“kulturweit” international cultural volunteer programme


With its “kulturweit” (Bridging Cultures) volunteer programme, the Federal Foreign Office seeks to foster young people’s intercultural skills and encourage a world-minded outlook.

Programme volunteers at one of the preparatory seminars
Programme volunteers at one of the preparatory seminars© Deutsche UNESCO-Kommission/Till Budde

“kulturweit” is an international volunteer programme devoted to cultural relations and education policy and is aimed at everyone aged between 18 and 26. The programme gives young people a tangible and practical insight into their global responsibility. They work in cultural and educational institutions across the world as part of the volunteer service of the German Commission for UNESCO.

Whether as assistants in German lessons at the European School in Tbilisi, in the Cultural Programme Division at the Goethe-Institut in Hanoi or in the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) Information Centre in Bogotá, “kulturweit” volunteers spend either six months or a year working in countries in the global south, eastern Europe or the CIS, with support from the Federal Foreign Office.

Through their commitment, “kulturweit” volunteers help to create scope for dialogue, trust and mutual understanding in over 70 countries around the world.

Educational and financial support

This year’s volunteers on a visit to the Federal Foreign Office (1 March 2017)
This year’s volunteers on a visit to the Federal Foreign Office (1 March 2017)© Auswärtiges Amt

All “kulturweit” volunteers do a voluntary social year abroad, during which they receive educational and financial support. By taking part in an international volunteer programme, the young people expand their perspective on global connections and different lifestyles and ways of working.

These new experiences and enhanced skills enable them to work for more open-mindedness in German society when they return home. The programme, which has sent out over 2700 volunteers since 2009, has been awarded the QUIFD (Agency for Quality in Volunteer Services) quality seal.

Offering perspectives

“kulturweit” promotes learning and gives the volunteers long-term perspectives. Thanks to further training on how to organise seminars, on the world heritage and on education for sustainable development which goes far beyond the scope of the volunteer service, “kulturweit” alumni are part of a strong network which self-confidently raises issues and shapes developments.

As the result of an initiative by alumni, the association “kulturweiter” was set up in 2014, enabling former volunteers to actively network and develop and realise their own project ideas.

Further training

“kulturweiter” - alumni association

More about the QuifD quality seal

Cooperation with partners

kulturweit logo
“kulturweit” logo© Deutsche Unesco-Kommission

“kulturweit” is a project of the German Commission for UNESCO with funding from the Federal Foreign Office.

The partner organisations enabling the volunteers to work abroad include the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), the German Archaeological Institute (DAI), DW (Deutsche Welle) Akademie, the Goethe-Institut (GI), the Educational Exchange Service (PAD) in cooperation with the Federal Office of Administration - Central Agency for Schools Abroad (ZfA), and numerous UNESCO national commissions around the world.

Only online applications will be accepted. There are two rounds of applications a year, in April and November.

For more information about “kulturweit”, please visit: www.kulturweit.de

Here you can read reports by “kulturweit” volunteers in Hungary and in Sri Lanka:

Personal accounts:

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