Home away from home, how it all began…

Everyone always says it…. but you do not believe it until you do it yourself. Studying abroad really does change your life.  

Even though I was utterly exhausted after the 8-hour flight and 6-hour time difference, Salzburg did not fail to give me a magical welcome. I stepped out of the taxi and it was snowing, the church bells were ringing and the streets were filled with people. This is my new home, I immediately thought to myself. I knew this new place would have so much to offer, but little did I know that being here would have such a significant impact on my future and outlook on life.  

View over Salzburg Altstadt (Old town)

The first day, one of the professors took the group on an excursion to explore the city. We were greeted by endless Mozart statues, Mozart stores, and of course Mozartkugeln (a Salzburg delicacy and speciality). We were in the city of music now. On our hike we passed the Festspielhaus which houses one of the most prestigious and well known summer festivals in Europe. We were lucky enough to attend the Chinese New Year festival in the Festspielhaus later that week. The concert featured many Chinese artists singing Opera, playing the piano, and performing in the orchestra.  

Every morning in Salzburg starts with a warm roll or pastry from a bakery (there is one at every corner) and reading an enjoyable book by the Salzach, the beautiful turquoise river that runs through the city. Later in the day the college courses begin. In my first block I took “The European Experience” where we learned about Austrian culture, food, politics, and geography. Excursions from this course included Apfelstrudel baking, the Chinese New Year concert, Mönchsberg hike, Mirabell palace tour and a tour of the Austrian television and radio station. The second course I decided to take was photography. We got the amazing opportunity to shoot and develop our own film as well as work with professional photoshop systems. Both courses gave me the opportunity to explore the city on my own as well as see things from a unique perspective, I am excited to see what the next block’s courses have in store for me.  

The beautiful Mirabell Gardens

With the flowers blooming in the Mirabell garden and the temperatures reaching 70 degrees I truly feel like it is spring. I have recently celebrated my 20th birthday with my new study abroad family and I am ready for the next few weeks of different courses and new and exciting excursions and trips.  

Until next time,

Lia-Sophie Keller

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