE news on the website, checks the e-mails, gathers and manages data about entities, gathers feedback from EGEA members and takes care of the publication of the European Geographer as BoE contact person towards the Editorial Board. Milena, having a harsh reputation of being a ‘pain in the ass’, claims that reminding BoE members about their undone tasks is her most hated duty. But, let’s be honest, Milena doesn’t have a very high regard of her colleagues’ competence. ‘How would you manage without me constantly reminding you’, she asks rhetorically. The role of the BoE’s analytical mind fell to Dennis (27), who holds the position of BoE Treasurer. Living according to his beloved words of wisdom – ‘Smart people sleep longer’ – Dennis enjoys late wake-up calls and long showers. Dennis likes to take things easy and be relaxed – maybe that’s why he most of the time leaves all quarrels to his friends and enjoys staying silent if the problem doesn’t concern him. But, on the other hand, Dennis likes to keep the power. As he tells himself, his most favourite task in the board is ‘paying expenses, it’s as exciting as it gets’. As treasurer Dennis is in charge of all EGEA’s financial matters, controls the accounts and all the money flows, prepares the financial reports and is also in constant cooperation with the Financial Control Commission. During several Regional Congresses Dennis Dennis Source: BoE

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was elected the laziest person. But tell me here and now, which one of you is ready for such a commitment as he is: ‘Today the cable TV company shows all pay channels for free, but I’ve been so busy with EGEA today that I haven’t even opened the TV yet, and it’s already past 23:00’. A tough life, full of adventures, on the island has left a considerable mark on Martinus (22). In EGEA he shares his efforts between construction and deconstruction, which can be very tricky from time to time. He leads a double life: firstly, he is the responsible and devoted President of the Annual Congress 2009 Organizing Team. In his second life, he is involved in a secret organization (DEGEA) striving for an overthrow and upheaval in EGEA. As an AC Coordinator, except for managing the preparatory works, Martinus is the main link between the BoE and the AC Organizing Team, ensuring the information flow and mutual cooperation. Besides, he is also a BoE contact person for other European events and activities. Martinus devotes his time only to serious things. ‘More forum posts than Dennis, I thought this moment would never come’ he said when we asked about his biggest achievement this year. Can you have more sublime goals? And by the way, did you know that Martinus is one of ten wave surfers on the island of Ameland?

board of EGEA Utrecht, holds in EGEA Europe the cosy position of Secretariat Director. She leads a very healthy, active and sporty life, she especially likes playing football. Maybe that makes her strong enough to handle her position as support for the BoE in the Utrecht-based Secretariat. Lisette deals with incoming requests (mails, phone calls), takes care of outgoing mail, collects all the documentation and keeps the EGEA archive in order. She is also an official contact person towards the EU, spending lots of her time in collecting all the necessary documents (application, reports). ‘I am too organized and I am thinking too much about everything’ she says when asked about what she hates most about herself. Lisette! Do you really think it’s a disadvantage in such a company? We also asked Lisette what her favourite obligation is as Secretariat Director and the answer is ‘contact with the BoE’. We are suspecting that it might be because it’s one of those comedies that you can both watch and participate in at the same time. Anyway, Lisette seems to be the healthiest person in the team. Not only physically… So don’t worry mates, you’re not alone! Because «when darkness falls, the BoE meets…»

*All the quotes used in the article are real, and were found in the BoE area on the EGEA forum.

Lisette (21), currently a member of the Martinus Source: BoE

Lisette Source: BoE

EGEA Alumni What do the Dinosaurs do? Paula Salmela alumni@egea.eu Since the last European Geographer was published quite some things happened also within EGEA Alumni. As decided last year in GBM, EGEA Alumni has similar right as an entity to send participants to events of all kind, even though they have no right to take part in the internal decision making of EGEA. The right to participate gives Alumni, anyway, a good opportunity to keep contact with other EGEAns, Alumni or not, and of course to get to know new people. But also this serves as a good way of making Alumni more familiar with younger EGEAns, giving them the

possibility to share knowledge about EGEA and the professional world. At the same time when EGEA is getting bigger, EGEA Alumni is growing as well. This spring Alumni had the great change to take part in Euromed regional congress as the organizing team decided to invite Alumni to a special workshop to discuss about the future development of EGEA Alumni. That workshop was held in cooperation with the BoE. During the sunny (and heavy rainy) days we had time to discuss about many interesting topics concerning Alumni, the relationship to EGEA Europe and to the entities in the local level. Keeping contact in the local and European level with EGEA was seen very

important. Great value was seen in the creation of new events only for Alumni people to maintain the vivid network between people who got to know each other through EGEA as students. We also discussed how Alumni could bring their expertise in into EGEA, and we found out that there are many ways EGEA could benefit from Alumni at the same time that Alumni could benefit of EGEA by keeping in contact with this great association. Actually many of these things are already introduced and used in EGEA events. Alumni has been leading workshops as well as giving lectures about their field of expertise and interest. Alumnis are helping the organizing teams by sharing their experience in several congresses during the years. Some Alumni have also supported their origin entities to develop new activities and find new members. In many cases Alumnis are a great support to an entity to survive difficult periods when finding new members or keeping the newbies

