Salzburg College


Salzburg College was founded as a study abroad program for Illinois State University and Northern Illinois University by Dr. Ina Stegen in 1970 and started out with a classical European Studies Program of liberal arts courses. Since then, new areas of study- Photography and Studio Art, Business and Communication, Music- expanded the curriculum. International internships were introduced to allow an even greater immersion into Austrian-European culture.

It is our goal at Salzburg College to make studying abroad in Central Europe a once in a lifetime and very personalized European immersion experience by nurturing the open exchange of ideas and culture. Our partner institutions value our programs for their academic and cultural excellence, the personal attention given to each individual student as well as the guidance we provide throughout the intercultural growth process.



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Yes, I recommend this program

A Legacy Begins

Little did I know that back in 1997, the year that I was born, a legacy would begin as my cousin attended Salzburg College. Flash forward 20 years and I am making the decision to study abroad. After researching program opportunities in various countries I chose Salzburg College the heart of Europe. Not only could I travel to various cities by train in two hours such as Munich, Vienna, and Innsbrook, but I would also call Salzburg, the beautiful city with a river nestled between the mountains, home. Once I arrived, I knew why my cousin had decided to attend here so many years ago. I understood his recommendation when he said “the only way you'll understand how great Salzburg is, is if you go.” A semester of living and learning abroad is filled with so many experiences it can be difficult to pinpoint just one. I remember looking through reviews and pictures trying to fully grasp what the experience of studying abroad would be like before I went. Although I gathered plenty of information before leaving, it still didn't paint a clear picture of what exactly I was getting into only that it would be a time of my life that I would never regret and would be oh so good! You can't always prepare yourself for life. Sometimes you just have to jump in! I learned that through my semester. I made the trip "across the pond" with an open mind and readiness to experience different cultures and ways of life. I met people from America, Malaysia, and Germany, that will forever be in my life and have impacted it for the better. I cannot express how important it is to have an open mind and be understanding of others and to be willing to learn more about yourself. I came back from my semester in Salzburg with another semester of college completed, a certificate in international studies, and lifelong friends from all over the world. To try and categorize all of my experiences doesn't do any program overseas justice, especially my Salzburg College experience. I came back home with a broadened worldview and more understanding of how the world works. Not only did my experience leave me wanting to go back but also with an understanding of how we can always learn and grow whether that be on a team, by ourselves, or with other people we struggle to communicate with due to language barriers. Grab your passport and prepare for the stamps to fill the pages and the people and places to fill your heart and memories.

What would you improve about this program?
I would love it to see more interaction with other Germans that are around the age of the students.
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Yes, I recommend this program

Salzburg College Review

I had an amazing study abroad experience at Salzburg College, in Salzburg, Austria. I was able to learn so much about the culture by living in it, and made so many unforgettable memories while traveling through Europe with this program. Austria is a beautiful country, I recommend it to all! I cannot wait to return to this beautiful city again soon and continue to experience more of what Salzburg, Austria has to offer!

What would you improve about this program?
Prepping student with living manors appropriate to Austrian culture when living with host families.
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Yes, I recommend this program


Studying abroad at Salzburg College was one of the best decisions I have ever made. The faculty at the college was fantastic overall, my immersion into Austrian culture was complete, and my ability to travel elsewhere in Europe was nearly limitless. I was able to travel to several other countries while still falling in love with my 2nd home in Salzburg and feeling as though part of my heart will forever remain Austrian! If you are even considering choosing Salzburg College, pull the trigger. You will not be disappointed in your Austrian Study Abroad experience.

What would you improve about this program?
1 or 2 program professors could have been better to deal with. Otherwise, great program.
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Yes, I recommend this program

Salzburg College Spring 2018

I was drawn to this college by its location and small class size as well as special programs and trips included for the students. (This included trips to Munich and Vienna as well as ski, hiking, snowshoeing, and canyoning trips). Also built into the curriculum, were classes and programs that educated students on local history and culture.
I am so glad I got to stay in a host home! Though it was challenging at first to adapt to life in a different country my host mom was loving and helpful every step of the way. I also felt comfortable to ask my professors any questions academically related or not. The class schedule also enabled me time for independent travel around Europe.
Come with an open mind. This experience has taught me to be more flexible in all situations.
My favorite memory was a hike around the lake district of Salzburg on a warm sunny spring day, sitting on the dock with all my friends and jumping in the lake! I must go back!

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Yes, I recommend this program

Student review of Salzburg College

As the cliche goes, studying abroad is life changing. My time abroad allowed me to grow as a young adult and learn many things both in and out of the classroom. Salzburg College equips its students with all the tools needed for success but also allows students the freedom to figure things out for themselves. The staff and professors are personable and well versed in all that Salzburg has to offer; always willing to provide recommendations and answers to questions.
The college as a whole is a excellent academic institution that richly enhances their student's knowledge and appreciation of the Austrian culture and lifestyle. If I had the chance, I wouldn't give a second-thought about enrolling in the program again. I highly recommend Salzburg College to any students interested in studying abroad.

