Danil Vishniakov: Selected from thousands for study abroad program in Germany

By Hawkeye Staff

Junior Danil Vishniakov was one of 75 students across the United States to receive the Congress-Budenstag Youth Exchange Program (CBYX) scholarship to live in Germany for the 2011-2012 academic school year. The scholarship is worth $20,000 and covers the cost of round trip airfare, tuition, insurance and housing.

Since 1983, the German Bundestag and the U.S. Congress have funded CBYX in an effort to “prepare young people for living in a global society” and to give students the opportunity to experience German life and culture. Students partake in a two-month intensive German language program and attend a German high school.

Finalists for the scholarship are chosen based on their academic merit, flexibility and curiosity about German life. To be eligible, a student has to have GPA of 3.0 or better and must be between 15 and 18 years of age.

Students will leave between the months of July and September for one academic year. Once in Germany, they will not be allowed to leave and people will not be allowed to come visit. Vishiakov said, “The basic thing that they want is to have us assimilate into the German society to fully be acknowledged of what Germany is.”
Getting accepted into the CBYX is no easy feat. Vishniakov first filled out an application, which would determine whether or not he could apply for the full scholarship. Once he was accepted, the real work began.

Aside from the six 1,000 word mandatory essays, Vishniakov also had to write another paper addressing seven questions regarding his hobbies and interests.
The extensive four page medical form requires him to get Tetanus shots and Hepatitis B shots before leaving the country.
Principal Greg Schwab and a teacher had to fill out a form explaining why Vishniakov would be a good candidate. Vishniakov also had to create a collage including a picture of him and his daily life, as well as write a letter to his unknown host family.

Following the first application process Vishniakov met with a state representative who determined whether or not he was eligible. The state representative nominated Vishniakov.
Groups of the nominees met together in discussion sessions. Two weeks later, Vishniakov was informed that he had received the $20,000 scholarship.