Ryan participated on the Arcadia: London, University of Westminster Program during the Spring of 2015.
If you could give only one reason, why would you suggest other students study abroad?
People use the cliché ‘there’s nothing like it’ a lot, but this time it actually rings true. There is truly nothing like diving headfirst into a foreign country and culture. Nothing in life will ever equal the experience of living and learning in another country, traveling the world, and discovering people and cultures you never could have imagined.
If you could go abroad again, what would you do differently?
I would plan ahead. When I first got to London, I didn’t have a lot planned in terms of things I wanted to see or accomplish. Make sure you think ahead, and even look into planning trips and excursions before you leave. I wouldn’t spend a lot of money before you know what your semester will look like, but do the legwork and make sure you aren’t trying to cram everything in at the last minute.
What advice would you give to outbound study abroad students to help them make the most of their study abroad experiences?
Go for it. I can’t tell you exactly what to expect going abroad; everyone has a different experience. But the best advice I can offer is to just go for it. A couple of people are going to another country for a weekend; go with them. Explore that weird spot of your host city; just go for it. While you’re abroad, you will have opportunities that will never be available again. The absolute worst mistake you could make is to play it safe and coast through. Get out of your comfort zone; spend some money, talk to strangers on the street, try that gross-looking dish. You may have awkward encounters, but you will never regret trying it all.