Jesse Gamoran ’16 has been selected to participate in the Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange for Young Professionals (CBYX) fellowship program. Funded by the United States Congress and German Bundestag, CBYX is a cultural immersion program in which 75 American and 75 German young professionals spend one year studying, interning, and living with hosts in each others’ countries.
From Wilmette, Illinois, Gamoran majored in history, German studies, and Jewish studies at Oberlin. He held a number of jobs and volunteer positions, including that of main library reference student assistant, General Faculty Library Committee student representative, and Langston Middle School tutor. He also played flute in the Oberlin College Marching Band.
Gamoran has studied the German language since his second year at Oberlin. The summer before his third year, he completed a language intensive program with Middlebury Language Schools. He studied abroad in Munich his third year and also completed a month-long intensive language course at the Goethe Institute, after which he passed the CI German language exam.
Gamoran says he applied for this fellowship because it offers the unique opportunity to improve his German language skills and study at a university while also gaining professional experience. “This program has three phases: a language phase (August-September), a study phase (October-January), and an internship phase (February-June),” he says. “This program is ideal because the German language phase gives students the ability to excel in their studies at a German university. Then the university phase provides students with the academic skills and knowledge that help them to be most effective during the internship phase of the program. And finally the internship phase gives students real experience and helps them to become immersed in German society.”
Gamoran will attend the Carl Duisberg Centrum (CDC) language school in Cologne, Saarbrücken, or Radolfzell for the language phase of the program. While he does not yet know where he will study or intern, Gamoran says he expects to take courses in Jewish history and education and hopes to intern at a Jewish community center or synagogue. Gamoran plans to pursue a career in U.S. secondary education following his fellowship.
The graduating senior credits the Oberlin community with helping to prepare him for this fellowship. “Through involvement in clubs, activities, and just through being a student at Oberlin, I’ve learned much about what it means to be part of a community. A crucial part of this program will be immersing myself in new communities and getting to know new people. I feel my time at Oberlin has prepared me well for this aspect of the program.”