Thursday, October 18, 2012

Fall Austria Group in Full Swing at Salzburg University

In the northern Alps of Austria, the city, or Stadt, of Salzburg sits nestled among rolling hills and jagged bergs. It’s an ancient place, anchored by a fortress (Festung Hohensalzburg) built hundreds of years ago that now stands sentinel to one of the most beautiful urban areas in Europe. 

2012 Austria Study Abroad in the Black Forest -- 22 Students Strong!

The 2012 Austria Study Abroad group is currently experiencing the beauty of the mountains, meadows, and baroque architecture of Salzburg. Twenty-two students live in housing within the city and take classes offered at the University of Salzburg, taught by CSB/SJU-contracted instructors and professors. Courses range from German to Environmental Ethics, but may include informal classes in making turkey schnitzel and spaetzle or time out to hike the hills and mountains that are accessible in minutes. 

Picking grapes at Mehofer Vineyard, Neudegg, Austria.

Tom Kroll, Saint John’s Abbey Arboretum Director, is directing this year’s Study Abroad experience. In addition to teaching Environmental Ethics, Herr Kroll leads students on hikes atop local mountains, in search of biophilia symbolism, and on tours at sawmills to help participants grasp supply and demand issues related to renewable resources. Living in Salzburg allows students a unique opportunity to immerse themselves in the German language (Austrian dialect).

Students also have spent time in the country picking grapes at a winery, biking along the Danube, and experiencing the hospitality and magnificence of the Austrian Benedictine Abbey Stift Melk. Students also studied sustainability issues and toured the Furstenberg forests in the Black Forest of Germany. Next up? Vienna!

A scenic Break at Stift Melk 

Importantly, the Study Abroad experience affords students the chance to compare and contrast European practices and policies with those of the United States in terms of resource consumption and allocation. With a much denser population, Austria and Germany are challenged to provide a high standard of living while preserving their natural resources. Differences are notable. Public transportation options and personal transportation (bicycling, walking), for example, are much more prevalent in Salzburg than in St. Cloud. 
While differences are notable, similarities also are evident. People work, strive, and celebrate their lives in Austria. Humans in search of adventure is universal!

Note:  We congratulate the vibrant, adventurous students and leaders of the 2012 Austria group.  And we look forward to your return to share your excitement and stories with us at CSB/SJU!  Alles Gute und schönen Aufenthalt noch!