With its CrossCulture Internships funding programme, the ifa (Institute for Foreign Cultural Relations) is advocating intercultural exchange and the strengthening of networks between Germany and Islamic world as a partner of the Federal Foreign Office.
The programme enables internships for young professionals and volunteers from the participating countries and from Germany. International experience is gained and intercultural competence developed through work stays in another culture. CrossCulture internships open up and strengthen the exchange between people, institutions and cultures and thus enable an enhanced partnership between Germany and Islamic countries. Regional particularities are taken into account through the subdivision into three regional modules:
- South Asia
- Central Asia
- Other Islamic countries (particularly in the Middle East, North Africa and the Arabian Peninsula)
Aims of the funding programme
The CrossCulture internships give young people from Germany and Islamic countries the opportunity to gain diverse experience abroad in the context of their working environment and to act as multipliers in their home countries. In addition to further professional development and specialist training, the programme participants also gain an insight into the social and political structures of the host country and become acquainted with cultural characteristics and behavioural patterns through integration into working and everyday life. They make important contacts which they can use when they return to their home country for future collaboration. Interns returning home can offer a valuable contribution to their respective organisations thanks to the experience they have gained abroad. This intercultural exchange thus sustainably strengthens the formation of networks between Germany and the Islamic countries and encourages cross-border dialogue and cooperation.
Areas of emphasis
CrossCulture internships are offered in the following work areas:
- Knowledge society & education
- Legal dialogue, justice & human rights
- International politics & civic education
- Economy & development cooperation
- Culture & art
Target groups in the Islamic countries are young professionals and volunteers in various areas of civil society and multipliers in reform relevant organisations and media. In the regional modules South Asia and Central Asia, people engaged in the key areas of (social) political development will be specifically targeted.
For German candidates, the target groups are employees of the corresponding host organisations as well as young professionals and volunteers committed to fields of work in which intercultural experience is crucial.
Organisation of the internship
The internship will last at least eight weeks and up to a maximum of three months and will be individually scheduled according to profile, needs and availability. The internships will be supplemented by a tailor-made framework programme – for example, accompanying events or individual visits– during the stay in the host country.
The CrossCulture internships are characterised by the fact that they can be individually adapted to the requirements and wishes of the scholarship holders both in terms of content and organisation. Thanks to this personalised and needs-oriented concept, they are very well-suited in supporting the programme participants to acquire professional and intercultural competence in their specific area of work and thus extending their ability to engage in dialogue.