Americas

The US and German Government Goodwill Fellowship is Going Strong

The US organization, Cultural Vistas and the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit GmbH has directed CBYX for Young Professionals for over 30 years

November 01st, 2017
Bethany Codding, CD News

32nd year CBYX participants

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October is an amazing month in Germany; the leaves are changing colors, the celebration of German Unity Day and the opportunity to apply for the Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange Program for Young Professionals (CBYX) or the german version: Parlamentarisches Patenschafts-Programm (PPP) is now available.

CBYX is sponsored in the U.S. by the Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, under the authority of the Fulbright-Hays Act of 1961, as amended. Cultural Vistas has administered CBYX for Young Professionals for over 30 years, together with its German partner organization, the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit GmbH. (culturalvistas.org)

This fellowship program is a significant contributor to the growth of cultural diplomacy between the United States and Germany. Cultural diplomacy can be defined as the exchanging of ideas, values and traditions, which is exactly what this program accomplishes. The participants are approximately 75 young adults with varying backgrounds from across the US, scattered throughout Germany to participate in two months of intensive language courses, a semester at a university and then a five-month internship in their field of study - all of this conducted in German. Flip that around and you have about 75 German young adults traveling throughout the United States doing a very similar exchange.

The aim of the CBYX and PPP program is to strengthen relationships between nations as well as between individuals. Nations consist of individuals and this program creates the opportunity for young adults to interact and develop relationships with other people they would not have otherwise met. During this process there is the transferring of ideas, while participating in a different cultures. Returning back to his or her home country, the participant brings back these new ideas and experience to create a better understanding of their host country as well.

This good-will program has fostered an environment that encourages learning about a new culture, people and traditions of other nations. As an alumna of the CBYX program, I have had personal experience participating in many events, seminars and lectures where I learned more about the German government, education and work system, and this has provided me with new experiences, ideas and friends in the process.

From the beginning, the program begins with the explanation that we are ambassadors for our country, during the course of your year in Germany. This program focuses on good-will, fellowship, comradery and participation in new environments while supporting your own background. This is what cultural diplomacy is and this is what is needed in the world.

References:

Cultural Diplomacy News