Which countries take part in the CrossCulture Programme (CCP)?


Palestinian Territories
Republic of Moldova
Saudi Arabia
Sri Lanka
United Arab Emirates
Is it possible to apply even though my country of origin/residence is not on the list?
Eligible candidates ought to possess the nationality of a country listed above. Please apply only if you are a national of the respective country or have acquired a long-term residence permit in one of these countries. Applicants currently not residing in Germany/their country of origin need a long-term residence permit for Germany/country of residence and/or must have resided in Germany/country of residence for at least five years.
Who is eligible to apply for the CCP?
Application requirements:
The applicant must be at least 23 years old at the time of application.
The applicant has good written and spoken English skills.
The applicant has at least two years of proven professional experience or volunteer work in a civil society organisation in the country of origin.
The applicant is in good health for a longer stay abroad.
The applicant has been socially engaged for a longer period of time.
The applicant can prove professional experience in his/her/their field of work.
A collaboration with an organisation in the target country is in progress or planned.
The applicant possesses further language skills, particularly German.

Exclusion criterion for application: applications from registered students cannot be considered.

Principally, fellowships are awarded to individuals who are active in one of the following fields:
Politics and society (e.g. active as a critical thinking trainer, social worker, trainer working with marginalised groups, think tank employee, political activist, etc.)
Media and culture (e.g. active as a film producer, journalist, actor, artist, theatre employee, TV or radio moderator, etc.)
Human rights and peacebuilding (e.g. active as a women’s rights trainer or activist, LGBTQI+ activist, conflict resolution trainer, peacebuilding activist, children’s rights advocate, etc.)
Sustainable development (e.g. active as a water quality project coordinator, quality manager for fair-trade products, ecotourism tour guide, architect for sustainable architecture, etc.)
From 2019 to 2023, the focus will also be on three further fields:
Digital civil society (e.g. active as a digital platform officer, digital engagement consultant, data security expert, start-up founder, digital transformation advisor, etc.)
Civic and citizenship education (e.g. active as a youth worker, consultant for employment opportunities, politics teacher, trainer in a debate club, etc.)
Climate justice (e.g. active as a grassroots climate activist, scientist for sustainable future scenarios, protector of nature reservation sites, Fridays For Future or Extinction Rebellion activist, etc.)
Do I need to be currently active (working or volunteering) in an NGO?
The CCP is targeting professionals and committed volunteers and is designated to strengthening the organisational ties between Germany and the world. In order to apply for the CCP you need to be associated, professionally or voluntarily, with an organisation that is working in your respective area of expertise (one of the fields stated above). The organisation does not necessarily have to be an NGO.
Do I need to learn German?
A good command of English is an important prerequisite for successful participation in the CCP. Knowledge of the German language is an additional qualification for applicants from abroad, but not a requirement.
How long is a CCP Fellowship?
CCP Fellowships last from two to three months. Stays for a longer or shorter period cannot receive any support from ifa.
How is the period of the CCP Fellowship determined?
Since CCP Fellowships are planned and organised individually for each candidate, the schedules may differ regarding timing and duration. The exact dates are coordinated in detail with the respective host organisation and the CCP Fellow.
What does the funding include besides financial support?
First and foremost, this grant aims to strengthen civil society actors in their work. This includes the following support and offers:
On-site / online collaboration with a host organisation
Mentoring for the entire duration of the fellowship
On-site / online specialist training in the field of activity, geared to the personal and professional goals of the fellow
Networking with other CCP Fellows
Admission to the CCP alumni network
For fellows focussing on one of the key topics: participation in a specialist event
How do I apply for a CCP Fellowship?
Applications for CCP are to be submitted online via our application portal.

