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From sailing the Gulf coast to conducting research in Skövde

Ryan Potter’s journey from Michigan, USA to Skövde was a winding one, but he has now found himself exactly where he wants to be.

Before moving to Skövde, Ryan served in the Air Force as a geospatial analyst for six years, which took him to Iraq and Afghanistan.

- I also spent a year living on a boat and sailed the Gulf coast with a friend. However, a storm wrecked our boat while sailing, and it could have gone very poorly for us. Reflecting on that experience, I came to understand the importance of seizing every moment and living life to its utmost potential.

After his military service and the incident with the boat, Ryan felt that it was time for a new challenge. To move to new a country.

How do you know which country or city to choose when you move?

Ryan's decision to move to Sweden was influenced by him wanting to immerse himself in a culture that values rationality and freedom of self-expression, which he discovered through the World Values Survey. Once he decided on Sweden, he began applying to universities to study molecular biodesign.

- I began studying at University of Skövde in 2017 and earned a bachelor's and master's degree before starting doctoral studies in biomarkers for glaucoma last year. So far in my doctoral research, I have analyzed autoimmune proteins due to the suspicion that glaucoma might be an autoimmune disease. This project will span for approximately four years.

During his first year in Skövde, Ryan was active in many student organizations and got a job at the university.

Ryan Potter

- I volunteered with a student organization student organization, ESN which let me to attend conferences across Europe, such as in Romania and Greece. That indirectly led me to my first job in Sweden at the university's International Office, which handles international student exchanges and supports international students and staff. During my time at the International Office, I got to travel even more, participating in recruitment events in Uganda and Kenya.

University of Skövde

New adventures in Skövde where everything is within reach

After visiting all corners of the world, Sweden and Skövde remain a favorite.

- I love Sweden and I think Skövde is great! The city is well situated, which makes it very easy to travel to other cities in Sweden. I really appreciate Skövde's proximity to nature and its walkability and biking.

Last year, Ryan adopted a wolfdog, and a couple of weeks ago he moved into his newly purchased house in Lerdala.

- I look forward to hiking and camping this summer and settling into my house. Skövde and Lerdala are perfect places for enjoying hiking, camping, and nature activities.

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