ifa (Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen) is Germany's oldest intermediary organisation for international cultural relations. It promotes a peaceful and enriching coexistence between people and cultures worldwide. ifa supports artistic and cultural exchange in exhibition, dialogue and conference programmes, and it acts as a centre of excellence for international cultural relations. It is part of a global network and relies on sustainable, long-term partnerships.
It is supported by the Federal Foreign Office of the Federal Republic of Germany, the state of Baden-Württemberg and its capital Stuttgart.

Mission Statement

  • Our Mission


    ifa (Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen) promotes cultural exchange to assist peoples, nations and religions in learning from one another and living together peacefully. Cultures are changeable, movable and permeable, yet they are also conservative and restrictive. They can cause conflicts, but they can also transform and resolve conflicts.
    Cultural exchange means commitment to peace. We are committed to achieving peace and justice, protecting human livelihoods and cultures and attaining a united Europe. Human rights, freedom of expression and freedom of information are objectives and cornerstones of our work.
    Dialogue reveals cultural diversity as a valuable asset. Dialogue involves all people equally in shaping our future – in a process that is both open and meaningful. That is why we strive to bring people closer together.


  • Our Work


    ifa initiates intercultural dialogue. A broad array of exhibitions, meetings, dialogues and conferences promotes exchange in arts and culture. Our conflict resolution programme helps build and maintain peaceful societies. Support projects for cultural minorities foster cultural diversity.
    ifa is Germany's international cultural and educational relations body, providing a link between practical issues arising in the field and the world of scholarship as well as the media. We initiate, analyse, moderate and document debates on international cultural relations.
    ifa gives people worldwide the opportunity to find out more about Germany. Exchange programmes, exhibitions, books and magazines, lectures and visitors' programmes offer innovative perspectives from contemporary Germany.


  • Our Approach


    ifa operates worldwide from a firm European base. We are active in cultural, educational, civil society, political and media networks, because we believe that cooperation is the only way to a better future.
    ifa projects integrate the needs of target groups. These include young people and young professionals, media and cultural professionals as well as scholars and academics. We cooperate with political and cultural institutions, non-governmental organisations and policy makers. 
    ifa is a reliable partner. Our highly committed team is well-versed in all aspects of intercultural communication.


About ifa

Jobs and Career

Current job announcements, research projects and internships

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Persons, Advisory Councils and Executive Committee

ifa is represented by President Ulrich Raulff and ifa's director is Secretary General Gitte Zschoch. As an advisory council, the Executive Committee sets the guidelines and priorities for ifa's activities. The four advisory councils, including the Advisory Council of the Alexander Rave Foundation, the Editorial Board of the journal KULTURAUSTAUSCH, the Research Advisory Council, and the Art Advisory Board, provide feedback and recommendations on topics such as German foreign cultural and educational policy, exhibition work, and the awarding of scholarships.

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Organisation Chart

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History of ifa

The Weimar Republic, National Socialism, the post-war era, and the fall of the Berlin Wall: founded in 1917 by Theodor Wanner in Stuttgart, ifa can look back on an eventful history.

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Friends' Association

The Friends' Association was founded in 2006 in order to support ifa in the implementation of numerous projects.

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Tasks and Projects

Visitors‘ Programme of the Federal Republic of Germany

The Visitors' Programme of the Federal Republic of Germany offers participants the possibility to network and exchange views on current socio-political topics during a one-week stay.

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Martin Roth Symposium

The Martin Roth Symposium, named after one of the most notable museum directors, aims to honour his groundbreaking achievements at the intersection of society, culture and science by perpetuating his ideas.

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Ukraine: ifa Initiatives and Projects

ifa engages in various projects to support artists and young people who have fled the  Ukraine and is commited to continue the dialogue between German, Russian and Ukrainian artists.

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ifa Award for the Dialogue of Cultures

Since 2009, ifa has been presenting an award to persons and organisations who, by virtue of their scientific, scholarly, social, socio-political, artistic, entrepreneurial or financial engagement, have made outstanding contributions to the dialogue of cultures.

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Totally Glocally

In the event series 'Totally Glocally. Stuttgart Talks', ifa addresses current questions about the interaction between global and local structures.

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Lecture Programme of the German Federal Government

Since its implementation by ifa in 1995, the aim of the Lecture Programme of the German Federal Government has been to convey a current and multi-layered image of Germany abroad.

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ifa is funded by

ifa as EUNIC Member

Logo of EUNIC
ifa is an active member EUNIC, the global network of European Union National Institutes for Culture, and its local clusters in Stuttgart and Berlin.