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German Exchange Student Making the Most of Semester at BSC

  • Created
    Thursday, February 02 2012
  • Created by
    Jim Nelson/Media Relations - (304) 327-4103

Andreas Panzer(Bluefield)—Like many college students, Andreas Panzer occasionally thinks about life in his hometown. However, unlike most college students, Andreas would have to travel more than 4000 miles to visit his home. He is a freshman at Bluefield State College, participating in the Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange (CBYX) for Young Professionals, a year-long, federally-funded student exchange program where selected American students can study and work in Germany, and selected German students study and work in the United States. The CBYX program places students with participating American colleges that offer academic programs that match their academic interests.

The 22-year old from Bamberg, Germany in the northern part of Bavaria applied for admission into the CBYX program after completing 10 years in Germany's public education system, then serving a three year apprenticeship. He also completed a paid internship at a German newspaper, working on systems integration to help expand the paper's subscriber base through a multimedia approach.

At Bluefield State College, Andreas is majoring in computer science. His adjustment to the United States has been facilitated by the focus in German public education upon learning English. "I studied English for six years," he said. At BSC, he's taking courses in computer programming, languages, and networking, while also working in the College's Instructional Technology Center.

During his time in the region, Andreas is staying with Bluefield attorney John Feuchtenberger. "He is a wonderful host—home-cooked meals nearly every night," Andreas added.

"I talk to my family on Skype every two-to-three weeks," he commented. "I tell them that Bluefield has beautiful mountains, much like the mountains in Bavaria." Upon completion of his year in the CBYX program, he plans to return to Germany to continue his studies and work.

The Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange for Young Professionals program is now in 28th year. It is endorsed by US Congress and German parliament, and has helped 3500+ young professionals (including several Bluefield State College students) to trade countries with counterparts—living, studying and working for a year in another nation.