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The International Sustainability Academy is a 9-month program for the support of committed people in their projects and research into the implementation of global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The program is aimed at people who are already involved in activities in connection with SDGs. These could be students, career starters, Start-up founders or entrepreneurs. Those taking part come from countries that are on the so-called DAC list (Development Assistance Committee of the OECD). The ISA is a project of the non-profit organization Schutzgemeinschaft Deutscher Wald Landesverband Hamburg e. V. (SDW).

All those taking part will receive a certificate to be able to verify the specialist knowledge and intercultural experience they have acquired, and are part of a digital Alumni network.


The start of the 3rd ISA program was originally planned to be March 4th, 2021 in Hamburg. Due to the current Corona pandemic the start of the third program will be postponed. Following today’s information (May 2020), the program is likely to start mid-May 2021 in Hamburg, i.e. 15 May 2021 to 15 February 2022, 8 months in Hamburg and 1 months project implementation in the home country. The program takes place in WÄLDERHAUS in Hamburg / Wilhelmsburg, Germany.


This is a scholarship, which includes the costs of living in Germany. For participation in the program and accommodation there are no costs incurred to the scholarship-holder. ISA covers the following cost:

  • € 1,300 per month expenses (includes own research and as applicable, excursions and internships)

  • Health insurance

  • The accommodation (private, furnished flat-share room (ca. 12m²) with shared bathroom and kitchen)

  • The return flight (Economy Class (max. three stopovers, flight from the home country airport) (airport transfer in the home country may be granted under justified circumstances)

  • Airport transfer in Hamburg with public transport

  • Monthly ticket for the use of public transport in Hamburg

  • Costs of group excursions


An application is only possible online using the template on this website:

Closing date for applications process is 7 months before the beginning of the respective program course. Please read the Selection process for detailed information. Selection is based on the following requirements and the dimensions deduced from them:

  • INTELLECTUAL ABILITIES – Specialist qualification – general education/ open-mindedness and interest/ creativity;

  • VALUE ORIENTATION / RESPONSIBILITY – standpoint and tolerance – independent thinking

  • GENERAL- environment policy commitment – volunteer activities taking into account own artistic or scientific performance

  • PERSONALITY – motivation – potential – personal presentation – social competence


  • Scholarship holders must come from the countries on the DAC list

  • English knowledge of be at least B1

  • Have a at least secondary school degree and relevant professional experience 

  • The scholarship holders* must already be working or researching on a project in their home country that is ideally sustainable or a potential sustainable concept. What is important is a visible benefit for the home country.

  • The project must be assigned to one or more sustainability goals (SDG ́s).

  • There is no age limit for the application.

Please note that If you are selected for the second round, you will have to upload the following application documents as PDFs. We would like to recommend that you start promptly with a detailed description of the project and its potential implementation, possibly apply for a new passport, and clarify the necessary approval from the employer:

  • Proof of training, work experience, diploma, bachelor's degree, master's degree or equivalent training

  • Passport copy. 

  • Letter of motivation, 1,000 characters

  • 3-4-page curriculum vitae with date and signature, formulated in full

  • English language certificate (min. B1) (not applicable for native speakers and those who completed their higher degree in English language 

  • Detailed project description following the ISA template 

  • Authorization for a study leave (authorization from the employer)

The selection is based on the following requirements and the dimensions derived from them:

  1. PROJECT IDEA AND PLANNED IMPLEMENTATION: potential impact in the home country, stakeholders for implementation in the home country, technical qualification or experience for the development and implementation of the project

  2. INTELECTUAL CAPABILITIES: - Professional qualifications - English language skills, general education/open-mindedness - open-mindedness and interest / creativity

  3. VALUE ORIENTATION / RESPONSIBILITY - Viewpoint and Acceptance of following a non-discrimination practice regardless of sex, country of origin, color of skin, religion, sexual identity (LGBT), disability or age  - Independent Thinking

  4. GENERAL ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY COMMITMENT - Voluntary work taking into account artificial or scientifically oriented personal contributions

  5. PERSONALITY - Motivation - Potentials - Appearance - Social competence


Eva Eckl  ISA Secretariat  Tel.:  040 / 302 156 540 Vladimire Mahah ISA Project Assistant  Tel.:  040 / 302 156 540

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