Alumni Spotlight: Devin Ganley

Devin Ganley is a senior majoring in English with a concentration in writing and mass communications and a minor in sociology at Assumption College. Devin attended the University of Salzburg, Austria with AIFS.

What made this study abroad experience unique and special?

Devin ganley austria

Devin: I think the size of the program was perfect. There were about 40 kids in the program, which allowed us to form a great bond. We were really able to get to know each other and become really close; I still talk to many of the kids from my program now. We saw each other everyday in class and almost always hung out after class as well. I also enjoyed the size of the city too. It was small enough to walk around on beautiful day but public transportation was easily accessible as well. Salzburg was incredibly beautiful and it quickly began to feel like home.

What was the best place you visited outside of Salzburg, Austria?

Devin: I don’t think I could possibly narrow down my favorite visited places to just one so I am going to say both Barcelona and Edinburgh. I loved Barcelona because it had so much to offer; there was beautiful architecture, both a large and small city feel, a beach, and excellent nightlife. There was always something to do and see. Edinburgh was absolutely beautiful. The buildings were amazing, it was small enough spend the day wondering side streets, and everyone was really friendly. In addition, of course, it was great to eat at the Elephant Café, where JK Rowling wrote Harry Potter.

What is one piece of advice you'd give future AIFS Austria students?

Devin: Sight see around the city! I felt like I was seeing everything I needed to by walking to and from classes but in hindsight I feel like I missed so much. I wish I had gone on the Sound of Music tour so I could have learned more about the sights I had grown accustomed to and walked by each day. Also, visit other places in Austria. I went on trips to Vienna and Innsbruck, but I wish I had made it to other cities like Graz and Linz. Now that I’m home I keep seeing such beautiful pictures of these cities and I really wish I had hoped a train while I had the chance.

If you could do-over one thing, what would it be?

Devin: This is a really hard question because I feel like I accomplished so much while I was abroad. I guess if given a second chance I would travel even more. I went to so many wonderful countries but now that I’ve started traveling I don’t want to stop. I don’t think you can ever be satisfied with the number of places you visit; there are so many possibilities. Take every possible weekend you have to travel! My biggest regret is never making it to Morocco, it looks amazing and every time I spoke to those who have went, they absolutely loved it!

Devin university of Salzburg Austria

Describe your most meaningful souvenir and why you love it?

Devin: My most meaningful souvenir is definitely my dirndl. It was a lot of money, so if you plan on buying either lederhosen or a dirndl be prepared to drop a few Euros. However, it was worth it. I think the best thing that came from our dirndls was the change to walk around the city in them while stopping to take pictures in front of monuments and landmarks. These made for great souvenir pictures, and our parents absolutely loved them. You may not get that many opportunities to wear your dirndl after leaving Austria but you’ll find some; I plan on using my as a Halloween costume.