Bringing the College Experience to Your Screen

Bringing the College Experience to Your Screen

By Katy Griffin, UNLV News Center I February 3, 2023

UNLV’s episode of The College Tour features the stories of 20 Rebels and an in-depth look at what it’s like to be a student here.

What’s the best way to get a feel for a college experience? Visit the campus and see it for yourself.

But for many out-of-state (or country) college-bound kids, coming to Las Vegas may not be in the cards. So the UNLV Office of Admissions is bringing them the next best thing: The College Tour. 

The College Tour is a TV series from an award-winning team that tells the story of a single college through the lens of its students. Host Alex Boylan and the College Tour crew were on campus in November for a whirlwind 10 days to interview 20 students and alumni to highlight UNLV in a way that hasn’t been done before. 

Meet five of the students featured in the series. UNLV’s episode of The College Tour will premiere in April on The College Tour website and be available for streaming in June on Amazon Prime and other platforms. 

Sonia Sánchez Gabana

Masters of Arts in Hispanic Studies

Why did you want to be part of The College Tour? When I got the email about TCT coming to UNLV I thought it would be a cool thing to submit, something different than what you get to do on a regular basis. I would have really loved to have had a TCT about UNLV before I came here so I could get a vibe or learn from other people like me, who were doing the same things as me so I can get a feeling and learn more about it, especially from being so far away. 

Advice for fellow students? Don’t have expectations, come with an open mind, and buy a really good sunscreen. 

What are your favorite Vegas activities? One of my favorite things so far has been going to a music festival. I got to see 5 Seconds of Summer, Avril Lavinge, Big Time Rush. UNLV gave us discount tickets so it was really cool.

I’ve also been on a lot of hikes around the area like Red Rock, Arizona Hot Springs. I’ve really enjoyed traveling around the country, too. The airport is so close by. Flights might be expensive but you can get a good deal so I’ve been traveling all over 

UNLV in one word: Unexpected. 

Michael Knapp

Hospitality Management 

Advice for new students? Don’t get overworked, and don’t get stressed. Do a light load your first semester so you can get accustomed to the college lifestyle. And, you’re an adult now, so it can be overwhelming. But take your time, don’t sweat the small stuff, don’t get overworked your first semester, and just find a flow that works for you. Then you can carry that with you for the rest of your college career and you’ll be successful.

For fellow military students, remember that it’s a big adjustment because a lot of us have served previously so we’re a little bit older coming into school. So you have to find that balance between how to work with younger people and how to relate to them and that can be a challenge. But there are great resources on campus and around the valley that will help veterans who want to go to school to help pursue their goals and get used to how college is as an older student. You’ll find your way and you’ll be successful.

Why did you want to be part of The College Tour? I saw the email come through and I thought it’d be a cool experience. I was thinking about taking acting classes or film classes on the side or as a hobby, and I just wanted to test it out and see how it would be. I didn’t even know if I’d get picked, I just thought it’d be a fun cool thing to do and it’s something that I can take with me to show my kids down the road or my family and be like look I did this cool thing it was a cool project I got to do. The show is a great show. I’ve watched it a few times because I’m from Florida, my brother went to FAU and they were there, and seeing how the whole thing worked would be pretty cool. 

UNLV in one word: Inclusive.

Hieu Nguyen

Hospitality Management; Minors in Global Entrepreneurship, Management
Research & Creative Honors

What was the filming experience like? UNLV has given me so many opportunities to grow. Being a part of The College Tour allows me to give back to my beloved Rebels family and practice one of my core values: Service. The filming experience was challenging at first but turned out great eventually. I got to film at six different locations, which I hold dear to my heart. 

What advice do you have for new students? Striking the iron when it is hot is alright. However, there is a greater option! Let’s proactively research, reach out, and have conversations with people; you can pave the way and bring in opportunities by yourself.

UNLV in one word: Enterprising.

Lester Cruz

Mechanical Engineering 

UNLV in one word: Welcoming. 

Why did you want to be part of The College Tour? I feel like I had a really unique experience at UNLV and I wanted to share it. I felt like I had a lot to say–I’m a pretty unique character so I thought I’d make a good addition. My experience is unique because I’m a college orientation leader so I know a lot about campus, I help plan events. I participate in The Glitter Squad which is pretty unique. 

Ryder Hankins

Marketing, International Business; Minors in Italian Studies, Global Entrepreneurship

Why did you want to be part of The College Tour? I wanted to be part of The College Tour because UNLV has had such an impact on my life, and I wanted to do what I could to share my experience with others who are looking for the same things in their college experience. UNLV has a lot of great opportunities, and I wanted more people to take advantage of them. If there’s one thing I would want a new student to know about UNLV is that amazing experiences–like studying abroad, joining fraternities or sororities, or just simply getting involved–are so much easier than they seem. All it takes is that first step. 

What are your favorite Vegas activities? My favorite thing to do around the city is to check out all of the amazing coffee shops around the city. We were recently ranked 21 in the Best Coffee Cities in the United States. 

UNLV in one word: Exponential. 

Watch behind-the-scenes footage of UNLV’s episode

Behind The Scenes: UNLV's Episode of The College Tour