20 November 2018

GEYCulet at the 22nd ASEF Summer University (ASEFSU22)

Despite my expectations, I have been accepted in one of the most interactive and complex programs that I’ve participated so far. The official name was ‘’The 22nd ASEF Summer University’’ offered by the Asia-Europe Foundation. Personally it felt like an interdisciplinary Innnovathon in which the organisers offered us a complex experience. But, let me tell you more about my experience.
Claudiu Șulea

Photo Credit: ASEFSU22 photographer 
The whole project was an eye opener for me, especially on how to live a sustainable lifestyle. On the professional part it provided me resources and insights that would probably take 2 years of practice in the field to gather all of them. My experience in the field of sustainable development revolved around project based work and some academic research, but barely connected with the tourism segment. On the other side, the project that I’m currently working on is all about sustainable tourism, so I really think the Universe helped me.

Photo Credit: ASEFSU22 photographer 

The 22nd ASEF Summer University (ASEFSU22) was held on 12–23 September 2018 in Croatia and Slovenia. As I’ve told you, the quality of the speakers and partners was of a very high level. Several institutions pitched in, like: Algebra University College, Edward Bernays University College, the Institute of Agriculture and Tourism in Poreč, the University of Ljubljana – Faculty of Economics and the University of Primorska – Faculty of Tourism Studies (Turistica). The project was further supported, among others, by the Ministries of Foreign Affairs of Croatia and Slovenia, as well as the National Tourism Boards of both respective countries. The theme of the project was “Sustainable Tourism: Youth Driving Green Growth” and it got involved 47 participants from 46 Asian and European countries. We traveled across 4 cities in Croatia and Slovenia through a 2-week experiential learning journey focussed on the 3 dimensions of sustainable development: Economic, Social and Environmental. The programme was no only focused on lectures and workshops, but also included practical trainings, exercise, debates and experiential tourism exercises on the multiple aspects of sustainability. 

Photo Credit: ASEFSU22 photographer 

All the participants were divided into 8 Challenge Teams, with the task of finding solutions to the use of disposable plastic in hostels. Some research materials and guidelines were provided by Hostelling International. The teams presented their ideas on the last day of the project, being also streamed live on Facebook. Another thing that we didn’t know was that the Challenge Team with the best proposal will be invited to present their solutions at upcoming, global tourism fairs as well as at ASEF and ASEM projects and initiatives. I recommend everyone to join this kind of experiences. Besides the professional skill, you gain more knowledge about yourself, how to actually be sustainable not only raising awareness about it.

Claudiu is a member of the GEYC Community since 2017 and this year he has graduated EFYL - European Fellowship on Youth Leadership being now part of EFYL Alumni community.