Cultural Exchange Ambassadors: Advice for schools

Are you a UK school hosting a German Language Assistant? Wondering what added benefit our Ambassadors programme could bring to your school and pupils?

Find out about the programme in more detail below, including:

  • the benefits of taking part for your pupils, your school & your assistant
  • what support UK-German Connection will offer to participating assistants and schools

What is the programme, and why get involved?

The British Council advise that a great way for Language Assistants to make an impact during their year as an assistant is to organise and run a project with their pupils.

What we offer is a chance to make this project bilateral:

  • partner up with an English Language Assistant working in Germany
  • run a project together across the two schools during the assistantship year
  • connect UK and German pupils, providing an authentic idea of what life in the other country is like

How do the projects work?

Each year we select a number of project themes, which assistants are able to choose from and mould however they wish. Past themes have included Identity & Integration, Seas & Oceans and Language learning.

Projects led by the assistants will:

  • address themes that are of educational and curricular value, as well as being interesting and relevant for pupils
  • increase pupils' intercultural awareness
  • provide students with the opportunity to practise, improve or even learn another language

Projects can be long-term, such as a string of different activities and events, or one-off (e.g. a parcel exchange).

What benefits does the programme offer?

For pupils

  • Authentic and long-term connections with young people from the other country
  • Increased engagement and motivation for the culture and language of the other country.

For schools

  • Participating assistants receive a project tool-kit which includes project ideas & plans and can be shared with the school
  • A unique opportunity to create a connection with a school in the other country

For Language Assistants

  • Participating Assistants learn transferable skills at both seminars and throughout their Ambassador year, including project management, organisation & timekeeping, and creative thinking
  • Increased confidence,which really allows them to thrive in their role as Assistants

"A brilliant initiative by our FLA, thoroughly enjoyed by all participants, most of whom have now opted for GCSE German" (Head of German, UK school)

What support do UK-German Connection offer?

1. Guidance for assistants at both seminars, including advice on managing a successful project

2. Small project fund for Ambassadors' projects, which they can use to buy any necessary materials

3. Partnership support for schools who want to stay in touch with one another after the project - see our funding and linking pages for more details

4. Future opportunities as participating schools will be among the first to hear about our upcoming UK-German events and activities - for pupils and schools

What role do participating schools play?

1. Supporting the application

  • One teacher should support the Language Assistant's application to the programme.

  • This teacher should send a short 'supporting statement' to confirming that they are aware of and support the assistant's application. It should also include a short outline of how the project will be embedded in the school or class, and how the school will support the Ambassador's project/activities.

2. School-specific advice & support

  • If required, help the assistant to set up the project (e.g. provide advice on after-school clubs / logistics)

  • Help & advise on how to publicise the project in the school (in assembly, the school newspaper)

3. Keep the project alive

  • Where possible, keep the project alive after the assistant has left. Encourage pupils to continue communication with their new friends in the other country or consider something more long-lasting (e.g. an official school partnership)

Project themes for 2019-20

The overarching theme for this year's projects is 'Sustainability'. All Ambassadors will be encouraged to focus elements of their bilateral project on this theme. Projects could zoom in on any number of smaller sub-themes related to sustainability, such as:

  • the impact of our everyday choices (e.g. food, fashion, transport)
  • building more sustainable cities, spaces and public buildings
  • the importance of protecting our local areas (coastal regions, urban areas)

In 2020, a potential thematic youth seminar may be offered for Ambassadors and their pupils, building on the theme of 'Sustainability'. Interested Ambassadors from both countries would have the opportunity to attend with a number of their pupils (who participate in the project) and take part in thematic discussions, workshops and excursions as well as showcase and progress their projects.

All applicants will be asked to confirm at application stage whether such an event would be of interest to both them and their school.

N.B. Taking part in this additional seminar is not an obligation of the programme.

Contact us

If you have any questions, or would like further information on the programme, please contact Lily Martin at:

Tel: +44 (0)20 7824 1572



Brainstorming what makes a successful project


A Christmas parcel exchange


Past Ambassadors hard at work planning their projects