Ryan Bertoldi is going to travel and see the world, thanks to being a student at RACC.
The 29-year-old Business Administration student will be leaving this summer for a semester at Reutlingen University in Germany as part of a partnership RACC has with the Danzer Foundation. He is one of 40 international students taking part in the program and just one of four from the United States.
"When I came to RACC, I started reading up on grants and scholarships and it enlightened me that there were all these doors of opportunity, I just had to take the steps," said Ryan. "I want to tell other students that there can be so much more to the college experience than just taking classes and going home."
Ryan was encouraged to pursue the semester abroad by Professor Mary Lou Kline, who thought he would make a good candidate.
"Ryan has a zest for life and is eager to try new adventures," she said. "He is persistent and goes after what he wants. It is a very generous scholarship made possible by Mr. Danzer and the Danzer Foundation, and Ryan is exactly the type of student Mr. Danzer has in mind when making this scholarship available. I am sure that Ryan will reap the rewards of this wonderful opportunity."
While the overall adventure of traveling to Europe is exciting, Ryan said he is most looking forward to exploring the history. A special language and orientation mini course will be offered before the semester starts to help the students adjust.
"The course is supposed to help us get used to the language and the culture," he said. "It's also going to be a chance to visit some of their major businesses like Audi and Volkswagen."
Ryan admits he was drawn to business at a young age, selling golf balls and refreshments on a local golf course at the age of 12, and later managing a privately-owned pet store by the time he was 15.
"I like to see things succeed," he said. "People have goals and they can be really simple, but it's still something important to them. Just the idea of running something efficiently and maximizing effort appeals to me."
He learned the commercial side of business marketing while working for Lamar Advertising for three years with the responsibility of attracting new clients. However, when the economy turned, Ryan found himself out of a job and looking at going back to school.
"To be honest, I never considered RACC until I started looking at credit prices and comparing programs," he said. "I toured the campus and talked to some teachers and it made sense as a good starting point for me. I also like how involved RACC is in the community."
Although he is currently majoring in business, Ryan also has an interest in education. He is currently working as an ESL aide in the kindergarten classes at Amanda Stout Elementary through a work-study position.
Mary Lou knew he enjoyed working with children so she recommended Ryan as a counselor for a two-week summer day camp in Germany called Burzlebach. This means he gets to leave for Germany earlier and enjoy extra time abroad.
Ultimately, Ryan plans to transfer and earn a bachelor's degree in Business Marketing and someday work in school administration.