Jaiprakash and Pedraza Flores Earn Germany Study Abroad Scholarships


Arturo Pedraza, junior, is excited to be studying abroad in Germany to strengthen his German skills.

Elaine Liu, Co-Print Managing Editor

Studying abroad provides students the opportunity to expand  their world perspective, learn a new language and invest in their futures. For high school students, one of the most prestigious study abroad programs in Germany includes the Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange (CBYX), a collaboration between the U.S. government and the German Bundestag (Parliament) to strengthen ties between U.S. and German youth, improve their skills and build connections between each other’s culture, society, history and politics. Junior Aswath Jaiprakash will embark on an academic year abroad in Germany under the CBYX program in 2023-2024, acting as an ambassador for the United States.

Jaiprakash learned about the program online through social media and decided to proceed with the application process in October, which involved GPA requirements, recommendation letters, extracurriculars, and many essays. After moving on to the semifinal round, Jaiprakash traveled to one of the five allotted locations in the country for an interview. The program chose Jaiprakash as one of the 100 participants to study abroad in Germany next academic year, resulting in an estimated 2-percent acceptance rate.

“This entire program is for people who want to get into the political science major in the future and people who are interested in governance and politics,” said Jaiprakash. “This program gives you a Department of State membership, which means that you have access to a broad alumni program, which inspired me to join this program in the first place because I get connections, and it sets a precedent for my future.”

Jaiprakash has participated in Tompkins’s German program for three years, obtaining a broad knowledge of German culture and growing his interest in the country. Although he will not know which German city he will reside in until July, Jaiprakash does know he will intern under the United Nations at their German-American embassy. He hopes that while working with congressional leaders, they can better American governance with German governance as an exchange between politics and mutually benefit the two countries in the future.

I’m like an American ambassador, which means I’m transferring my culture towards the German people. And I’m taking in their culture. I want to see how that works out,” said Jaiprakash.

Another opportunity that allows students to study abroad in Germany is the American Association of Teachers of German (AATG) German Summer Study Program, a study trip scholarship where students live in Germany for three weeks with a host family, visit a German high school (Gesamtschule), and travel throughout the country– all paid for by the AATG. Junior Arturo Pedraza Flores earned this scholarship by placing in the 99th percentile on the National German Exam, convincing the judges during a personal interview and obtaining a high score on a second set of exams testing his language proficiency (STAMP test).

“I look forward to having a more in-depth look at German culture, lifestyle and job prospects,” said Pedraza Flores. “What I look forward to the most is this opportunity for me to go somewhere far away and live without the guise of my parents, which will be small steps toward my adulthood and getting to be more independent.”

Pedraza will stay in Heidelberg, Germany, two weeks before visiting the major cities for the remainder of his trip. Currently, he wishes to pursue engineering in the future, admiring the work ethic of German culture, as he believes the people of German-speaking countries, such as Germany, Austria and Switzerland, tend to have successful entrepreneurship and a strong spirit for a challenge. Pedraza believes his passion for German culture and language ultimately motivated the judges to choose him.

“So the interview process had three judges interview me with a series of questions both assessing my knowledge of German the language itself, as well as assessing how much I wanted to go into Germany… I know my German, and I think that really convinced them. I also think my ambition, my determination to study or work in Germany in the future, as well as teach German to other American kids and endorse and encourage German education in the United States– that’s what really drove them to pick me,” said Pedraza Flores.