Seeing the world with “kulturweit” (Bridging Cultures) — Germany gives young people the chance to do voluntary work abroad in the cultural field

“kulturweit” volunteers talking to “their” Ambassador

kulturweit” volunteers talking to “their” Ambassador © Köhler/Photothek


The “kulturweit” programme gives young people between 18 and 26 years of age the chance to do voluntary work abroad in the cultural field. The volunteers live and work for 6 or 12 months in a different cultural environment, acquiring first hand experience of other cultures and countries.

The programme’s partner organizations offer placements in Central, Eastern and South-Eastern Europe, the countries of the former Soviet Union, Latin America, Asia and Africa. The volunteers take on all kinds of tasks, including organizing projects in a branch office of the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), the Goethe-Institut or the German Archaeological Institute or working in a German school (helping with homework, drama and other school activities).

Send-off for young “kulturweit” volunteers

Before leaving Germany, “kulturweit” volunteers are traditionally invited to the Federal Foreign Office. In discussions with Foreign Office staff they are briefed on how important personal contact is for mutual understanding and receive advice and tips to help them prepare their journey.

The “kulturweit” programme is one of the Federal Foreign Office’s ongoing cultural relations and education policy initiatives. The young volunteers help communicate to the wider world an up-to-date image of contemporary Germany. They themselves see voluntary service abroad as an increasingly “in” kind of civic commitment. In March 2012 a group of 141 “kulturweit” volunteers set off for their new postings, followed by a further group of 253 in September 2012.


“kulturweit” © photothek/Köhler

Certified voluntary service

The “kulturweit” programme for young volunteers is of a high calibre. This was confirmed by Germany’s Agency for Quality in Voluntary Services, which in a ceremony held in August 2011 in the Federal Foreign Office’s Weltsaal presented the German Commission for UNESCO with the Quifd Quality Certificate recognizing the high standards it meets as a “kulturweit” sending organization. The Commission was recertified in summer 2012.

Intercultural exchange

In a new departure for “kulturweit”, over the past two years it has staged so-called “bike caravans” for its young volunteers. The aim is to make people in Eastern Europe more aware of Germany’s cultural relations and education activities and to help young people get together. Along the route various intercultural events and workshops are organized in cooperation with people active in the host country’s cultural scene.

Close cooperation with partners

The Federal Foreign Office is most grateful to the highly committed “kulturweit” team. Special thanks go to the partner countries for hosting the volunteers as well as to the partner organizations that help make “kulturweit” possible.

The “kulturweit” partner organizations offering placements for volunteers abroad include: the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), the German Archaeological Institute (DAI), the German Commission for UNESCO (DUK), Deutsche Welle (DW), the Goethe-Institut (GI), the Educational Exchange Service (PAD) and the Federal Office of Administration – Central Agency for Schools Abroad (ZfA).

The German Commission for UNESCO is responsible for programme implementation.

Only online applications will be accepted.

For more information on “kulturweit” and application deadlines, go to:

The “Kulturweit” volunteer programme

external link, opens in new


Source:Federal Foreign Office



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