We are pleased to announce Marie Nissen, a YFU-placed, Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange (CBYX) student from Germany, hosted in Herndon, Virginia, as the February 2018 CBYX Participant of the Month.
From the onset of Marie’s experience in the US, she has fully embraced her multiple exchange experience roles: as a student, volunteer, and community member. Just after a week into her year in the United States, she surpassed the required service hours for CBYX students through volunteering at the county fair -- she even found a way of sharing a bit of Germany with Americans, by giving the newly hatched chicks German names. Marie enjoys helping others, and she has set a goal of completing over 100 hours of volunteer work in her host community. She looks forward to tutoring local students in the German language, as well as serving at an animal shelter, a local clinic for veterans, and retirement home.
Marie’s impact on her local community extends to her involvement at Herndon High School. Aside from being an outstanding student, Marie is developing photojournalism and interviewing skills through the yearbook club. She also has participated in the environmental club and Homecoming activities. Marie also elected to take German at her school so that she could gain a better understanding of how Americans learn to speak the language. Her German teacher appreciates having Marie in class to help bring life to the nuances of the German language and culture.
Aside from service work and academic related activities, Marie has taken an active role in her host family and participates in their Kung Fu school. Before coming on CBYX, she had been a boxer, which she also continues in her host community at a local UFC gym. Marie’s host mom sums it up well by saying “in terms of a positive, enthusiastic, friendly, and gracious role model of her home country, you can’t find a better representative than Marie”.
U.S. Department of State
Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs