Baruch College Graduate Going to Germany Through the Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange Program
June 1, 2022
Maleeka Zainab (’22) is one of 75 Americans chosen for the Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange (CBYX) for Young Professionals, a yearlong, work-study fellowship in Germany.
Zainab, who majored in public affairs at the Marxe School of Public and International Affairs with a minor in political science, becomes the fourth Baruch student to win the CBYX for Young Professionals fellowship.
The recent graduate believes this fellowship will help her attain her career goals.
“I am looking to work in public policy and having an international perspective, specifically a German one, will be highly beneficial.”
Encouragement to apply for the study abroad opportunity came from Valeria Hymas, deputy director of Baruch’s Office of National and Prestigious Fellowships Advising, who spoke to her class, as well as a Baruch alumnus who participated in the program.
“I was lucky to have program alum Sebastian Franco as a supervisor for my internship at the House of Representatives Committee on Appropriations for summer of 2021,” explains Zainab. “That way, I had a wealth of knowledge about the program and knew it was the right fit for me regarding my personal and professional goals post-graduation.”
Besides adding the CBYX award to her resume, Zainab was also named a 2022-23 NYC Urban Fellow.
An Immersive International Experience
The CBYX for Young Professionals is a dynamic and immersive exchange program that provides young Americans with an understanding of everyday life, education, and professional training in Germany.
The program, which is funded by the German Bundestag and U.S. Department of State, begins in July and consists of three phases: two months of intensive German language training, one semester of classroom instruction at a German university or college of applied sciences, and a three- to five-month internship in each participant’s career field.
“Being an immigrant, I love the feeling of being in a completely new space and rediscovering myself through that process,” Zainab said. “Having spent the last two years in the pandemic really inspired me to see the world. Study abroad was something I was really looking forward to in college.”
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