WINTERVILLE—Recent Pitt Community College graduate John Tate has been selected as one of 75 American students to participate in the prestigious Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange (CBYX) program later this year.
Tate, who completed an associate degree in biotechnology in the fall, will leave for Germany July 31 to take part in the yearlong program, which was established by the U.S. Congress and German Bundestag to promote cultural understanding between the people of the United States and Germany.
“I feel that the CBYX program will help me develop professionally and culturally,” said Tate. “It will challenge me with obstacles I’ve never faced before, such as being immersed in a country where the native language is not English. I also believe it will give me connections that will be vital to future opportunities.”
Since graduating from PCC in December, the 21-year-old Tate has worked full-time as a lab assistant at Greenville’s Metrics, Inc. He says he eventually plans to apply to N.C. Central University’s BRITE program to pursue a bachelor’s degree in pharmaceutical sciences.
But the Winterville resident’s next step in life will be the first phase CBYX training – eight weeks of studying the German language at a special school in Germany. The goal is to prepare CBYX participants, like Tate, for the remainder of their studies by helping them improve their German speaking and writing skills as quickly as possible.
As part of the second study phase that begins in October, Tate will relocate to his permanent CBYX placement location to immerse himself in German daily life and culture through studying and community service projects.
The final five months of the program for Tate will involve interning in a German-speaking work environment – ideally at a company or organization directly related to his career field.
Though the CBYX program will not be Tate’s first study abroad experience – he received a scholarship to participate in a PCC-sponsored trip to Europe last summer – he says he is both anxious and excited about the prospect of living abroad for a year.
“My emotions are more or less all over the place,” he said. “I’m ecstatic about going but nervous about the uncertainties, like not knowing what type of internship I will find or where I will be placed in Germany. I’m also going to miss my friends and family.”
The son of Winterville’s Marina Tate and Greenville’s John Tate, the 2011 graduate of South Central High School played an active role on the PCC campus as a student. In addition to assisting with New Student Orientation two summers in a row, he held several positions with the college’s Student Government Association, including vice president, and was selected for the Student Leadership Development Program.
The CBYX program Tate will take part in is funded by the German Bundestag and U.S. Congress. Each year, it provides 150 young professionals (75 American and 75 German) the opportunity for cultural exchange through time spent in each others’ countries, studying, interning, and living with host families.
According to the CBYX website, more than 1,600 Americans and 2,100 Germans have participated in the program in its 30-year history. CBYX alumni hail from all 50 U.S. state and 16 German Bundesländer and represent a wide range of career fields.