Blog: European School Summer Camp – an experience you will never forget!
February 10, 2023

Blog: European School Summer Camp – an experience you will never forget!

Many youngsters, especially those who want to study abroad or be accepted at the most competitive universities and colleges, often struggle to find stimulating opportunities to build up their experience ahead of college applications. However talented they may be, they often don’t know how to develop and make the best use of their abilities, while working and interacting with their peers. Well, my name is Elmar, I’m 18, and today I will introduce you to an amazing opportunity- the European School Summer Camp (ESSC). ESSC is initiated by the LEPL Youth Agency in Georgia for young people aged between 14-18 from the European Union and the Eastern Partnership countries – Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, the Republic of Moldova, and Ukraine. All the activities at the camp are aimed at highlighting European values and fostering cooperation, multi-cultural understanding and tolerance among young people in the EU and Eastern Partnership countries.

The European School Summer Camp lasts 14 days, with a lot of fun and stimulating days with interactive activities to inform participants about the values of the EU, their benefits, as well as multicultural tolerance and its value, public speaking, project writing and plenty of other interesting topics. Aside from informative pursuits, youngsters also have the chance to socialise and take part in sports activities, competitions, presentations, and the like. Indeed, when I took part last year, my teammates and I won several events, including football, volleyball, and swimming. Moreover, you will have the chance to get to know young people from many different countries, with 100 participants, along with more than 20 trainers and organisers.

As a youngster from Azerbaijan, I was more focused on my studies and not having many friends before the camp, and after that, I became so avid to making connections, spending my time having fun with my peers, socialising a lot and so on. Especially after I won over my fear of public speaking there, which was a very fundamental event for me, I eventually felt the power of being an extrovert at its full. I even met 4 of my peers among the participants, with whom I’m now growing a startup project ‘Eddy’, which is a multi-search learning platform that creates personal learning pathways for each user and helps them master the field they want. We have been working on it for 6 months and have accomplished to obtain 5000AZN investment and office environment to work on it in the upcoming months from the Azerbaijan University of Economics. I also mentioned the trainers because I met them there along with other participants and really appreciate them all during the two weeks of the camp.

Besides all the leisure activities during the camp, we had a lot of training around the EU’s values, and we practised ways to implement them in real-world projects. We had a week devoted to developing ideas within teams and implementing them into pitch decks so that others who came to see them would understand what we are thinking of doing. Now, after the camp, I’d say that learning more about project writing and public speaking, as well as multiculturalism (which is very relevant for Azerbaijan) and official EU policies to ease and increase youth participation, had a great impact on me, particularly because the camp motivated me so much to develop and get involved in international and local projects. One of them was the Young European Ambassadors initiative which I’m now engaged with, also where I’m currently planning to create innovative projects to solve not only local but also worldwide problems related to struggling of young people to find opportunities to socialize and gain experience.

So, what do you need to apply to the European School Summer Camp?

First of all, make sure that you are eligible, meaning that you’re at least 14 and at most 18 years old, and living in and holding a passport of any of the 6 Eastern Partnership countries – Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, the Republic of Moldova, and Ukraine – or a member state of the EU. Besides that, having at least B2 level knowledge of English will be helpful, both in the application and during the camp.

In addition to the technical criteria, there are values and characteristics you should aspire to, including:
– Being young leaders, volunteers, motivated and super enthusiastic youngsters, willing to become peer educators.
– Being interested in EU issues and motivated to bring the gained experience back home.
– Having excellent interpersonal skills.
– Having the ability to represent the country on an international level.

Moreover, even though it’s not mandatory, having information about the EU and its values will help you through the selection process, so make sure you do your homework before applying!

In conclusion, I really want to encourage you to participate in the European School Summer Camp. There are many reasons, but the simplest one is that I prefer my life after the ESSC rather than the one before it!

If you’d have any further questions about the camp, you can see the latest info pack of the camp (2022) from the link. Also, feel free to contact me by email at [email protected] or @elmarhatamow on social media. Cheers!

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