International Programs Office
Student Success Center
Campus Box 1159
Study Abroad Coordinator
Dr. Ronald Schaefer
International Programs Director
Studying in Austria was always a dream for me and SIUE’s study abroad program with Salzburg College made that dream come true. I chose to study in Salzburg, Austria from the end of January until May 5th 2006. Salzburg is a gorgeous, cozy city located less than two hours (by train) from Munich, Germany. It is the birth place of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart as well as the location of the musical “The Sound of Music”, but don't let that scare you. It is also the home and inspiration for many famous Austrian writers (visit the Georg Trakl plaque) and one of the most beautiful cities in the world. The college is located right off the banks of the beautiful Salzach river which makes walking home and picnicing always a pleasure (even in the Winter!).
Austria is centrally located so reaching other cities is not a hassle. I went to Prague on a weekend trip and was also able to visit Portugal, Spain, France, and Poland during the two-week break. Salzburg has a gorgeous countryside that makes for great inexpensive weekend plans. I went to Strobl (a beautiful little town on the Wolfgangsee) twice and the bus ticket was only 12 Euro roundtrip (6 Euro each way), St. Gilgin, St. Wolfgang, visited Linz, and the entire school takes a trip to Vienna together. There are also many activities to do in the city of Salzburg itself: the modern art museum is always great, climbing various mountains (or hills as the Austrians call them), beer gardens, coffee houses (Café Bazar and the café in the modern art museum are my personal favorites), enjoying a drink on top of the hotel Stein is also a must. The school has organized trips once a week to show you the great sights of Salzburg.
Even though the program caters to students who do not speak German and only requires one German language class per semester, it is able to meet the needs of serious German speaking students. Dr. Stegen and Gretel can arrange for you attend lectures at the University of Salzburg, plays at the theatres, and other events that will help you focus on speaking German including Independent Studies. Austrian Civilization, a course required by the college, offers the opportunity to observe teaching in an Austrian Gymnasium, observing a business, or several other rich cultural experiences. You can even request to stay with a family that will speak only German with you (even though they all know English).
The school offers a wide variety of courses including: Art, History, Language, and Political Science. I was able to transfer all my courses for SIUE credit and apply for an earlier graduation because Salzburg College provided an Independent Study in Literature. The school is small enough to work with students individually (there were 30 students in the entire school when I was there) and tries, successfully, at accommodating each student with his/her specific needs. A friend of mine was even able to participate in a marathon!
I would definitely recommend this program to anyone looking to study in a German speaking country that is afraid of getting lost in a huge city and looking to experience the real differences between Austrians and Germans. Studying at Salzburg College gave me the ability to use German in a practical academic way and it was truly the most enjoyable semester I’ve ever had!
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