Central Agency for German Schools Abroad (ZfA)
The Central Agency for German Schools Abroad (Zentralstelle für das Auslandsschulwesen, ZfA) of the Federal Office of Administration supports over 1,200 schools worldwide, including 140 German schools abroad – mainly in public-private partnership – and approximately 1,100 schools in the respective educational system in which the German Language Certificate (DSD) can be acquired. On behalf of the Federal Foreign Office and in close cooperation with the federal states, the ZfA provides them with personnel, financial and pedagogical assistance. The ZfA, which was established at the Federal Office of Administration in 1968, reports to the Federal Foreign Office.
German schools abroad, mostly conceived as international schools, are open not only to children of Germans working abroad and wishing German education for their kids. Three out of four pupils are from the respective host countries or other cultures, thus getting the chance to familiarize themselves with Germany, its culture, and language. These high-profile institutions of the German school system are very popular worldwide and constitute an important pillar of cultural relations and education policy.
The ZfA is responsible for the placement, financial support, preparation, and further education of teachers. About 2,000 teachers placed by the ZfA are employed at German schools all over the world.
ZfA news from abroad
The German language remains popular. As the ‘Deutsch als Fremdsprache weltweit’ (German as a foreign language worldwide) survey shows, the interest in learning German is increasing in particular in China, India and Brazil. In some Asian regions demand has multiplied since 2010. In Europe, figures have remained largely constant within the last years. A total of 15.4 million people are currently learning German worldwide. This survey is carried out by the Federal Foreign Office in cooperation with the Goethe Institute, the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) and the Central Agency for Schools Abroad (ZfA) every five years.
On 7 March 2015, approximately 350 guests, including representatives of parents, pupils and partner institutions, teachers and staff, former school board members, headmasters and pupils, came together to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the German School Rio de Janeiro - Escola Alemã Corcovado.