What does the FGYO do?

The FGYO promotes youth exchange and projects between Germany and France. This includes:

  • Exchanges among schools and university students
  • Partnerships between cities and regions
  • Encounters in the context of sports, culture, theatre, music or environmental protection
  • Language courses
  • Internships and exchange in the field of vocational education and training
  • Scholarships for specialist seminars and research 

In addition to this, the FGYO sponsors trilateral encounters with young people from Central and Eastern Europe, South-Eastern Europe and the Mediterranean. This is made possible through funding from the Special Fund of the foreign ministries of both countries.

Preview Stand lors de la fête d'été de l'OFAJ
Stand lors de la fête d'été de l'OFAJ
© Constance Decorde

The FGYO works with numerous partners, institutions and project sponsors based on the principle of subsidiarity. The aim of this effort is

  • to intensify Franco-German relations
  • to promote intercultural learning
  • to impart key skills for Europe
  • to arouse curiosity about the partner language
  • to strengthen levels of participation among young people
  • to offer all young people an opportunity to take part in mobility programmes
  • to share with other countries the experiences of Franco-German youth exchange and the work of remembrance and peace

These aims give rise to many of the principles that govern the FGYO’s work and the conditions for its financial support. For example, exchange projects should be based on reciprocity and feature an educational component. 

Preview Animation pendant la conférence des enfants
Animation pendant la conférence des enfants
© 2023 by Jennifer Sanchez, vonZynski.com

The FGYO also strives to award funding in the most straightforward and unbureaucratic possible manner. With this in mind, we intend to support the commitment of individuals and partner structures in very practical ways.

The FGYO continuously evaluates and evolves its programmes and methods in an effort to ensure and improve the success of exchange projects for Franco-German relations and for participants themselves.

Here is how the FGYO works

The FGYO is an independent international organisation headed by a Board of Governors. The Board of Governors is currently co-chaired by Lisa Paus, German Federal Minister for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth, and Nicole Belloubet, French Minister of National Education and Youth.

The Secretariat General is the executive body of the Board of Governors. It is led in tandem by Franco-German Secretaries General: Tobias Bütow has served as Secretary General of the FGYO since 1 March 2019. His French counterpart, Anne Tallineau, entered office on 1 January 2020. There are approximately 100 staff members working in bilateral units located in Paris, Berlin, Saarbrücken and Strasbourg.

Preview Session du Conseil d'administration de l'OFAJ 2020
Session du Conseil d'administration de l'OFAJ 2020
© Jennifer Sanchez / vonZynski.com

More about the FGYO

The history of the Franco-German Youth Office

by Corine Defrance and Ulrich Pfeil

FGYO's focus topics

The FGYO deals with many very different topics. To help you understand which ones are particularly close to our hearts, you will find descriptions of...

The trilateral encounters of the FGYO

Many of the meetings sponsored by the Franco-German Youth Office (FGYO) bring participants together from Germany, France and other countries. In this...

Organizational chart

The 100 employees of the FGYO work in bi-nationally staffed departments in both Paris, Berlin and Saarbrücken.


Five facts about the FGYO

  • Finance: The FGYO finances its work and funding from a fund provided in equal parts by the German and French governments.
  • Budget: In 2019, the FGYO had financial resources of nearly 30 million euro.
  • Encounters:  The FGYO has provided opportunities for nearly 10 million young people to take part in some 400,000 mobility programmes since its establishment in 1963.
  • Exchange: The FGYO promotes around 8,000 encounters each year, including around 4,700 group and 3,300 individual exchanges.
  • Equal opportunities: One-fifth of all young people participating in the FGYO programmes have difficulty gaining access to mobility offers.
Preview Enfants autour d'un stand OFAJ
Enfants autour d'un stand OFAJ
© Sonia Asbach

FAQ about the FGYO

What is the FGYO?

The Franco-German Youth Office (FGYO) is an independent international organisation for Franco-German cooperation. On its own initiative, or working with its numerous partners, it organises exchange programmes for young people in the areas of school, university study, work and leisure. 
Historically, it goes back to the Franco-German friendship treaty of 1963, the ‘Élysée Treaty’.

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How many people work for the FGYO?

There are currently around 75 people working for the FGYO.

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What are the missions and aims of the FGYO?

The FGYO wants to maintain and deepen Franco-German relations. It seeks to encourage all young people to familiarise themselves with the respective partner language, and to grow interculturally. It also serves as a clearing-house to other countries, passing along the experiences of the Franco-German youth exchange and work on behalf of peace; in this regard, it also aims to strengthen democracy and the European idea.

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What are the FGYO’s project sponsors and partners involved in organising exchange programmes for young people?

You can learn more about the FGYO partners and their projects in the Partner directory, under Calls for projects and applications and on the Network map.

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How can I take part in an FGYO exchange?

The FGYO seeks to keep participation in exchange programmes as open as possible to all young people, and the bureaucratic burden as low as possible. You will find the precise conditions of participation on the sub-page for each programme. If you have any questions, please contact the FGYO or the responsible partner institution.

