Alumni Spotlight: Katarina Jerman


Katarina has always loved learning about new cultures and enjoying a great adventure. Studying abroad allowed her to do both!

Why did you choose this program?

One of my classmates had studied in Salzburg and talked about how great it was, so I started to look into it and realized it was something I wanted to do as well. My undergrad degree was in International Studies and German so it seemed very fitting to study abroad in a German-speaking country like Austria.

What did your program provider assist you with, and what did you have to organize on your own?

Salzburg College organized a host family for me as well as activities to do with classmates every weekend during our summer session. This was perfect because the activities they planned had us getting out of Salzburg for a day or weekend.

We spent a weekend in Vienna and also had a day trip to go canyoning (which is a super fun way to explore the outdoors in the foothills of the Alps). We were also given tours of the city and taken around. Other classmates and I planned little excursions to other cities on some days.

What is one piece of advice you'd give to someone going on your program?

Take advantage of the little adventures that the college provides you with, but also venture out. There is so much to see in Salzburg, and it is a great town with lots of nooks and crannies to explore. It is also centrally located so you can easily hop on a train to go explore another city for a weekend. The faculty and staff also give great advice on what to do and where to go, so don't be afraid to ask questions!

What does an average day/week look like as a participant of this program?

I had classes 4 days a week; I had a German language course in the morning and then a history/cultural class in the afternoon. I would generally go out and grab lunch in the city or roam around old town Salzburg in between my classes. There was also an outdoor market a block away so I went there quite a bit after my classes.

Going into your experience abroad, what was your biggest fear, and how did you overcome it? How did your views on the issue change?

I choose to do some solo traveling after my study abroad, which was an incredible experience. I relied heavily on public transportation though, which isn't as common here in the United States (outside of large cities).

In a foreign country with a different language, it was a little confusing at first to catch a bus every morning to go to school or get around the city. However, it got easy once I had adjusted, and it was smooth sailing for the rest of my time in Salzburg and the rest of Europe.

What would you tell students going into your program?

The teachers and staff know that you want to have fun while studying abroad so don't be scared to do that. However, always take your classes seriously. There is so much to learn both inside and outside the classroom, so do something you wouldn't usually do.

For example, we were able to take in the show The Sound of Music while being in Salzburg. Salzburg is where part of the movie The Sound of Music is filmed so it was kinda cool to see that. Even if you aren't into classical music or theatre or whatever it may be, step out of your comfort zone because those are the things that you'll remember most.