To inspire students all over the world to find that extra courage needed to go on an exchange abroad is something we love doing. Not everyone is used to traveling to different countries growing up, yet we believe that everybody should get a chance to be exposed to a different culture and surroundings at least once in their lifetime; the experiences that people come home with from their semesters abroad are nothing short of life-changing. Through social media, we connected with a very interesting young influencer, Ryan Thorpe, who has passionately started to inspire young people to travel and go on a student exchange. We wanted to introduce you to Ryan and the excellent project The Student Nomad
AE: Hi Ryan! It seems like your studies and work are keeping you very busy… Where are you currently writing from?
Ryan: A small little British island next to the coast of France called Jersey, my home. As I am a self-funded student, I have to take a break from studying and travelling every-so-often to save up some money! Not New Jersey but ‘Old Jersey’ for the Americans 🙂 .
AE: You are participating in a very interesting business program that allows you to part-take in study semesters in several different countries. Could you tell us a bit more about this program and how many different countries you are planning on visiting during your studies?
Ryan: Yes. My programme is situated over 4 countries at 3 different universities, and I am studying European business management and marketing. I have just finished my first year in Barcelona and will move onto Belgium in September. Later I will be going on to work in the USA as part of an internship, then England or France.
AE: The Student Nomad is a community you have been building passionately for a while now. What exactly is it, where did it start from, and where do you want to take it in the nearby future?
“We are a movement, we are a community and we are here to encourage young people to travel. For if you travel during those years of life where you are in self-discovery mode, it will define you for the rest of your life. It will give you experiences & knowledge, which you will apply to your everyday life.
The reason for all the world’s problems is because we do not understand each other. Let’s encourage more young people to go abroad and travel. In doing so they not only learn and grow as people, but it gives them the opportunity to understand other cultures, languages and lifestyles. The result… A more accepting community full of global students of the world…
I believe the future of us is in The Student Nomads of today”
It all started through my passion to travel and meet other students, I set up a lot of parties and events in Barcelona to encourage others to meet each other too. Networking truly is one of the most important skills to develop from a young age. You never know what that person can become to you, just by saying “Hi”.
In the future, I want this to be a global network which raises awareness of youth travel, and that life experience takes priority before rushing into a career or education. We have one life: truly understand who you are and what you want in life first. Then go out and work your ass off to make it a reality!
AE: What’s has been the best part about building such community?
Ryan: The constant messages and kind words I receive daily from people inspired by the movement. I love meeting and helping people, I help everyone. I truly do want to make a difference in this world and it will happen. So for me to hear the positive responses it only fuels my passion even more!
AE: Asia is an exotic, rapidly growing study destination for foreign exchange students. What places and things in Asia are particularly of interest for you?
Ryan: Learning about other cultures is very important to me; for we don’t see things as they are, we see them as we are. I constantly love to challenge myself and understand as much about the world as possible. Asia is such a unique place and totally different from the west. I’d love to check out South East Asia somewhere like Vietnam or Cambodia, learn their customs and of course TASTE THE FOOD!
AE: For anyone thinking of doing an exchange semester somewhere in the world, what would your top three pieces of advice be?
Talk to everyone, you are there only for a short amount of time. Take advantage of it and build a huge network of friends around the world!
Immerse yourself in everything, the best way to learn about a place is to dive right in.
Have fun! This will be one of the most memorable experiences of your life. Make sure you take advantage of every opportunity and truly live it and appreciate where you are and who you are with! And as always: Learn. Passion. Travel!
We would like to thank The Student Nomad for taking the time to answer our questions. We are looking to see what the future will bring for the project, and always happy to see people like Ryan who are willing to go the extra mile to inspire others to experience the benefits of traveling and getting to know the world around us.