What EGEA Alumni can give to EGEA - Source: Satu Muukkonen, 2009

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active is remarkable difficult. Alumni has also announced internship posts and open jobs in the EGEA forum and made EGEA – and EGEAns at the same time – known in the professional world. The long discussion about a job database has finally shown some progress as well, and the first experimental version of the database is in test use. Unfortunately it’s not yet available for all the EGEAns, but that would be logically next step to take. The first effort to create the expertise database of former and still active EGEAns has also been made. This database would serve as a source for example to EGEAns struggling with their thesis or looking for a job in a certain field in geography. Alumni finally got an own new webpage launched. It can be found in: http://egea-alumni.eu. Feel invited to have a look at it! In the Alumni workshop we also discussed about the status of Alumni in EGEA Europe. That is the important issue to clear out after long years of discussion. The results of the workshop were partly presented already in the Euromed congress, but that time the focus was mainly to introduce Alumni and their role in the activities. We got some new ideas about the structure of Alumni as well, but this very important topic needs to be presented first to the rest of the Alumni and discussed among us. Luckily the yearly Alumni Weekend will be held in the Swiss Alps in the very beginning of September. Alumni have a chance to gather together and make decision about the direction to follow. Hopefully by the upcoming AC and GBM, a proposal agreed by the Alumni themselves about the status of in EGEA will be distributed to the General Board, who then can approve it. As said already, EGEA is getting bigger, and so is EGEA Alumni. Let’s make Alumni such a great part of EGEA that we’ll meet each other again still in 20 years in EGEA Alumni events! Got interested in Alumni? Need more information? Contact Alumni at alumni (at) egea.eu or visit the website http:// egea-alumni.eu.

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WebcommThe EGEA Website and Communication Committee A new website for EGEA – news from the Webcomm Tim van de Laar At the Annual Congress in Pushkinsky Gory, the task was given to the Webcomm to create a whole new website. It was demanded that this new website would serve a professional representation of what EGEA is about, a portal for geographic news and articles and finally it should also serve as an online community for the EGEA members at the same time. Quite a challenge, as you can imagine! The Webcomm found professional help in the form of PCMS, a professional international internet company, specialized in CMS-websites. PCMS converted the ideas of the Webcomm and the EGEA members into smooth website designs and is at the moment occupied with the coding. The planning is that the website will be ready before the start of the Annual Congress. Before this can happen, we still need a lot of help from the EGEA community though! In the first place, there is a need for testing all the functionalities of the website. Second, the website needs to be filled with content. Here you can think about the pages about the history and organisation of EGEA, but also about pages from committees and congresses. Entities should fill their pages with photos, contact details, (tourist) information about their city and study information about their university. As soon as we need your help we will let you know! Preview of the new frontpage. Source: EGEA Webcomm, 2009

To cooperate or not to cooperate: this is the question The true story behind the denial Ionita Catalina catalina_ionita23@yahoo.com Have you ever faced a “Hamletian” dilemma? Probably, most of you will answer “yes”, the rest at least will know what I’m talking about and can try to imagine the feeling behind such a dilemma. So why not go further and consider our EGEA as an entity and ask ourselves: “is EGEA nowadays facing a Hamletian dilemma?” Unfortunately I can’t predict also this answer, but I can share you mine: EGEA is facing nowadays many dilemmas which I don’t dare to mention, but intend to point out at least one – cooperation with other student’s organizations/associations. Maybe you, the reader, as a usual EGEA member never asked yourself this question, but still some of us involved in organizational groups did that. And, like most of the questions, we got three types of answers. “Yes” some people said “it is really necessary to do it, because we can always learn from others and make connections with people around the globe (and I’m saying that because there are some international students organizations also, not only European) is a good thing anyway. If you really think about it, we can have some benefits from it”. “No” others replied “we are fine anyway, why should we complicate? For sure it would be useless.” “Well, maybe” a small part of people said “we can do it although it is not actually necessary. But for the sake of having fun or getting help from others we can cooperate. The problem is not clear yet…” And if you were patient enough and you are still reading, then you probably already realized that the true purpose of this article is to express my opinion on this problem. But comparing to the others which talk only about their opinion or preferences, I will talk from experience. My first contact with other representatives from other organizations took

