Virginia Tech, the state of Virginia’s most comprehensive university and its leading research institution, will host and deliver the German Fulbright Summer Institute from July 22, 2017 to August 12, 2017 on its main campus in Blacksburg, Virginia.

This three-week program is offered through a grant awarded to Virginia Tech, through its Cranwell International Center, by the German-American Fulbright Commission, and is designed for 24 undergraduate students from Germany’s Universities of Applied Science.

The program includes a unique and innovative core academic component offered through Virginia Tech’s new Center for Communicating Science and an advanced ESL academic and technical writing course offered through Virginia Tech's Language and Culture Institute, along with a number of experiential co-curricular site visits and extra-curricular activities designed to build on the academic component and to otherwise provide opportunities for students to engage with the local community in a variety of venues – from tubing down the New River to touring Virginia Tech’s Institute for Creativity, Arts, and Technology, and much more!

As a university, and as a society, we are increasingly aware of the fact that the most urgent challenges facing us are unfathomably complex, large, and interconnected – “wicked problems” (Kolko, 2012). These challenges cannot be addressed by individuals or by traditional competitive means. They require communication and collaboration skills that allow new approaches and new systems to be developed. Effective communication and true collaboration help individuals and societies to create new paradigms rather than revisiting old and failing structures.

The next generation of scientists, engineers, entrepreneurs, health professionals, and other workers must be able to communicate more effectively about their work in a variety of contexts, and in our increasingly global society the ability to connect and communicate across differences of many kinds is essential.

The ability to communicate directly and vividly can enhance career prospects for the next generation of scientists, engineers, entrepreneurs, health professionals, and other workers, helping them secure funding, collaborate across disciplines, compete for positions, and serve as effective teachers, supervisors, and mentors.

Thus, the focus for 2017's program will be to develop participants' communication, collaboration, and connection skills across differences. 


The general goals of the Summer Institute are for the students to:

    Enhance knowledge of the United States and the US system of higher education;

    Experience academic life and studies on an American campus;

    Engage with the American tradition of interdisciplinary and/or general education courses;

    Expand intercultural competencies; and

    Develop English language proficiency.

Having successfully completed the academic components of the Summer Institute, students will be able to:

    Speak spontaneously and effectively to others about their disciplinary focus;

    Speak personally about their disciplinary focus;

    Apply theories of performance and improvisation within the context of technical communication;

    Distinguish and respond to indicators of audience comprehension and attentiveness;

    Respond effectively in both individual and group interactions;

    Write effectively for a lay public about his or her disciplinary focus and the focus of others;

    Apply metaphor as an aid to broad understanding of scientific or technical material; and

    Plan, organize, and write effective informative and persuasive documents in his or her own discipline.


Students will stay in traditional-style rooms in one of the following on-campus residence halls:

    Ambler-Johnston Hall East

    Ambler Johnston Hall West

All rooms are equipped with the following:

  • Two extra-long twin size beds (36" x 80") 
  • Two sheets, two towels, a washcloth, a pillow, and a pillowcase for each guest if requested by the sponsor
  • Coin-operated laundry facilities in residence halls
  • Vending areas available in residence halls
  • Central air conditioning
  • Restrooms separated by gender, with a sink and vanity in all rooms

More information is available on the Guests section of the Conference & Guest Services website. And Cranwell International Center will provide students with detailed information and instructions specific to the German Fulbright Student Summer Institute well in advance of arrival.


Students will have a dining plan that provides three meals per day (breakfast, lunch, and dinner) at one of the on-campus dining facilities, D2 in Dietrick Hall. D2 is a buffet-style, all-you-care-to-eat dining facility featuring eight food shops/stations. There will also be special events where meals will be provided off-campus.


Roundtrip transportation from Dulles International Airport (IAD) to Virginia Tech is provided, along with transportation to all scheduled co-curricular site visits and extra-curricular activities.