Jack Ryan

Jack Ryan

Jack Ryan

My name is Jack Ryan, and I am a junior at North Central College in Naperville, IL. I have the amazing opportunity of pursuing a Richter Grant and study abroad experience back to back. I'll be ending the summer traveling to New York and London to do a comparative study of musical theatre stylistic differences between the two regions and then studying at the University of Glasgow in Scotland for the fall semester. Follow my blog to keep track of me as I embark on this amazing adventure and travel to different countries!

Europe » France » Île-de-France December 29th 2014

Friday morning it was time to head to Paris. We headed to the train station in London and began our journey to Paris. It was exciting because we were going through a tunnel that connected the British isle with continental Europe. The train ride went pretty quickly, and after disembarking the train and waiting for what seemed like forever for a taxi that could hold the five of us, we arrived at our hotel. Without pausing to unpack, we checked in and put our bags in the room. We took the opportunity to grab lunch near the hotel and then walked around the surrounding area, peeking in shops and grabbing some early souvenirs. That evening we watched a movie before it was time to go to our first tour: illuminations of Paris, which was a night ... read more
Under the Eiffel Tower
Eiffel Tower
Eiffel Tower

Europe » United Kingdom » England » Greater London » Westminster December 26th 2014

Monday morning, we woke up and finished our last minute packing and got breakfast at the hotel before heading to Glasgow Central to depart for London. The train station was great about helping us get mom to the train along with our luggage. We boarded the train, which was incredibly nice as we had booked first class tickets. We had wifi, outlets, two meals, snacks, wine and chocolate all included with our tickets. The train ride was very pleasant, and before we knew it, we had arrived in London. We took a taxi to our hotel and were able to check into our hotel. We then ventured down the street to the Whiteleys mall which was a few minutes’ walk from the hotel. After checking out the stores, we saw the latest Night at the Museum ... read more
Telephone Booth
Tower Bridge
Tower of London

Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland » Lanarkshire » Glasgow December 22nd 2014

After the struggle of packing everything, not only for home, but also for a two week European vacation, I was finally ready to head to the hotel. I took a cab to the hotel, and struggled to push my suitcases into the hotel. Since the room wasn’t ready yet, I had them hold my bags for me and I headed to the airport to meet the family. After waiting a bit since their flight was delayed and, as I would later learn, their bags were on the wrong flight, I finally saw them coming out of the baggage claim area. It was so great to see everyone, and we were all ready to head to the hotel. We took a taxi to the hotel and headed up to get situated in our rooms. We then had ... read more
Transport Museum

Europe » Greece » Attica » Athens December 18th 2014

After waking up early to make it to my red-eye flight, I arrived at the Rome Ciampino airport to depart for Athens. I arrived in Athens a bit early, and made my way to the metro which departed from the airport. After having a bit of a hard time figuring out which line I needed, I was able to figure out which platform my train departed from and it was waiting on the platform when I finally arrived. I took the metro, which took about an hour, into Monastiraki which was a square near the hostel I was staying at. I walked to the hostel, which was a bit hard to find since my directions were in English and all of the street signs were in Greek. Once I arrived at the hostel, I dumped my ... read more
Ancient Greek Theatre
Nighttime Acropolis

Europe » Italy » Lazio » Rome December 15th 2014

After the Harry Potter tour, I began my journey to Rome. I took the train from London to the Gatwick airport, where I would catch my flight to Rome Fiumicino. After taking the plane, I boarded a train from the airport into the Tremini Station, where I could walk to my hostel. After getting a bit lost on the way to the hostel, I finally found it and checked into my room, which was actually very nice. There were only four beds, and none were bunk beds. I was exhausted, so I went to bed early, deciding to begin touring in the morning. The next morning, I joined a free walking tour that started at the foot of the Spanish Steps and led us to the Vatican. It was very interesting having the tour guide explain ... read more
Vatican City
Vatican Museums
St. Peter's Basilica

Europe » United Kingdom » England » Hertfordshire » Watford December 12th 2014

On Thursday, December 11, after finishing my final exam (and thus the semester), I set out on my final travel journey before my family arrives. I was planning on traveling to Rome and to Athens, but since flights are cheaper to fly from London rather than Glasgow, and since there are cheap flights between London and Glasgow, I decided to fly through London. On the way there, I decided to make the most of my time in London and book the Harry Potter Studio Tour. I arrived in London late Thursday evening and crashed at the hostel before getting up early the next morning to head to the studio tour. I booked the tour through Golden Tours, which worked really well since it included transportation to the otherwise potentially hard to get to studio location. The ... read more
Dumbledore's Office
Hogwarts Bridge
Diagon Alley

Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland » Lanarkshire » Glasgow December 11th 2014

The holiday season, for me, began officially on the 4th of December after I sat for the general GRE Exam and found out that I passed! Ashlee, Sabrina, Belinda, Henriette and I went out for a nice dinner at Wetherspoon's Hengler's Circus to celebrate. Afterwards, Ashlee and I decided to go to the 78 for another drink, before retiring to our respective rooms to work on essays and studying for exams. Since I had an exam towards the end of the first week of exams, I decided to wait and travel after my exam so that I could devote more time to studying and writing essays. This worked out quite well, since we were able to do a lot of exploring around Glasgow and partake in some fun holiday activities! Friday, December 5 - This evening, ... read more
World Cup Gymnastics 2014!
Ice Skating
Pollok House

Europe » Iceland » Southwest » Reykjavík December 1st 2014

This year for Thanksgiving, since I wouldn't be home with family, I decided to have a Friends-giving with all of the new friends I had met studying abroad. We each made a variety of dishes to share. I decided to make a corn casserole; since I couldn't find the Jiffy corn mix in stores here in the UK, I had to order it from Amazon. But, the dish turned out well and everyone seemed to enjoy it. We had a great time having dinner, wine and it was very cool sharing the Thanksgiving tradition with people, most of whom had never celebrated Thanksgiving before. We managed to fit fourteen people around the table, and we realized that we were all from eleven different countries! During dinner, we all went around and shared what we were thankful ... read more
Views of Reykjavik
Exploring the City
Northern Lights Tour

Europe » United Kingdom » England » Greater London » Mile End November 23rd 2014

This weekend, as part of an attempt to make my application for the Goldwater National Scholarship as competitive as possible, North Central funded my travel and participation in the Early Career Mathematicians’ Autumn Conference which was put on by the Institute of Mathematics and its Applications. I left Friday morning for London, and after taking a bus from the airport into the city, I settled into the hostel. I went and found the hotel that my family and I are staying at when we are back for Christmas, and I was able to find a nice restaurant that we can have Christmas dinner at. That evening, I met my friend Mackenzie, who I knew from high school, and a few of her friends that she was traveling with for dinner. We walked around for a bit ... read more
Queen Mary University of London

Europe » United Kingdom » England » Kent » Canterbury November 17th 2014

This weekend, I got to go to Canterbury to see all of the North Central folks who are studying there and celebrate my former roommate, Chris', 21st birthday. After taking the overnight bus from Glasgow, I arrived in London early Friday morning. Since it was a bit cold and rainy and I had done a lot of the tourist attractions in London when I visited in September, I decided to check out some of the museums. I started at the Museum of Natural History, which was incredibly huge. I spent more than four and a half hours there, and I felt as though I had just scraped the surface of the collections that they boasted. It was cool that it was clearly a working museum; you could tell that continuing to pursue research was one of ... read more
Canterbury Cathedral

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