MORE CULTURE. LESS SHOCK. Programs, Internships and Volunteer Opportunities
APPLY NOW to STUDY ABROAD »
Meet our Spain Resident Director

Ryan Lorenz, Spain Resident Director

ryan_lorenz.jpg

  • HOW DID YOU BECOME A RESIDENT DIRECTOR?
  • Good fortune! I never planned to work in study abroad although I was a study abroad student in London back in ’84. That experience opened my eyes to the wider world, led to my Peace Corps stint in Kenya…and from there it was one small step to being a study abroad director. And after 26 years of doing the same I cannot imagine a life different from this one!
  • TELL US SOMETHING SURPRISING ABOUT YOU?
  • I am on the same train of intercultural discovery as my students. My train simply left the station earlier.
  • WHAT IS ONE LITTLE-KNOWN FACT ABOUT BARCELONA?
  • It’s a multicultural city: Catalan, Spanish and European, yes, but also Chinese, Muslim, Russian, Pakistani … the world lives here. Describe Barcelona? Impossible.
  • WHAT IS THE MOST IMPORTANT THING THAT STUDENTS LEARN IN SPAIN?
  • Beliefs and values are culturally specific. Students come with certainty, leave with questions, and learn more about themselves than about anything else.
  • WHAT IS ONE THING MOST OF YOUR STUDENTS MAY NOT KNOW ABOUT YOU?
  • I have fabulous stamp and comic collections.
  • WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE PLACE IN THE WORLD TO VISIT? WHAT'S YOUR DREAM VACATION?
  • Choosing favorites and dream destinations is impossible for me because too many places fill me with wonder and intrigue.  Some days I dream of travelling to the many parts of the world unknown to me yet most of the time I am very content discovering new corners of Catalunya. 
  • WHAT DO YOU ENJOY MOST ABOUT BEING RESIDENT DIRECTOR.
  • My own abroad experiences have transformed my life. I love watching others make the same journey.
  • TELL US MORE ABOUT YOUR BACKGROUND?
  • Ecletic! When I look at who I am today it’s really down to answering the door when opportunity knocked. Done many things in many places, almost none of it planned nor imagined when I was a college student.
  • WHAT IS A VISITOR "MUST SEE" IN BARCELONA?
  • They must get away from the tourist hubs of activity. Explore unknown neighborhoods, try new foods, do something simply because it’s there staring you in the face and saying: try me!! Get lost. That’s my best advice.
  • WHAT IS THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE FOR STUDENTS IN BARCELONA?
  • Adapting their homegrown expectations to a new cultural environment. That is normal, of course, but retards their ability to fully comprehend their new and temporary home. I also think that some students have a very short attention span, a real handicap when trying to figure out what is going on around you when you understand few if any of the cultural cues.
  • WHAT'S THE ONE THING STUDENTS SHOULDN'T FORGET TO PACK FOR BARCELONA?
  • The right attitudes! Flexibility, Patience and a Sense of Humor.
  • WHAT DO YOU LIKE TO DO WHEN YOU'RE NOT BUSY WORKING?
  • Water is my element and that is where you will find me during my free time: in the ocean, in the pool, and on the ski slopes.

Visit our Spain resident office website

 
Institute for Study Abroad, Alliance For Global Education and MORE CULTURE. LESS SHOCK. are registered marks of the Institute for Study Abroad, Inc.