Information about German-European youth exchange, from aupair stays to student exchange programmes and school partnerships, allocation of scholarships and the responsible organisations.
In the following list the most important youth associations in Germany supporting bilateral non-school youth exchange, professional cooperation, and international youth encounters not organised by schools, especially exchanges of young people who are members of youth clubs and associations are mentioned.
The International Youth Exchange and Visitors’ Service of the Federal Republic of Germany (IJAB) conducts bi- and multilateral specialist programmes for experts in youth work at home and abroad, as well as multinational conferences on behalf of the Federal Ministry for Family, Seniors, Women and Youth and its member associations. Additional fields of activity are information and public relations work in matters concerning international and European youth policies.
The IJAB Database for International Youth Work (DIJA) compiles information about youth work as well as regional studies about selected countries. The heading Fördertipps (website in German) provides additional information about how to fund international youth meetings.
The German Federal Youth Council (DBJR) is a consortium of German youth associations and youth councils of the Federal States, as well as several affiliated associations. The DBJR maintains bilateral contacts with a large number of youth organisations worldwide, concentrating on Western and Eastern Europe. Together with
the Circle of Political Youth, the DBJR forms the German National Committee for International Youth Work (DNK). The DNK is a member of multilateral youth organisations. It is a founding member of the European Youth Forum with the aim of creating an awareness of the concerns and points of view of young Europeans through its cooperation with the European Union, the Council of Europe, and the United Nations Organisation.
The Federal Unification for Cultural Youth Education (bkj) is a federation of 48 German specialised associations, institutions, and regional associations dealing with the cultural education of young people. Its work covers the areas of music, play, theatre, dance, rhythm, fine arts, literature, photography, film and video, new media, and advanced training in cultural education.
Youth for Europe – German Youth Agency concentrates on the promotion of youth encounters, youth initiatives, the training and education of professionals as well as the European Voluntary Service.
The German-French Youth Office has the function to create closer contacts between young people in Germany and France and to deepen mutual understanding. It promotes German-French cooperation and exchange programmes in the spheres of professional, educational and extramural training.
The German-Polish Youth Office (DPJW) is responsible for the promotion of mutual understanding and cooperation between the youth in Germany and Poland. Therefore it allows financial support, presents information and consultation, organises seminars, language courses, programmes for journalists, professional conventions and administrates lobby and public relations.
German-Polish Youth Academie (DPJA) declares its aim to create closer contacts between the young people of Germany and Poland and to increase mutual understanding, to promote reconciliation and to assist in the construction of a Europe that is free, undivided and democratic. Together with its partners in Poland and Germany it organises youth events with cultural, political, societal and historical themes and supports the town twinning Munster-Lublin.
The Society for Student Exchange in Middle and Eastern Europe (GFPS) arranges tandem summer language courses and offers scholarships for students and doctoral candidates of all disciplines who are interested in Polish culture and society, and who have a basic knowledge of Polish, to spend a study period in the neighbouring country.
The Goethe-Institute organises summer camps for Polish school students wishing to learn German in the cities of Plock and Bialogard.
The coordination centre for German-Czech youth exchange – Tandem – offers advisory service, information and further education for teachers and youth workers. It conveys contacts to partner-organisations and promotes meetings between German and Czech youth as well as internships and work experience.
The German-Russian Exchange supports citizens’ initiatives, human rights organisations and social activism, representation of the interests of disadvantaged social groups, and non-governmental social organisations. It organises seminars and conferences, develops concepts and furthers expert study visits and voluntary work.
The Foundation German-Russian Youth Exchange supports the German-Russian youth and student exchange. An application is possible for schools, youth groups but also for individual young persons, which are interested in encountering Russia and Russian contemporaries.
From 1th January 2013 the foundation affords a new funding programme. With the programme "Bildungsbündnisse für jugend.kultur.austausch " it will be possible for young between 10 and 18 years to find acces to to intercultural and international youth exchange.
