Fulbright Diversity Initiative allows German students to experience UK

International competence has a very important role in today’s society; whether to apply for a job or just to be able to understand different cultures that surround you in our mixed world. Europe especially pays great attention to intercultural competence and exchange of the people to prevent misunderstandings and to create a more peaceful world. Therefore, the Fulbright scholarship offers young students a chance to study in other countries to remove prejudices on both sides.

This is the reason why 25 students from Germany came here to “Discover the USA.”

UK is an important partner of that cultural program because every year the Fulbright Diversity Initiative sends German students to study here for five weeks and represent Germany. On the other hand, UK students have the chance to visit Germany every summer to gain new experiences and language skills.

What is special about the group from Germany is their diversity, because none of us is a real German. We immigrated to Germany from different countries like Palestine, Morocco, Turkey, Kazakhstan, Poland, Russia, Ukraine, China, Spain, Congo, Romania and others. For this reason we not only represent Germany, but also our native country.

“Fulbright is amazing. Every one of the 25 students speaks at least 3 languages, so multiplied by 25 there are 75 cultures combined under one umbrella. “It’s like a rainbow,” says Waqar, 22, UK student and a friend of the group.

The aim of the Fulbright program is not only to give the German students the chance to experience the American culture and see the differences in the educational systems, but also to show the students here at UK that Germany and Europe are melting points and to get rid of stereotypes.

Fulbright paid and planned the whole trip for us, so we attend a communication class especially for us and we could choose another class to take part in, and had the opportunity to take the ‘Test of English as a Foreign Language’ exam.

But studying is not everything. On weekends we went on trips to places like Natural Bridge, Louisville, UK football games, a Kentucky horse farm, Cincinnati for a baseball game and the Underground Railroad museum.

Ahmad Miari, 20, a German Fulbright student 2011, said, “I am so grateful for this scholarship. Fulbright gives all young people with immigration background the chance to come to America and study here without paying anything. I am very proud to call myself a Fulbright student.”