Salzburg, Austria—We are at Salzburg College visiting with a group of American exchange students. Most of them are here for the fall semester but several will be staying on for the entire year.
Students come from all corners of America and admit this is a wonderful opportunity for them. Most did not speak German when they arrived, but they are quickly gaining fluency in the language. They spent the first week in Munich and then traveled to Vienna before settling in for their classes.
Miranda Beard, president of the National School Boards Association, asked, “What was the most important thing they would be taking away from this experience?” The group unanimously agreed that it would be the immersion in a different language and culture, and a better understanding of the world outside of the U.S. Indeed, Salzburg College’s vision for the program aims at “teaching students to think critically in a global world, as well as gaining academic and professional skills, and skills for life.”
Certainly all of us visiting the program were envious of the experience and wished that we could have done it in our college days.
Most students will receive full credit for the experience from their home institutions and many were able to secure financial aid. The full-year students have internships lined up for the spring semester, which will add immeasurable experience to their resumes as they seek employment after graduation.
Dan Domenech, executive director of AASA, The School Superintendents Association, is blogging throughout AASA’s International Seminar Delegation in Austria.