Published: Dec. 2, 2019 By

Seth Hill photo

Seth Hill, a BS/MS student in aerospace engineering, traveled to Germany in August for the Jeppesen program.

Max Funck, an exchange student from Germany, with small plane.

TU-Darmstadt student Max Funck earned his American pilot's license while studying at CU Boulder.

For nearly a decade, a unique exchange program has offered CU Boulder graduate engineering students a glimpse at university life in Germany and a lucrative paid internship with Jeppesen – and allowed a German student the chance to study and work in Colorado.

Applications are now being accepted for the next cycle of the Elrey B. Jeppesen Scholarship, and one student from CU will be selected for the yearlong exchange, which includes room and board and a full semester of tuition at Technical University of Darmstadt, one of Germany's premier engineering universities. After a semester of graduate studies at TU-Darmstadt, students transition into a semester-long internship in Frankfurt with the Boeing subsidiary company’s German operations.

For some participants, the program has even led to full-time positions with Jeppesen, which specializes in software development, data analytics and research for the aviation sector.

“I don’t think that there’s many internships that are both combined: you get to go overseas and go to a different university, and then you also get a paid internship along with it,” said Sam Schwartz, associate technical fellow for Boeing Global Services. “It really enhances your chances of being hired at the end because we’ve worked with you for the whole summer.”

Seth Hill, an aerospace engineering BS/MS student from Greeley, traveled to Frankfurt in August to begin the program. He studied the foreign language throughout high school and even traveled to Germany for 10 days his senior year. Hill also studied abroad in Berlin during the summer of his sophomore year at CU, so he was anxious to return and said the scholarship felt tailor-made for him.

“It’s such an amazing opportunity to spend a whole year in another country and get so many experiences for work and for school and for life, and you’re pretty much doing it for free,” Hill said. “I just feel so, so lucky.”

He completed a monthlong language immersion course through TU Darmstadt before starting classes. After the semester ends in February, he’ll begin his work with Jeppesen at its modern Frankfurt headquarters.

Meanwhile, TU Darmstadt master’s student Max Funck spent all of last year studying at CU Boulder and interning in Jeppesen’s Denver office before returning home in August 2019.

He said he enjoyed the wide variety of class choices available to him, using makerspaces like the ITLL, and experiencing a different style of education.

“The main difference is that professors here are so accessible,” Funck said, adding he was surprised that students were encouraged to email or meet with faculty for help outside of class. “That’s a wonderful attitude and so motivating.”

But the experience wasn’t all study and work. While at CU, Funck played on the CU roller hockey club team, visited 13 National Parks and earned a U.S. pilot’s license.

“As Seth and Max experienced, the Jeppesen scholarship is an unparalleled opportunity to gain global experience that translates into future career paths as part of an incredibly well-rounded graduate education experience,” said Andrew Wingfield, director of international programs in the College of Engineering and Applied Science.

Program Requirements

Applicants must:

  • Be U.S. citizens or permanent residents
  • Be full-time, master’s students in the College of Engineering & Applied Science with a stated interest in aircraft systems design 
  • Have completed four semesters (or equivalent) of German language courses. (Courses and internship will be conducted in English, but German skills are required for cultural integration)
  • Commit to serving as an ambassador of CU Boulder and the United States 
  • Commit to preparing a professional presentation of the experience for Jeppesen stakeholders 

To Apply: Contact by Feb. 28, 2020