Cultural Vistas Blog

Baker and Two-Time Alumnus Founds Refugee Organization To Help His Neighbors

When Daniel Schöning moved to downtown Iserlohn, Germany with his wife, he never thought that he would end up founding an organization to help hundreds of refugees. But as he settled into his new home directly across from a refugee camp, over time, he got to know his neighbors.

Mayor Martin J Walsh Welcoming Communities Transatlantic Exchange Boston
Daniel (left) meets the mayor of Boston, Martin J. Walsh, as part of his trip to the United States for Welcoming Communities Transatlantic Exchange

Read more

5 Things I Learned from Moving to Germany for a Year

Like all good recent college grads, I was a bit lost. Should I take a risk? Build something new? Find a job? Travel the world? Weeks before graduation, these questions literally kept me up at night. Luckily, I got to answer ‘yes’ to all of them.

I never really thought I had what it took to move to another country. (You know, the really adventurous world-traveler types?) But with some encouragement from my German professor, I applied for the  Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange for Young Professionals (CBYX), a year-long fellowship in Germany. And with even more encouragement from my entrepreneurship professor, I accepted the offer.

CBYX Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange for Young Professionals Ben Conard
Ben Conard poses at the Reichstag in Berlin, Germany

Read more

How to Win Our Photo Contest and a Trip to NYC

Our Transformed by Travel photo contest is now open to all current and former exchange participants and alumni. And this year, we’re sending the grand prize winner on a four day trip to New York City (airfare ✈ included)!

So what kind of photos will win such a high-stakes reward? We recently sat down with our panel of judges, all former photo contest finalists, to explain their perspectives on the judging criteria, describe the most important elements of travel photography, and give advice on what may give participants an edge in the competition.

“Glowing Santa Barbara” by Matthias Gass—the winner of the 2016 Transformed By Travel Contest.

Read more

Panel Discusses American Business Skills and the New French Economy

On May 31, as the Trump administration was preparing to impose tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from the European Union, and France’s finance minister was promising that the EU would respond in kind, the Coalition of American Business Skills held a discussion co-organized by Cultural Vistas and the Mason Enterprise Center at George Mason University on “American Business Skills and the New French Economy” with a panel including former members of both U.S. and French administrations.

Jennifer Clinton, CEO of Cultural Vistas, noted the timeliness of the event—which is part of an ongoing series of roundtables put on by the Coalition highlighting the economic value and cultural benefits of exposing top talent from around the world to the American workplace through immersive internships and training programs.

Read more

Five Self Care Tips For Your Time Abroad

Moving overseas to an unfamiliar environment is an exciting experience, but it can also be a challenging one. It’s totally normal to go through a range of emotions during your time away from home, granted the journey is unique for everyone.

While being surrounded by a new culture can be stressful and overwhelming at times, there are steps you can take and resources Cultural Vistas offers to help ease the transition.

At Cultural Vistas, our commitment to ensuring the health and well-being of our participants led us to partner with Talkspace, a global online therapy and counseling platform, to provide individuals taking part in our international programs with free, on-demand access to counseling services as they navigate life away from home.

Below are some tips and resources to help you adjust to living in a new environment.

Read more