He participated in the International Parliamentary Scholarship program of the German Bundestag, a 15-week fellowship program that partnered Crist with Bundestag member Dagmar Freitag, chair of the sport committee and member of the foreign affairs committee. During his placement, Crist attended committee hearings at the Bundestag and helped Freitag’s staff with research. He also attended university seminars in Berlin about issues such as ethnic minorities in Germany, alternative energy sources, the Ukraine crisis and the European economic crisis.
“It is an amazing program, unlike any work-study program abroad that I have seen,” Crist said. Among his most memorable experiences were receiving the Polish ambassador in the Bundestag and visiting the U.S. Embassy in Berlin for a discussion with John Emerson, the U.S. Ambassador to Germany.
After graduating, Crist interned at a radio station in Hamburg before Associate Professor of German Paul Gebhardt recommended him for the parliamentary scholarship. “I wanted to expand my experience working in politics, but moreover saw it as a real challenge to hone my German language skills,” Crist said.
Crist, who is teaching English in Austria, will pursue his master’s in European studies at Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service in Washington, D.C.
“I’m sure my experience in the International Parliamentary Scholarship program was a central factor in my acceptance to Georgetown,” he said. “I hope that after I finish my master’s, I will have the chance to work either in Washington or in Europe toward stronger transatlantic relations. I want to continue to keep German as a central part of my professional life.”