Hallo zusammen, and hey to all y’all! My name is Will Thomas, CBYX class of 2019-2020, or as we like to call ourselves—36.PPP.
Becoming a Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange Young Professional
First, a little bit about me. I’m originally from outside Atlanta, Georgia and recently wrapped up my Bachelor’s in International Affairs and German from Georgia Tech. Because I attended an International Baccalaureate middle and high school, I began learning German when I was just 11 years old but never had a chance to visit a German-speaking country, or anywhere else in Europe.
Thankfully, before I finished my last year of university, a professor encouraged me to apply for the CBYX program. Having unsuccessfully applied for the high school version of the program several years ago, I felt much more prepared the second time around.
Here was a true once in a lifetime opportunity—a year in Germany, split between a language school, university semester, and internship, jointly funded by the U.S. and German government. Not only would this be an unbelievable opportunity to reach fluency in the language, but I would also gain unprecedented insight into what attending university and working in Germany was like.
After lots of prep work and a little bit of stress on my part, my interview came and went. But knowing that I couldn’t control what happens next, I then turned my energy back to focusing on graduating college.
That being said, I distinctly remember the Friday I received my acceptance email. As much as I had tried to put the application out of my mind, the CBYX program was something I had been dreaming of for years!
After reading the letter, the first thing I did was call my mom.
Traveling to Germany by Way of Washington, D.C.
After being accepted, it was time to prepare—and it takes a lot of work to pick up your life and move it from one country to another for a full year!
I created a countdown timer for the program on my phone’s homescreen. The program was motivation as I completed my research, wrote my undergrad term papers, and packed up my apartment.
Before I knew it, the day came to fly to D.C. for orientation.
I am now in Germany, and this has only been the start of my adventures. I can’t wait to tell y’all about all the rest!
- On the Ground with CBYX: Will Finds an Internship and Mentor in Germany - February 10, 2020
- Will Gets His Ducks in a Row During CBYX Study Phase in Tübingen - December 18, 2019
- Will Takes His CBYX Language Training Beyond Germany - November 19, 2019