What would you improve about this program?
German courses - more out of class practice: ie, Johanna took us to the market to practice speaking and asking questions
Understanding Austria - If possible more excursions, I always learned the most out of classroom
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Alumni Interviews

These are in-depth Q&A sessions with verified alumni.

Why did you choose this program?

When I was college searching, I actually chose my school because of the study abroad programs they offer. I spoke with a former student that had spent a semester in Salzburg and hearing her story made me so excited to see all that the program entailed. Going into the quest for my ideal study abroad experience, I made a list of things I really wanted to have in a program. I was specifically looking for a host home experience where I’d have the chance to really be entrenched in the culture and I also really wanted a program where I’d have the freedom to explore and travel on my own.

It was really important for me to be learning alongside other travelers in my classroom (so I wasn’t plopped inside a classroom with a bunch of native speakers of a foreign language I didn’t know) and mostly, I wanted to be pushed outside my comfort zone . When I found out that Salzburg College checked all those boxes, I was sold. Plus, the fact that Salzburg is a smaller sized city and one of the safest cities in Europe made this trip even more perfect for me (and for my parents). Ultimately, all the factors that led me to Salzburg were fulfilled, and I had a blast all semester!

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

The staff at Salzburg were great at initiating communication and keeping me informed prior to leaving for the trip, they never left me or my parents in the dark about what we’d be doing. Once we arrived in Europe, the staff was just as attentive. I felt at ease asking them questions and approaching them any time I needed help. Our teachers were even great at giving us advice on where to travel, how to budget well, and the ‘must see’ things during our time in Austria.

During most weekends (and a ten-day spring break) we had the chance to travel on our own and were given total freedom to do and go where we pleased. I appreciated this so much not only because we were given the opportunity to choose what we wanted to do, but also because it gave me much needed experience in planning and booking our adventures. If you’re looking for a program that is structured and always has a plan for you, Salzburg probably isn’t for you. The staff will answer all your questions and give you all the advice you could want, but they definitely aren’t going to hold your hand the whole way.

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

SOAK IT ALL UP. The only way to get the most rewarding, unforgettable experience out of your trip is to do things you normally wouldn’t. Book that weekend trip to Spain. Stay in a hostel with strangers you'll never see again. Take the long way to school and explore the city. Climb a terrifyingly rickety staircase to the top of a tower just for the views. Spend fourteen dollars on a macaroon if that’s what you want to do. Just don’t be afraid to stretch yourself outside your comfort zone! Maybe you’ll end up being a life-long traveler, or maybe this will be your only international experience, but either way, you don’t want to look back on your time in another country wishing you had just done that one thing.

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

The cool thing about Salzburg College is that there is always something new going on. Sure, lots of days are filled with one class in the morning, a break for lunch and then another class in the afternoon (typically German and Austrian history are taken by everyone before spring break (or fall break) and then two or three other classes of each students choosing afterwards), but I wouldn’t say there is much of a routine in SC’s classes. As a class, we took many field trips, whether that was around town or to a completely different city.

This form of experiential learning made the whole experience far more interesting and enriching than it would have been had we just been in classrooms all day. Even when we did stay at the school, SC staff brought in some really awesome speakers and guests to give us some perspective on Austrian life. We met a rabbi who had survived the Holocaust, a few professors from Universität Salzburg, a culture specialist from England and, my favorite guests, a pair of brothers who had escaped the turmoil of Syria to make a life in Europe. These experiences made the trip for me, and they are what sets Salzburg College apart from other programs. You’ll be surprised just how much a normal week in Austria definitely won’t be average.

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

When I decided to go to Austria, I was an 18-year-old college freshman that honestly had no idea what to expect. If you’re the kind of person that stresses a lot about anything and everything, I’m right there with you! But I will say, that out of my character, I felt pretty at peace about going to Austria. I knew it was a safe city, I knew that I had planned and organized well and I knew that no matter what happened, Salzburg College was going to take care of me. I was mostly just worried about whether I’d make friends (guess what, I did, I had nothing to worry about).

So if you’re preparing to go anywhere abroad and you just can’t seem to shake your anxieties about what will happen, it’s okay! Talk to someone who’s traveled before, ask questions and try to remember to breathe, heck call me if you need someone to give you traveling advice, because I promise you, the great things you’ll get out of study abroad will far overshadow any of those worries that you came into it with.

Did you get to interact with Austrian students at all?

It’s important to know that this program consists of a small group of other American students and that you won’t be doing a lot of interacting with Austrians your age. This means that SC it might not be the right study abroad experience for some people, but I loved this aspect and it gave me a peace of mind going into studying abroad. Salzburg College is unique in the fact that they are a program designed specifically for American students. Instead of following the Austrian school system’s semester schedule (which is different than ours) they use the August to December and January to May model like we do. But even more than that, all our teachers spoke both English and German and were able to easily communicate with us.

If you want to get more interactions with Austrians your age, it’s really easy to involve yourself and meet other people outside your class of Americans. Another group of girls and I found a church that we went to on the weekends we stayed in Austria. (If you’re looking for a church or Bible study to go to while in Austria, I highly recommend Calvary Chapel, a church started by a couple from Seattle that has services in both German and English). Basically, the moral of the story is you can easily find and meet Austrian friends, if you’re willing to look for them!