UH Mānoa student Hayley Hanta

University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa German major Hayley Hanta earned the prestigious Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange (CBYX) for Young Professionals fellowship, awarded by the U.S. Department of State and supported, in large part, by the German Bundestag (legislative body). Hanta, who is also majoring in geography, will live in Germany for a year, beginning in July, as a participant in the work-study program with a cultural exchange focus. Hanta will undertake two months of intensive German language training, study at a university, and intern at a German-speaking workplace.

Recalling her first experience in Germany while in high school, Hanta said, “My German language training at that time had been very minimal, and most of the time I could not flip through my dictionary fast enough to keep up with what was going on around me.” The experience made Hanta determined to have a different outcome this time around. While knowing the CBYX year will not be easy, she intends to return to Hawaiʻi as a more confident, grounded and well-rounded human being.

“I hope to gain a more comprehensive and intimate understanding of the world. Fluency in the language will greatly increase my personal, academic and professional possibilities,” she said. Hanta also wants to play a part in strengthening relations between the U.S. and Germany.

Her geography focus will provide her a thorough understanding of human and environmental processes, which she believes will help her identify problems and develop effective long-term solutions. “To that end, my professional goal is to work at the intersection of humanity and the natural world. Specifically, I would like to help mitigate the effects of climate change and develop hospitable environments for those affected by it,” said Hanta.

For more on Hanta read the UH Mānoa news release.