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Why Austria

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Last Updated on April 11, 2013 by



Interested in Austria and want to learn more? Thinking about studying abroad somewhere and wondering if you might like Salzburg? Never heard of Salzburg before and what am I talking about? Read on! 

Salzburg is located in northwestern Austria. Basically you are in central Europe -the perfect location from which to travel. Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Czech Republic, Slovenia, Slovakia, Hungary and more are all a short train ride away. The birthplace of Mozart, Salzburg is one of the most elegant and interesting cities in Europe.  The city was granted UNESCO World Heritage status in recognition of its unique character and architecture. Located just north of the Alps, its’ meadows, lakes and mountains offer breathtaking scenery year round.

Krystina studied abroad with us there last spring and answered a few questions for us:

Why did you choose Salzburg?

I chose it because I needed German credits (my foreign language of choice), but the Austro-German cultures fascinate me as my heritage is part-German.

What courses did you take?

I took literature, history, music, and Austrian folk art in addition to German. My favorite course was history, as it was about World War II (one of my favorite subjects), and I wouldn’t have been able to have that experience in America. Studying it in Europe, and visiting a concentration camp made it real in a way that my teachers at home never could.

What is one of your favorite experiences?

Definitely my spring break. While it was over the top, and had WAY too much traveling, I wouldn’t trade it for the world. In two weeks, my friends and I traveled to Budapest, Brussels, Paris, Amsterdam, Rome (on Easter Sunday, mind you), and Florence.

What advice would you give to students considering going abroad?

Go. Don’t dwell on the what-ifs. Don’t take movies to heart […Taken?], and always keep an open mind. Things won’t always go the way you want, but if you go with the flow, you’ll end up with memories that will never go away. Learn, make new friends, and keep in touch with them. Just go.

What advice would you give to students preparing to go abroad? 

Don’t overpack. Everyone always tells you this, but it’s so true. The first time you have to traverse a big city with bags, you’ll never want to overpack again. Try the food. Definitely try the food. If you’re lucky, you’ll be able to have some of the same foods when you get back home, but Wienerschnitzel in American doesn’t have the same oomph as Wienerschnitzel in Austria. Avoid being afraid of things. A little bit of fear is good, but don’t let it take over your life.


At an Alpine lodge in Berchtesgaden

Krystina, third from the left, at an Alpine lodge in Berchtesgaden with fellow AIFSers


Even MORE:

Bridgette went to Salzburg with us last summer and submitted the beautiful shot at the top of this post for our Best of Summer photo contest. I asked her why she chose it and why she would recommend it to others. Here’s what she had to say:

I choose Salzburg, Austria because I wanted to go some place I didn’t think I would ever get a chance to go to in my lifetime. Most people, when traveling to Europe, go to France, Spain, England, Ireland, etc. But how many people say they are going to Austria. To me, it is a hidden gem in Europe. It is the most beautiful country I have ever been too. Waking up to the multiple church bells going off made my day. I loved walking from the new city to the old city and exploring what they both had to offer. And finally, the small trips to the outskirts of the city were magnificent. People would be crazy to not go and see Europe’s hidden gem of Salzburg, Austria!

Ann also studied in Austria last summer! Below is her photo contest submission (the hills are alive!) and what she had to say about why she chose it:

I chose to study abroad in Salzburg because it seemed like the perfect sized town for me. It’s vibrant and brimming with cultural things to do, yet feels homey and intimate at the same time. I’d recommend it for other students because it is one of the most beautiful places I have ever visited and there is something there for anyone, from nature walks in the Alps to museums and historical sites to glamorous shopping. I knew almost nothing about Austria when I applied, and now Salzburg seems like a second home. I long to see its snow-capped peaks and grand architecture again soon.


[bra_border_divider top=’5′ bottom=’5′]So there you have it! I tried to not say Salzburg in every sentence but it was hard. Whether you are interested in the language and culture, or if it’s a part of the world you haven’t considered, this is a great place to study abroad (or visit while abroad!). Learn more on our website or contact us today.


The hills are alive!

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