Bethany Shumaker (Civil Engineering, BS’ 12) is spending a year in Germany through the Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange for Young Professionals (CBYX). Here are some of the experiences she’s had:
The CBYX Program has allowed me to participate in both a study abroad and a co-op abroad experience over the course of the year. Additionally, CBYX includes some formal language training to help make an easy transition into day-to-day life in a new language.
I was placed in Dresden, Germany, a city of stunning baroque architecture with many national parks in the surrounding area. The most famous of which is the region known as the Saxon Switzerland, which crosses the border into the Czech Republic. I found myself there frequently on the weekends, and always at a new location. The land bridge in this photo is the largest natural sandstone arch in Europe, and was only an hour away from the city of Dresden.
In February I began my internship at Dr. Dittrich & Partner Hydro-Consult. This has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. I have had the opportunity to work, in German, on many projects concerning hydrology, environmental protection, and water rights. While working in various wetland regions I have had the opportunity to see much of the German landscape that most tourists miss, such as the beautiful forests and mires of Pressel, where we were restoring drained wetlands through the construction of small dams and the removal of drainage ditches. In these photos, I am checking in on the construction of one of these dams, and measuring ground water levels.
CBYX has provided me with an opportunity not only to work and learn abroad, but to be fully immersed in the German culture and create relationships that will last a lifetime.