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The Warsaw Voice » Culture » July 30, 2008
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Foreign Cultural Institutes in Warsaw
July 30, 2008   
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Diplomacy is more than just diplomatic protocol, heavily guarded embassies, and limousines with dark windows. Diplomatic posts also have a "human face"-open, friendly and accessible to the general public. This other face of diplomacy is represented by cultural institutes.

All the foreign cultural institutes in Warsaw have been established to conduct "cultural diplomacy." Their general objective is to promote the culture of their country. Individual countries set specific tasks for their missions and design strategies for their work.

British Council, 59 Jerozolimskie Ave., 00-697 Warsaw, tel. (+48) 22 695 59 00, bc.warsaw@britishcouncil.pl, www.britishcouncil.org

Warsaw was one of the first five cities where the British Council opened its foreign missions. The branch in the Polish capital has been in existence since 1938.

The British Council is known primarily for its educational activities, including language courses, libraries and English exams. It also runs a number of cultural, educational and social projects involving Britain and Poland as well as other countries. These projects include the International Young Creative Entrepreneur (IYCE) Awards, a competition for businesspeople aimed at promoting young entrepreneurs from sectors such as music, visual arts, theater, design, film, fashion, entertainment, and media. Another project is Dreams + Teams, an educational and sports program targeted at schools. It includes training for students and teachers to develop young people's organizational skills and improve their English-language skills through contacts with British peers.

The British Council also organizes courses for teachers of English and works toward increased environmental awareness and intercultural dialogue in Europe.

French Institute, (Institute Francais de Varsovie)
38 Senatorska St., 00-095 Warsaw, tel. (+48) 22 505 98 00, www.ifv.pl

The French Institute's activities cover three areas: language teaching, a media library, and culture. The Warsaw offices are the largest French teaching center in Poland, offering general and specialist language courses. The institute's multimedia collection contains 22,000 books, CDs and DVDs and 80 regularly subscribed press titles. The media library also features a center of information on France that collects up-to-date news from France, arranges it by topic (including politics, law, society, cities and regions), and makes the information available to users.

The institute also organizes cultural events to promote the achievements of French artists. These include film reviews, exhibitions, conferences and concerts.

Cervantes Institute (Instituto Cervantes)
22 Nowogrodzka St., 00-511 Warsaw, tel. (+48) 22 501 39 00, varsovia@cervantes.pl, www.cervantes.pl
Warsaw's Cervantes Institute opened in 1991. The institution's main aim is to spread knowledge of the Spanish language and the cultural achievements of all Spanish-speaking countries.

The Cervantes Institute's activity is based on three pillars-education, cultural activities and a network of libraries. The institute runs Spanish courses and enables those interested to obtain Spanish-language certificates. It also organizes courses for teachers of Spanish and promotes the language by organizing various cultural events. The library includes a Spanish-language multimedia collection.

Goethe Institute (Goethe-Institut Warschau)
13A Chmielna St., 00-021 Warsaw, tel. (+48) 22 505 90 00, info@warschau.goethe.org, www.goethe.de/warschau

The Goethe Institute in Warsaw was established in 1990. It aims to build friendly relations and understanding between Poles and Germans by promoting the German language, disseminating information about Germany, and facilitating dialogue and cooperation in culture and education.

The institute runs German courses, organizes exams for those seeking German-language certificates and offers access to a multimedia collection. It also offers information about German artists and holds various informational events, conferences and debates.

Other institutes

Bulgarian Institute of Culture
33/35 Ujazdowskie Ave., 00-540 Warsaw, tel. (+48) 22 620 25 20, www.bikpolska.pl

Danish Institute of Culture
31/37 Piękna St., 00-677 Warsaw, tel. (+48) 22 621 11 20, d-k-i@rubikon.net.pl, www.dik.org.pl

Slovak Institute
12/14a Krzywe Koło, 00-270 Warsaw, tel. (+48) 22 635 77 74, www.instytutslowacki.pl

Hungarian Institute of Culture
80 Marszałkowska St., 00-517 Warsaw, tel. (+48) 629 32 43 / 44, hunginst@hunginst.pl.pl, www. magyarintezet.hu/cities

Italian Institute (Istituto Italiano di Cultura di Varsavia)
72 Marszałkowska St., 00-545 Warsaw, tel. (+48) 22 628 06 10, italcult@waw.pdi.net, www.iicvarsavia.esteri.it

Magdalena Błaszczyk
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