I am Sarah, I am 21 years old and come from Mertingen in Germany. This is a small town in Bavaria close to Munich. In June I received a message from the CBYX program which said that I would spend my year abroad in LAS VEGAS!!! Could you imagine how excited I was? Right now, I have realized that 2 months are already over. I have already gained so many new experiences and I would love to share some of them with you.
Between 2019 and 2022 I lived in Munich and did my apprenticeship as event manager at Messe München. I worked at the Trade Fair Center there, and learned a lot about exhibitions and organizing events. Most important – I fell in love with international work! Therefore, I applied for the CBYX program. I really want to gain international work experiences, improve my English and learn more about the American culture. I am so grateful that I am here and get the chance to get the most out of this year regarding my personal development.
I am staying with a host family: my host-mum & dad, host-sister (22) and two host-brothers (21 & 19). They are super nice and gave me a warm welcome. On the weekends we sometimes go on trips. So far, we have been to the Grand Canyon, which was amazing, and for more travel we did a long road trip to Ohio to visit my host family´s relatives. In case you don´t know: Ohio is about a 30h drive away from Las Vegas. I really enjoyed this trip as I was able to see so many different regions and perspectives of the US: mountains/ flat fields, heat/cold, cities/ small towns…
I am both studying and working part-time during the whole exchange year. At the University of Nevada, Las Vegas I am taking two classes this semester: Food & Beverage for Executives, and Global Event Management. Both are job-related and really interesting. I have also started working at Caesars Entertainment as Special events coordinator. Mainly, my team is responsible for registering people at VIP events as well as handing out giveaways. To gain even more experiences and get some variety, I started a second job at Freeman in October, a trade show organizer. There, I am supporting exhibitor services at move-in and move-out of exhibitions.
In addition to working, traveling, and taking classes, I am also volunteering. By volunteering at Goodie Two Shoes we are providing kids in need (between 4-13 years) with a pair of new sneakers. It filled me with joy and I was so happy to see the thankful and happy faces of the children. Nevertheless, it made me realize that Las Vegas has many different faces. It is not only the Strip, but so much more. There are a lot of families who can hardly afford their living.
Another organization that I got to know is called Club Christ. Kids between 8-14 go there after school to learn reading and do their homework. We support them in doing their assignments and encourage them to learn new skills.
As you can see a lot of things are going on right now in the desert Southwest — more to come in my next blog entry!