Andy grew up traveling with his dad and writer, Rick Steves. He studied abroad in Rome, Italy while at the University of Notre Dame and then founded the travel company Weekend Student Adventures.
Where did you go to school?
University of Notre Dame
When and where did you study abroad?
Rome, Italy – John Cabot University
What was the BEST part about studying abroad?
Chartering a boat with friends off of the coast of Greece – something very unconventional and one of our cheapest and best experiences together. Trying something like this truly made our experience unique!
What did you learn about the rest of the world from studying abroad? What did you learn about yourself from the experience?
The things I have learned from traveling couldn’t ever fit onto a page or be put in words. I have grown and become who I am today by meeting people from other cultures, challenging myself to think outside the box and travel the road others haven’t already paved for me. Think how much you learn by throwing yourself into the deep end and figuring out how to swim ;)
What was your BIGGEST challenge when studying abroad?
The biggest challenge was making time for studies when there was so much I wanted to see and do! I truly worked Monday-Thursday in order to spend the entire weekend venturing out of my comfort zone and traveling not only in Italy, but across the entirety of Europe.
How did studying abroad change your life?
I was blown away by the amount students wanted to travel, yet how little they knew about how to get around the continent and make the most of their time and money. That’s where I got the idea for Weekend Student Adventures, and I haven’t looked back!
What have you been doing post studying abroad?
Because I still don’t know what I want to do when I grow up, and I love travel so much, I have made a career of it. I started Weekend Student Adventures in order to help others travel as the locals do and make the most of their weekends abroad. I saw how hard it was for students to break out of the touristy American path and immerse themselves into other cultures, so I have dedicated myself to sharing my own passion with as many people as I can. We organize fun, budget, efficient and effective weekend tours to all the top destinations in Europe, and are having a blast meeting new people and trying new things. Come along with us!
What’s your BEST piece of advice for a student who is thinking about studying abroad?
Break out of your American bubble! Try something new. Hang out at a local coffee shop. Join a club. Speak a different language. Go somewhere no one else has gone. Check out a local student bar. Venture to a city you hadn’t heard of. Order something that you can’t pronounce. Get out there and get involved!