Building confidence, community, and an appetite


He knows it sounds silly, but Ryder Hankins’s love of pasta is one of the things that brought him to Italy. While the University of Nevada, Las Vegas graduate officially studied abroad at the University Studies Abroad Consortium (USAC) Viterbo and Torino programs, he made time to visit all four USAC Italy host locations over the years.

His journey is a story about finding community abroad while trying new things, building a sense of self-confidence, and embracing his queer identity. When he found the right people in a tight-knit Italian town, it opened the world to more travel and connections across the globe. It also taught him the ‘right’ way to cook pasta.

This episode also features a segment from “You Belong,” a piece by USAC Chiang Mai alumnus Ami King and his experience finding community and acceptance abroad.

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