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.

Voices from our participants:

Time Table

Because the course of our trip is dependent on the local weather conditions, this is only an example itinerary.

Day 1

Arrival in Antalya, Turkey. We will meet you at the airport and drive you to the marina where our yacht Marleen is harboured. After you complete the safety briefing on board, we will end the day with dinner and an icebreaker session.

Day 2

Accompanied by a crew member and the other participants, you will explore the historic district of Antalya. When you return to the boat we will kick off our discussion panel with an introductory session and an activity to get to know each other better.

Day 3

After breakfast, we will set sail for the first leg of our journey, travelling 20 miles to the next harbour. Along the way, you are invited to join our crew, learn your first sailor’s knots, and help to steer the boat. Once we arrive at our destination, we will anchor at a quiet location for our first guided panel discussion.

Day 4

After we have gathered the necessary provisions from the mainland we will attend the captain’s briefing in which he will inform us about the day’s route, and then we will make an early start for our next destination. At the next harbour, we will continue our panel discussion and end the day with a visit to a local restaurant.

Day 5

Our fifth day will be spent mostly ashore. We will explore the regional differences and hold a lengthy discussion panel over a cup of Turkish coffee. Until we meet again for dinner, everyone can individually choose what to do with the rest of the day.

Day 6

We start the next morning early and set sail at approximately 7 am. After 6 hours at sea, we will anchor at a secluded bay where we will remain for the rest of the day. However, with the help of our dinghy, we can reach the mainland if necessary. After our daily discussion panel, we will check the water level on board, arrange our provisions, and maintain a rotating anchor watch.

Day 7

On day seven we will hold our discussion in the middle of the sea, with the Turkish mainland on one side and the Greek islands on the other. Artificial borders have led to numerous conflicts in this area and the border of the EU which we will sail across has become the wall of a fortress to many. In such a socially and politically charged location we will discuss the future of the European idea.

Day 8

After spending many days at sea, with the constant motion of the waves you may need a break, that’s why on day eight we will stay ashore for an additional day to discuss the questions and topics that we have developed over the first seven days in more detail. At this point in our journey, we can gaze across the ocean  from Greece looking towards Turkey.

Day 9

Upon arriving at our final destination in Turkey we will proceed to clean the boat, fold the sails, and conclude our sailing trip with a traditional Turkish meal and a final guided discussion.

Day 10

After spending nine unforgettable nights on board, our journey is finally drawing to a close. Filled with indelible impressions, newfound connections, and intellectually stimulating experiences, we disembark from the boat and prepare ourselves for the homeward journey.

Our Boat and Crew

Our sailing boat the Marleen is moored outside Antalya, Turkey, where she was originally built. Marleen is an impressive two-masted, sailing yacht, equipped with everything necessary for a comfortable trip at sea. There are two comfortable cabins with two and four bunks respectively, situated below deck for our participants, as well as a separate sleeping area for our crew. Each cabin comes with a full bathroom (complete with a 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. They will take care of everything associated with the boat and make sure we travel safely during our journey. The panel discussions and the accompanying programme that form the foundation for the summer school are run by Europe Programme Director, Milena Wichert. As a theatre director and professional coach, she combines creativity with personal development and turns the group sessions into a lively format that promotes a change of perspective.

During our trip, the boat is not only our means of transportation but also our home. Our paramount priorities are community and solidarity. These values are continually being tested and recalibrated with each new day. It's important to remember that due to our limited space on board, privacy is somewhat restricted. As such, during our ten-day excursions, all participants must be mutually committed to respecting one another and making the utmost effort to accommodate individual needs and requests.

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