International co-operations

Co-operation with France

No other country is as similar to Germany as France when it comes to student affairs and services. A long history of international exchange exists in the framework of the French-German Friendship. Co-operation with France is therefore the traditional core of DSW’s international co-operations.

Deutsches Studentenwerk has maintained excellent relations with the French student services organisations, the Centres régionaux des oeuvres universitaires et scolaires (CROUS) at the regional level, and with the Centre National des Œuvres Universitaires et Scolaires (CNOUS) at the national level for more than 60 years.

The co-operation of German and French student services organisations involves diverse activities at all organisational levels:

  • A French-German working group of DSW and CNOUS co-ordinates the partnership. The managing directors of Studentenwerke and CROUS meet regularly and alternately in Germany and France to exchange experiences and further develop the French-German partnership. The working group discusses the latest topics in students affairs and exchanges examples of best practice.
  • A specialist conference on knowledge transfer takes place every two years. This French-German colloquium highlights joint challenges, strategies and solutions for the Studentenwerke. Staff members from both countries exchange knowledge, experiences and expertise.
  • Staff exchange: Every year many German Studentenwerke send a delegation consisting of staff members to partner organisations in France and thus maintain bilateral relations between individual CROUS and Studentenwerke. Associated therewith, DSW and CNOUS have compiled a bilingual glossary, an A-Z of specialist vocabulary that makes it easier for both parties to understand each other.
  • The annual French-German staff and student exchange programmes are mostly the result of on-going good relations between the Studentenwerke and CROUS. Discussions are conducted in various fields such as culture (art, music, theatre), sport, environmental protection or science. The projects are funded by the German-French Youth Office (DFJW).
  • Deutsches Studentenwerk organises a French-German Internship Programme in co-operation with CNOUS for students who are active either in the German or French student services organisations, as residence advisors, on the management board or in international relations. The programme has been operating since 2006 with the aim of informing students about the tasks and structures of student services organisations in the host country. At the same time, the programme makes a key contribution to students’ professional, intercultural and linguistic training.

In the broader sense, the co-operation is based on the German-French agreement of 1963, and in a narrower sense well-developed partnerships with funding from the German-French Youth Office.