The interactive Empowering Women in the 21st Century taught by AIM Overseas’s partner ISCTE – University Institute of Lisbon – in Portugal aims to give students an overview of women’s contribution to the development of societies. The course brings to discussion topics regarding gender and how values and norms influence and perpetuate stereotypes, supporting mechanisms and reproducing inequality in several social domains: politics, economy, education, family, work, environment, health, and personal safety. The course is awareness raising and stimulates a general sensitivity to gender issues.


Students are invited to visit Portuguese and international agencies as well as non-governmental organisations focussed on human rights and the empowerment of women. Groups will be supported by a weekly meeting with a supervisor to discuss the on-going research and promote a sociological reflection on a chosen topic.


** Details to the program are still subject to final change **


Hear What a Returned Student Says About the Program

Over the 3 weeks in Portugal, the following topics will be covered:

  • Family and the importance of women in history
  • Conceptual framework for gender analysis
  • Feminism and the empowerment of women
  • The role of organizations to promote human rights and women’s rights
  • Gender and discrimination
  • Gender and work-life balance
  • The political role of women
  • Work and gender desegregation
  • Gender and immigration
  • Environment and gender
  • Gender-based violence and human trafficking
  • Gender and health

In addition to the academic classes, site visits to Portuguese and international agencies and NGOs will be organised to deepen your understanding on the various topics in empowering women in the 21st century. 


University Institute of Lisbon

ISCTE- University Institute of Lisbon is one of the best universities in Portugal. The University specialises in social sciences, public policies, management and economics.

The University is highly internationalised, and one of the University’s strategic goals is to foster the international dimension of its teaching, research and training.


Instructor Information

The course is coordinated by Professor Maria das Dores Guerreiro and Joana Aguiar Patrício. Classes are conducted and organised by a set of Portuguese and invited foreign lecturers according to the topic. Classes are complemented with research visits and field trips according to the topic.


Site Visits

  • Non-governmental organizations focussed on gender equality, human rights and women’s rights
  • Governmental agencies and the Assembly of the Republic
  • International organization that promote human rights and gender equality
  • Movie session and dinner at a non-governmental organisation that promotes the social inclusion of immigrant communities
  • Visit to Portuguese military or police premises.

Cultural Activities

  • Visit to Lisbon Story Centre & Arco da R. Augusta, Lisbon
  • Group excursion to Sintra (World Heritage Site of UNESCO): National Palace of Sintra, Pena Palace, Quinta da Regaleira, Cabo da Roca, Praia do Guincho, Mouth of Hell, Cascais, Lisbon Coast (full day)
  • Group excursion to Évora (World Heritage Site of UNESCO): São Francisco Church, Chapel of Bones, Praça do Giraldo, Cork Trees, Évora Cathedral, Roman Temple, Aqueduct of Silver Water, Vasco da Gama Bridge (full day)
  • Visit to Museum Casa das Histórias de Paula Rego, Cascais


You will be accommodated at a residence managed by ISCTE-IUL in the down town area. The residence is located right in the heart of Lisbon, in a picturesque neighbourhood next to the main and most elegant Avenue of the City, Avenida da Liberdade.

You will share a room with either one, two or three other students on the AIM Overseas program. 


Hear the experiences of other students on this program

“The first day on campus included the obligatory “café, classroom and campus” orientation and a formal welcome and introduction by the faculty coordinators and facilitators. We were then treated to an amazing lunch of typical Portuguese cuisine including ‘stone soup’, cod fish cakes and crème caramel, along with a glass of local red wine. ”

- Kari Seeley, Double Degree in Bachelor of Media and Bachelor of Arts in Politics and International Studies. READ MORE 


“It has only been a week but I know for a fact that coming to study in Lisbon has been the best decision I have ever made in my life. From what I have seen, Lisbon is a city that just breathes love and soul. It is filled with such rich culture, where you can find passion on every corner through the countless talented musicians, dancers and artists ready to express their creativity to everyone that walks by. Every day as I walk through the cobbled stone streets, I am overcome with an array of new sights, scents, and feelings that are not able to be experienced in Sydney. There is something so romantic and beautiful about Europe that I cannot even begin to describe, it is something that needs to be experienced first hand in order to completely understand.”

