Tyler Baughman, a Penn State senior majoring in International Politics, Economics and German with a Business Option, has recently been selected for the 2011 DAAD Graduate Scholarship.
DAAD, or The German Academic Exchange Service, is the German national agency for the support of international academic cooperation. The agency offers programs and funding to over 55,000 students, faculty and researchers per year.
Tyler’s previous experience in Germany in the International Education for Students Abroad-European Union Program (IES), lent to his desire to apply for the DAAD grant.
“I studied abroad in the spring of last semester and really enjoyed my time in Germany in a town called Freiburg and it was really nice, Baughman said. “I got to know some of the faculty in the Economics department and was thinking I’d like to pursue a degree in Economics.”
Despite the large number of qualified applicants to the scholarship program, Tyler decided to go ahead and apply and see what happened.
“When I found out through the [University] Fellowships Office about the scholarship, I knew it was rather competitive, but I figured, why not? Baughman said. “I guess with my German background, I figured that I had an okay shot at getting it.”
One of the greatest benefits of receiving the DAAD grant is the monthly stipend that will allow Tyler to experience Germany and its academics without much financial stress.
“I applied for the graduate scholarship that gives roughly 750 Euros a month for ten months, or one academic year in Germany,” Baughman said. “There is some funding available for rent and to buy living expenses, but the big thing is the 750 Euros for airfare and monthly stipend.”
An essential aspect of the DAAD program is for applicants to develop relationships with German faculty members, which Tyler managed to accomplish during his previous time abroad.
“The program I did [last spring semester] was through IES, which was separate from the University, was at the University of Freiburg,” Baughman said. “The IES would hire local professors from the University, so I had two economic classes through IES with faculty from the University’s Economic Department. The type of economics that Freiburg focuses on is interesting to me.”
During his DAAD scholarship next fall, Tyler would like to improve his German language skills, as he thinks it is a valuable part of his academic experience.
“I would like to become fluent in German,” said Baughman. “I can get by if I need to, but I definitely need to be submerged for awhile. I’m interested in international issues, so I think avid language skills are important.”
Tyler is not only an accomplished student at Penn State but also a highly involved one as well. Currently, Tyler is the Undergraduate Teaching Assistant for the University’s Economics Department, where he tutors students in intro and 400-level economics courses. In addition, Tyler served as a researcher for the Economics Department at Penn State, where he conducted independent research and analyzed economic data. Tyler served as an intern for the International Center for the Study of Terrorism where he collected and interpreted data relating to terrorist organizations.
Story by Kimberly Mouser, intern for the University Fellowships Office