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CFCC welcomes German exchange students

Moritz and Jana

From left to right are Jana and Moritz, CFCC German exchange students.

Last year, Cape Fear Community College was selected as one of three colleges in North Carolina to participate in the Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange (CBYX) for Young Professionals program. The program is designed to support cultural exchange between the United States and Germany. Participating students live with a host family in the Wilmington area while attending CFCC full time for the fall semester then completing a paid internship in the spring. CFCC’s first international students in the CBYX program are Jana and Moritz.

“We are so lucky to participate in this program and for Jana and Moritz to be a part of CFCC and the Wilmington community this year,” shares Sr. Director of Admissions Jeremy Gibbons. “The CBYX program creates opportunities for cultural exchange, both in and out of the classroom.”

Before embarking on their spring internships, Jana and Moritz answered some questions about their experience with CFCC so far.

PLEASE TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT YOURSELVES:

MORITZ: I am from Bavaria which is in South Germany. I live in a city called Bayreuth. Bayreuth is a similar size to Wilmington. I have an architectural drafting degree in Germany. I am a soccer referee and enjoy paragliding in the Bavarian mountains.

JANA: I am from Ahaus in West Germany, which is very close to the Netherlands. I am a digital media designer. I also love boating and dancing.

DID YOU KNOW EACH OTHER IN GERMANY?

JANA: No. We met through CBYX in virtual meetings.

MORITZ: Then about four weeks before coming to the United States, we met in person.

WHAT COURSES HAVE YOU TAKEN AT CFCC?

JANA: Here at CFCC, I chose design classes: graphic design, digital design, and digital photography. I have also been able to take a boat handling course.

MORITZ: The Fellowship provides us with 12 credit hours. Six of the credit hours have to be in some kind of professional field and the other six credit hours can be our choice. For my professional classes, I am taking engineering graphics, public speaking, and international business. I am also taking the boat handling and seamanship class.

HAVE YOU BEEN INVOLVED IN ANY STUDENT ACTIVITIES?

JANA: I joined the cheerleading team. Since I am not here for all the athletic seasons, I am not on the official roster. I am an alternate if somebody cannot cheer. I am also a part of the International Club.

MORITZ: Another part of the CBYX program is that we have to complete 40 volunteer hours to support the local community. So, we both volunteer at the Wilson Center. I am also involved with the International Club. In October, we organized a little German day here at CFCC. We set up a table in the entrance hall of the Union Station Building. We talked to other students about the CBYX program and about Germany. We had an open discussion in the auditorium to answer questions from interested people who may want to go to Germany through the CBYX program.

WHAT MADE YOU DECIDE TO STUDY IN THE UNITED STATES?

MORITZ: I’ve always wanted to visit America. It has a lot to offer. The CBYX program gives you a full experience studying in the U.S. and interning with an American company. We also get political training and intercultural training. I want to do something different from drafting, so I have arranged an internship in Washington, D.C. I will be working for a congressman, talking with his constituents, and giving tours of the Capitol Building.

JANA: I always wanted to study abroad, and I prefer the USA. In my profession in Germany, I worked with international clients and since the program expects you to work, I can intern with an American company and I’m already here to work with them.

WHAT’S DIFFERENT BETWEEN CFCC AND YOUR GERMAN COLLEGE?

MORITZ: First of all, here in the United States they grade your attendance. In Germany, you can come whenever you want. In the U.S., you have a lot of homework that is graded each and every week. We have homework in Germany, but it isn’t always graded. German instructors don’t tell you when you have a test or quiz, so you have to be prepared for each lesson.

WHAT DO YOU LIKE ABOUT THE U.S. THAT IS NOT AVAILABLE IN GERMANY?

JANA: I love that you have music playing in the grocery stores. German stores do not play music. It’s very quiet.

MORITZ: But, German supermarket carts are much better. Here, only the two front wheels move and one is always broken. In Germany, all four wheels move.

If you would like to learn more about the exchange program or would like to apply to study abroad in Germany, visit the CBYX website , or contact CFCC’s Program Coordinator, senior director of admissions Jeremy Gibbons, at jgibbons@cfcc.edu or 910-362-7054 .

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