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Paramus High School Senior, Anna Williams, winner of 2015-2016 Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange Scholarship

anna-bundestagOn July 10th, Paramus High School student Anna Williams returned from Frankfurt, Germany, where she spent her entire sophomore year.  Anna was one of 250 students nationwide to receive the prestigious Congress-Bundstag Youth Exchange scholarship.  Funded by the U.S. Congress and German government, the award is valued at about $20,000, although no dollar value can be placed on this amazing opportunity for personal and academic growth.

Along with the other scholarship winners, Anna began the program last September in Washington D.C. with a visit to the U.S. State Department, the German Embassy, and a meeting with U.S. representatives.  They were then flown to Germany, each to live with a host family and attend a German high school for the entire year.  Students started the year attending an intensive, three-week German-language course, for four hours every day after school!  Many special activities followed throughout the year, with students acting as special youth ambassadors.  Along with the other CBYX scholars, Anna met in Berlin with members of the German Parliament and U.S. Congress, and had the opportunity to speak personally with Germany’s Bundestag President Lammert. They also attended a special meeting with diplomats at the U.S. Embassy to discuss career options.

During her stay, Anna was able to go on many excursions throughout the Germany. She enjoyed meeting and traveling with many other exchange students from all around the world.  Anna says this experience has helped to make her much more open-minded and able to understand and appreciate different points of view.

Anna will be sharing her pictures and insights in all of the PHS German classes.  It was an unforgettable, life-changing experience for Anna, who now has a “family” in Germany, and looks forward to going back to visit. Of course, she is now fluent in German! Her high school resume will impress college and university admissions officers, and she may even choose to apply to a German university, where tuition is free!



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