Just one month to go before the courses for Interpretive Guides (CIG) and Guide Trainers (CIGT) begin at Brno; the list of participants is finalized, more or less, and the countdown has begun for all of us. 
As for every training event I organise, I find myself thinking about the participants. Who are these people? What do they expect? What is their background? What needs do they hope to cover in this course? 
Numbers regarding the course are impressive: 38 people from 17 European countries will meet for one week in the wonderful setting of Kaprálův mlýn to test and improve their interpretive and teaching techniques. Some of them have been members of IE for many years, whereas others just joined so that they can participate in the course. Some are experienced in interpretation and guiding, others less so. Some are dealing mostly with natural, others with cultural heritage in their everyday lives. But they all seem eager to learn, open to new experiences and are ready to make new connections – making IE an even stronger network of interpretive professionals of Europe. 
I go one step beyond and ask about their expectations – and these are their replies:
I expect opening a new way of education that will be inspiring for me not only in my work, but also in my life.’ Magdalena Kus, Poland
I would like to learn how to make heritage enjoyable for the visitors, by experiencing it not only by their minds but also by engaging their feelings and senses.’ Alicja Fischer, Poland
I wish to learn how to get serious about silly things, how to get silly about serious things. How to keep it short when you could talk for hours, how to say nothing and tell the most. Basically I am expecting a miracle. I want you to challenge me so I can challenge others.‘ Janja Sivec, Slovenia
‘For me this will be a great opportunity to improve my skills regarding interpretation, to find out and experience new games, exercises and methods from you and from all the participants.’ Ioana Popa, Romania
To learn latest developments in the heritage interpretation field. To get examples of interpretation related to nature protected areas and interpreting controversial issues related to nature. To interpret interpretation. To experience exchange with colleagues that are working in the field of interpretation. To have fun and learn about Czech culture.‘ Horatiu Popa, Romania.
So this is it: a challenge for the training team. A bet for Interpret Europe and SIMID. And a week full of experiences for us all. Will this work? Will these people get not just training but also inspiration? And will we all, on the 20 August, travel back home richer in spirit, friends and professional capacities?
Well, I know that the training team (Thorsten and Steven, Sandy and I) will do our best. And in one month from now we will know whether our great expectations have been met. But this is the subject of another article, in the next IE newsletter… right?

Valya Stergioti works as a freelance interpretive trainer and planner and is the Training Coordinator of Interpret Europe. For more information about the CIG and CIGT courses, please visit: https://www.interpret-europe.net/top/training/ie-summer-courses-2016.html or write to: valya.stergioti@interpret-europe.net

To cite this article:
Stergioti, V. (2016) ‘Summer courses, great expectations’. In Interpret Europe Newsletter 2-2016, 23

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