Open Door International e.V. (ODI) is a non-profit organization based in Cologne, Germany, dedicated to the organization of long-term and education-oriented exchange programs. For more than 30 years we have been opening doors for intercultural encounters.
Commitment to promote international understanding
It is our firm conviction to foster and strengthen international understanding by intercultural exchange. With our exchange programs we want to contribute towards eliminating prejudices, misunderstandings and conflicts and support tolerance between people.
Commitment to World-wide Exchange
ODI is keen to offer a broad range of programs in countries all over the world, in order to encourage and support the international exchange of different cultures. It is equally important to us to offer both outbound and inbound programs. In our outbound programs, we work with responsible and competent partner organizations, who have also subscribed to international understanding. Our program coordinators have visited most of our partners abroad, and have established a trusting relationship through long-term cooperation.
Commitment to Public Charity
We are registered as a non-profit organization and use our surplus and donations mainly for scholarships and in addition for program development as well as educational benefits. Scholarships are awarded to applicants who comply with the main selection criteria social commitment and financial need after a selection process.
As a non-profit organization, we strive to achieve our goals in a joint effort with staff members and volunteers, who are highly committed and enable intercultural exchange all across Germany. This network has existed for many years and it supports all participants during their exchange to achieve successful exchange experience. Our volunteers all over Germany are the foundation of our work. Often, our volunteers are former participants of our programs or host families, who have experienced and enjoyed intercultural exchange programs, and who now want to strengthen intercultural understanding.
Within the frameworks of AJA (“Arbeitskreis gemeinnütziger Jugendaustausch-Organisationen”), which is a working group of six German non-profit youth exchange organizations, we are obliged to maintain a variety of quality standards. Individual counselling of each student in our inbound and outbound programs is one of those quality commitments. We care very much about the safety of our students and provide information and training on health and safety issues.
We carefully choose our host families and visit every family before placing a student in their home. We provide regular professional training sessions for our volunteers and our staff members to enhance the quality of our work and strengthen the team spirit of our organization. Transparent and honest communication within our organization as well as with our partners and institutions supporting our intercultural encounters is of great importance to us.