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Educational Exchange Service

The Educational Exchange Service is acting on behalf of the German Federal States to promote international exchange and collaboration in the school sector.

The Educational Exchange Service (PAD), a department of the Secretariat of the Standing Conference of the Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs, was established in 1952. It is the sole public organisation in Germany working on behalf of the Federal States to promote international exchange in the school sector.

Funded by the Federal Foreign Office, it carries out school partnership programmes and invitation programmes for teachers and students within the framework of the foreign cultural relations and educational policy. As national agency for EU educational programmes, the Educational Exchange Service in Germany is responsible for the Erasmus+ school education (2014 to 2020). The programme promotes mobility of the school staff and strategic partnerships within the school sector. As national coordination service, the Educational Exchange Service coordinates the European school network eTwinning.

The Educational Exchange Service supports exchange projects and partnerships with schools and learning institutes and promotes the mobility of students, teachers and education professionals. Its work serves as understanding among nations through international dialogue and international encounter. The programmes of the Educational Exchange Service promote the learning of foreign language skills and German as foreign language abroad. The Educational Exchange Service enables participating institutes and individuals from Germany to improve their own lessons and the learning of foreign language skills. The Educational Exchange Service informs, mediates and supports programme participants, assesses project results and manages funds.

Within the scope of kulturweit, the Educational Exchange Service offers, together with the Central Agency for Schools Abroad, assignment locations to volunteers. Furthermore, Educational Exchange Service is, together with the Goethe-Institut, the German Academic Exchange Service and the Central Agency for Schools Abroad part of the PASCH initiative "Schools: Partners for the Future". PASCH is interlinked with more than 1800 schools worldwide, at which the German language plays an important role. The network was started in 2008 by the Federal Foreign Office.


The Educational Exchange Service promotes international exchange at schools. It qualifies and mediates teachers worldwide.

Tasks for volunteers

At schools with German language programmes abroad, kulturweit volunteers provide the students a closer look at Germany. They can promote cultural and geographical knowledge, pronunciation and motivation to learn the German language.

Volunteers assist during German language classes and may come up with additional activities such as forming and working with project groups. They help the teachers with exam preparations, and tutor individual students during class. According to requirement, the kulturweit volunteers carry out projects for German language classes and accompany excursions and school trips.

kulturweit volunteers promote classes at schools that offer a German programme.