Feature Stories Campus Events All Stories

W&L’s Brandon Bishop ’26 Awarded the Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange Fellowship Starting in July, Bishop will participate in a year-long cultural immersion program in Germany.

Brandon-Bishop-scaled-600x400 W&L’s Brandon Bishop ’26 Awarded the Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange Fellowship

Washington and Lee University sophomore Brandon Bishop ’26 has been awarded the prestigious Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange for Young Professionals (CBYX-YP) fellowship to participate in a year-long cultural immersion program in Germany. Bishop is a computer science major and Middle Eastern and Southeast Asia studies and Russian language and culture double minor from Bettendorf, Iowa.

The CBYX-YP annually provides a cultural exchange experience for 75 American and 75 German young professionals, identified as individuals aged 18-24 with a high school diploma. Americans in the program will spend two months of intensive German language training in Germany, attend a German university or college of applied sciences for four months of classroom instruction, and then complete a five-month internship in his or her career field. Bishop will leave for the program in July, and return to the U.S. next June.

Bishop will be interning with a local nonprofit that assists Arabic- and Russian-speaking refugees with their transition to Germany, which will allow him to apply his near-native fluency in Arabic and advance his academic and career goals. He studied in Amman, Jordan during the summer of 2023 through the Gilman Scholarship and received the 2023 Arabic Summer Scholarship from W&L’s Center for International Education, which allowed him to attend a language study program at the University of Jordan in Amman. He recently declined a Critical Language Scholarship to study Arabic this summer in order to accept the CBYX-YP fellowship.

“I am looking forward to gaining real-world experience utilizing my diverse language skillset while actively engaging in citizen diplomacy,” Bishop said. “Being awarded this opportunity still feels surreal, and I encourage others to apply for any opportunities that seem interesting to them because you never know just what you’ll be awarded.”

On campus, Bishop is a Bonner Scholar and has volunteered with Rockbridge Area Relief Association and Rockbridge Area Tourism, is the chapter vice president of QuestBridge, and is a freelance photographer for the athletics departments at W&L and the Virginia Military Institute. He participated in Washington Term in 2023 and served as a civic leaders fellow at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Institute.

The CBYX-YP Fellowship is sponsored in the United States by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, under the authority of the Fulbright-Hays Act of 1961, as amended. Cultural Vistas has administered the program for 40 years.