Ryan Penna, The College of New Jersey

ESC Heidelberg Ambassador

My semester abroad in Heidelberg, Germany was an experience that I will never forget. I had so many unbelievable opportunities to explore different cultures and to collaborate alongside students from all around the globe. The time I spent abroad was invaluable to my professional development, as it taught me the importance of evaluating situations through different perspectives. As a finance major I really enjoyed taking a trip to Frankfurt, which is the banking capital of Europe. I was afforded the opportunity to visit the Frankfurt Stock Exchange as well as the Deutsche Bundesbank. By visiting this institutions, I learned firsthand just how interconnected the world’s financial markets are.

It is my firm belief that all students should take the time to study abroad, if they are afforded the opportunity. Studying abroad gives students the perfect chance to learn more about themselves. After returning to the United States, it was clear that my outlook on the world had changed. I had a much greater sense of self-confidence after being in a foreign country for four months. I shared so many wonderful experiences with the friends that I made, and I am sure that I will always remain close with them. Studying abroad is an incredibly eye-opening experience; and, being immersed in a foreign culture for four months teaches students so much more than can be taught in a normal classroom setting.

"My time in Germany has truly opened my eyes to a world filled with amazing opportunities. My time spent in Heidelberg has inspired me to seek out employment opportunities abroad so that I can pursue my passion of learning about other cultures."