Action by students & alumni
We teamed up with leading student organizations, WU alumni and other volunteers. Here are some of our collaborative activities.
Would you like to learn more about student organizations that engage in sustainable development efforts at WU (and perhaps join one of them)? Click here.
viaGerman: free German lessons for Ukranian children
Founders/organizers: WU (CEMS) alumnus Lukas Pichler, friends and volunteers; administrative support from STaR.
About the initiative: We help Ukrainian children to learn German. We believe that speaking German means new opportunities. And children need opportunities. Thus, we offer free German lessons.
Volunteer as a tutor! Sign up here: https://viagerman.com/tutor
30 individuals have already joined and contributed to making a difference for 110 children from Ukraine!
Tutoring not really your thing but you'd still like to help? We also need support with organizational matters, so we'd love to hear from you! Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Welcome to Vienna Brochure
Our amazing student volunteers compiled a guide with useful links and tips for refugees and asylum seekers in Vienna. To the best of our knowledge first of such kind in Austria!
Much of the information is specifically for new arrivals from Ukraine. However, we hope some of the links will also prove useful for individuals who are fleeing persecution and violence in other countries.
Please pass this information along to anyone who might be interested!
Ukrainian Food Market on WU's Campus Summer 2022
Organized by a group of student volunteers.
A special thanks goes to Valeriia Hubar and the wonderful volunteer cooks who prepared the delicious traditional Ukrainian foods you see in the pictures below (click to enlarge)!
The story behind the Ukrainian Food Market at WU. CLICK TO EXPAND
My name is Valeriia Hubar. I am from Kyiv, Ukraine. All my family and friends are still in Ukraine.
Listening to their stories and watching the news, I feel great pain, and I fear for my country. Every day, innocent citizens there die, who had and wanted nothing to do with the war. They simply happened to live in a place caught up in a terrible, violent conflict. Just like I, just like you, who is reading this, just like any of us, they lived their lives, cared for their families, worked, studied, dreamed, traveled. Their tragic fates are hard to fathom.
I try to help as much as I can. I know on the large scale of things, my contribution is tiny, but as our President Zelensky once said, "We are all at war, each on their own front". We should never undervalue our own capabilities as individuals, never give up helping those in need, and just keep doing our best.
Since the war started, I have volunteered for Caritas at the main train station in Vienna, helping to distribute food, explaining the directions, and answering questions such as where to get another train ticket, or a room for a night.
Then, one day, I had an idea to organize a Ukrainian Food Market.
I shared it with the student organization KÖL Maximiliana. I found their page on Facebook and saw that they had already held a charity event to help Ukraine, where they sold drinks and collected donations. I thought that it would be better to sell not just drinks but our national traditional foods.
Thus began the organization of my first food market. Many of my friends supported this idea and came to this first event. Among them was Artemii, another WU student from Ukraine. He brought along more WU students, including representatives from CEMS Club, Oikos and Thinkubator student organizations. They all liked the fair and the Ukrainian food so much that they suggested to bring a similar event to WU, and they invited me to lead its coordination.
So in Summer of 2022, we got a team together and divided the tasks among ourselves. First, we needed to find the right space for the market on WU’s campus. We contacted ÖH, and they offered us some of their rooms. My tasks were then to assemble a team of volunteer cooks, buy ingredients and other products needed, and figure out where, how, and how much food should be prepared. Others were busy recruiting volunteers for selling foods on the day of the event, promoting the fair, and taking care of other logistics.
Our team included more than 15 volunteers: bachelor’s and master’s students from across different programs, locals and internationals, and, of course, Ukrainians in Vienna—those who have lived here from before, as well as recent arrivals. We were especially grateful to our wonderful cooks!
Organizing the event was as an invaluable of an experience to all of us as hosting it.
The WU Ukrainian Food Market took place on June 22. The three hours, right around the lunch time, went by very fast. There were so many visitors, we soon lost their head count. There were WU students, staff, faculty, students from other universities, but also, Ukrainian refugees. Some tasted traditional Ukrainian dishes for the first time in their lives, some—for the first time since fleeing the war. There were some tears, but there were also countless smiles, warm hugs and much needed laughter.
I believe many great life’s lessons were learned on that day and hope some new friendships were formed. All of us came out exhausted but happy with the success.
We collected 1905 Euros in donations. We’ll send this money to a Ukrainian charity, whose member also volunteered at our fair, and a local Caritas chapter in Ukraine. Like I said at the beginning, although this is just a tiny drop in the ocean of the millions of euros that will be needed to rebuild my country, I believe that every small step counts.
Our team has many other ideas that we hope to implement in Fall semester.
Stay tuned! Our updates will be available through STaR website.
Engagement opportunities through Volunteering@WU
Volunteering@WU - Lernen macht Schule is a cooperation between WU, Caritas Vienna and BILLA, committed to educational equality regardless of the socio-economic background. Since 2010, each semester, the program has been connecting around 130 university students with 260 children and teenagers from 20 Caritas institutions, including accommodations for asylum seekers, mother-child houses, counselling centers, and others. Students and kids meet on a weekly basis in three different buddy tracks (study-, music- or sports-buddy) to learn with and from each other. Currently, students are also engaged in the Caritas accommodations’ program for refugee families from Ukraine.
The program applies the method of service learning: students perform volunteer work (a service) and complete complementary seminars, supervision, and reflection assignments (learning). They receive 3 ECTS credits per term in addition o WUs social skills certificate.
Apply now for the upcoming semester!
[Please note that German skills are required to take part in this program.]
For more up-to-day information, follow us on STaR LinkedIn!
Here we post news on how to get engaged, opportunities for Ukrainian job seekers, and other urgent announcements. Along with other STaR-related public disemmination activities.
Please note that many of our projects are ongoing. Information provided on this page is subject to change.