Initiative Going Abroad Makes a Difference
Initiative Going Abroad Makes a Difference

Initiative "Mobility of Mind in School Exchange"

A large portion of the young generation is currently unable to access international measures aimed at mobility. Young people often lack the incentive or the courage for spending time abroad. Systems of support and positive role models are oftentimes key for young people’s decision to travel abroad. In addition to their parents, siblings, and friends, it is primarily educators, teachers, and youth leaders who encourage young people to travel abroad and can initiate activities.

In order to strengthen exchange between international students and young people in curricular education, various supporters, patrons, and benefactors have come together for the "Austausch macht Schule" (Mobility of Mind in School Exchange) initiative.

Regional Conference, March 9, 2017

Following the invitation of Minister of Schools and Education in North-Rhine Westphalia, Sylvia Löhrmann, the first regional conference took place in Düsseldorf. At the heart of the conference was the central goal of the Initiative: “every pupil should have the chance to participate in an international exchange project”.  Primarily educators, teachers, parents, pupils as well as decision-makers of politics, administration and civil society altogether discussed how schools can be encouraged to integrate school exchanges into their respective institutions.

Dialog Conferences in 2013 and 2015

The dialog conferences "Austausch macht Schule - Mobility of Mind" in 2013 and 2015 founded the basis for the Initiative. Experts from the education and youth work sectors, public administration, politics, and civil society worked on developing the four main goals of the project and discussed practical and attainable steps towards the acceptance and status of international student exchanges.
The initiative pursues four main goals:
  • every pupil should have the chance to participate in an international exchange project,
  • international exchange should become an innate element of school education,
  • cooperation with non-school partners should be enhanced,
  • every prospective teacher should take part in an information module "project-related international exchange".
The supporters of the initiative have committed themselves both personally and financially. They represent the activities to the public and act as an association of supporters:
  • ConAct - the Coordination Center for German-Israeli Youth Exchange
  • Franco-German Youth Office (FGYO)
  • Polish-German Youth Office (PGYO)
  • International Youth Service of the Federal Republic of Germany (IJAB)
  • Pädagogischer Austauschdienst (PAD) of the Kultusministerkonferenz
  • Foundation for German-Russian Youth Exchange (FGRYE)
  • Tandem - the Coordination Center for German-Czech Youth Exchange
  • Deutsch-Türkische Jugendbrücke
  • UK-German Connection

The ministries and education departments of the states of Hamburg, North Rhine-Westphalia, Rhineland-Palatinate, Saarland, and Saxony function as supporters and partners. They identify with the primary objectives of the initiative and take part in the development of its strategies, concepts, and content.

The Robert Bosch Stiftung has been involved as a benefactor of the initiative since 2015. It hosted the "Austausch macht Schule" dialog conference in September 2015. This event was key to the dynamic of the initiative. At a follow-up event in Stuttgart in February 2016, the institutionalization of the collaboration was agreed upon. Since 2016 the Mercator Foundation supports the initiative.

In 2016, a transfer office was established for the coordination of the measures and activities of "Austausch macht Schule." The office is currently on the premises of the Foundation for German-Russian Youth Exchange.

Transferbüro AmS
c/o Stiftung Deutsch-Russischer Jugendaustausch GmbH
Bernd Böttcher

Kontakt in der Stiftung

Karin Karlsson
Phone: +49 711 46084-540
Kristina König
Phone: +49 711 46084-127