By Madeline Wells
Tulsa Community College is proud to have a diverse community with over 150 international students.
The experiences and knowledge that international students contribute to the student body is fundamental to maintaining a global community.
Most international students attend TCC through study abroad programs and student visas.
Thanks to the Cultural Vista’s Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange for Young Professionals (CBYX), Philipp Hummel from Germany is studying abroad in America.
CBYX is a reciprocal scholarship program funded by the U.S. Congress and German Parliament (Bundestag).
Now entering its 34th year, the program annually brings 75 German young professionals between the ages of 18-24 to the United States, and sends 75 college-aged Americans to Germany.
Each participant lives with a host, studies at a local college, and completes a six-month paid internship in his or her career field.
Because CBYX is a unique, small-scale program there are limited spots available.
The application process for CBYX is very competitive. Participants are selected by a German Member of Parliament to be a cultural ambassador to the United States with students coming from all backgrounds and fields across Germany.
“I applied to the program in 2015 and 2016,” said Hummel “I was finally accepted when I applied in spring 2017.”
Hummel arrived in Tulsa in August and will spend the fall 2017 semester at TCC before starting an internship in his field of study.
As an exchange student, Hummel is expected to follow the house rules of his host family, buy a car for transportation, complete 40 hours of community service and create a presentation about his experience during the program.
“The program focuses on independence for the student.” said Dr. Douglas Price, director of Global Learning at TCC.
“The students aren’t coddled by their host family.” Dr. Price connected Hummel with an established host family prior to his arrival in Tulsa.
The hosts open their homes to exchange students for up to 10 months and build lifelong international friendships.
“It’s nice that we have a community partnership with families that are willing to commit several months of their time and money.”
Hosts are encouraged to share their culture with the participant, as well as learn from them. Students are expected to help out with the household and in turn participate in family activities and celebrations.
Hosting an exchange student is a great way to gain new perspectives and build lasting memories. If you are interested in becoming a Host, contact Dr. Price price at firstname.lastname@example.org.
While Hummel has been to Florida, California and New York, he is excited for the opportunity to explore the culture of the South. His favorite place in America is San Francisco.
“Oklahoma is so different, it is very nice,” said Hummel. “American people are way friendlier than Germans.”
Through their involvement with groups and activities on campus, the participants heighten awareness of the benefits of working and studying abroad, specifically for local students who may be interested in our reciprocal exchange to Germany.
The International Student Organization (ISO) at TCC is one great resource for students to connect.
The ISO hosts four – five major events throughout the year as well as weekly meetings.
The organization is open to global and domestic students, so any student is welcomed to attend and get involved.
“Everyone is welcomed!” said international student specialist Thomas Wallis.
Meetings are held every Friday at 3 p.m. at the Southeast Campus, Room 9111.
The CBYX exchange program is a wonderful way to create friendships amongst German and American students.
Hummel has an American counterpart that he is connected with online. They are able to chat and share content about their experiences.
American students are required to complete a two-month intensive German training prior to their semester abroad.
Hummel is fluent in English and has studied the language since the second grade.
This is the first year that Tulsa Community College has participated in the CBYX exchange.
To find out more about the exchange program and how to get involved, contact Dr. Price at email@example.com.