Open Door International e.V.Our Organization

Experience Quality

As member of the Nacel International network, we follow a very strict set of rules to guarantee the best possible exchange experience.

The Personal Touch

For our team at Open Door International e.V., students are not just numbers, but they have their own personal contact.

Building Bridges

We believe in the importance of individual encounters. With our carefully chosen host families, each student will have a unique experience.

Safety First

With our local representatives we are never far away from the student and close enough at hand to react whenever problems arise.

What is important to ODI

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.

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.

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.

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.

Get to know us better

Read more about our work.

Structure of our Organization
Who is who?

Management Board

The management board is composed of three people:

a) the Chairman
b) the Vice Chairman
c) and the assessor.

The management board may appoint a CEO, who is accountable towards the management board and the general meeting. Further the CEO has to act in compliance with the management boards orders.
The CEO is leading the ongoing business and is authorized to issue instructions to the staff members of the association.

Click here for the management board.

Advisory Board

The advisory board is composed of at least five but at most seven members. They are given the following tasks:

  1. Representing the interests of the staff members and volunteers of the organization towards the management board and, if need be, the CEO of the organization
  2. Consulting the draft budget, as well as the discussion of a recommendation regarding said draft
  3. Handling themes and problems relevant to the organization, for which the advisory board can form work groups
  4. Supporting the management board with the processing of questions that are relevant for the association

Both the management board as well as the advisory board will make their decisions through a majority vote.

Click here for the advisory board.

Our Team at Open Door International e.V.

Gaby Kühn

Marie Mayer

Steph Holm

Lara Oelke

Kerstin Schupp

Jan Thissen

Lara Oelke

Julian Ihling

Sara Borngässer

Carina Eltrich

Malin Krenzel

Verena Hanneken

Nora Ventker

Ester Yücel