Members of German Bundestag Visit the Windy City
Enlarge image Angelika Pendzich-von Winter, Bernd Scheelen, Dagmar Freitag, Mazi Cunha, Tim Swope and Alexander Ulrich (© Germany.info/chicago) Imagine you are 15 to 17 years old and have the opportunity to live with a host family in the United States. Add the challenge and experience of being a Congress Bundestag Youth Exchange (CBYX) scholar, and therefore, an ambassador of your country to your host community, school, and family. Let this experience simmer for a couple of months and add four members of the German Bundestag who travel to the US to meet with you and the other CBYX participants. Doesn't this sound exciting?
Enlarge image CBYX participants and host parents (© Germany.info/chicago) A large number of CBYX participants from the Midwest were invited to Chicago on April 20, 2012, to meet Mr. Bartholomäus Kalb, Ms. Dagmar Freitag, Mr. Bernd Scheelen, and Mr. Alexander Ulrich, all members of the German Bundestag who made a special trip to the Windy City. These members of the German Bundestag sought discussions with both CBYX participants and their host parents. Before this overall very positive CBYX meeting took place, the Members of Parliament met with the President and CEO of the German American Chamber of Commerce of the Midwest, representatives of the Goethe-Institut Chicago, and the founder and executive director of the exchange organization „Foreign Link Around the Globe“.
Enlarge image Discussion with CBYX host parents (© Germany.info/chicago) The Congress Bundestag Youth Exchange enables young Americans and Germans to spend a year in the other country, to experience first-hand a different culture and to broaden their horizons. The benefits of the program are not only felt by the young exchange participants, but also by their host families who learn about the other country and who through their willingness to host a foreign exchange student, are substantial to the program. Founded in 1983 in celebration of the 300th anniversary of German immigration to the US by both the US Congress and the German Bundestag, the program is unique and has allowed more then ten thousand participants to be immersed in this lively transatlantic friendship.