Author: Ana Alibegova

Alpbach, or popularly known as “the village of thinkers” is located in Western Austria, in the Tyrol region. Each year, in August, leading figures and youth from many different countries come here to debate about the current situation in the EU and to analyze world politics as well. This year, the European Forum Alpbach will be held for the 65th time.

The first time I read about the European Forum Alpbach was on my faculty’s web site. “What a great idea” – I though at first place, but as I started to go trough the application, I realized it is going to be a long run. A complex application form, copies from the candidate certificates, a CV, standard letter of motivation, but it actually doesn’t sound so scary, if you can realize what the program is about and if you are really motivate to take part in it. The key question was to understand what exactly will happen in the so called “Village of Thinkers”. The short information that “Speakers and participants from all parts of the world, from science, economics and politics, experienced experts and students, come together in Alpbach to discuss the current issues and to formulate interdisciplinary solutions” was enough to motivate me to read carefully all the documents included. At the end, everything seemed clear to me: in Alpbach, we will have a seminar week, where I will choose to attend two seminars, then few symposiums will be organised and during the free time, various panel discussions, meetings and receptions will be offered to the participants. It sounded great and I applied for a scholarship.

2 buses, 2 trains and 1 taxi to get to the village hidden in the Alps

I sent the application on the very deadline. To be honest, I didn’t go to lectures that day, just to finish writing my motivation letter. Few weeks later – the results were here, and I was given a scholarship to participate. Can’t describe the happiness, when I realized I will have an opportunity to be at the same place with famous European politicians, starting with the president of the European Forum Alpbach, Erhard Busek, well-known scientists and youth from all around the world. But then – there was a problem. The key question was: “How to get there?”

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