COD Student Selected for CBYX Program in Germany

By Mike McKissack

College of DuPage student Saif Sarvana will spend the next year studying and working in Germany as part of the Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange for Young Professionals (CBYX) program. Chosen from over 600 applicants, Sarvana is one of only 75 students in the U.S. selected for the participation in this yearlong, federally funded fellowship for study and work in Germany.

Sarvana, who is currently earning an A.A. degree at College of DuPage, plans to transfer to a four-year university to earn bachelor's degrees in accounting and finance. He said that the CBYX program will not only afford him the opportunity to fulfill a childhood dream, it will also be particularly beneficial preparation for entry into the workforce of today.

"Ever since I was a young child, I've had the desire to travel and see the world because of my interests in other nations and cultures," said Sarvana. "Also, with the world globalizing at unprecedented rates, programs like these are very important for students aspiring to go into the field of business."

While in Germany, Sarvana will attend a two-month intensive German Language course located in Radolfzell, followed by a nine-month stay in the state of Rhineland-Palatinate, where he will attend a German university or professional school for four months and complete a five-month internship in his career field with a German company. Sarvana added that he also intends to travel extensively around Europe and develop friendships and networking opportunities during his stay.

Sarvana, who was born in Chicago and currently resides in Naperville, says that the benefits from the program will be multi-faceted.

"I think the CBYX program will help me acquire another perspective of the world and another perspective of current events," he said. "I hope to become fluent in German, and I plan to broaden my horizons and get out of my comfort zone. Furthermore, I think spending a year abroad will help me creatively solve problems and become more independent and mature."

In 2012, College of DuPage was ranked second nationally for the number of community college students participating in study abroad programs by the Institute for International Education. The college has offered many successful international trips, including language immersion programs in Costa Rica, France, Japan and Spain, as well as excursions to more than 70 countries.

For more information about Field and Experiential and Study Abroad programs at College of DuPage, call (630) 942-2356 or email

CBYX is a reciprocal scholarship program funded by the German Parliament and the U.S. Congress that annually provides 75 American and 75 German young professionals the opportunity to spend one year living, studying and interning in each other's countries. The program, now in its 31st year, is designed primarily for young adults in business, STEM (scientific, technical, engineering and mathematical), agricultural and vocational fields, though candidates in all areas of study are encouraged to apply. Each year, College of DuPage sponsors two German students through this program.

Click here for more information about the CBYX program.