Step-by-step guide to applying for the UNESCO Kulturweit International Voluntary Service Program 2024

About Kulturweit

The international cultural voluntary service as part of the German UNESCO commission offers young people from Germany aged 18 through 26 the opportunity to get involved in the foreign culture and education policy for the duration of six or twelve months. During the course, all volunteers are financially supported and accompanied by seminars – this way kulturweit is open to all young people!

Learning with perspectives

Kulturweit gives young people aged 18 to 26 a better perception and sense of their global responsibility. During the voluntary service with the German Commission for UNESCO, they directly participate with their work at cultural and educational institutions worldwide.

Whether assisting in a German class at the European school in Tiflis, within a cultural programme at the Goethe-Institut in Hanoi, or in an information centre of the German Academic Exchange Service in Bogotá: kulturweit volunteers from Germany are actively involved with our partners for six to twelve months in countries of the global South, Eastern Europe and the CIS, while they are supported by the German Federal Foreign Office.

Kulturweit initiates learning processes and provides sustainable perspectives. The opportunities reach far beyond the voluntary service, with offers for further education regarding seminar concepts, World Heritage and Education for Sustainable Development: kulturweit alumni are part of a strong alumni network that chooses and jointly develops themes.

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UNESCO Kulturweit International Voluntary Service Program Assignment locations + tasks

The assignment locations the volunteers are offered the opportunity to engage in are located in countries of the global South, Eastern Europe and the CIS.

Our partner organisation include the following:

the German Academic Exchange Service
the German Archaeological Institute
the Deutsche Welle Akademie
the Goethe-Institut
the Educational Exchange Service in cooperating with
the Central Agency for Schools Abroad as well as
National Comissions for UNESCO worldwide.

During their assignments, volunteers take on a variety of tasks and implement their own projects. Volunteers expand their perspective on global contexts and different living and work conditions while participating at a voluntary service.

These new experiences and enhanced competences allow the volunteer upon his/her return to advocate for open-mindedness within German society.

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  • promotion of personality development and competences of all participants in a globalised world
  • increased interest of young adults in civic involvement for an active society
  • conveyance of a modern and distinctive image of Germany, and distinctive images of the assignment countries to the German society
  • personal experiencing and living of major UNESCO matters within international context
  • contribution to a peaceful coexistence of people and societies worldwide


Less than a year before the volunteer’s planned departure the application process starts. Anyone interested can officially apply to Kulturweit online by using the online portal.

Application deadlines in April and November

Junger Mensch verbindet eine Hinweiskarte mit einem Punkt auf einer Landkarte.

Selection process

After a preliminary selection by the German Commission for UNESCO, the application documents are submitted to the respective partner organisations for final selection. After the final selection of applications is completed, applicants will receive an assignment offer.

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Assignment proposal

About six months before the scheduled departure, all future volunteers receive an assignment proposal.

Assignment location

The applicants who received an assignment proposal will have about one week to decide whether to accept or decline the assignment offer. Assignments that are declined will be offered to the next applicant on the wait list.

The partner organisations perform the final applicant selection and allocation to the assignment locations.

Personal preparations

There is a lot to do before leaving for the host country. Before the preparatory seminar which officially rings in the volunteer service, volunteers have about five months to independently prepare themselves for the assignment location in the host country.

Besides intensive personal preparations with respect to the host country and the assignment location, volunteers must see to travel arrangements, obtaining a visa, receiving the necessary vaccines, submitting a health certificate and find an accommodation in the host country. During the preparatory work prior to the voluntary service, volunteers are supported by the kulturweit team in all matters.

The coordination service of the German Commission for UNESCO organises the educational tutorials and takes care of the registration and payment of travel health insurance, liability and accident insurance as well as German social securities

Assignment in the host country

Following the preparatory seminar, all volunteers are leaving Germany to travel to their assignment location and to start their service at their assignment location. The tasks the kulturweit volunteers are performing for the next six to twelve months are extremely multifaceted. They differ depending on the requirements at the assignment location and personal qualification of the volunteer.

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The tasks include offering assistance during German class in a partner school, organising cultural events at the Goethe-Institut or public relations work in an information centre of the German Academic Exchange Service.

During the voluntary service, all kulturweit participants must carry out a volunteer project independently.