LBW welcomes exchange student through CBYX

Published 2:29 am Saturday, August 18, 2018

For the fifth consecutive year, a German student has arrived in Covington County to enroll in classes at LBW Community College through the Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange (CBYX) program.

“We are very grateful for the community support shown with all our previous students,” said LBWCC President Dr. Herb Riedel. “This is a very rewarding experience for everyone involved, not only the student. My family hosted a student one year and we had only positive experiences.”

Teresa Holly, 21, is originally from a small village in Western Germany and spent the last two years in Cologne, a city of approximately one million, near the Rhine River, where she was involved in a two-year apprenticeship in a fine art auction house.

“There I was able to work in different departments: arts and crafts, Asian art, jewelry, art of the 15th to 19th century, and modern or contemporary art. I also worked in the accounting office. For me as an art lover, it was a perfect decision. The combination in an auction house of art and economy gives you a deep insight in the art market.”

With the two-year commitment completed, she is excited to be able to live in and learn about the United States. She arrived in Covington County on Aug. 10, 2018, and finds the area fascinating, she said.

“I love it here. It’s wonderful because all the people are so gracious, and I love living at the lake,” said Holly, whose host family resides near Gantt Lake.

The water is especially inviting with her background serving as a member of the German life guard community.

With the CBYX program, students attend classes for a semester and work in the community the remaining time in the United States. CBYX is a highly-selective program through the German government with participants carefully screened and final selection made by the elected state representative of the participant.

She learned about the program through her last school, she said.

“I thought it would be great to come into the United States and get to know the people better, the way of living, to study, and to be able to work. I want to learn more about your perspective of the world.”

She plans to take an art appreciation class, an American history class, and perhaps Aikido since she wants to remain physically active.

Hobbies include skiing and snowboarding, however, she is obsessed with books, she said. She is also interested in politics, and enjoys traveling and meeting new people.

“I’m really looking forward to getting to know everyone,” she said. “I think there is a lot to explore here.”

Once she is settled and classes are underway, she said perhaps she could visit local civic groups or other organizations to talk about the CBYX program.

“I would like to encourage American students to go into the program because there is an opportunity to live in Germany for one year,” she said.

For more information, call Dr. Arlene Davis, associate dean of institutional advancement, at 334-881-2390.