With kulturweit the voluntary service of the Federal Foreign Office young people from Germany can undertake varied tasks – from homework supervision in a German school abroad to cooperation in a branch office of the German Academic Exchange Service – for six or twelve month in the countries of Middle and Southeast Europe. All volunteers are attended and financially secured by the Federal Foreign Office.
MitOst supports the exchange of language and culture in Middle-, East- and Southeast Europe. Beside the projects of culture and meetings it is engaged in the development of a information and contact network. Furthermore MitOst looks after the Alumni associations of former Robert Bosch Foundation scholarship holders.
The contest Junge Wege in Europa gives pupils and teenagers from Germany as well as from Middle and Eastern Europe the possibility to realise their ideas in joint projects.
The contest is announced twice a year, in spring and in autumn. Project partners from both the countries can apply with a jointly produced project plan.
The Theodor-Heuss-Kolleg serves to encourage young people from Central and Southeast Europe and Central Asia to play an active social and political role and help develop democratic structures. Students at the Theodor-Heuss-Kolleg are supported for one year. They attend international summer seminars to acquire practical skills and knowledge and develop project ideas. Project scholarships are subsequently awarded to the students submitting the best ideas.
The school and youth competition Europeans for Peace supports project meetings lasting several days between young persons from Germany and Central, East and Southeast Europe as well as Israel. With this programme it aims to motivate young people to deal with history and to cooperate with peers.
The German Youth in Europe (djo) maintains international youth exchange programmes with every European countries – the main emphasis is in East Middle, South East and Eastern Europe, where the djo supports intensive cooperation with a variety of partner organisations and associations.
The Baltic Sea Secretariat for Youth Affairs (BSSYA) was founded by the Ministries responsible for youth affairs of the 11 Baltic Sea States. It serves as a centre for information and coordination for the various youth actors in the Baltic Sea region. The function of the BSSYA is to promote an active participation of young people in the development of democratic and pluralistic civil societies in the States of the Baltic Sea Region. Its themes includes youth policy, in particular youth participation, cooperation with other European regions, improvement of youth exchange and youth mobility, integration of disadvantaged young people and the promotion of youth policy as a cross section topic for other political fields.
The Baltic Youth Office is a non-commercial service bureau with the aim of promoting youth exchange and youth mobility in the Baltic Sea region. It offers information, contacts and help in organising youth encounters around the Baltic Sea, organisation of study visits, seminars on the topic of Baltic Sea cooperation, educational courses on international youth work and intercultural learning for youth groups, youth organisations and non-organised youth in Germany and in other countries around the Baltic Sea.
bilateral school partnerships on which two schools from participator states with different languages work together for promotion of learning the foreign language. The partnership lasts two years and contains a stay of one group with a minimum of 10 pupils and their accompanying teachers at least for 10 days at the partner school as well as a correspondent return visit of the partner school. The minimum age of the scholars at the time of the stay abroad should be 12 years;
multilateral school partnerships on which at least three schools from three different participator states are engaged. The cooperation lasts two years and can be optionally pupils activities or an interchange of ideas between the colleagues about didactical-pedagogical questions or issues of school management.
Connecting Classrooms builds lasting partnerships between schools in the UK and others around the world. Through these partnerships, the programm develops trust and understanding between young people in different societies, creating a safer and more connected world for the future. The project get started in 20 European countries. Ten schools in Sachsen-Anhalt will work together with schools in Great Britain, Serbia and Slovakia about cultural diversity
The Pedagogic Exchange Service (PAD) supports together with the Federal Foreign Office school partnerships with the countries Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Slovenia, Rumania, Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Russia. Schools that maintain continuous contact to schools in this countries obtain appropriation for combined projects performing in the framework of school partnerships. From the funds of the Federal Foreign Office it can be applied for grants for the foreign guest in travel costs, pocket money and insurance allowance.