Time to explore. Time to discuss. Time to connect.

The Farmont Summer School

We offer the time and space to facilitate an open exchange of ideas. Participants of the summer school, organised by the Farmont Foundation, are invited to embark on a ten-day sailing trip with other young individuals from across Europe. While on board the foundation's sailboat, these fellows will engage in discussions on topical European issues. This offers them a chance to form networks, test their companionship skills within confined spaces, and immerse themselves in an enriching experience. The foundation covers all costs related to the program, including food, accommodation, and transportation.

During each trip, five participants (supported by our crew), will gather first-hand sailing experience while exploring the the Turkish coast and some Greek islands. Within the context of guided discussions, participants are given the opportunity to exchange their thoughts and challenge their beliefs. Through these discussions we will strive to understand what it means to rely on each other, the unity brought by setting sail together, and the significance of assuming responsibility for Europe.

The most precious things are often the most fragile. These include the thin atmosphere that allows us to live on our planet, our environment, and the many relationships we have with each other, within and between societies. These relationships are under enormous political, technological, and social pressure. The emergence of ideological factions, alongside growing discrimination and marginalisation, coupled with the unwavering pursuit of economic growth and the exploitation of our planet's resources, is cause for alarm. But there is also hope, as existing networks hold together under increasing pressure and new alliances of trust begin to emerge, because what may appear fragile is sometimes surprisingly robust and can even withstand the greatest strain.

We want to support people who can bring together what is threatening to drift apart - with this in mind, the main topic of the discourse for 2024 will be "Fixing what’s broken".

In 2024, the foundation is offering two sailing trips with five participants each. The trips will take place from August to October (26.8. - 04.09. and 09.10. -18.10.2024). The exact dates can be found in the application form, where applicants can indicate the trip of their choice.

Time Table

Since the course of our trips is very dependent on the local weather conditions, this is only an exemplary time-table.

Day 1

Arrival at Rhodes. Once you land, we pick you up at the airport to drive you to the new port of Rhodes City (~30 min.). After you complete the safety briefing on board, we finish off the day with a dinner and an icebreaker session.

Day 2

Accompanied by a crew member and other participants, you explore the historic district of Rhodes City. Later, we kick-off the discussion panel with an introduction.

Day 3

After breakfast, we set sail for the first time and travel our first 20 miles to the next harbor. You are welcome to join the process, learn your first sailor’s knots and help to manoeuvre. Once we arrive, we will pick a quiet spot for our first excerpt for discussion.

Day 4

After we get our groceries and attend the captain’s briefing in which he informs us about today’s route, we set out early. On the next island, we continue our discussion panel and finish the day with a visit of a local tavern.

Day 5

Today, we stay ashore. We explore the regional distinctions and hold a lengthy discussion panel over a cup of Greek Frappé. Until we meet again for dinner, everyone can individually choose what to do with the rest of the day.

Day 6

We break the morning early to set sail around 8 am. After 6 hours at sea, we reach a bay where we cast anchor. Today, we don’t anchor at a harbor but stay at the bay. However, with the help of our dinghy, we can get to the island. After our daily discussion panel, we check the water level on board, arrange our food supply and keep anchor watch by turns.

Day 7

Today, we hold our discussion panel in front of the magnificent volcanic backdrop of the next island in the Dodecanese region. There’s no better place for a discussion on Europe than the location where the European earth plate meets the Asian earth plate.

Day 8

After many days on board with constant swell, we stay ashore for another day and more closely discuss questions and topics we developed over the first seven days.

Day 9

We land our boat on the last harbor in Rhodes; we clean the boat, fold the sails and wrap up our sailing trip with a concluding talk and traditional Greek food.

Day 10

After 9 nights on board, our trip comes to an end. Abundant with unforgettable impressions, new contacts and intellectual stimulus, we leave the boat and set forth on our trip home.

Our Boat

Our sailing boat “Marleen” has her home in Antalya, Turkey and a second one in the new port on the Greek island Rhodes. Marleen is a two-master, equipped with everything necessary for a comfortable sailing trip. Two convenient cabins with two and four bunks are situated under deck for our fellows, as well as a separate sleeping area for our crew. Each cabin comes with a full bathroom (shower and toilet). The common area, which separates the crew area from the guest cabins, has a large corner booth and a fully equipped kitchen. On deck, you will find plenty of space to sit and lay under the summer sun.

On the boat, our experienced captain and skipper Andreas Wolke and Angelika Reinhold are in command. Andreas and Angelika take care of everything associated with the boat and make sure we travel safely and soundly from harbor to harbor. The panel discussions and the accompanying programme are run by our director of the Europe Programme, Milena Wichert.

During our trips, the boat is not only our means of transportation, but also our accommodation. Our highest priorities are community and solidarity which are put to the test and get re-negotiated day by day. Remember that due to the limited space on board, privacy is confined. Thus, during our ten-day trips, all participants agree to respect each other and to accommodate individual needs and requests as best as they can.

Call for Applications

Applications are open to people in full-time education (academic or vocational) as well as young professionals whose main place of residence is in Europe. Participants must be between the ages of 18 and 25 years old.

Closing date for Applications: 21th of April 2024