- Nicolaos, Bachelor of Social Science. READ MORE 


Nestled between Spain and the Atlantic Ocean, Portugal contains striking landscapes ripe for exploration, from the exceptional beaches of the Algarve to the lush vineyards of the Douro River Valley. Portugal is full of beautiful scenery, old-fashioned traditions of village life and their outstanding, very affordable seafood. You can gaze upon 20’000 year old stone carvings in the Vila Nova de Foz Coa, watch the sunset off the mysterious megaliths outside Evora, or lose yourself in the elaborate corridors of UNESCO world heritage sites like Tomar, Belem, Alcobaca or Batalha. Celts, Romans, Visigoths, Moors and Christians all left their mark on the Iberian nation.

It’s a Catholic country – there are ancient churches in every community – and while support for the institutions of the Church may have waned, a belief in traditional values remains. The Portuguese have embraced contemporary life without ever quite getting rid of the more appealing aspects of previous centuries. Fully wired town centres have wi-fi hotspots and cell-phone shops by the score, but they also have a butcher, a baker and (quite literally) a candle-stick maker.

The legacy of Portugal’s former wealth and power can be seen in its historic cities – yet the capital, Lisbon, superbly sited on the Tejo river estuary, is as popular today for its lively clubbing scene as for its grand Manueline monuments and medieval alleyways. Lisbon features cinematic hillsides overlooking the Rio Tejo showcase Lisbon’s post-card perfect panorama. Cobbled alleyways, ancient ruins and white-domed cathedrals combine centuries worth of history into a city.  This coastal city has a lively café culture and nightlife that is one of the most vibrant in Europe. Moreover, it is the only European capital located close to many sandy beaches, meaning your time there will feel more serene. Lisbon’s Tram 28 is renowned for being the longest of any tram in Lisbon, following a loop that passes popular hotspots such as the Almalfa district and the Castelo de Sao Jorge.

Another majestic landmark not worth missing while in Lisbon is the Jerónimos Monastery, a UNESCO World Heritage Site known for its Gothic architectural style from 15th Century European Renaissance.

Festivals pack Portugal’s calendar. Drink, dance and feast your way through Lisbon’s Festa de Santo Antonio or Porto’s Festa de Sao Joao.

Medieval castles, cobblestone villages, captivating cities and golden beaches: the Portugal experience can be many things. History, great food and idyllic scenery are just the beginning …



All our programs are designed to count for credit as electives. However, it is up to your university to decide whether they will approve some credit for your participation in one of our programs. Normally it is a course convenor, Head of Department or program convenor who approves your credit.

Course convenors will not be able approve credit for a course unless you have a copy of the syllabus, so you should not visit your course convenor until you have received a copy of the course syllabus from AIM Overseas. You will receive this in your AIM Overseas acceptance pack, along with information about how to apply for credit at your university.

For more information, see our Credit and Funding pages.


You might be able to obtain the $6000+ OS-HELP loan, as well as a scholarship from your university, when participating in an AIM Overseas program.

Our programs are designed so that eligible Australian students can access the OS-HELP scheme, which can provide funding of over $6,000 for international study experiences.

We give you detailed information about OS-HELP and how to apply for it in your Initial Consultation with us, as well as in your AIM Overseas acceptance pack.

You can also find more information about OS-HELP on our Credit and Funding pages.

Many Australian universities offer scholarships for their students to take part in overseas study programs. We will provide you information on scholarships that we are aware of at your university as part of your application/acceptance for a program. You can also check your university’s international office webpage to see what might be offered.



Applications are now open for this program. Early application is recommended as places are limited.

The steps to apply, and be accepted, for this program are as follows:

  1. Apply online
  2. You’ll be prompted to send us a copy of your full academic results
  3. We’ll review your results and application and, if we believe you are likely to be accepted for the program, will invite you to an initial consultation by phone with an advisor.
  4. You’ll pay our $55 application fee and book in your phone consultation with an advisor.
  5. The phone consultation lasts about 15 minutes and we’ll cover detailed information with you about credit, funding, the program, your application and what happens next.
  6. Once you return any necessary documents (which we’ll advise you of in the consultation), we’ll do a final review of your application. If all is in order, we’ll send you your AIM Overseas acceptance pack.
  7. Your acceptance pack will contain the course syllabus, steps on applying for credit and funding, and an invoice for the program deposit. Your place is secured once you’ve paid your deposit.

Programs are usually over-subscribed, so it is really important that you take care of things as quickly as possible. We’re here to help and will provide you with information and reminders about what you need to do at various stages.

For more information, see our Frequently Asked Questions. Alternatively, you are welcome to submit an enquiry or register your interest, meaning you’ll receive updates (via email and phone) prior to the application deadline.