Volunteering@WU: WU’s Learning Buddy Program
Volunteering@WU is a program that gives students the opportunity to give back to the community by volunteering in the social and educational sectors. “Lernen macht Schule,” the first Volunteering@WU project, was launched as a joint initiative between WU, Caritas Vienna, and the REWE Group in 2010.
The goal of the program is to promote learning and social inclusion by stimulating contact and exchange between students and young people from socially disadvantaged backgrounds. The program aims to support children, teens, and young adults who do not have easy access to education due to poverty and social exclusion.
Become a learning buddy!
As a learning buddy, you meet with young people who receive support from institutions run by the NPOs that participate in the Volunteering@WU program once a week (for about 2-3 hours) to help them study for school and develop their social skills. After completing a preparatory course lasting several days, you get to work with the buddies assigned to you for a full academic year or, depending on the number of places available, for a semester. The type of support and assistance provided during the regular meetings depends primarily on the needs of the children, teens, and young adults you’re working with. Their primary focus may be for example to study for exams or tests or to spend leisure time together. Experienced specialists from WU and the participating NPOs will be available to prepare you for and assist you in your role as learning buddy.
As a learning buddy you get:
A preparatory course spanning several days that will help you to strengthen and develop your pedagogical and social skills
Regular small-group supervision meetings and continuing education opportunities
Access to a number of learning buddy activities, e.g. guided tours and workshops you can attend together with the children or teens you’re working with
Last but not least, a rewarding opportunity to get to know people from different social and cultural backgrounds, to broaden your horizon, and to put social responsibility into practice.
As recognition for your work (i.e. the preparatory course and your volunteer work), WU will award you a certificate. If you participate in the learning buddy program for two semesters, you can get credit transferred to your WU degree program (4 ECTS credits).