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U.S. Embassy in Berlin Welcomes New Exchange Students

New Participants of the Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange Arrived in Berlin with a Warm Welcome, Ready to Start Their Educational Year Abroad

August 28th, 2015

The United States Embassy in Berlin welcomed the new participants of the Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange in Berlin recently. It is a chance for German and American nationals to spend a year in exchange in each other’s countries.

The Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange, known formally as the Parliamentary Sponsorship Program, was initiated in 1983 by the U.S. Congress and the German Bundestag. The aim of the program is to teach the younger generation in both countries the importance of transatlantic friendship, based on shared political and cultural values, and to foster mutual understanding between young Germans and Americans. The PPP allows German and American nationals, a year to live in the other country and to go to school or to complete and internship. The PPP is a full scholarship, the travel and program costs, and insurance are financed by the U.S. Congress and the German Bundestag.

Participants will have a range of experiences, from family life, studying, and cultural exchanges. Students stay with a host family for the year that they are away leading to a strong family relationship. Phillip from Texas may confirms this, he has lived for a year in Berlin. The farewell to his host family is hard for him. "I now have a second family in Germany. Since November I tell Mom and Dad about my host parents. My host family and I are already planning to see us again in the future, perhaps in New York."

Students also have the chance to be mentored by members of the Bundestag. During the last months of the exchange, students have the opportunity to personally get to know "their" members of parliament and to discuss with him. For example, students have been lucky enough to have the opportunity to interview German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Chancellor Merkel admits she is a "big fan" of the exchange program.

Participants also have the chance to be involved with cultural highlights, such as performing or attending concerts at the Federal Chancellery. There is the possibility of performing in a choir or with instruments.

The United States Embassy in Berlin is looking for students or former exchange students to give tips to the newcomers on their experiences. Please visit their Facebook page: US Botschaft Berlin.


References and Links

News from Berlin
Berlin Global Team