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W&L Junior Named Young Ambassador of German Academic Exchange Service

Matthew Carl, a junior at Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Virginia, has been selected as a participant in the German Academic Exchange Service’s Young Ambassadors Program for 2015-16.

The Young Ambassadors Program honors students who have studied, researched or interned in Germany during the previous academic year by naming them liaisons for the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) in the U.S. and Canada. Carl spent summer 2014 at the Universität Bayreuth, taking classes in German, playing with a local soccer club and traveling around Germany in his spare time.

Carl, a German and economics major and mathematics minor from Edmond, Oklahoma, joined 35 other college students from around North America in New York for a four-day seminar in August on the knowledge and skills needed to promote study and research in Germany. The Young Ambassadors learned about the German higher education and research system, as well as the range of funding opportunities offered by DAAD. Special emphasis was placed on refining public speaking and presentation skills and meeting people.

During the coming academic year, Young Ambassadors will work with their own university’s study abroad offices, volunteering at study abroad fairs, organizing classroom visits and information sessions, and answering fellow students’ questions.

“Washington and Lee is proud of Matthew for being selected as an Ambassador,” said Daniel A. Wubah, the university’s provost. “It demonstrates our students’ engagement in global learning, which is key to their future success.”

Carl says that personal growth and international friendships were the most rewarding aspects of his summer studying in Germany.

“Even more powerful than the academic component of studying abroad was the chance to engage with my peers outside of the classroom, learn first-hand about German culture, and challenge my opinions on political, economic and philosophical issues,” he says. “I count long discussions at the dinner table as some of my best memories from my stay in Germany.

Carl plans to return to Germany next spring and summer to conduct research or work as an intern.