Hi! My name is Jane and I studied abroad with AIFS during the Fall 2017 semester in Salzburg, Austria. I chose Salzburg specifically because I was already familiar with the area. As a child, I lived just over the border in Bavaria, Germany and I knew that I already loved the culture so much. It was an easy transition for me, but it was also an easy transition for the other students in my program who had never been to that area before with the help of AIFS.
The academics offered by AIFS in Salzburg were wonderful. The classes I took included German, International Politics, and Contemporary Austrian Culture, which not only helped me further my academic understanding of the topics, but they also helped my cultural experiences in and around the areas that I traveled.
Throughout the semester, I traveled all over Europe with the friends that I made in my AIFS program. We went to places such as Germany, Czech Republic, Slovenia, Italy, and Poland, as well as all over the country of Austria itself. We took loads and loads of planes, trains and buses and in that time we were able to get all of and in that time we were able to get all of our homework done while seeing all the sites.
The experience of studying abroad is truly unique because not only does it give students the opportunity to learn about cultures in an academic context, but to also learn outside of the classroom. Every weekend we experienced a different food, a different language, or a different culture and every one of these experiences served as both a learning tool and as memories that we’ll always treasure.
Although we traveled to loads of different places we also got to immerse ourselves in all that Salzburg and the surrounding areas had to offer as the fall was the perfect time of year to visit. The semester started out warm, so we were able to go on hikes and enjoy local festivals, such as Rupertikirtag. By the end of the semester we were enjoying the beautiful snow, the white-topped mountains, and the Christmas markets that featured the Krampus.
My favorite part of living in Salzburg overall was my commute to classes every single day. Whether I decided to ride the local bus or to take the walk through the old town in order to get to my classes, I always was in awe of how beautiful the city was and just how lucky I was to be there.
Looking back, I’m really glad that I chose AIFS as my program provider because they were there to help us out with every single step of the way. They have an easily comprehensible website, self-explanatory application process and a great team of staff. Everyone was willing to answer any and all questions we had before arrival, during the program and post-departure.
The field staff in Salzburg were amazing and helped with everything from academics and getting textbooks to questions we had about our accommodations, and to helping students go to doctors appointments in order to help them overcome the language barrier.
With my study abroad experience with AIFS, I’ve been able to figure out where I see my future leading me. As I am now on my last semester of my undergraduate career, looking back it was a course that I took in Salzburg — as well as my general time abroad — that has helped me figure out what I would like to do post-graduation. This upcoming fall I will actually be returning overseas and pursuing a Master’s in International Development, something that AIFS, as well as my time abroad, gave me the confidence to pursue.
I’m incredibly grateful towards AIFS and my study abroad experience because it has helped me figure out where I see my future taking me and who I want to become.
Interested in studying abroad in Salzburg like AIFS Alumni Ambassador Jane did? Click here to learn more.