Friends of the Goethe-Institut London

The aim of the Friends of the Goethe-Institut London is

the advancement of the arts, culture, heritage and science for the benefit of the public in the United Kingdom through providing support to the promotion of German language, arts, culture, heritage and science and general international cultural cooperation, including the provision of programmes, events and activities related thereto.


In line with one of the strategic goals of the Goethe-Institut, the “Friends” focus on social mobility projects and providing young people from the UK with a first-hand experience of Germany. To this end, the “Friends” are currently supporting the following projects:
different art projects creating a frame around the words "Exchange2Change" ©Goethe-Institut London


"Exchange2Change" is an exchange format for young people aged 14 to 17 in the UK and Germany that aims to rethink the idea of education and engagement with language through alternative learning methods. The participants develop a joint art project (music, dance, photography, poetry, visual arts), get to know each other and the daily lives, culture and language of their exchange partners. The participants gain an insight into artistic professions through theoretical input and practical experience. After the exchange, they will receive a work experience certificate.

Sag's Mir - Podcasting Projekt 2020 © Goethe-Institut London

Online Podcasting Project: Sag’s Mir

In lieu of in-person work experience in Germany, the podcasting project creates an online immersive environment for German learners across the country to connect, practise their German, learn new skills, and gain insight into the project work of the Goethe-Institut London. The podcast “Sag’s Mir: Der Podcast für Jugendliche, von Jugendlichen” is the resulting product, created, marketed and produced by students ages 16-18 from across the UK, and aims to emphasise the importance of German in different sectors.

Green Sauce Cookshow © Goethe-Institut London

Green Sauce Cookshow

In cooperation with the online company Newkinco, the Goethe-Institut London has developed a new intercultural cooking show. Within the Green Sauce project, young people resident in the UK and Germany have the opportunity to cook together in a virtual space. This cooperative, motivational, intercultural experience fosters interaction and cultural exchange between young people from the UK and Germany. The show is aimed at young people aged between 16-19, with no pre-existing connection with German language or culture. Newkinco is a digital agency helping purpose-driven organizations to activate their digital communities and empower collaboration.

Work Shadowing in Schwäbisch Hall, Germany © Goethe-Institut

Work Shadowing Programme in Schwäbisch Hall (Germany)

This project takes 20 and more young people from all around the UK to Schwäbisch Hall in Southern Germany for a five-day first-hand work experience in small and medium sized companies and organisations, alongside an extensive cultural programme.

Football connects! (Title foto) © Goethe-Institut | Martina Case

Football connects!

This project is giving young people from the Greater London area with career aspirations in and around football the opportunity to experience the German world of football, gaining an insight in training, coaching and football-related careers during a four-day visit to the FC Cologne. This project is partly facilitated through Arsenal FC.


To ensure long term sustainability of those projects, the Goethe-Institut London organises annual alumni meetings for the participants and encourages alumni to talk about their experiences to their peers.
The feedback from the alumni of both projects mentioned above has been extremely positive, with participants valuing highly the insight into another culture. Participants also reported high levels of motivation towards language learning and personal development on their return from Germany.


“BayernLB has welcomed the opportunity of building upon the aims of the Goethe-Institut of supporting German Language abroad and fostering international cultural cooperation. This has been possible together with the Goethe-Institut London and other corporate partners as founding member of the Friends of the Goethe-Institut London, where we have been able to develop the strategy and witness the fruits of having already sent around 100 young people to Germany from right across the UK. These young people would not otherwise have had this unique opportunity to be building bridges between the UK and Germany (so far through the medium of football and active work experience). Perhaps now more than ever, these initiatives are necessary to contribute towards a greater understanding of one another across our European borders. There is so much more we can do, together!”
- Christoph Weaver, GM, BayernLB London Branch
“Now more than ever, it is vital to nurture the links that bind the UK and Germany to each other: as a passionate, lifelong European, I acknowledge as a 'remainer' that we have been lazy in our belief that the political benefits of European integration are self-evident to the British people. They are not. However, at a deeper human level, nothing has changed: we both remain members of an unruly family, bonded by geography, history and culture.  It is this deeper bond that we must amplify and strengthen, in the expectation that in time our political stars will in one way or another, come into alignment once again. I hope that more German businesses will step forward to support the work of the Goethe-Institut at this time of dislocation.”
- Anthony Forbes Watson, M.D. at Pan Macmillan