Hunter High grad receives U.S. State Department Scholarship to study in GermanySep 08, 2022 01:01PM ● By Peri Kinder
Briyanna Workman, a West Valley City resident, is one of only 250 high school students in the country to be awarded the prestigious Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange Scholarship for the 2022-23 school year.
The 18-year-old Hunter High grad will spend a year in Germany, living with a host family and attending school. Workman hopes the experience demonstrates her ability to confidently tackle the world. She’s also excited to become fluent in German, possibly moving to the country after she completes the program.
“I’m looking forward to every experience, even the bad ones,” she said. “Each experience will teach me how to be a stronger person, and the hard times will refine me to be better than I was before. I’m excited to make new friends and meet new people. I’m also really excited to start school.”
The CBYX program helps students gain a better understanding of a foreign culture, language and every day life. Workman will have the chance to visit the German Bundestag (German federal parliament) to meet with U.S. and Germany officials. She’ll also explore the country through visits to historical sites.
Workman will live with a host family as she attends school in Germany. Although she’s looking forward to the adventure, she admits to being a little anxious about getting lost, not liking her host family, messing up the language or inadvertently offending a German national.
“With an open mind, I’m sure I can handle the challenges and face my fears,” she said. “Experiencing cultures teaches humans a new tolerance they might not have had before. Plus, learning about new cultures is super fun.”
Not only do American students go abroad to Germany, but German students come to live and study in the U.S. to promote the same level of understanding on both sides of the Atlantic. Since the program started in 1983, more than 27,000 students have taken the opportunity to become educated, global citizens.
“The CBYX students are considered youth ambassadors for the U.S. and people-to-people diplomacy plays an important role in maintaining relationships abroad,” said Katie Pfohl, grant program manager for the Council on International Educational Exchange. “Students go through a rigorous application and interview process, so we are looking for mature, curious, flexible leaders. They develop life-long relationships with their German host families and peers over the course of an academic year, become fluent in German, and learn to see the world in a more global way.”
Workman has been interested in Germany since her best friend moved to the country during elementary school. Workman also has distant family in Germany, so her time in the country will hold a special meaning. To learn more about hosting an international high school exchange student, visit www.ciee.org/host-families.
“As someone who has always been interested in international relations and traveling, I think it’s important for people to experience different cultures to broaden their understanding of the world,” Workman said. “Everyone is different, and the Earth is full of beautiful cultures that might not make a whole lot of sense to the next country over.”λ