Nia Payne ′17 Awarded Prestigious Congress-Bundestag Fellowship to Study and Work for one Year in Germany

October 17, 2018 at 1:16 pm

Spartanburg, S.C. –  Nia Payne, a 2017 graduate of the University of South Carolina Upstate, is one of 75 Americans selected to participate in the 2018-2019 Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange (CBYX) for Young Professionals, a year-long fellowship for study and work in Germany. CBYX for Young Professionals provides opportunities for youth to collaborate, interact with new people and new ideas, and, ultimately, to become better global citizens and better leaders. The program annually provides scholarships to 350 Americans and also brings 360 Germans to the United States.

“While at USC Upstate, Payne was a middle-distance cross country/track and field runner, served as the president of the USC Upstate Community Garden, and was a member of four honor societies,” said  Dr. June Carter, professor of Spanish at USC Upstate. “She was truly an exemplary student and one of which we are very proud.”

According to Carter, Payne studied abroad in Magdeburg, Germany during  the summer of 2014 where she took an intensive German language course and she was a Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholar in 2015 where she studied for one academic year in Granada, Spain, earning a certificate in Hispanic Studies.  Payne earned a bachelor’s degree in Spanish Education and a minor in German Studies at USC Upstate in May 2017, where she graduated Magna Cum Laude with outstanding honors in German.  She taught  Spanish and Character Education to K-8 grade students at Spartanburg Preparatory School during the 2017-2018 academic year.

 Payne departed for Germany on July 30 where she attended a two-month intensive German language course and is now studying at a German university or professional school for four months and completing a five-month internship with a German company in her career field (Interpreting/Translation). Participants are placed throughout Germany, and have the opportunity to learn about everyday German life from a variety of perspectives. On October 1, she began university course work in German, Spanish and Pedagogy with a focus in Latin American Regional Studies.

Funded jointly by Congress (through the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs) and the German Bundestag, the CBYX program is a unique opportunity for young Americans to enhance their professional skills, as well as broaden their political and cultural awareness by experiencing life in another country. While in Germany, Ms. Payne will act as a citizen ambassador of the United States, helping to promote a positive image of the U.S. abroad and creating lifelong friendships and professional connections that will keep German-American relations strong for years to come.

Participants come from a wide variety of career fields, and from all over the United States. This year more than 600 young professionals vied for a place in this prestigious program.

Participants must be U.S. citizens between the ages of 18-24, and have clear career goals and experience in their professional fields. Young professionals in STEM, business, agricultural, and vocational fields are especially encouraged to apply, though candidates in all career fields are eligible. German language ability is not required, but is strongly recommended. Interested applicants should visit for more information.

CBYX is a reciprocal scholarship program. While Americans like Ms. Payne and her fellow participants spend the year living in Germany, 75 young German professionals will also spend the year experiencing life in the United States. German participants study at U.S. colleges in the fall and work at local businesses in the spring, all while living with an American host throughout the year. CBYX for Young Professionals is currently looking for interested host families, host companies, and host colleges who would like to take part in this exciting cultural exchange. Anyone interested in becoming involved in the program or hosting a German participant should visit