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Mitchell Roessler Selected for 2009–2010 Congress–Bundestag Program

Mitchell Roessler has been selected for the Congress-Bundestag program, which includes a full scholarship for a year of study and interning in Germany during academic year 2009-2010. Lana Rings, Head of the German Section, recently interviewed him about his upcoming year in Germany.

What are the most important aspects to you about this opportunity?
You get the understanding of the German culture. Up until now I've not experienced it. You get to work; you get to go to school; you get immersed in the language. There is a lot of opportunity.

How will the year progress?
You attend language school the first two months. Everybody has to do it, and German experience is not required to do the program. After that you get placed with a host family. During that placement you do a semester at a German university; you get a month off to experience Christmas, the New Year, and other Germany holidays; and then you get an internship so you can get work experience. After that you get two months for traveling or for whatever you want.

How are you prepared for the year abroad?
About 3 days before you actually leave for Germany, you go to Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., to receive cultural preparation and to meet other participants. That is paid for by the program as well. Then all participants leave as a group, and we go to to Germany on the same flight.

What are some of your goals?
Fluency in German, of course. I would love to be able to make long-term German friends and business contacts. I also hope to gain a fuller understanding of their culture, so I don't have to ask, "How do they do this?"

What would you say to fellow students who might be interested in this program?
Apply, even though you think you don't have the qualifications. I didn't think I had them. Getting accepted was a complete surprise. They're looking for well-rounded students who know what they want out of life. I'd say, if you want to do it, go for it.
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