Michelle Kinsley, a senior International Studies and German major at West Virginia University, has been chosen as a young ambassador by the German Academic Exchange Service. The exchange service, known internationally as Deutscher Akademischer Austausch Dienst (DAAD), is a German organization that supports and funds higher education in Germany. Each year, DAAD names 20 students who have studied in Germany in the previous academic year to serve as liaisons for DAAD in the United States and Canada.

Kinsley, the daughter of Kathy and Randy Kinsley of Morgantown, attended a university in Bamberg, Germany, during her sophomore year at WVU , spent a few additional years working there and returned to Germany last spring on a 10-week, faculty-led program. She is currently a work study in the WVU Office of International Programs (OIP).Its been amazing,said Kinsley.I learned a lot about myself, Germany, the language and the customs. While I was there, I discovered a love for the language and culture,Kinsley said.

As a young ambassador, Kinsley will help promote study in Germany to WVU students by working in the universitys study abroad office, volunteering at study abroad fairs, answering questions from students and organizing events on campus. Kinsley has already counseled 50 to 70 WVU students this fall about the study abroad program and hopes to interest more students.The one thing I tell people is not to worry about the language barrier. When I was there, I had a splinter in my finger and was telling people in German that I had a piece of tree in my finger,Kinsley said laughing.You just have to be creative to explain things, but its such a worthwhile experience. Its definitely worth it.

Last summer, she attended a two-day seminar in New York City with the other 19 young ambassadors, learning about intercultural communications, presentation skills and marketing. When she graduates, Kinsley plans to pursue a career as a study abroad administrator or coordinator.

Founded in 1971, DAAD offers programs and funding for students, faculty, researchers and others in higher education providing financial support to more than 50,000 individuals per year. WVU students interested in the study abroad program may sign up in G 13 , White Hall for a study abroad seminar. For more information, contact Kinsley at Kinsley@daad.org or the OIP program at OIP @mail.wvu.edu .