Erick Romero, a second-year political science major at Lone Star College-North Harris, couldn’t believe his eyes when the letter came in the mail. “I literally jumped up and down and was yelling when I opened it,” the student remembered.
The letter, from the Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange for Young Professionals (CBYX), informed Romero he had been chosen out of 630 candidates for a year-long, federally-funded fellowship to live and work in Germany.
While in Germany, Romero will attend a two-month intensive German language course, study at a German university for four months and work in a five-month internship with a German company in his career field.
The LSC-North Harris student attended high school at the Carl Wunsche Academy in Spring, and graduated in 2007. Previously, he had attended Waltrip High School in Houston.
“I chose LSC-North Harris because it was the best choice for me,” Romero explained. “It offered quality classes in my field and was more in line with my budget than other schools.”
His chosen field – political science – has been a life-long interest, as has his love of languages. “I was born in Mexico City, so I am fluent in Spanish,” Romero explained. “I became an American citizen several years ago.”
He also became fluent in German after studying the language for three years at Waltrip and said he wants to incorporate both his interest in languages and his love of political science into a career in the field of diplomatic service.
Romero, in winning the CBYX fellowship, follows in the footsteps of 1,500 other Americans who have been awarded this opportunity to gain cultural and practical experiences in Germany since the program was instituted in 1984, conceived and supported by members of the U.S. Congress and the German Parliament (Bundestag).
Romero said he had worked in the LSC-North Harris Counseling Office and Counselor Erin DeSouza had encouraged him to apply for the fellowship. “I was accepted into the application process and it all went from there, including forwarding letters of recommendation and filling out forms,” the student explained. “It was a long process but well worth it.”
He leaves Houston in late July and will attend a seminar in Washington, D.C. before heading for Germany. “I’m excited,” he admitted, “since I’ve never been out of this country aside from trips to visit relatives in Mexico.”
Once he completes the fellowship, Romero said he plans to return to Houston to complete his political science degree at the University of Houston. “I’d also like to get an internship in the U.S., somewhere in the political field, perhaps with a state senator or representative so I will be able to round out my experiences.”
Romero, who is 20, encourages other students to experience the world while they’re young. “This program is designed for young adults in business, technical, engineering, vocational and agricultural fields, although candidates in all career fields between the ages of 18 and 24 are encouraged to apply,” he said. Deadline for the 2010-2011 program is December, 2010 and interested applicants can visit www.CBYX.info for more information.
The program is a reciprocal program, where young German professionals will be exchanged for the American students to live in this country during the coming academic year. German participants study at U.S. colleges in the fall and work at local businesses in the spring, all while living with an American host family throughout the year. Families, colleges and businesses in the Houston area interested in hosting a German student should contact CBYX at firstname.lastname@example.org.
With more than 62,000 students in credit classes in spring 2010, Lone Star College System is the second largest and the fastest-growing community college system in Texas and the largest institution of higher education in the Houston area. LSCS consists of five colleges including LSC-CyFair, LSC-Kingwood, LSC-Montgomery, LSC-North Harris, and LSC-Tomball, six centers, LSC-University Park, LSC-University Center at Montgomery, LSC-University Center at University Park, Lone Star Corporate College, and LSC-Online. To learn more visit LoneStar.edu.
Erick_Romero.jpg Caption: LSC-North Harris Student Erick Romero will be spending the next year studying and working in Germany as a participant in the Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange for Young Professionals.
May 7, 2010