The Impact of Study Abroad

Madison Weinman, CISB German Track

Madison Weinman

All Certificate of International Studies in Business (CISB) students have to study abroad and I was lucky enough to study abroad for a year with the Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange Program. CBYX sends 250 Americans to Germany every year to experience German culture, social life, and language. CBYX has influenced and changed my life in so many wonderful ways. Living in Germany gave me a completely new perspective–it was a 180 from my American life. The experience made me into a more adaptable person, which is something that I have carried with me since coming back to the US.

I learned how to speak German during my year abroad. Going in, I had no German experience at all. I owe my rapid progress to my German host family–they were insistent that we speak German as much as possible. My German classes and peers in school were also so helpful in my language learning journey. Upon return to the US, I was able to communicate with my grandma in German, which was awesome. She grew up in Schwerin, Germany and moved to the US when she was 17. No one else in my family speaks German, so the fact that we could converse in her native language made her so happy and allowed us to bond over Germany.

CBYX also influenced my college experience in the best possible way. I’m graduating this spring with a degree in finance and my Certificate of International Studies in Business with a focus in German. CISB has surrounded me with many like-minded people, making my learning experience unforgettable. I have learned so much about different countries, cultures, and people through this program, and it was an amazing addition to my undergrad studies.

Perhaps the most impactful part of CBYX was the friendships I made that I know will be lifelong due to our shared experiences. I have consistently met up with my CBYX friends at least 6-7 times per year and we always have a great time reliving memories and talking about Germany. Doing CBYX was one of the best decisions of my life, and it has helped shape my life more than anything else that I have done.