Engineering Student William Marin Awarded a Fellowship to Study in Germany

William Marin, who won a fellowship to study in Germany, pictured above travelling abroad.


"Living, studying and working in Germany was a fascinating experience. Being a participant of the CBXY program has been one of the highlights of my career. It has helped me widen my horizons and redefine my future objectives. The academic and professional experience I earned during this past year helped me discovered different interests. At the moment, I’m back in NJIT to finish up my bachelor’s while looking for opportunities for graduate studies in Germany. The prospect of moving back to Germany to study and do research has become one of my priorities.

I spent my first two months in Saarbrücken, where I was taking an intensive German language course as part of the program and in preparation for the months ahead. At that time, I lived with a host family. During those first two months I spent a lot of time with them, learning the language as well as the insights about the culture and society. Once the language course was completed, I moved to Bremen, where I was to spend the rest of my year. Selecting and registering for classes at the university in Bremen was a difficult process. A few days later I was already sitting down in class trying to pick up as much as possible. Living in a Wohngemeinschaft (student dorm or shared apartment) was a very interesting experience as well. All of my roommates were German. I was completely immersed in the German culture; food, TV, lifestyle and friends all contributed to make my time in Bremen the best I could have had. Before I realized it, the first half of the year had already passed by. I had to start preparing myself for internship applications and interviews. Experiencing the German work environment has been a gratifying achievement. It has certainly made me a better and more competitive professional. Personally, this past year in Germany was a constant growing experience. I have the feeling I became a better person in every possible way. I met incredible people, learnt a new language and set up higher and more ambitious objectives. I’m currently looking for master’s programs in Germany in areas integrating environmental science, engineering and aerospace. Thanks to different programs, fellowships, scholarships and grants, it’s possible to go abroad and experience a whole new world while excelling academically, professionally and personally."

William Marin, an electrical engineering major at NJIT, has been awarded the Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange Fellowship (CBYX)

Marin is one of 75 students chosen from more than 500 applicants for the CBYX fellowship, which is funded by the US government and the German Parliament (the Bundestag). The program will offer him language instruction, education at a German university and an internship at a German company.

The fellowship allows American college students to immerse themselves in German culture while German students do the same in the United States. The exchange program aims to foster an international understanding between the two countries. 

Marin was chosen because of his academic record and his international experience. He’s a McNair scholar who majors in electrical engineering and conducts astro-physics research at the Center for Solar-terrestrial Research at NJIT.  He also belongs to the Educational Opportunity Program (EOP) at NJIT.  After his sophomore year at NJIT, he interned at General Devices, an internship he got by attending an NJIT Career Fair.

In terms of international experience, he’s already spent a semester in Sweden, studying at Jönköping University.  He arranged that trip through the Office of International Students.  His semester abroad, he says, was the highlight of his college career.  Once in Sweden, he traveled throughout Europe, which he hopes to do again during his stay in Germany.

Each European county has its own identity, he says. When you visit Europe, you travel from country to country experiencing different cultures and languages. The rich tradition of every corner of Europe delights travelers.

“More NJIT students should study abroad and gain an international understanding of the world,” says Marin, who speaks Spanish, English and some Swedish and is currently studying German to prepare for his upcoming year. “Engineering students at NJIT should expand their technical education by adding international experience to their resumes, and they can do that by taking advantage of NJIT’s Study Abroad program

Marin will live in Germany with a host family. While there, he’ll take a German language course for two months, study at a German university for four months and then do a five-month internship with a German company.  Marin aims to intern with a German company in the field of renewable energy – one of his main interests.

He was born in Colombia and came to New Jersey in 2002.  He attended Union Hill High School in Union City.  In the summers during high school, he did environmental research at the Meadowlands Environmental Research Institute, in Lyndhurst.  During his junior year, through the Center for Pre-College Programs, he took a pre-calculus class at NJIT.  In his senior year, Carlomagno Ontaneda, the EOP recruiter, attended a college fair at Union Hill High and recruited Marin to NJIT.  He’s excelled here ever since and now looks forward to his second trip abroad.

“I believe studying abroad is about what you make of the experience and what the experience makes of you,” says Marin. “International experience opens up a wide range of possibilities. The current job market requires not just highly technical engineers but globally qualified engineers who are capable of interacting in diverse and cross-cultural environments.”

“I think,” he adds, “that it was my international experience, along with my research and educational background that helped me get this fellowship, which will permit me to enrich my international experience by learning a new language, studying under the German educational system and training in a German work environment. I expect to learn a lot from this year abroad and I’m really looking forward to it.”

(By Robert Florida, University Web Services)