A five-member delegation from the German Parliament visited Denver on April 30, as part of their four-city U.S. tour to gather information and to promote the Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange programs (CBYX).
Arriving from San Francisco, the delegation scheduled a full day of meetings in Denver. The first stop was the University of Denver where they met with Christopher Robert Hill, Dean of the Josef Korbel School of International Studies and former U.S. Ambassador to Iraq, and spoke with Reed Beall, the university’s Study Abroad Program Coordinator. The delegation also held a round-table with the Dean and faculty members to discuss the current state of German and European political affairs.
The CBYX, known in Germany as the Parlamentarisches Patenschafts-Programm (PPP), has a component for secondary school students between the ages of 15 and 18 and for full-time vocational students from 18 to 19 years of age. It offers German and American students a fully-funded academic year abroad living with host families, attending school and participating in community life. No prior German language skills are required for American students.
Before their departure to Philadelphia, the next city on their tour, the delegation hosted a luncheon for German CBYX exchange students presently attending high school in the Denver area. At the luncheon, the delegation had the opportunity to gain first-hand knowledge from both students and host parents about their experience with the program. They were able also able to take away invaluable feedback about what was working with the program and what improvements could be made.
The CBYX was established in 1983 to celebrate the 300th anniversary of German settlement of the United States. The program, providing a full scholarship for an academic year, seeks to strengthen ties between the younger generations of both countries and improve career skills through formal study and work experience as well as foster awareness of each other’s culture, society, history and politics. It has been renewed by both legislative bodies since its inception.
The original version of this article appeared in the German Missions in the United States website.