Looking Back on the Summer: Ryan Wakat

Ryan WakatName: Ryan Wakat
Home University:
University of Colorado – Boulder
Summer Courses While at DIS:
Design and Society in Denmark, Furniture Design in Scandinavia

What a ride it has been. I have been back in the US for about two months now, following a month of travel after classes at DIS ended. That being said, I have had quite a bit of time to look back on my experiences overseas, not only while at DIS, but also living and traveling abroad.

As I sit at home, in the chair that I designed at DIS, going through the almost 19,000 photos and videos that I took while abroad, I am reminded of all the advice I received from those who traveled overseas before me.

ryan1One of the biggest pieces of advice that I received before I left home, was to never say no to a new opportunity. The one thing I was always reminding myself was that I was here to try and experience new things. From driving around Iceland with a fellow traveler, to jumping off the 4.9 meter high Sea Baths, and even paragliding in Switzerland, if it was an opportunity to see and experience something new, I said yes. If a new adventure presents itself to you and it will test you as a person, do it! It is better to have moments looking back that make you go “oh well I didn’t like it”, as opposed to “what if I would’ve liked that.” Live it up!

ryan2Since being back, I have had daydreaming moments that bring me back to all the place traveled to in Europe. I mean, there is just something so amazing about seeing a photo of Nyhavn, LegoLand, even Paris, London, or Berlin, and being able to say “I was there!” and in your own mind, you can see it, as if you were there right now.

There was even a scene from Covert Affairs that was filmed in Copenhagen, and I lost it when I saw the plaza that is right around the corner from DIS. Even when I talk to my family members about the 12 countries I went to, I am brought back to each place I went to. Those little moments have being making the transition back into life at home a little easier.

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Overall, the experiences I had while studying at DIS were second to none. Honestly, it was the most fun summer school experience I’ve ever had, and it felt more like summer camp then school. What more could you ask for? That being said, it was a lot of work, but amazingly rewarding in the end. I learned so many new ideas and concepts, that are definitely going to help me grow as not only a person, but as a designer.  There is no way I can fully describe all the things I did while living abroad but I can tell you, it was the most amazing experience I’ve ever had.

One thought

  1. Ryan-
    I am planning on studying through DIS this summer. I am curious- through what program did you go paragliding in Switzerland? I would love to do the same.
    Thank you!
    -Taylor

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