Willkommen Fulbrighters.

Twenty-four top-notch German undergraduates are visiting UNCG this month, immersing themselves in North Carolina’s history, the U.S. educational system and American culture. And networking for potential internships and graduate programs in the states.

The students, studying everything from viticulture to electrical engineering, came to UNCG through the Fulbright Summer Institute, sponsored by the German-American Fulbright Commission in Berlin. UNCG is one of only two U.S. universities – The State University of New York at Binghamton is the other – chosen to host the Germans.

Steve Flynn, director of the Fulbright Summer Institute, looks on the visit as door to future exchanges with Germany and its universities.

“We’re sort of paying it forward,” Flynn says. “It’s a way of building goodwill, and perhaps sometime soon we can send our students to Germany.”

He credits Penelope Pynes, UNCG’s associate provost for international programs, with making UNCG a prime choice for the Fulbright Commission. Pynes is an internationally regarded Germanist.

During their month-long stay, the German students will study American politics, U.S. history and the civil rights movement. As part of their instruction on race relations, they’ll visit the Beloved Community Center in Greensboro, the Charlotte Hawkins Brown State Historic Site, the Fort Fisher Civil War site and the Bellamy Mansion in Wilmington.

To get an inside look at how the campus works,the German students are also spending time with administrators, faculty and staff, paired off with leaders such as Reade Taylor, vice chancellor for business affairs, and Deborah Tollefson, director of financial aid. They will spend their final week touring Washington, D.C., before flying home.

Flynn says encountering other cultures is invaluable for all students.

“The thing about culture is that you don’t realize you are in one,” he says. “Through witnessing our culture, they come to understand their own culture better.”

For more information about the UNCG Fulbright Summer Institute, contact Steve Flynn at (336) 324-4068 or stflynn@uncg.edu. Read about it on Facebook at www.facebook.com/UNCGSummerFulbright.