Interkulturelles Zentrum - Yesterday and today

The inaugural meeting of the Interkulturelles Zentrum takes place on 20 March 1987. The project receives financial support from private sector companies. The Federal Ministry for the Environment, Youth and Family also provides initial funding. The founding members also contribute private equity in order to launch the Zentrum. Helmut Fennes, Irmgard Fennes, August Gächter, Siegrid Spudich-Sperl and Karl Vogelmann are elected members of the board.

The initial field of activities of the Zentrum includes the development of teaching material on intercultural learning in schools and various further education seminars for pedagogues.
In 1989, the Interkulturelles Zentrum is appointed by the Ministry of Education to develop international schoolchildren’s correspondence. The project "International School Partnerships” is launched a year later and the Interkulturelles Zentrum begins providing mediation and advice for international school partnerships on behalf of the Ministry.
Until today, more than 5,000 partnerships with schools all over the world have been arranged. Since 1994, additional funding for school exchange projects with schools in Central and Eastern Europe have been obtained.

In 1994, the Interkulturelles Zentrum was first appointed by the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Youth and Family as the Austrian national agency for the EU programme "Youth in Action".

In 1996, the Interkulturelles Zentrum is assigned with the coordination of the EU pilot project "European Voluntary Service". In 2000, the European Voluntary Service is finally integrated in the youth programme.

In 2000, the Interkulturelles Zentrum is awarded the "World Aware Award for Global Education” by the European Council.

In 2001, the Interkulturelles Zentrum launches the network youthNET focussing on South-eastern Europe. The objective is to expand collaboration between European Union and South-eastern European countries particularly in the field of youth. At the same time, this exchange aims to develop know-how and experience in the field of youth work. With the help of various training courses and networking meetings, youthNET supports projects by and for young people in the region.

In 2002, various activities on the theme of integration are organised in Lower Austria within the framework of the EQUAL project "Different Origin - Common Future”. For the first time, the Interkulturelles Zentrum provides guidance to four communes for the development of an integration concept.

In 2004, the geographical focus of youthNET is widened. The Interkulturelles Zentrum initiates the network youthNET CIS, which focuses on the Ukraine, Russia and Belarus.

In 2005, the Interkulturelles Zentrum is awarded with the World Aware Education Award by the North South Centre of the European Council for the project "Education for Global Citizenship”.

In 2006, the Academy of Central European Schools (aces) opens for the first time. The project was jointly developed by the Interkulturelles Zentrum and the ERSTE Stiftung. Cross-border school partnership in Central and Eastern Europe are sponsored through a project competition.

In 2007, the Interkulturelles Zentrum becomes the national agency for the new EU programme "Youth in Action”, which will run until the end of 2013. Together with ARGE partners, the Institute for Educational Sciences and ÖAR-Regionalberatung, IZ is responsible for the implementation of the programme in Austria. The agency is also supported by regional government offices in the Federal states.

In 2008, the course "Intercultural Competences” takes place for the 10th time. The course is held every year in cooperation with the Renner Institut. Since the launch of this training facility, approx. 200 people from different fields have participated in this course.