Mission

Goethe-Institut Mission statement Photo: Goethe-Institut/Loredana La Rocca

Sprache. Kultur. Deutschland.

The Goethe-Institut is the cultural institute of the Federal Republic of Germany with a global reach.

We promote knowledge of the German language abroad and foster international cultural cooperation. We convey a comprehensive image of Germany by providing information about cultural, social and political life in our nation. Our cultural and educational programs encourage intercultural dialogue and enable cultural involvement. They strengthen the development of structures in civil society and foster worldwide mobility.

With our network of Goethe-Instituts, Goethe Centers, cultural societies, reading rooms and exam and language learning centers, we have been the first point of contact for many with Germany for over sixty years. Our long-lasting partnerships with leading institutions and individuals in over ninety countries create enduring trust in Germany. We are partners for all who actively engage with Germany and its culture, working independently and without political ties.

The Goethe-Institut in the USA

Our principal goals are:

  • To shape and revise the image of Germany in the United States
  • To present contemporary German culture
  • To foster German language and culture within the American educational system
  • To develop a transatlantic network for the exchange of culture and ideas
An up-to-date image of Germany in the United States
The Goethe-Institut develops initiatives to provide a current, clear and realistic image of Germany. To this end, we disseminate thematically relevant information. We introduce, organize and support projects that present and augment a variety of views of Germany. One of our most important goals is to build bridges between people and organizations in Germany and the United States, thereby counteracting existing stereotypes and prejudices.

A forum for contemporary German culture
Our programs feature important elements of contemporary German culture. Not only does the Goethe-Institut present art and culture from Germany, but we also convey the intellectual trends and social issues now under discussion. We seek to build relationships between the cultural spheres of Germany and the United States on the individual as well as the institutional level.

A role for German language and culture in the American educational system
We strive to awaken interest in students to learn the German language. In our support for the teaching of German within the American educational system, we work in close collaboration with various professional organizations, especially the American Association of Teachers of German (AATG). As advocates for greater general knowledge about Germany, we make special efforts to help develop social-studies curricula for public schools.

A transatlantic network for culture and scholarship
We understand German culture to be an element of a larger European culture. In cooperation with other European cultural institutes and partners, we strive to improve existing transatlantic cultural networks. Acknowledging that we share common problems and challenges, we work to channel intellectual, artistic and practical contributions from Europe in the formulation of mutual solutions. Political conflicts can not be ignored—we see them rather as opportunities for dialogue. We believe that a united Europe can be a strong partner of American society.

Our partners in these endeavors are:
  • Experts, decision makers and opinion leaders in the fields of culture, politics, business, media, education and scholarship
  • Students and scholars
  • Specialists in German as a foreign language
  • Young professionals
  • A general public interested in language and culture