Two Grand Valley alumni selected for prestigious international program
Two recent Grand Valley State University alumni have been named Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange fellows to Germany.
The Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange for Young Professionals (CBYX YPP) is a bilateral exchange program co-sponsored by the U.S. Department of State and the German Bundestag (Parliament)/Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit GmbH.
The Grand Valley alumni who were selected for the highly competitive program were:
Alan Carter, ’19, an advertising and public relations/marketing major with a minor in international business. He is from Royal Oak, Michigan and is studying in Osnabrück, Germany.
Cullin Flynn, ’17, a Spanish major with applied linguistics and natural resources management minors. He is from Fowlerville, Michigan and studied in Tübingen, Germany.
Each year, 75 German and 75 American college students or recent graduates are named CBYX Fellows. CBYX participants spend a full year in each other’s country, studying, interning and living with host families in a language and cultural immersion program. The program includes three phases: intensive language training phase (eight weeks), one semester of study at a German university, technical or professional school and concludes with a semester-long paid internship with a German non-profit, NGO, corporation or public institution.
CBYX is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and Germany's Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit GmbH. The program is open to candidates from all majors and intended career fields.
Carter said that his biggest challenge during the program was taking two German classes at his university with no English support, but said the experience has been fun. He has joined the university choir and volunteers at a community organization that helps refugees integrate into the area. In Carter's winter semester, he will intern with a local organization and continue his intensive German studies.
Flynn completed his German language school in Radolfzell, a small city near the Austrian and Swiss borders. He interned at Radkutsche, a cargo bicycle production facility and retailer based in Mössingen, as a sales associate selling cargo bikes and promoting inner-city logistics, including participation in European trade shows, which ultimately led to his position with an energy logistics firm. During his time in Germany, Flynn explored nature and cuisine, specifically foraging for food like blackberries, apples and plums all while "perfecting his sauerkraut recipe."
The CBYX application cycle for academic year 2020/21 is open until December 1, 2019. The program is open to students and alumni ages 18-24. Current students and recent alumni interested in spending the next academic year studying and interning in Germany should contact Elizabeth Harrington Lambert, Director of the Office of Fellowships, for more information at [email protected]
The Frederik Meijer Office of Fellowships supports interested Grand Valley undergraduate and graduate students and alumni in pursuing major national and international award opportunities, providing information and direct support throughout the competitive application processes.
For more information or to schedule an appointment, visit www.gvsu.edu/fellowships. For more information about CBYX, visit https://culturalvistas.org/programs/abroad/congress-bundestag-youth-exchange-young-professionals.