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First West Michigan student receives DAAD ambassador honor

Posted on November 05, 2010

Grand Valley State University undergraduate Nicole Summers was chosen as one of 35 students from the U.S. and Canada for a German ambassador program.

Summers, a Clarkston, Mich. native, is in her senior year of studies as a German and psychology major. She is the first ambassador from Grand Valley, and West Michigan, to be named a DAAD young ambassador through the Deutscher Akademischer Austausch Dienst, also known as the German Academic Exchange Service. 

DAAD, an independent organization of higher education institutions in Germany, provides students with information and opportunities for international research and study. Each university can nominate one undergraduate student who then submits an essay for their consideration. The DAAD board then chooses 35 students to participate in the program.

Summers, who was president of the Grand Valley German Club for two years, an active participant in study abroad fairs, and a vibrant student interested in other cultures, studied abroad in Munich, Germany, from March to July. She participated in a German government-funded psychological research project that provided statistical evidence to support changes in German legislation to allow fathers more custody rights.

As a DAAD ambassador, Summers traveled to New York for a three-day seminar in August. She and fellow ambassadors received training on creating scholarship and study abroad options for students within their own universities. “We learned how to act as an aid for other students,” said Summers. “I feel like my German club experience, along with studying abroad, has helped me greatly.”

As an ambassador at Grand Valley, Summers’ work includes creating awareness for study abroad programs and fairs, promoting the German Club, hosting international film nights and hosting other international events on campus.
For more information on the DAAD program visit

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