The External Programme is aimed at young university teachers and young civil servants from the ministry of foreign affairs or other ministries. The External Programme has a purely academic character. Candidates are selected on the basis of their academic and professional merits, and they participate in the programme in their personal capacity. The list of countries whose nationals can participate is established by the Curatorium of the Academy following prior consultations with the host country and pursuant to the latter’s wishes.
To remain efficient the programme usually adresses no more than 40 participants, half of them coming from the host country and the other half from countries in the region. The Secretary-General, on behalf of the Curatorium, selects the regional participants while local participants are selected by the host country.
The External Programme extends over a period of 8 days. The official opening takes place on Friday evening. A “get-acquainted weekend” follows on Saturday and Sunday. Lectures, meals and touristic visits are organised in order to break the ice and allow informal contacts among participants and professors. Thus, lectures can start on Monday in a more relaxed atmosphere. They are organised all day long from Monday to Friday. The official closing session is scheduled for the following Friday evening.