In 1989, the year the iron curtain fell, a couple of architecture and management students from Eindhoven got together. They heard about AEGEE, a European student organisation. Immediately they organised a drink to discuss this organisation. After this, AEGEE-Eindhoven was founded on 22 November in 1989.
After that, AEGEE-Eindhoven grew quickly. Enthusiastic AEGEE-Eindhoven members were travelling all over Europe. At first instance, it was mostly Agorae, Planning Meetings and conferences that were travelled to, but it didn’t take long before the first exchange was organised. This exchange took place with the french antenna Annecy.
For AEGEE-Eindhoven to become and stay a full antenna, European events had to be organised. AEGEE-Eindhoven became an official ‘antenna’ at Agora Amsterdam in 1991. Prior to this, AEGEE-Eindhoven had co-organised European Week Eindhoven.
AEGEE-Eindhoven members remained very eager to travel and they organised an exchange with AEGEE Budapest. In the same summer AEGEE-Budapest visited Eindhoven.
In 1992, the magical milestone of 100 members was achieved. It was an active year. Together with AEGEE-Aachen, Delft and Enschede the SPACE-IV conference was organised. This was also the year in which the first summer university, “Intercultural Communication and Management”, was organised in cooperation with BEST-Eindhoven.
AEGEE-Eindhoven grew into an enthusiastic exchange antenna. In 1993, Aalborg, Saarbrucken and Osnabruck were visited, while in 1994 visits were paid to Rennes and Barcelona. AEGEE-Eindhoven became well-known in the European network. Some members even managed to visit more than 26 AEGEE-events per year!
On 22 November 1994, AEGEE-Eindhoven celebrated its 5th anniversary by organising the “Addiction and its place in Society” conference. By now, the antenna had grown into a lively organisation.
AEGEE-Eindhoven remained active and organised summer universities every year while also organising exchanges with AEGEE-Prague and AEGEE-Maribor and a New Year trip to the Hungarian city Szeged.
In 1996, AEGEE-Eindhoven successfully organised the Spring President’s Meeting. This was an annual event, in which board members of all AEGEE-Antennae in Europe came together. In 1997, the closing conference of the project “Europe and Euro” was organised in Eindhoven.
In 1999, the forerunner of the GARC-tournament was born. The GART (Groot AEGEE Risk Toernooi) was organised for the first time. Also, AEGEE-Eindhoven’s 10th anniversary was celebrated by organising a big European event with more than 100 participants. It was midwinter and freezing cold, but the participants had to sleep in tents. However, AEGEE members are used to extreme circumstances, so the event became a big success.
At Agora Poznan AEGEE-Eindhoven members caused a big stir. Michiel van Hees held a passionate argument to change AEGEE from a democratic system to enlightened despotism. This was meant as a joke, but during the voting, the amount of in favour voters was frightening large. More than 50% of the votes were in favour. Fortunately, a majority of two-thirds of the votes was necessary for such a change. Otherwise, AEGEE-Europe would not have been a democratic organisation anymore.
During an exchange with AEGEE-Poznan, the hosting antenna rented a party-tram so that night the party could continue all over the city centre.
In 2000, the Love parade in Berlin was visited. On 14 February in the same year, AEGEE-Eindhoven organised a legendary fundraiser. Men from Eindhoven were auctioned at a drink of AEGEE-Utrecht. The men turned out to be much loved and although the least popular man only yielded 10 guilders, the auctioneer, who was not even for sale, was auctioned for 250 guilders.
In October 2000, it was the first time that a gala was organised, together with AEGEE-Rotterdam. At Agora Utrecht, AEGEE-Eindhoven broke their record: no less than 35 members visited the Agora.
In 2001, a rebuilding of AEGEE’s regular pub “Le Squale” caused a change to another pub: “de Belg”.
An experiment during Agora Amsterdam in 2001 led to the creation of AEGEE-TV. A few AEGEE-Eindhoven members wanted to try if it was possible to broadcast the Agora on the internet in real-time. Back then, this was not possible yet. The guys of AEGEE-TV also didn’t manage. Instead, they started making short funny movies that were broadcasted during the Agora, which were also uploaded to the internet.
In 2002, Michiel van Hees, a member of AEGEE-Eindhoven, became one of the eleven honorary members of AEGEE-Europe. This was a big honour.
In 2003, the first subsidized exchange was organised with AEGEE-Prague.
The year 2004 started with a new tradition: visiting a New Year event abroad. Nine members drove in a van to Zagreb. In the same year, AEGEE-TV was prominently visible during European Week in Eindhoven and Parcifal van Overbeek, former president of AEGEE-Eindhoven, was elected vice-chairperson of the Agora. Later, he even became chairman. Furthermore, AEGEE-Eindhoven changes its regular pub again to Cafe “van Putten”. Here, weekly drinks were held together with other members of TU-Internationaal: ISN and BEST.
In 2004, a couple of big trips were organised. There was an exchange with AEGEE-Minsk and no less than 19 members joined for the Balkan tour, a round trip through the Balkan, in which the Agora in Macedonia was also included. During the introduction at the university, the course “bicycle stealing” was introduced, while a big home exchange took place in December. No less than 4 antennae from all over Europe come to visit Eindhoven.
