Over the summer, many Mount St. Mary’s students got the chance to create life-long memories in Tours, France, and Salzburg, Austria, through Summer Study Abroad. Both programs are offered to Mount students every other summer.  The Tours program is held at the Insitut de Touraine, a private-language institute housed in a historic residence, which has been conducting classes for more than 100 years.  The Salzburg trips are held at the American International School, a secondary-middle boarding school in the heart of Salzburg. 

Students in the French program completed six credits of French at the 200 or 300 level, depending on the most recent course they had completed at the Mount. Classes met Monday through Friday and lasted about four hours per day.  Additionally, students could take a course with Dr. Marco Roman, FREN 315: Culture du Pays-de-Loire, which provides a historical and cultural overview of the region’s art, architecture, music, and literature.  Afternoon instruction included excursions to museums and other sites in and around Tours. 

As a world language French provides students with access to cultures in Europe, North and South America, Africa, the Middle East and many islands. The Organization de la Francophonie estimates that there will be 700 million French-speakers around the globe by 2050. Dr. Roman said, “By living with a family and attending a French school, students experience firsthand the culture and language they have been studying in the classroom.” 

Program costs for France included accommodations in a French home in a single room with a shared bathroom, meals throughout the week, a weekend excursion to Paris with breakfast, a trip to a Tours winery and additional excursions to Amboise, Chenonceau, Mont St. Michel, and Saint Malo. 

Led by Visual and Performing Arts Department chair, Dr. Andrew Rosenfeld, students in the Salzburg program enrolled in one three-credit course such as Modernity in Music offered by music professor Dr. Mark Carlson, or The History of Brewing offered by Dr. Michelle Patterson of the History Department. Dr. Patterson said she loved teaching the course abroad because she could “supplement course instruction with tours of the brewery and with samplings of Austrian beer at Stiegel’s beer garden, as well as others in the area.” She added, “students experiencing Austrian and German beer-drinking traditions observed an alternative model of drinking and socializing that is a far cry from what happens on many college campuses in the USA.” Classes were held four days a week for three hours a day.  Students completed an overnight/weekend excursion to Vienna and used their free days to explore and travel.  They were not required to know German to participate in the trip.

When asked why the Salzburg trip is special, Dr. Carlson stated that it “has the greatest quality any trip can have: an experienced enthusiastic, leader (Dr. Rosenfeld) who has spent so much time in Austria that he can make the city come alive and yet feel very much like a home.” Dr. Carlson described the students from the Salzburg trip as “an exceptional bunch who, through their work in and out of the classroom, really embraced the city while realizing goals of the Mount’s Undergraduate Mission.” 

Program costs for Salzburg included tuition for one course, airfare, a transfer to the Munich Airport, a room with breakfast, museum and concert admissions in Salzburg, a city bus pass, and excursions to Vienna, Bad Ischl, Untersberg, Hellbrunn, Munich, and Hallstatt. 

So why study abroad? Dr. Roman says it’s because “foreign languages and the academic study of the cultures where those languages are spoken give Mount graduates the direct access that they need to participate in the important discussions and work in the world.” Katherine Flannigan (’18) stated that, “an advantage to studying abroad in a historic place like Salzburg is the close proximity to sites where history took place.” Dr. Patterson closed her thoughts by observing that the study-abroad programs “are one of the best things we do at the Mount.”

Interested in study abroad at Mount St. Mary’s? Visit the Department of Foreign Languages’ page to learn more about these and other programs that are coming up!

France 2016
France Summer Study Abroad 2016

Salzburg Summer 2016
Salzburg, Austria Summer Study Abroad 2016