Skip to main content

These organizations and institutions mediate German culture abroad

These organizations and institutions mediate German culture abroad and invite other cultures to Germany.

Humboldt-Plattform gestartet
© dpa

Alexander von Humboldt Foundation

The Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, named after the natural scientist and explorer who died in 1859, promotes international research cooperation by awarding scholarships and prizes.

Association of Independent Cultural Institutions

37 cultural and research institutes make up the Association of Independent Cultural Institutions (Arbeitskreis selbständiger Kultur-Institute e.V., AsKI). AsKI e.V. keeps up the cultural heritage and supports art and culture with ideas and funding.

DAAD – German Academic Exchange Service

This is the gateway to German higher education and a springboard into research abroad. The German Academic Exchange Service (Deutscher Akademischer Austausch Dienst, DAAD) sponsors study and research in Germany and abroad.

German Society

The German Society has honored political, cultural and social activities with the “Award for Services Promoting German and European Understanding” since 2005. The Foundation also talks about social and political issues at seminars, conferences and on study trips. Former Chancellor Willy Brandt and former Federal President Johannes Rau are among the founding fathers.

Deutsche Kultur International

The Institute for Foreign Relations (Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen e.V.) provides information on international exchange in art, culture and science. Here you can find out about current developments in Germany‘s foreign cultural policy. Along with an overview of libraries, documentation centers and the media, there are presentations of federal departments, mediating organizations and foundations.

German UNESCO Commission

“As wars arise from the human mind, peace, too, must be anchored in the human mind.“ This has been the guiding principle of the United Nations Specialized Organization for Education, Science and Culture since the end of World War II. The Federal Republic of Germany became a member of this organization in 1951.

Goethe Institute

The “heart of the matter” when learning another language is real-life contact with the culture. The Goethe Institute e.V., Germany’s largest organization for foreign cultural policy, mediates German language and culture at home and abroad. From Abidjan to Zagreb: the portal takes you to all 158 Goethe Institutes in 93 countries.

The House of World Cultures

The House of World Cultures is often fondly called the “Pregnant Oyster” by the real, dyed-in-the-wool natives of Berlin. The United States paid for the construction of the futuristic-looking building in the isolated “island” of West Berlin in the 1950s. The former congress hall is now a venue for concerts, theater, exhibitions and festivals featuring cultures outside of Europe.


Art and education in the service of international understanding: one of the foremost web addresses for foreign-directed German cultural policy is the Stuttgart Institute for Foreign Relations (Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen e.V., ifa). It promotes understanding and peaceful relations between cultures and nations.