The year 2005 starts in Prague. This is also the year in which AEGEE-Eindhoven organized its first hitchhiking contest. During this year there were exchanges with AEGEE-Wroclaw, AEGEE-Tbilisi and AEGEE-Moscow. The wanderlust still exists.
In 2006, AEGEE-Eindhoven showed a more serious side. The conference “World leadership, skills and knowledge” was organised, yet this did not mean that no travelling took place that year.
In 2007, AEGEE was present again during the European week Eindhoven by organising a Media School, in which funny short movies were produced. At the end of the year, a big Youth In Action home exchange took place in which, among others, AEGEE-Palermo, AEGEE-Glasgow and AEGEE-Maribor visited Eindhoven.
The Bunker Years
In 2008, AEGEE moved from the main building to the Bunker. Here, AEGEE-Eindhoven got its own office, and it shared the “CISO” room with BEST and ISN. This year, an exchange with AEGEE-Kyiv was organised.
In 2009, AEGEE-Kyiv came back to visit Eindhoven. The visit of Kyiv was supposed to be a stopover before their visit to Paris, yet, in the end, they had so much fun in Eindhoven that they wrote an elaborate report about their week in Eindhoven on their website, while Paris was not mentioned at all. A trip to the Oktoberfest in Munich and a trip to Prague were also organised that year. Since that year a van of AEGEE-Eindhoven members travelled to Prague every year.
The year 2010 starts with an exchange with AEGEE-Nis. This year, AEGEE-Eindhoven organised no less than three international events: a carnival event in Maastricht, a pre-event before the Agora in Leiden and a Summer University (Below the Rivers, Above Sea-level which also had a vol. 2, 3 and 4 the years after).
The year 2011 starts with a visit to AEGEE-Moscow. As usual, the annual trip to Prague was a big success, but unfortunately, it had a slightly disappointing end. Two full vans with a lot of new members travelled to Prague and had a great weekend there. Unfortunately, one of the vans decided that it didn’t want to go further than Wurzburg. As a result, three members had to stay an extra night in Wurzburg and had to wait in a garage for 8 hours, before a replacement car was arranged by the rental company.
In these years, AEGEE-Eindhoven started going to the Bunkerbar (at the first floor in the Bunker) more often. AEGEE-Eindhoven gained closer relations with the cultural student organisations of Scala. AEGEE-Eindhoven got its bi-weekly drink here, in which AEGEE-Eindhoven members were also bartending. This also resulted in some extra income for AEGEE-Eindhoven.
In Autumn 2012 a new board of 9 ‘presidential’ members was elected for the year 2012-2013. In 2013, AEGEE-Eindhoven organised an international Carnival event. AEGEE-Eindhoven and the participants celebrated carnival during this event in Eindhoven, Roermond and Maastricht. In the same year, exchanges with AEGEE-Porto and AEGEE-Maribor were organised.
At autumn Agora Zaragoza 2013 AEGEE-Eindhoven members came up with the great plan to arrange a helicopter flight to the next spring Agora in Patras. It took till just before Agora Patras before some people found out that we were not really going to organize a helicopter flight from Eindhoven to Greece.
The Lustrum year (2014-15) started with a big “25th birthday” event with 40 participants from all over Europe, including a party for all participants and AEGEE-Eindhoven alumni and members. In 2015, there was also a Network meeting in Eindhoven and in May there was a trip to Minsk. The lustrum year finished with a blowball activity for the members and an alumni day.
In May of 2016, an exchange with AEGEE-Bucureşti was organised. In summer 2016, AEGEE-Eindhoven organised 2 Summer Universities. Next to the Summer University in Eindhoven, one member came up with a great idea to organise a Summer University in Ireland. Of course, the entire AEGEE Network was interested in this event and it managed to receive 123 applicants for 25 spots.
The year 2017 Started with an away exchange to AEGEE-Tbilisi. During summer, there was also the sad moment that we had to say goodbye to the bunker. AEGEE-Eindhoven moved to Metaforum were it shares a room with the international student association Cosmos. Also, we had to leave our pub, the Bunkerbar and move to bar Hubble in Luna (former Potentiaal and E-Hoog).
At the end of 2017, during GLOW, AEGEE-Tbilisi came to Eindhoven to visit AEGEE-Eindhoven. At the same time AEGEE-Mannheim, AEGEE-Warsaw, AEGEE-Prague and some other AEGEE-members visited Eindhoven. Finally, it was an exchange with almost 40 participants, which was quite a struggle since we couldn’t organise activities in the bunker anymore.
At the beginning of 2018, AEGEE-Eindhoven visited AEGEE-Tartu during an away exchange. A result of the friendships that were made during the exchange was that AEGEE-Eindhoven and AEGEE-Tartu became twin antennae during spring Agora Krakow. An Agora which was visited by many AEGEE-Eindhoven participants (official participants and “dark Agora” participants).