Chris Lau '12 wins a year of work, study in Germany

Award includes classes in a German university, six-month internship

Christopher Lau '12

Christopher Lau ’12 has been accepted into the 2012-2013 Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange for Young Professionals, one of 75 U.S. students chosen from an applicant pool of over 500 for the study-and-work-abroad fellowship.

The year-long program provides orientation seminars in Washington and Frankfurt, two months of intensive language study, four months of classes at a German university and six months of work or internship in Germany.

“I’ve always been interested in Germany and decided to take German my senior year,” Lau says. “I wanted to get myself to Germany after graduation, looked around online, found this opportunity and miraculously I got in.” He plans on going to law school in the future and hopes to secure an internship in Germany related to immigration or LGBT law.

Lau says he received help with the application process from Michelle Duncan, a lecturer in German, and Associate Professor Sabine von Mering, director of the Center for German and European Studies. He says he had a general interest in immigration because his parents immigrated to this country from southeast Asia, and that his interest in immigrants in Europe was sparked by a class with Professor of Politics Jytte Klausen, a specialist in European integration.

Now entering its 29th year, the Congress-Bundestag program is made possible through the support of the United States Congress and the German Bundestag.  Participants are between the ages of 18 and 24 at the start of the program, and must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents. Previous knowledge of German is not required but is strongly recommended. The program is open to candidates in all fields.

As this is a reciprocal exchange, 75 Germans will be living throughout the United States.

The deadline to apply for the 2013-2014 program is in December 2012. Interested students may contact Professor von Mering.

Professor von Mering said the deadline for students to apply for the 2013-14 program is December 2012, and that interested students may contact her for more information.

"Chris' example shows that you don't need to be fluent in German to be a successful applicant,” she said. “I hope his success will inspire many more Brandeis students to apply. It's a wonderful opportunity."


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