April 14, 2011 — University of Virginia fourth-year student A.J. Johnson has been selected to participate in the Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange for Young Professionals, a yearlong, federally funded fellowship for study and work in Germany.
Johnson, from Richmond, is a biology major in the College of Arts & Sciences. He says he is thrilled about the opportunity. "I am excited about receiving the fellowship because the program will not only allow me to study my field of interest, plant biology and ecology, but will also help me find an internship working in this field or a related field in Germany," he said.
"Hopefully, the experience in Germany will not only afford me a glimpse of German life, but also insight into my interests from a different perspective and background."
Johnson is one of 75 participants selected from among more than 500 applicants for the fellowship program. Since 1984, more than 1,500 Americans have been awarded this opportunity to gain cultural, theoretical and practical work experience in Germany, and Johnson will be participating in the 28th year of the program.
In the past five years, two other U.Va. students have participated in the program: Chipley Jones Bader, who participated in 2008-09 and now lives in Hamburg, and Nichole Alling, a current participant who is also living in Hamburg.
While in Germany, Johnson will attend a two-month intensive German language course, study at a German university or professional school for four months and complete a five-month internship with a German company in his career field. Participants are placed throughout Germany, and have the opportunity to learn about everyday German life from a variety of perspectives.
Conceived and supported by members of the United States Congress and the German parliament, the Bundestag, the Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange for Young Professionals program is supported by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the U.S. Department of State under the authority of the Fulbright-Hays Act. Participants come from nearly every career field, and from all over the United States.
The program is designed primarily for young adults in business, technical, engineering, vocational and agricultural fields, though candidates in all career fields are encouraged to apply. Interested applicants can visit www.CBYX.info for information.
While American participants like Johnson will experience life in Germany, young German professionals will live in the United States during the upcoming academic year. Anyone interested in becoming involved in the program or hosting a German participant can email firstname.lastname@example.org.