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I have a question about the Brigitte Sauzay Programme

Many questions are answered on the sub-page of the Brigitte Sauzay Programme and in the corresponding FAQs.

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How do I apply for the Franco-German Volunteer Service?

How can I participate in the ‘Work with a partner’ programme?

You will find position openings among the  Job postings on the FGYO website, under the heading ‘Work with a partner’. The relevant programme page features a list of all institutions that receive a grant from the FGYO for participation in the programme.

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I’d like to do an internship with the FGYO. How do I apply?

Consult the current job postings on the FGYO website and simply send your application to candidaturestage@ofaj.org

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I would like to participate in a tandem course, a binational language course or a language stay. What does the FGYO offer?

The FGYO offers a variety of language-support programmes. Consult the list of available programmes and choose the one that best suits your objectives. 

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Does the FGYO organise French courses for children?

No, but the FGYO promotes French courses for children and adolescents. These courses are offered by a variety of partner organisations, such as town-twinning committees, clubs or schools. The various French courses are geared to participants’ age and language level.

Do you have any other questions about language courses?  Then contact the colleagues in the ‘Intercultural Training’ unit by sending an e-mail to sprachkurse@dfjw.org

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I need help applying for a scholarship for an intensive French course. Whom can I contact?

Please contact the FGYO at stipendium-sprache@dfjw.org

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How can I apply for a grant for project sponsors?

Grant applications can be submitted either directly to the FGYO or to an accredited organisation such as an umbrella organisation or a school authority.

Projects funded by the FGYO are based on the principles of partnership-based cooperation between participating organisations and reciprocity of exchange.

Prerequisites for funding are the quality of the project and the aims defined in the project concept. The project must enable young people from Germany and France to get to know and meet each other, take the intercultural dimension of the encounter into account and provide for the active participation of young people.

As a rule, the partner at the location of which the first project phase is held submits the funding application for all project phases and all participants from Germany and France on behalf of both project sponsors. The application should be submitted not later than 3 months prior to the exchange, or within the deadlines shown on the programme page.

For further information, please refer to the FGYO Guidelines or search for programme formats that best suit your project idea. 

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I am hosting a competition and would like to raffle prizes. Where can I order these?

Please complete this online form

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What documents are project sponsors required to submit to demonstrate proof of use?

Proof of use consists of the following documents:

  • Detailed report on the course of the project
  • Detailed project programme
  • List of participants and accompanying persons with original signatures
  • Cost accounting with all project-related income and expenses (including receipts)
  • Documents used to communicate about the project and the FGYO

You will find further information about the required documents and deadlines in the FGYO Guidelines.

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I am planning an event as part of Franco-German Week. How and when can I apply for assistance from the FGYO?

To do this, consult the calls for applications

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How do I submit a grant application for an exchange at the partner location?

Observe the FGYO’s criteria for financial support for school exchanges and contact the responsible school authority directly.

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How do I apply on the PD online platform?

If you have any questions or difficulties, please contact the ‘School Exchanges and Extracurricular Exchanges’ Department at +49 30 288 757 72.

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I am organising a class trip to France. How can the FGYO assist me?

The FGYO offers financial support for reciprocal school exchanges, with a wide selection of educational resources and networking opportunities. The prerequisite is the principle of reciprocity: The FGYO cannot fund class trips that do not include a reciprocal visit.

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What is a third-location encounter?

In this exchange, young people from Germany and France get together for a joint project in a place that is not their permanent residence (third location). They do not live with host families and are housed instead in a youth hostel, for example, or in a country home for school stays. 

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I would like to organise an exchange with a vocational school. How would I go about this?

You will find all the information you need on the FGYO website, under the ‘Organise a school or university exchange’ heading.

Are you looking for a partner institution in France? Then use our DOMINO online platform, which is specially designed for the arrangement of partner institutions.

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What grants can be applied for to help fund a trilateral exchange?

Relevant information can be found on our website, under the ‘FGYO trilateral programmes’ heading.

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What is an IN project?

IN projects are projects that represent ‘innovative, interdisciplinary and intercultural projects in the Franco-German school projects network’. IN projects are open to all school types offering intensive instruction and learning of the partner language. These are, in particular, schools with bilingual offerings, German-French grammar schools or schools with French lessons from the 5th grade onwards. 

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What does the FOCUS programme stand for?

The  FOKUS Programme is aimed at schools and clubs that organise Franco-German encounters between formal and non-formal educational institutions.

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I’d like to host volunteers in my organisation. How would I go about this?

Detailed information on hosting volunteers can be found in the programme description of the Franco-German Volunteer Service as well as on the corresponding website

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How can I participate in the ‘Work with a partner’ programme?

You would either apply for one of the positions posted in the ‘Work with a partner’ programme or submit an unsolicited application to the participating clubs and organisations. You may also submit an unsolicited application with a cover letter in French and CV in German and French to the FGYO. To learn more, visit the ‘Work with a partner’ page. 

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I am planning a large cultural project and would like to know whether the FGYO could sponsor the project.

Please get in touch with the colleagues in our ‘Communication and Events’ unit. The contact details can be found on the FGYO Organisation chart.

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