The answer to this can be found in Chapter 19. The basic idea is that Henry Clerval wants to meet as many new and brilliant people as he can and he wants to learn as much as he can.
Henry wants to find and hang out with "men of genius and talent who flourished at this time." He is interested in learning all sorts of things. He wants, for example, to go to India and learn native languages. Henry is very happy during this time because he is getting a chance to learn and to stimulate his mind.
By contrast, Victor is very unhappy and obsessed with his own narrow goals.