Sophomore Isabella Pfeiffer is participating in the Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange program - freetxp

Sophomore Isabella Pfeiffer is participating in the Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange program

The University of Nevada, Reno is currently home to German exchange student Isabella Pfeiffer, a sophomore participating in the Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange. The program provides high school- and college-aged students from the United States and Germany with the opportunity to work and study abroad. Isabella arrived in Reno in early August 2021 and is studying at the University for the Fall 2021 and Spring 2022 semesters.

“It’s always been my dream to live in the United States and to go to school there,” Isabella said.

The CBYX is a joint exchange program between the United States and German governments. The opportunity to study and work in a different country presents participants with immersion in a new culture and experiences in the country that they are visiting. Students are not only able to experience the culture of the country in which they are studying, but they are able to build lasting and impressionable relationships.

“It’s always been my dream to live in the United States and to go to school there.”

In her time at the University, Isabella has taken courses in Information Systems, Human Development and Family Studies, and French. These fields of study are of interest to Isabella because of work that she has done in the past and aspirations of future work.

“Information Systems was of interest to me because it fits into the Administrative Office Assistant apprenticeship that I have completed,” Isabella said. “Human Development and Family studies was intriguing to me because I thought that the information of that class would be useful in life. And it really was. The course material is generally relevant in life. The Information Systems course that I took, while challenging, was also very engaging, and the information will be useful in my future career. For this semester, I chose French because I took French in High School and would like to re-learn it here.”

The path that Isabella took to travel to the United States was complicated by COVID-19.

“One day, my mum who is a teacher at a secondary school brought a brochure of the CBYX program home from her school,” Isabella said. “It featured both the high school level program and the college level. I thought I’d apply, just to see what would happen.”

Isabella did just that, and she was accepted in the 37th year of the program, academic year 2020-21. However, due to COVID-19, the program year had been canceled and was somewhat conducted virtually over Zoom. Isabella attended Zoom a couple of sessions “where we got to know a little bit of the history and the culture of the US,” but it was nothing compared to the actual experience of traveling and living abroad.

“I applied again for the next year and was accepted again,” Isabella said. “So, fortunately, I was able to travel here and fulfill my dream.”

The CBYX program allows young adults with interest in a wide range of fields of work and study to pursue these interests.

“This year, in the 38th program year, we have students who are brewers, hairdressers, office assistants, lab assistants and from many more professional fields. However, I studied and worked part-time last semester and will do so in this semester as well,” Isabella said.

She explained that the CBYX program is intended to provide students with the unique opportunity to grow as students and as young adults. The program emphasizes getting to know the culture of the host country and encourages students to learn to be more self-confident and independent. While studying at the University, Isabella is living with a host family while simultaneously working part-time.

Isabella says that her favorite thing about the University is the beautiful campus. She also loves the natural beauty of northern Nevada.

“I would just like to say thank you to the University for having me as an international/exchange student and to my host family for always supporting me.”

“I enjoy walking around campus to my classes every day,” Isabella said. “I also like the beautiful nature around the area. I enjoy the view of the mountains and, in the winter, the snow on them.”

Isabella is also grateful for her host family, whom she says support her “in every possible situation.” She also commented that her stay in the United States wouldn’t be nearly as enjoyable without the “very caring” family.

“I would just like to say thank you to the University for having me as an international/exchange student and to my host family for always supporting me.”

When Isabella completes the CBYX program, she plans to return to her hometown of RegensburgGermany, where she’ll further her education and start looking for work in a chosen field.

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