place last November when I was offered the chance to take part in a BEST Presidents’ Meeting (PM from now on). The PM is like nothing similar in EGEA, so I think it needs some explanations. But first, what is BEST? Board of European Students of Technology was founded in 1989, so about the same age as EGEA, it has almost the same structure as EGEA, their “entities” are called LBGs (local BEST groups) spread in 82 centers and 30 countries, with five committees and a training group. Does it sound familiar? Each year, the organization has a number of activities that aim to educate the members in such skills as management, communication, presentation techniques etc and also two decisionmaking general meetings: the General Assembly in spring and the Presidents’ Meeting in autumn. Here gather the representatives of all LBGs, the committee members along with the general board and discuss issues regarding the

association. You can consider it a GBM on a larger scale, a much larger one: not some hours, but 5 days. At their general meetings members from other students associations are invited so to enable the cooperation between them. At the PM 2008 there were representatives from AIESEC (Association internationale des étudiants en sciences économiques et commerciales), AEGEE (Association des Etats Généraux des Etudiants de l’Europe), ESTIEM (European Students of Industrial Engineering and Management), Euroavia and EGEA. So not only that I took part at the meeting, but also had the chance to find out some interesting things about the mentioned organizations. I do not intend to write a story about what I saw there and the great time I had, but to sum up I would like to underline the main conclusions I had after those five days. With the risk of getting

Presenting EGEA - Source: Catalina Ionita, 2008

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some people upset, I sadly confess that those associations are better organized then us, because they succeed in keeping their entities active in organizing events, their members are highly motivated and they can take part in trainings to develop their skills (either scientific or soft skills), they have much more sponsors although they hardly get EU funding and still, if you party with them, you can find no differences between EGEA and BEST or the others mentioned. That’s when the Hamletian dilemma first got in my mind. Like most of EGEA members, I had no idea that there are out there some students’ organizations as big as ours or even bigger, with similar activities, that’s why I literally had a shock when seeing that we actually are not that cool as I imagined before. It was me there saying: “wow, we have so many things to learn from them. We can get help, support, and advice from them.” But can we? When I was a small child a popular commercial was saying something like “if you want, you can do it”. So actually the question should be: “do we want to learn from them?” My experience said we should, what does your feeling say? If you pay some attention to the home page of EGEA when opening it, then you can sometimes find some news boxes announcing some external events, because other associations are still inviting us to their events, just like BEST did last year. If you can do it, my advice is to go to those events. Of course that a Hamletian dilemma tends to have no precise answer, but now that you have the dilemma also, then maybe solving it might not be such a big problem anymore. Cooperating can make EGEA stronger and bigger. Let’s stop denying it and face the fact that we need to go further, to learn, to try harder, to adapt and stay alive.

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Agenda EGEA Activities 2009 May 30 – August 1: EGEA Photo Competition Contact: milena.karanovic@egea.eu July 2 – 5: Mainz Summer Camp Bostalsee, Saarland, Germany Organised by EGEA Mainz Contact: egea@geo.uni-mainz.de Homepage: http://www.egea.eu/congresses/lake09/ July 24 – 27: Berlin Wall By Bike Berlin, Germany Organised by EGEA Berlin Contact: berlin-wall-by-bike@web.de July 31 – August 4: Protected Area Seminar Horezu, Valcea county, Romania Organised by EGEA Bucharest Contact: pr.as09@hotmail.com Homepage: http://www.egea.eu/congresses/pas09/index.php August 7 – 11: Balaton Seminar Balatonszepezd, Hungary Organised by EGEA Szeged Contact: egeaszeged@gmail.com Homepage: http://www.egea.eu/congresses/bal09/ September 3 – 6: Alumni Weekend Les Près d’Orvin (Biel/Bienne), Switzerland Organised by EGEA Bern & Alumni Contact: philippe.scheidegger@gmx.ch Homepage: http://egea-alumni.eu/conversation/alumni-weekend September 10 – 14: Tatra Trek Expedition Low Tatras (Nízke Tatry), Liptov region, Slovakia Organised by EGEA Bratislava Contact: Bratislava@egea.eu September 24 – 27: Pre-AC Polar Mission: An adventurous journey to Freezeland Utrecht, Netherlands Organised by EGEA Utrecht Contact: coole_arikip@hotmail.com September 27 – October 2: Annual Congress C 2009 The Future of Geography – Europe under Construction Heeg, Friesland, Netherlands Organised by: EGEA Groningen Contact: annualcongress2009@gmail.com Homepage: http://www.egea.eu/congresses/ac09 More information about EGEA and its activities on the website: www.egea.eu

EGEA magazine - 4 - July 2009

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EGEA magazine - 4 - July 2009


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EGEA magazine - 4 - July 2009

Profile for europeangeographer

European Geographer 4 - Our Europe Our EGEA  

Issue 4 of the European Geographer dedicated to the entities which make up EGEA

European Geographer 4 - Our Europe Our EGEA  

Issue 4 of the European Geographer dedicated to the entities which make up EGEA