Senior Alyssa Boos to Embark on Exchange Year in Germany


In the fall of 2022, senior Alyssa Boos will be tackling a new adventure by traveling to Germany for a eleven-month exchange year, after her recent acceptance into the prestigious CBYX program.

CBYX is an acronym for the Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange, which began as an organization in 1983 with the aim to help strengthen ties between German and American relations. The program itself is funded through the German Bundestag and the American Department of State, and grants the CBYX high school scholarship to 250 American students aged 15-18. This program allows students to experience an exchange year abroad while expanding their knowledge of German and American culture and customs. 

Boos started taking German classes her freshman year after listening to her grandpa describe stories of his parents and grandparents’ German culture, citing polka dances and specific foods his mom would make. As she continued learning the language and more about the culture in Germany, she started to look into exchange programs to fully immerse herself in the experience. 

Later her freshman year she applied for the SEAMAPP program, which is a two-week exchange program through Seaman High School. Unfortunately, she was denied, which left her quite upset, however, she decided to look further into exchange programs. She decided to look into exchange programs that were a year long so she could gain a better understanding of the German language, culture, and customs. The program she found was one suggested to her by her German teacher Amy Calhoun; the CBYX program. So, during her sophomore year, Boos applied.

Boos expressed, “I originally got accepted two years ago into CBYX program in April of 2020, but COVID happened so it was turned virtual and I could not go. I did have some things where I could meet friends from Germany via pen pal and text, and we learned about each others cultures.”  

After her original acceptance into the CBYX program in 2020, the CBYX program was turned virtual due to the pandemic. Although this was another setback for Boos, she decided to apply again her senior year. She re-applied, going though the same process of writing essays, gathering documents, and having a virtual interview via Zoom. In April of 2022, she was accepted into the CBYX program again, and she couldn’t be more excited.

“On August 6th we are going to go to Germany and we will spend a month at a language camp learning the language and participating in activities, and then we will go to our host families for the rest of the time,” Boos said.  

Boos will get the opportunity to spend eleven months in Germany attending a German high school. She will leave in early August of 2022 to have a pre-departure meeting in Washington D.C., and will then travel to Germany after two days to attend a one-month language camp. After that, Boos will travel to her host family in Germany and spend the rest of the time there until June of 2023. 

Although Boos has decided to take a gap year abroad, when she returns from Germany she plans to attend Wichita State University to major in journalism and minor in German. During her sophomore year at WSU, she hopes to go on another exchange year to Germany.

After a four-year journey full of setbacks, Boos is excited to embark on an exchange year to Germany. At the moment, she hasn’t been given a host family, but she has been dedicating more time to learning German and preparing herself for a year abroad.