ESOP is an empowerment exchange program for migrants in Italy and EU interns providing the necessary platform to support and manage mutual dialogue for an appreciative living together.

The program units on one hand focus on Italian and German language classes, introduction to IT,  civic education,  legal trainings and preparation for the labour market in Europe for migrants. On the other hand, through seminars and trainings the European interns receive an important formation in intercultural communication strategies.

The program is not only implemented on a national level enhancing exchange with the local population, but follows a European approach based on the principles of solidarity and freedom of mobility.

EU interns representing the host society alongside migrants participating in the program, shall be prepared for an enriching living together in diverse societies. Mutual learning from one another and continuous exchange in dialogue characterize all ESOP activities.

Promoting orientation and information for migrants provides them with a foundation for a self-determined life and enhances their active citizenship in their different host societies. An internship in Italy or Germany at the end of the program will be a first concrete step to facilitate professional participation in the European labour market.

Through intercultural formation and socio-educational training of the European interns, an awareness towards the need for preparation in the process of integration shall be triggered.

Intercultural exchange activities organised during the program by the ESOP team in Bologna bringing together migrants and autochthons, make possible encounters based on mutual respect and interest in getting to know each other.

The program is first tested between Germany and Italy. This binational approach is chosen as a reaction to the fact that many migrants desire to relocate into Europe especially into Germany, once they arrive the shores of Italy.

As an alternative to a second asylum procedure or to a life in irregularity we use the so far little exploited but very promising channel of legal migration to Germany for educational purposes; a legal stay upon entry into Germany followed by active citizenship.


Together with our cooperation partners the former interns and participants assuming the role of ambassadors of the program, will lead to the establishment of a transnational support network and further dissemination of the program to local contexts.


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