Meet Will, Your Guide to the CBYX Program to Germany

Hallo zusammen, and hey to all y’all! My name is Will Thomas, CBYX class of 2019-2020, or as we like to call ourselves—36.PPP.

The 2019-2020 class of CBYX—aka 36.PPP
The CBYX program is the Parlamentarisches PatenschaftsProgramm in German. We are the 36th class—hence 36.PPP. Above, I’m the one with my hands up in the front row.

Becoming a Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange Young Professional

First, a little bit about me. I’m originally from outside Atlanta, Georgia and recently wrapped up my Bachelor’s in International Affairs and German from Georgia Tech. Because I attended an International Baccalaureate middle and high school,  I began learning German when I was just 11 years old but never had a chance to visit a German-speaking country, or anywhere else in Europe.

Thankfully, before I finished my last year of university, a professor encouraged me to apply for the CBYX program. Having unsuccessfully applied for the high school version of the program several years ago, I felt much more prepared the second time around.

Here was a true once in a lifetime opportunity—a year in Germany, split between a language school, university semester, and internship, jointly funded by the U.S. and German government. Not only would this be an unbelievable opportunity to reach fluency in the language, but I would also gain unprecedented insight into what attending university and working in Germany was like.

After lots of prep work and a little bit of stress on my part, my interview came and went. But knowing that I couldn’t control what happens next, I then turned my energy back to focusing on graduating college.

I had already perfected the ‘hands-up’ photo pose in college.

That being said, I distinctly remember the Friday I received my acceptance email. As much as I had tried to put the application out of my mind, the CBYX program was something I had been dreaming of for years!

After reading the letter, the first thing I did was call my mom.

Traveling to Germany by Way of Washington, D.C.

After being accepted, it was time to prepare—and it takes a lot of work to pick up your life and move it from one country to another for a full year!

I created a countdown timer for the program on my phone’s homescreen. The program was motivation as I completed my research, wrote my undergrad term papers, and packed up my apartment.

Before I knew it, the day came to fly to D.C. for orientation.

I am now in Germany, and this has only been the start of my adventures. I can’t wait to tell y’all about all the rest!

Will Thomas is a participant of the 36th class of the Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange for Young Professionals.
You’ll be hearing more from me.

Learn More About the CBYX Program to Germany

Will Thomas

Ever since he started learning German at age 11, Will has wanted to visit a German-speaking country. His wish recently came true thanks to the Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange for Young Professionals. He is a recent graduate of Georgia Tech with a Bachelor's in International Affairs and German.

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