The following mandatory application documents have to be uploaded:
Curriculum vitae in English with detailed information on education/studies/training, work and volunteering experience as well as other skills
Letter of motivation using the template, which is available on the ifa homepage and on the application platform
Letter of recommendation from the applicant’s home organisation/workplace in the applicant’s country of origin, for example from a supervisor. It is mandatory to use the template, which is available on the ifa homepage and on the application platform
Photo is optional
Please pay attention to the technical requirements (e.g., size of documents) and make sure that you have all the necessary documents available when starting the application process, as partial applications cannot be saved. Only fully completed applications will be eligible. Do not send your application via e-mail to ifa as those applications will not be considered!
Can I apply when I am enrolled at a university?
No. The CrossCulture Programme is primarily targeting professionals and volunteers. Unfortunately, applications from registered students cannot be considered. Please be aware that ifa does not offer any scholarships for postgraduate studies.
Who should write my letter of recommendation?
The recommendation letter gives us the opportunity to assess applicants from an outside perspective and get an idea of the potential benefits for your home organisation should you be considered for the CCP Fellowship. Therefore, your direct supervisor from your home organisation should formulate the recommendation letter for you.
In exceptional cases, e.g. if you are the head/founder of your organisation or a freelancer, we recommend identifying a competent external source for your recommendation: a previous supervisor, a member of your board of directors, a partner organisation or any other individual who can evaluate your work.
How should I sign the letters of motivation and recommendation?
The letter of motivation must either be signed electronically or by hand. In order to sign the letter electronically we would ask you to type in your name in the respective text box. Alternatively, you can print out the form, sign the motivation letter by hand and submit a copy via the online application portal. Both types of signatures will be accepted by ifa.
The letter of recommendation must be signed by the reference person and stamped by the respective organisation. In exceptional cases we also accept recommendation letters without stamps. In case the recommendation letter is not stamped, we reserve the right to verify the reference by getting in touch with the contact person listed in the letter.
Please do not submit your application before your documents are finalised. You need to have all the documents signed at the time of application.
What happens after I have submitted the application?
Applicants will receive an automatic e-mail that acknowledges the receipt of the application.
Applications will be reviewed by selection committees composed of ifa and the German Embassy/Consulate in the respective country. Suitable candidates will be invited to a selection interview at the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany. In addition to representatives from the Embassy, if possible, ifa staff will also take part in the interview. In case it is not possible to conduct the interview in person, the selection interviews will take place by telephone or online. Selected applicants will be informed by ifa, presumably in April.
Candidates rejected on formal grounds or with respect to the eligibility criteria will be notified via e-mail as soon as the decision has been made. Please note that ifa does not make known the reason(s) why an application is rejected. Your understanding is much appreciated.
 Is there a waiting list?
Yes. Due to a limited amount of grants and high competition, a small number of candidates are placed on the waiting list. The waiting list status will be announced via e-mail in April and is no guarantee for future acceptance. If a place becomes available, the persons on the waiting list will be notified according to their rank.
 Will I be interviewed during the application process?
Selection interviews are conducted with the shortlisted candidates. In most cases, these interviews take place on-site at the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany. However, interviews can also take place by telephone or online. In addition, interviews with potential host organisations may be necessary in the matching process. We make sure to inform the candidates about the further steps in due time.
 What happens after being selected for the CCP Fellowship?
First of all, a CCP coordinator is assigned to each fellow as a contact person for the entire duration of the fellowship. Afterwards, according to the profile and qualifications of the candidate, the CCP team identifies a suitable host organisation in Germany. Your professional contacts to potential host organisations might be helpful in this process and should be mentioned in the application documents or communicated to us directly after acceptance.
In the matching process, the potential host organisations may wish to conduct an interview in order to match expectations. Should the host organisation be interested in working with the fellow, the candidate will receive a funding agreement outlining the conditions of the grant. The agreement has to be signed between the candidate and ifa.
Should the host organisation not be interested in working with the fellow, ifa will search for another suitable host organisation.
 How do I apply for a visa?
Detailed information about the visa procedure for CCP Fellows is provided on the homepage of the relevant German Embassy/Consulate in the country of residence or the destination country. CCP Fellows receive all the necessary supporting documents from ifa. Make sure to have a valid passport available which should not expire within the given time frame indicated by the visa regulations of the destination country.
 What is covered by the CCP grant?
ifa covers the following costs for fellowship recipients from abroad:
A monthly allowance of 550 euros (regardless of whether the exchange takes place digitally or on-site)
Roundtrip airfare
A monthly ticket for public transport within the city of residence
A refund of applicable visa fees
Health insurance
ifa covers the following costs for scholarship recipients from Germany:
A monthly allowance of 550 euros (regardless of whether the exchange takes place digitally or on-site)
Subsidy for the accommodation costs in the amount of 550 euros
A refund of roundtrip airfare
A refund of applicable visa fees
Health insurance
The grant amounts listed above are subject to funding approval by the German Federal Foreign Office.
 May family members join me?
No provisions will be made for travelling with family members such as a spouse or children. ifa assumes no costs or responsibility for other persons beyond the fellowship recipient.
Will I receive assistance during my first days in Germany?
If needed, CCP Fellows from abroad will receive support from tutors during the first days of their stay in Germany. The tutors are available for a limited number of hours and help the fellow to settle in and become acquainted with the everyday way of life in a new country (e.g. local transportation, etc.). Autonomy of the fellow is assumed and required.
What are the specific features for German applicants?
CCP Fellows from Germany have to find a suitable local host organisation and accommodation independently. If needed, ifa will support them through its alumni network. Please note that for security reasons some countries or regions within a country are excluded as host countries. Please find more information about current travel recommendations on the homepage of the German Federal Foreign Office.
What happens if travelling is not possible due to the COVID-19 pandemic?
Even though you might apply for an on-site fellowship, travel restrictions and other national lockdown measures can eliminate the possibility of a working sojourn/ stay and professional exchange in Germany or abroad. In this case the programme will take place digitally in the form of a remote fellowship.
A remote fellowship includes:
Online collaboration with a host organisation
Mentoring for the entire duration of the fellowship
Online specialist training in the field of activity, geared to the personal and professional goals of the fellow
Networking with other CCP Fellows
Admission to the CCP alumni network
For fellows focussing on one of the key topics: participation in a specialist event
The CCP grant covers the costs of appropriate working conditions, technical resources and infrastructure to participate in the programme.
Can I decide on a digital fellowship only in case of COVID-19 travel restrictions?
You can also choose to do your CCP Fellowship digitally according to your personal situation. We kindly ask you to indicate during the application process which of the options (analogue or digital fellowship) you favour.
Can I apply even though I might take part in some other sort of international fellowship at the same time?
As a CCP Fellow you need to be available for all the measures and secure a leave of absence from your home organisation. If the CCP Fellow receives another fellowship during the funding period, they have to decide which of the fellowships they would like to take part in. Should the decision be made in favour of the other fellowship, the CCP grant will be reduced and the scholarship agreement terminated.
How can I decide which host organisation I would like to work with during the CCP Fellowship?
There is no list of possible host organisations available. In case you are interested in working at a specific organisation in Germany/abroad or if you are already in contact with a host organisation, please inform us in the course of the application. Nevertheless, it is not mandatory to get in touch with a host organisation beforehand. After being selected as a fellowship holder the CCP team will match you with a suitable host organisation in Germany based on your interests and work experience.
Can I apply again if my application was not successful in the past?
In case of a previously unsuccessful application a repeated application is possible.
Who can I contact in case I have questions that are not included in the FAQs?
If you have further questions, please contact the CCP project team via e-mail: crossculture@ifa.de.