About Us

Wisma Jerman Surabaya

A Cooperation between Goethe Institut and the German-Indonesian Chamber of Industry and Commerce

We provide german language courses & exams for all levels of ability A1 – C2

Visit our events in Surabaya. Oktoberfest German-Cinema, Concerts, Wokshops and many more..

Building up a political & economical network in Surabaya / Indonesia

Wisma Jerman, the German House, is located in Surabaya, Indonesia’s second largest city situated on the east coast of Java. Founded in 2011 as an Indonesian foundation, Wisma Jerman is a worldwide unique cooperation between the German Chamber of Commerce and Industry (AHK/EKONID) and the Goethe-Institut Indonesia, supported by the German Embassy. The Wisma Jerman therefore represents the interests of Germany in the region of East Java with its three pillars Economy, Education (language) and Culture. The goal of Wisma Jerman is to inform about the society, economy and culture of Germany, build bridges in terms of language and culture and bring Indonesians and Germans into conversation with each other.

On behalf of the Goethe-Institut Indonesia, the sections Language and Program offer German language classes, conduct the official examinations of the Goethe-Institut and a broad variety of cultural events. As an agent for German language and culture, Wisma Jerman is serving as partner and contact point for German language teachers and learners from schools and universities as well as for German alumni and everybody else who is interested in Germany and its language in the region of East Java.

On behalf of the German-Indonesian Chamber of Industry and Commerce (AHK/EKONID), Wisma Jerman builds up a network of political and economic contacts to promote trade and investment within the region. Starting actively in 2012, networking activities like business gatherings – which look back on a long tradition in Jakarta – have been organized on a constant basis, as well as the annual German EKONID Oktoberfest at the Sheraton Hotel in Surabaya. Tasks of the Wisma Jerman on behalf of EKONID are the representation of German economic interests in East Java, the building up and fostering of a local member and network structure, the implementation of economic promotion events in East Java like delegation visits or trade fair support and the implementation of EKONID´s services for German and Indonesian enterprises.

History of Wisma Jerman

The beginning of Wisma Jerman came, when renowned gamelan-music expert Dr. Rudolf Gramich and other teachers started to provide German language courses in Surabaya in the beginning of the 1960s. The high success of these courses caught the attention of the Goethe Institut, which opened an office in Surabaya in 1964. Due to political turbulences the management was pulled back to Germany, but the institute lasted. Soon afterwards the language courses of the Goethe Institut became very popular – so popular, that in 1966 roughly a thousand-people tried to access the facility to enroll for a language course. The situation did not settle until the police came and cleared the area.

Following the large success, the Goethe Institut Surabaya moved to a new campus in Taman AIS Nasution 15, the building we are in ever since. The compound was provided by the German Embassy in Jakarta to serve as a new language and cultural center in Surabaya.

These prosperous times lasted until 1996, when, after significant budget cuts by the German government, the Goethe Institut had to close the establishment, despite its success. Friends and former employees founded the Goethe-Stiftung-Surabaya soon after to continue the achievements. They began a cooperation with the Goethe Institut to form a Goethe Zentrum in Surabaya. There, language courses and certificates for tests where provided, while the broader cultural exchange could not be offered anymore.

But the Goethe Zentrum was not able to recreate the same success its predecessor enjoyed. The demand for language courses crumbled and new employees where hard to find as well. Therefore, in 2010 the board voted for a fresh start.

In coordination with the German-Indonesian Chamber of Industry and Commerce (EKONID), the Goethe Institut and the German Embassy a new organization was founded: Wisma Jerman, the German House. Under sponsorship of the cofounded “Yayasan Mitra Indonesia-Jerman” foundation, the new centrum quickly flourished. The worldwide unique model of Wisma Jerman combines culture, economy and education in one facility and established itself very fast. The demand for language courses rose again over the last years and the classrooms filled again with students eager to learn about German language and culture. As a representation of German interests in East-Java, Wisma Jerman also organizes business delegations, supports German companies and creates a network to further enhance and strengthen German-Indonesian relationships. In the meanwhile, Wisma Jerman also established itself as an important part of the cultural landscape of Surabaya, organizing events and exhibitions for the public.