Training for International Diplomats is an invitation to young foreign diplomats to gain professional experience in Germany at the start of their careers, to compare points of view and to identify common ground.
The Training for International Diplomats programme was established in 1992 after the end of the Cold War, the aim being to promote the development of foreign services in the fledgling democracies with courses for diplomats from Central and Eastern Europe. These were followed inter alia by courses for the Middle East, Latin America, Africa, Asia, China, the Maghreb, the Western Balkans, Ukraine, Afghanistan, Egypt, Iraq, Myanmar and Colombia. Now more than 15 courses in a year are on offer to more than 180 countries.
Training for International Diplomats takes account of current developments.
Each year, we welcome some 300 diplomats to Berlin from around the world. Yet we still cannot meet the demand.
For each other
Seminars and workshops, meetings with young German diplomats and placements in the Federal Foreign Office are the building blocks of the programmes. Talks with high-ranking staff of the federal ministries and the Federal Chancellery, with members of the German Bundestag are on the agenda, as are fact-finding visits to political foundations and institutions, to businesses and museums. Study trips to Brussels, The Hague, Paris and Vienna are also offered depending on the nature of the seminar. Excursions to German cities such as Hamburg, Leipzig, Stuttgart, Munich, Frankfurt am Main, Bonn, Dresden, Erfurt and Weimar are another key component of the programmes.
Practice-oriented elements of the programme such as negotiation techniques, mediation, rhetoric and media training enable the participants to acquire valuable skills for their professional career. The focus is on issues such as constitutional law, federalism, international politics in the 20th and 21st centuries, bilateral relations between the participants’ countries and Germany and the EU, as well as international economic policy, peacekeeping, climate protection and human rights. During the seminars the participants gain insight into the working procedures and structures of the German and international political, business and media spheres. Many seminars include a German language course.
The seminars are usually led by former ambassadors familiar with the region from which the participants come.
The training programmes do not just include the annual seminars but also in-service courses for junior diplomats working at the foreign missions of their countries in Germany, the German-language Diplomatenkolleg and the International Diplomats Programme conducted in English.
Since 2014, the Global Diplomacy Lab www.global-diplomacy-lab.org with Foreign Minister Maas as its patron has provided a new platform for exchange between diplomats and experts from non-governmental organisations, businesses, cultural institutions and foundations. At the heart of the Global Diplomacy Lab is the shared search for new and more inclusive diplomacy methods and the drafting of new approaches which go beyond conventional politics.
There are also Regional Network Meetings abroad, Network Consolidation Programmes and regular events in Germany for alumni. Currently about 200 of our alumni are working in missions in Germany, several of them ambassadors.
Creating and cultivating networks
To ensure the lasting success of the training programmes and networks, the International Diplomatic Training offers various information and communication platforms for current and former participants and interested parties.
The Internet portal gives an overview of goals and activities, informs about programmes and networks, and provides insight into past and recent publications.
The Facebook page offers a more in-depth look and keeps followers up-to-date on current and upcoming programmes and events. Groups set up for each course means current and former participants have a forum in which to exchange views.
The Instagram account provides snapshots and highlights of the programmes and allows instant networking and interaction.
On the Federal Foreign Office YouTube channel, Training for International Diplomats presents insights and impressions into their courses with videos in English.
The Federal Foreign Office’s cooperation partners include the ifa Akademie, the German Council on Foreign Relations (DGAP), the German Bundestag, the Robert Bosch Foundation, the BMW Stiftung Herbert Quandt, the Stiftung Mercator, and the Global Leadership Academy of the GIZ as well as various higher education institutions.
Conditions for participation
The diplomats are all invited to participate by the respective German Embassy having been selected by their own foreign ministries. Depending on the course, good German, French or English language skills are required. There is no charge for participating in International Training for Diplomats. The sending states are responsible for covering the travel costs of the participants.
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Applications for Training for International Diplomats programmes can only be submitted upon invitation. Further information: