OIK has been acknowledged as a non-profit organisation by the German government for its mission to promote international understanding.
Our aim is to help build and strengthen the friendship between people of all nations, thereby furthering peace and mutual respect.
By bringing groups from all over the world to Germany and the European Union, we want to help improve the knowledge of other cultures and languages.
Through personal encounters, social and professional exchanges, home stays, study tours and language courses we have enabled many individuals to develop understanding and respect for other nations, and we will continue to do so for many years in the future.
1975 – 1980 Participants of OIK programmes during this period: 17,300
17 January 1975 Founding of OIK – Organisation für Internationale Kontakte – by Joachim and Luise Mueller in Bonn, Bad Godesberg. Non-profit status approved by the German government.
1975 World Jamboree in Norway: International encounters and study tours in Europe for Boy Scout from South Africa before or after the WJ.
From 1975 Organization of family stays and German language courses for French school groups in more than 60 German cities annually.
International summer camps in Germany for groups of high school students from Mexico and Guatemala.
First tours for sports teams and music groups from the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Japan
Organization of encounter programmes for German youth- and student groups in Europe and overseas, e.g. to Mexico, Guatemala and USA.
Launching of Japanese / German exchange programmes combined with family stays, Study Tours for delegations of youth workers (and other professionals) from Japan in cooperation with National Youth Organizations and prefectures in Japan.
1979 Luise and Joachim Mueller establish a second travel organization, SKR
(please find detailed information on SKR below)
1981 – 1990 Participants of OIK programmes during this decade: 25,000
1981 First OIK International Youth Music Festival in the Nuremberg county, Bavaria. Since then the festival has taken place annually in towns and counties of Bavaria on an alternating basis, with 300-700 participants attending every year.
1981 - 1985 First projects in sustainable tourism (a milestone in the late seventies) through personal encounters in Developing Countries:
Senegal: Integrated Tourism – Living in African villages (model programme, has often been featured in the press and on television)
Jamaica: Holiday academy for youth and student groups and groups of teachers in cooperation with a Teachers Training College; special courses on development policies.
Kenya and Tanzania: Classes on development policies in cooperation with universities and development organizations.
Philippines: Family stays and encounter programmes in cooperation with Catholic and Lutheran women’s organizations.
Indonesia/ Bali: Holiday academies on regional development policies
Sri Lanka: Family stay and visits of development projects
Peru: Round trips with humanitarian aid workers
Increasing number of team sports tours for youth and adult teams: ice hockey, basketball, soccer training camps in combination with friendly games and homestays.
1987 Beginning of the cooperation with the People to People movement in the USA: Professional Tours for US Americans to Germany, “Student Ambassadors” programmes in Germany.
1989 International Youth Music Festival “Beethoven calls the World” in Bonn to mark the 2000th anniversary
of the city Bonn
1990 First German Music Group participates in the Kumamoto Music Festival in Japan, which has been designed after the OIK International Music Festival.
1991 – 2000 Participants of OIK programmes during this decade: 22,700
From 1990 After the German Reunification, OIK begins to promote travel to the five “new” German states and to the countries of Central Europe, the first family stay in East Germany takes place in the historical imperial city Quedlinburg in Saxony-Anhalt.
OIK supports the growing partnership between Bavarian Youth Councils and the Youth Organisation of Jekatarinburg / Russia
Continued cooperation with old (and new) associates of all five continents to set up programmes and tours for groups wishing to get to know Germany and Europe.
1989 – 1991Intensified collaboration between OIK and the People to People movement, USA with a special focus on politics, society and culture in a changing Europe.
First German Music ensembles are travelling to Japan, Canada and the USA on return visits after hosting a foreign music group in their community.
1993 - 1997 Summer camps for German students in Canada, Australia, USA, New Zealand, Ireland
2001 – 2010 Participants of OIK programmes during this decade: 24,500
From 1994 Home stays and round trips for school groups Argentina, Brasilia, Colombia, Uruguay and Venezuela
Special Interest Tours focus on ecology, energy supply, demographics and logistics.
2003 – 2007 Start of a series of return visits of groups of German host families to Japan
2004 OIK joins forces with a special coordinator for our pilgrimage / WYD programmes
2005 OIK celebrates its 30th anniversary
2005 World Youth Day in Cologne – OIK attends to 5,000 young people from all over the world, and helps many of them with visits to famous pilgrimage sites of Germany and Europe
Classical Studies Tours for student groups (art and culture in Greece, Italy and Spain)
2010 OIK’s 30th International Youth Music Festival
January 2011 We expand our office premises to make more room for our growing Asia department with native speakers from Japan, Korea and China
March 2011 OIK launches a brand new website
November 2011 OIK joins forces with a local representative in Brazil
*** to be continued ***
1979: Founding of SKR Studien-Kontakt-Reisen Bonn / Germany
As many Germans were interested in similar programmes abroad, the SKR Studien-Kontakt-Reisen GmbH was founded. To this day, SKR offers worldwide journeys like encounter tours, adventure tours, “Travel with a meaning”, special interest tours, holidays in a monastery, wellness tours, self-development seminars, spiritual journeys to magic places, visits to development projects, and informational tours for groups of professionals.
Many of the SKR programmes were awarded with tourism prizes because of their innovative character. New partners from all parts of the world are always welcome.
Please visit SKR’s website: www.skr.de