(Re)Visit: Germany

At Cultural Vistas, immersive international experiences are everything; even after they’re over, we continue to learn from them. While new international experiences are not possible right now, we can still learn from our past experiences abroad.

Over the next two weeks, Cultural Vistas will be sharing photos from our alumni through our (Re)Visit series. Each day, we will focus on a different country or U.S. state that transformed them. These photos stay the same, but our perspectives continue to change.

Thank you to our alumni for allowing us to highlight their stunning photography. We hope these photos inspire you to reflect, remember, and #ReVisit your own experiences abroad.


Today, we #ReVISIT Germany.

Germany is one of our most popular and longest standing destinations for our programs and partnerships. We have grown stronger connections here than anywhere else through programs like the Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange for Young Professionals and the Robert Bosch Foundation Fellowship Program, among others.

For this reason, in 2013 we opened our first international office in the Berlin.

Cultural Vistas’ origins date back to the 1950s, supporting exchanges between young professionals between the United States and Europe. Now, of course, our exchanges are worldwide. 

While we can’t visit or convene our alumni, colleagues, partners and friends right now, here are some photos that remind us of our transformative experiences in this beautiful country.

Conquering new heights in Berchtesgaden, Germany 

Chris Perry
Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange for Young Professionals (2017)


Chris Perry
Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange for Young Professionals (2017)

Soccer in the snow

Kai Dambach
Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange for Young Professionals (2016)

“Germany is simply obsessed with soccer. They’ll even play in a blizzard. Freiburg pushed through the first half onslaught to win.”

Snowmen at a soccer game

Kai Dambach
Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange for Young Professionals (2016)

Cleaning the field

Kai Dambach
Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange for Young Professionals (2016)

View of Frankfurt

Madison Dierks
Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange for Young Professionals (2017)

“I got to live in Germany for a year. I got to live in an apartment and with a host family. While I was transformed by travel, so where my friends and family. I had several people visit throughout my year and I always took them to the Main Tower in Frankfurt. The view was always slightly different but managed to impress everyone nonetheless. This photo shows some of Frankfurt’s iconic skyline and captures my second home.”

Hamburg with family

Darcy Hansen
Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange for Young Professionals (1999)

“I lived in Hamburg for a year as part of CBYX almost 20 years ago. When I just went back to visit my host family, the city had changed in a lot of ways with the new Elbphilharmonie and the build-up harbor. Also, the weather was absolutely perfect and not so cold and rainy as I remember it. Amazing how an old Hansestadt can evolve so much in a short time.”


Ratkotzbrücke. Sachsen, Germany

Chris Perry
Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange for Young Professionals (2017)


Broadening perspectives

Jessie Johnson
Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange for Young Professionals (2017)


Köln, Germany

Cassidy May Carson
Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange for Young Professionals (2016)

“I had always seen the cathedral and bridge in pictures as I spent my years in German class. My breath was absolutely taken away when I realized that I was standing in the exact spot where the several pictures that hung in my German classes at school had been taken. I will forever be apart of the pictures of the same place that will be taken for years to come.”


Berlin wall

Susanne Ollmann
Robert Bosch Foundation Fellowship Program (1999)

“My sister, brother, daughter, and I visited the remaining section of the Berlin Wall. Not only was the artwork thought-provoking and imaginative – as is this painting of Mt Fuji on the other side of the Wall – but we were all struck by the knowledge that, for the people living in East Berlin, their *world* ended there. Visas to visit the West could be exceedingly hard to get, and anyone attempting to climb over the Wall risked getting shot. This experience crystallized my daughter’s understanding that freedom is not a given and must be protected. It also underscored my determination to show my daughter as much of this world that I can. We are, in fact, embarking upon a one-year, round-the-world travel adventure. Japan will be one of our stops, and we may, indeed, climb Mt Fuji for real.”


The top of Zugspitze

Madeline Maxwell
Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange for Young Professionals (2016)

“After beginning our day with thunderstorms, improper hiking apparel, broken umbrellas, and soaked, pre-made sandwiches. We decided to continue our hike up the tallest peak in Germany-Zugspitze. Clouds parted as we all raced up the mountain and the sunlight led us to the top. An amazing feeling came across me on that day. It’s amazing how friendships can transform outlooks on unexpected situations, motivate you to keep trying and appreciate life. Traveling with new, lifelong friends transformed me on that day on top of Zugspitze.”


Munich Christmas Market

Ethan Higgins
Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange for Young Professionals (2016)

“Spending a year in Germany, a year away from home, can become emotionally challenging – especially around the holidays. Wandering through the crowded streets and seeing all of the happy faces in Weihnachtsmärkte sprinkled throughout the German cities made me realize that with the right mental attitude you don’t have to leave home when you travel. Bring all of your memories with you, add in the new adventures, and evolve as a human being.”

The River Surfer

Rabia Hameed
Internships Abroad (2015)

“Always run after what you want, but know when to stop chasing. It’s important to recognize in every aspect of life when to strategically exit and when to try again – as the river surfer does in this photograph. He recognizes that the tide has won and that he must surrender, swim away, and try again if his body allows. And that is how I have been transformed by travel – I have learned when to be persistent yet strategic. I’ve learned to use my energy optimally. I’ve learned to be more in tune with nature and myself. I’ve learned when to fight for what I want.”


Are you remembering, reflecting, and (re)visiting your own experiences abroad? Share your story with us.