Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange

The Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange is a youth student exchange program founded in 1983. The program, which is dually sponsored by the United States Congress and the German Bundestag, funds exchange programs for German and American students through grants to private exchange organizations in both countries. The funding in the USA is administered by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the United States Department of State (and formerly by the United States Information Agency until the agency was dissolved) on behalf of the United States Congress.

The program was established to celebrate the 300th anniversary of German settlement of the United States and has been renewed by both legislative bodies since its inception. Thus far, over 17,000 German and American students have completed their exchange through the program, which provides a full exchange year complete with orientation and language programs and travel opportunities within Germany and the United States. The exchange year culminates in a conference in Washington, D.C. in which German and American students reflect on their exchange year and share their experiences.

The scholarship program is merit-based and is funded based on congressional district for Americans and Bundesland for Germans. It also comprises a Young Professionals Exchange program (administered exclusively by the Carl Duisberg Society International, better known in English speaking countries as CDS International) and vocational student exchange components (administered exclusively by Nacel Open Door), for students ages 18-24