Author Topic: Whose HS student wants a FULL scholarship (CBYX) to study in Germany for a year?  (Read 521 times)

gatortator

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1. WHAT IS IT?

For 30+ years, the US State Department has been offering a full scholarship  for a year of study in Germany for US citizens (age 15-18).  It's called the Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange Program (CBYX) and details can be found here.

http://www.usagermanyscholarship.org

TIMELIME
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Fall 2018: Application becomes available online
December 2018 - January 2019: Application deadline (dates to be confirmed upon application launch)
Spring 2019: Finalists and Alternates announced

2. WHO IS ELIGIBLE?

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Previous German language study is not a requirement and all levels of language ability are encouraged to apply.

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A U.S. citizen
Between the ages of 15 years and 18 years and 6 months at the start of the program
A current high school student at the time of application, with a GPA of 3.0 or higher on a 4.0 scale

there is a also a conflict of interest clause that may affect eligibility, as detailed in the link below
http://www.usagermanyscholarship.org/app/#Eligibility%20Policy

3. WHAT COSTS ARE COVERED BY THE SCHOLARSHIP?

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Round-trip travel between Washington, D.C. and your placement city in Germany
Tuition and academic materials
In-country support
Cultural excursions
Pre-departure and re-entry orientation
Room and board
Secondary medical benefits

4. WHAT COSTS ARE NOT COVERED?
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Transportation between your home community and Washington, D.C. for the departure and re-entry orientations
Any costs associated with obtaining a passport
Spending money while in Germany ($300 per month is suggested for personal expenses.)

I am an alumna of the scholarhip program, though it was 20+ years ago.  I am happy to answer questions as best as I can, though please realize the administration aspects of the program have changed since I was a participant.  Basics on my experience.

1.  ~300 US students won the scholarship my exchange year.  I traveled with ASSE, though how the exchange organizations is chosen has changed since I won.

2.  I applied a a HS junior, and traveled as a HS senior (age 17).  I had prior German language study though ~ 1/2 of my group (so 30 of 60 students) had never studied German.

3.  When I traveled with ASSE / CBYX, we received
 a 5 day orientation in Wash. DC prior to arriving in Germany
 a 10 day orientation camp in a small town in Germany prior to meeting our host family
 a 1 week cultural trip to Berlin 1/2 through the program
 a 1 week cultural travel to Bonn/Cologne near the end of the program.
 a one day visit to my host state's capital
 a one afternoon outing to meet my host area's Bundestag(German parliament) representative
 a local advisor in Germany who organized ~3 outings through the year for area exchange students.
 monthly bus/tram card for travel to school.
 50% Bahn card for reduced train travel, that I also could use for personal use (i.e. non program travel)
 medical insurance in Germany (though I never had to use it, so I don't know full extent of coverage).

4.  What I( well, really my parents) had to pay

 my passport.  can't remember if my visa cost anything, my memory fails me.
 spending money, including all travel expenses on vacations with my host family. Recommendation during my exchange year was ~$200/month (mid 90s).  That covered my portion on host family vacations to Spain, Paris and Austria as well as normal shopping/food/drink with friends.
travel to and from DC from my hometown. 


« Last Edit: September 14, 2017, 08:59:17 AM by gatortator »

Spiffy

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Re: Whose HS student wants a FULL scholarship to study in Germany for a year?
« Reply #1 on: September 13, 2017, 12:31:40 PM »
Thanks for this info...I did not know about this and my 15 yo is studying German now and might be interested in this!

kontrakode

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Re: Whose HS student wants a FULL scholarship to study in Germany for a year?
« Reply #2 on: September 13, 2017, 05:35:49 PM »
Also worth mentioning that most public universities in Germany don't charge tuition fees (even to international students) and provide courses taught in English. You only need to cover your living expenses, and pay an amenities fee (a few hundred Euro per year) - see: https://www.topuniversities.com/student-info/student-finance/how-much-does-it-cost-study-germany

thedigitalone

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Re: Whose HS student wants a FULL scholarship to study in Germany for a year?
« Reply #3 on: September 13, 2017, 08:58:02 PM »
Wow, my wife did this back in '89, we just ran the idea past our 16yr old and she is quite interested.

What an amazing chain of events that a random posting on a finance forum reminded me of my wife's stories from a decade before we met and might lead to our kid having a similar experience.

Thanks for posting this, you've made my day!

« Last Edit: September 13, 2017, 09:01:46 PM by thedigitalone »

secondcor521

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Re: Whose HS student wants a FULL scholarship to study in Germany for a year?
« Reply #4 on: September 13, 2017, 10:06:20 PM »
OK, so one of my kids meets the basic criteria.  Is it competitive?  How does my kid increase their chances of getting selected to participate?
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gatortator

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Re: Whose HS student wants a FULL scholarship to study in Germany for a year?
« Reply #5 on: September 14, 2017, 08:53:18 AM »
Wow, my wife did this back in '89, we just ran the idea past our 16yr old and she is quite interested.

What an amazing chain of events that a random posting on a finance forum reminded me of my wife's stories from a decade before we met and might lead to our kid having a similar experience.

Thanks for posting this, you've made my day!

Your comment put a smile a my face too-Thanks!  How cool it is to find another CBYX alum on this forum.  And '89- what a year to do the CBYX -- to be at the doorstep of history.  I can only imagine what the Berlin trip was like that year.  Tell your wife "Hi" from an internet stranger and your daughter best of luck! 

gatortator

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Re: Whose HS student wants a FULL scholarship to study in Germany for a year?
« Reply #6 on: September 14, 2017, 10:50:19 AM »
  Is it competitive? 

It's difficult to quantify.  It has also changed since I was a participant, hence my original disclaimer.

The number of scholarships has dropped from 300 (mid-90s) to 250 (2017-18)  due to reduced funding.  I don't know when that change happened.  The CBYX is also now administered regionally by 5 well-renowned international exchange organizations.  50 scholarships are awarded in each region.

Per the CBYX website, the regions are :

AFS:  (Northeast) CT, DE, ME, MD, MA, NH, NJ, NY, OH, PA, RI, VT, DC
ASSE: (Northwest) AK, HI, ID, MT, ND, NV, OR, SD, WA, WY, and Northern CA
CIEE:  (Southeast) AL, AR, FL, GA, KY, LA, MS, NC, SC, TN, VA, WV, and Puerto Rico
FLAG: (Southwest) AZ, CO, KS, NM, OK, TX, UT and Southern CA
YFU: (Midwest) IA, IL, IN, MI, MN, MO, NE, and WI

The East coast regions are supposedly more competitive because of a greater application pool. However, I can't verify with numbers. 

There is a an explosion of postings on reddit, college confidential, Facebook groups, nytimes blogs and student blogs all attempting to describe the application process.  Someone even wrote an ebook about it.  Wow...  it was overwhelming combing through these links trying to find a answer of true acceptance rates, but in the end the only numbers I found are based on rumor, not fact.  So I have no numbers.

The application is very similar to applying for college.  Sections on the application include basic personal information, teacher recommendations, and several essays.   Semifinalist interviews include both individual and group interviews. 

My best advice:  can they give an honest, meaningful answer to the question "Why do you want to go to Germany?". 

secondcor521

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Thanks for the detailed reply!
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