German Student from Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange Begins at Webster

Sep. 3, 2013

German Student from Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange Begins at Webster

ST. LOUIS, September 3, 2013 – Andreas Fuchs may as well be a double major. The German exchange student is on the Webster Groves campus to study Information Technology, but he also plans on spending a lot of time studying American culture too.

“This is my biggest goal. I just want to try to collect as many experiences as possible and do as much as I can. There is no one thing in particular that I would like to do or see,” said Fuchs. “I am excited about being a part of the Webster culture.”

Fuchs is at Webster through a new arrangement with the Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange (CBYX), an exchange organization that supports students from both sides of the Atlantic, Germany and the U.S. and for both high school and college students to travel to the U.S. or Germany. He is the first student to come to Webster through the program.

“Webster is known for its international connections, and we are very happy to host a student from this program who is here to study and work, as well as serve as a cultural ambassador. We hope this is only the first of more international students to come to Webster through CBYX and other exchange organizations,” said Paula Hanssen, associate professor with the International Languages and Cultures Department.  In the past, several students of German and a second major, such as International Relations, have gone to Germany with the CBYX program from Webster. Hanssen worked closely with Webster alum Rachel Bryant, who majored in German and American Studies, at CBYX, with the Vice Provost's office and the International Student office to bring Fuchs to Webster this year.

Fuchs, 20, lives in southern Germany and is from Niederstotzingen, a small town near the Black Forest.  He arrived in New York City two weeks ago for a three-day orientation with the 75 program participants who were coming from Germany to stay throughout the U.S. He then travelled by train to Chicago, where he met his host family, the Castlemans, who live in Webster Groves just blocks away from the University. They toured Chicago for several days and then went on a fishing trip.  

“I am looking forward to getting to know my classmates and teachers,” said Fuchs, who is taking IT classes, as well as Public Relations and Audio Productions.  “So far, my experience has been amazing.”

In Germany, Fuchs was a part of a three-year apprenticeship where he would work in his chosen field of Information Technology for six weeks and then be in classes for two weeks.  Participants had the opportunity to choose from a variety of different apprenticeships from shipbuilding to marketing to industrial clerks.  When Fuchs returns to Germany, he hopes to continue his education at a university.

With the support of the CBYX, Fuchs will study for a semester at Webster and then he will have to find a job or paid internship in his field for the spring semester.

Hanssen is hopeful that Fuchs will also teach others as much about his culture as he will learn about American culture.

“Students in CBYX are always eager to learn about the American way of life,” Hanssen said. “But we plan on having Andreas speak to both our classes as well as visit local high schools to talk about studying languages and studying abroad.”