Three CPCC students receive scholarships to study abroad as apprentices

last modified Sep 26, 2017 11:57 AM

The German Language and Culture Foundation (GLCF) has awarded three Central Piedmont Community College (CPCC) students, Caleb Adams of Fort Mill, S.C.; Ethan McFarlain of Charlotte, N.C.; and Chad Robinson of Charlotte, N.C., a $5,000 scholarship to its “Study and Work Abroad – Experience the German Workplace as an Apprentice!” program.

“Less than five percent of CPCC students study abroad as a technician and/or engineer. Of those, only one percent are apprentices,” said Daniela Weinert, discipline chair for German at CPCC and president of the board of trustees for the German Language and Culture Foundation. “’Study and Work Abroad – Experience the German Workplace as an Apprentice!’ strives to increase this number by encouraging more students to study abroad as an apprentice.”

“Study and Work Abroad – Experience the German Workplace as an Apprentice!” is a three-month program comprised of one month of language study and two months of on-the-job training. To qualify, participants must be studying the German language for at least one semester, be between 18 and 25 years of age, and be enrolled in a college curriculum program that is recognized in Germany, such as CPCC’s Mechatronics program. Once accepted, the student will receive college credit for their time in Germany, while remaining an employee of the U.S.-based company where they serve as an apprentice and earn a regular paycheck.

Adams is an apprentice with groninger USA, LLC, a company that designs customized machines for the pharmaceutical, cosmetics and consumer healthcare industries. As part of the program, he will journey to the corporation’s Crailsheim location to receive on-the-job training, after attending a German class at the Goethe Institute in Schwaebisch Hall, Germany, for one month.

McFarlain is an apprentice with Bosch Rexroth, an industry giant whose cutting-edge solutions drive, guide and control motion in factories, civil engineering projects and mobile working machines around the globe. McFarlain will begin his study abroad experience by first enrolling in a German class for one month at Tricos in Stuttgart, Germany, followed by continuing his apprenticeship at Bosch Rexroth’s plants in Stuttgart and Schweinfurt.

Robinson is an apprentice with Siemens, one of the world’s largest producers of energy-efficient, resource-saving technologies specializing in generators, steam turbines and gas turbines. While abroad, he will work in the company’s Muehlheim location to receive on-the-job training, after taking German classes at the Goethe Institute in Duesseldorf, Germany, for one month.

The German Language and Culture Program received a grant from the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs to support this program. GLCF decided to launch the program at CPCC because of the college’s robust German language program and established apprenticeship partnerships with Siemens Energy, Bosch Rexroth, Blum, groninger USA, Pfaff Mold, Daetwyler and others. Also important to the decision was the existing cooperation of CPCC and IHK Karlsruhe, a German chamber of industry and commerce that recognizes multiple CPCC degree programs.

The students may use the scholarship’s funding to cover the costs of the program’s tuition, books, travel expenses and accommodations.

To learn more about apprenticeships, visit To learn more about CPCC’s study abroad programs, visit To learn more about the German Language and Culture Foundation and its projects, please visit


Caleb Adams
Mechatronics major and first-year German student Caleb Adams is looking forward to his time in Germany this winter – exploring the German culture and how business is conducted outside of the United States – as part of the Study and Work Abroad – Experience the German Workplace as an Apprentice!” program.

The Fort Mill, S.C., resident is familiar with the apprenticeship model; he is a third-year apprentice and currently serves as an apprentice for groninger USA, LLC.

As one of three 2017 Study and Work Abroad program participants, Adams will learn more about groninger’s German operations once overseas, developing a better understanding of company’s machinery and working on its assembly machine lines.

“I look forward to comparing how groninger manages to successfully operate its facilities in both Germany and the U.S.,” explains Adams. “This experience will help me better prepare for positions of greater responsibility within the organization, which will help me achieve my personal goal of one day becoming a groninger field service technician, and ultimately an electrical engineer.”


Chad Robinson

CPCC computer integrated machining student Chad Robinson is looking forward to seeing Germany for the first time andbeing fully immersed in German culture while studying and working abroad as a “Study and Work Abroad – Experience the German Workplace as an Apprentice!” scholarship recipient.

Robinson, a Charlotte resident, currently serves as an apprentice with Siemens, and will continue in this role overseas in the company’s Muehlheim training facility. He is excited to build upon the machining skills he has learned as an apprentice under the supervision of Siemens’ Charlotte team and practice his German, a language he has studied for one semester at CPCC.

He hopes his time in Germany will give him a broader outlook on the world and help him accumulate the knowledge and skills he needs to not only continue his career at Siemens, but also complete his mechanical engineering degree at UNC Charlotte in the future.


Ethan McFarlain

Ethan McFarlain, a machining technology student at CPCC and an apprentice with Bosch Rexroth, is looking forward to joining the global workforce when he travels to the organization’s manufacturing facility in Germany this January as part of the college’s “Study and Work Abroad – Experience the German Workplace as an Apprentice!” program.

As a scholarship recipient, McFarlain will have the opportunity to work in Bosch Rexroth’s Stuttgart and Schweinfurt facilities, working side by side with his international peers to improve his skills as a machinist.

“I want to have a greater understanding of the differences between the United States and other countries,” explains McFarlain. “I can’t wait to begin this new experience, take in the German scenery and learn the skills I’ll need to one day successfully complete a four-year degree in engineering.”