News from Berlin

Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange Continues to Foster Citizen Diplomacy Between Germany and the US

May 16th, 2014
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News from Berlin - The parliamentary partnership program between the German Bundestag and the United States Congress continues to go from strength to strength. For over 30 years, the Bundestag and Congress have given students and young professionals the opportunity to broaden their horizons and career prospects by studying abroad. The Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange (CBYX) program is for driven high school students who want to experience a different culture whilst also learning a language through a full immersion experience. American students can learn about German culture first-hand by living with a host family and attending a German secondary school. German students attend college and also complete a vocationally oriented internship during their one-year stay. In 2015, the CBYX program will enable 275 young students and 75 young professionals from Germany to experience American culture and life first-hand.

As young ambassadors, these scholars help to promote better relations between the two countries. Organized jointly by both parliaments, the objective is to offer an opportunity for young people to familiarize and inform themselves about their host country from a social, historical and economic perspective while furthering German-US relations. Members of Congress and MPs from the Bundestag sponsor the participants during their stay, with the parliaments incurring all expenses including college tuition, accommodation with a host family, travel, insurance and any costs incurred in preparation for the program. The German Society for International Cooperation (GIZ) is in charge of implementing the Program for young German professionals.

Former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has said, “A testament to our relationship with Germany, and our mutual commitment to public diplomacy... CBYX has been so successful that we chose it as a model for other youth exchange programs”. Senator Clinton has also pointed to the CBYX program as an important tool of American diplomacy. Furthermore, German Bundestag President Norbert Lammert has said that, “This exchange program promotes a reciprocal understanding and effectively contributes not only to an understanding of the country, but also the personal, human relationships between Germany and the US”. Overall, participants will gain new outlooks on global current affairs and the social, economic and political life in both nations. Students should gain a greater sense of independence, self-empowerment and global citizenry. Applications for the 2015 exchange due to start in August this year. For more information, please visit:

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