This is an innovative tailor-made programme for women, who are of refugee or asylum-seeking status. Opportunities for women refugees to enter the program are set up. The program has a special series of seminars designed for women who are interested in exploring the possibilities of starting or continuing Higher Education, in improving their academic skills for higher education or in building their own professional course of action.
The seminars and activities for Youth and Women are offered within the main programme of the REIs2 OLIve Programme. Participants may join the core Olive programme in addition to the tailor-made seminars, in particular: academic language courses in German and English and academic lectures, as well as labs, such as advocacy and photography.
Participants of OLIve Youth and Women are provided with topics such as the legal environment in Austria and European Union, public speaking, job interviewing, CV clinics, and other topics. Youth and women rights are also thematized, including rights of youth and women with refugee and asylum-seeking background.
The driving principle behind the working methodology and curricula is the development of situation-specific, intensive courses that respond to and seek to remedy the roots of refugee marginalisation from education and the national job market.
Olive is funded by the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Commission and led by Univ.-Prof. Dr. Katharine Sarikakis, Chair of the Media Governance and Industries Research Lab at the Department of Communication of the University of Vienna and Jean Monnet European Centre of Excellence. Olive (REIs1), which ran between 2016 and 2019, started with CEU – Central European University, (Hungary), University of East London (UK) and University of Vienna (Austria). Olive (REIs2), running from 2019 on, added more partners: the Open Education Limited (Budapest), the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (Greece) and the Bard College Berlin (Germany).
The central Olive website for more information is:
Olive is part of the Third Mission set of projects of the University of Vienna with focus on social engagement. This refers to the targeted use of University knowledge to tackle the manifold societal challenges.
OLIve WOMEN Seminars The seminars and activities are offered within the main programme of the REIs2 Olive Programme. OLIve Women participants may join the core Olive programme in addition to the tailor-made seminars, in particular: academic language courses in German and English held by teachers of the Berlitz Language School as well as language teachers by the University and academic lectures, as well as labs, such as advocacy and photography. Within the creative skills labs participants have the chance to express their voice on topics of personal interest: communicating through visual arts as a powerful advocacy tool or communicating on blogs or podcasts.
The seminar series feature talks by academics, researchers, University Professors, and professionals from diverse areas. It offers participants the opportunity to engage in current discussions and practical activities, reflect and share. By doing so, we believe participants are better equipped in order to set achievable academic and professional goals, for now and the future, in their new home. With this aim, participants are provided with topics, such as the legal environment in Austria and European Union, women's rights, including rights of women with refugee and asylum-seeking background, public speaking, job interviewing, CV clinics, and other topics.
The OLIve programmes received overwhelmingly positive feedback from OLIve participants about their experience. Participants told us they appreciate the concrete value of subject learning in classes as well as the overall value of the programme in expending their thinking and their experience of the university. Feedback shows that participants consider it an inseparable part of their education the learning of the local language and consider language lessons as core to any REIs programme. They also value the uncomplicated and direct communication and open relationship with teams and management members. An important aspect of the positive experience reported across the board is the sense of being welcome and sense of respect, often in juxtaposition to experiences outside OLIve. Connecting with others is an important aspect of OLIve as well. A sense of more visible integration through presence in University settings was also raised.
Over the six months that I attended the program regularly, I have not only increased my scientific knowledge but also developed aspects of my personality, such as my self-confidence and the capability of comfortably talking to others. Through the program, my horizons were expanded and I was able to determine my decision on my university studies since the specialties at this faculty fit my wishes. I am pleased with my experience with OLIve.
Heba Ghourrah, SyriaRead more
It was an amazing experience of mine and I never study a programme like that. Now I am more active and confident and I know my rights as a woman and can also integrate myself in Austria. I can live here with dignity and proudly. It’s my privilege.Read more
Thank you so much for this wonderful program. The Olive women program stood out more for me, the issues discussed were very explicit and I use them in my daily life.Read more
Ich bin hier als Flüchtling und immer die Flüchtlingsverfahren und langen Transaktionen dort können sehr anstrengend und manchmal sehr traurig sein. Eine Personalagentur, die Ihnen immer sagt, dass Sie arbeiten sollen, ist darüber hinaus wirklich anstrengend. Aber Olive ist zu einem Fenster in meinem Leben geworden, in dem ich atmen kann. Ich habe Leute auf akademischem Niveau getroffen. Ich bin in meinem Land, weil ich Akademiker an einer Universität war. Dank Olive habe ich eine Umgebung gefunden, in der verschiedene Themen in diesem Land diskutiert werden.Read more
I was already teaching at the university in my country, but I came here for political reasons and I was tortured in my country. Thank you for helping me feel peaceful and harmonious again.Read more
The Olive program gave me the first impression that the academic sector in Austria is supportive and empowering of the vulnerable minority group of refugees and asylum seekers. It also proves that this sector invests into breaking taboos of the society about this particular group of residence of the Austrian Republic.Read more
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