As practically everyone else has said - so I'll pile on - reeds are so personal that you won't know what you'll get till you give them a try. Blue box Vandorens and I
don't get along. I get along much better with Rico Royales, Rico Jazz Selects or even the Brown box Ricos than I do those Blue Boxes. But, others swear by them so your mileage will
By the way, what setups are we contrasting or comparing between you and your instructor? That will play large role in what you will experience but you won't know till you try. Are you looking
for some kind of change in your tone that you can describe?
What is known for sure is that you will get a different reed. And yes you will definitely need to go down a half strength to be comparable with your Ricos. What else is known is that you will be out an additional $1.16/ reed or $11.60/box of ten reeds. Lastly, only you will be able to tell if it's worth it.
Ah! Here is a diagram illustrating the different cuts of Vandoren
reeds. Couldn't find a Rico equivalent. This is the best I could find on Rico
but it's a pdf so I'll let you read it for pertinent info.