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Study Abroad Trip Inspires Awe

By Brian Houdek C’14
Theology and History majors

The journey started months before we got there. The Mount’s Drs. Andy Rosenfeld and Steven White held meetings throughout the spring to give us an idea of what to expect. The anxiety and excitement built after the spring semester ended. We were going to Austria. This would be the first time I would leave the safe comforts of the United States. Those feelings would be with me all the way to Salzburg.

Group in front of Mozarts birthplace
Group in front of Mozarts birthplace

The beautiful town on the border of Austria and Germany is breath taking. Most of the buildings date back to before the birth of the United States, one even to the ninth century. There is a fortress that overlooks the entire town and as I walked through, it hit me that I wasn’t just walking through a historic fortress and town but I was walking through history. Military forces occupied this town; festivals were held here hundreds and hundreds of years ago, and who knows how many famous historical figures have walked the same streets.

The history in this town is amazing. One can go to a museum and read and hear about the events that have taken place or see the artifacts, but to know that you are in the very place that Mozart or Charlemagne walked, traveled and ate is something to evokes awe.

If there is one thing that this study abroad trip has brought me it is the experience of history. Visiting places and hearing stories of people who have not only impacted a town but a culture centuries ago  really puts into perspective how the United States really is.

I recommend visiting Europe and seeing real Baroque architecture and eating the same types of food that have been passed down from the 10th or 11th centuries. This way you can connect with the past and really understand life in the past. I am thankful to have had this experience.

Nearly 25 students participated in this five-week summer program in Salzburg. Held at the beautiful campus of the American International School, students learned about the history and culture of Austria, and received an experience enriched with excursions and activities.

Study Abroad at Mount St. Mary's University is available to any student desiring to learn and travel. The Mount offers both short and longer-term experiences to countries throughout Europe, Central and South America. Learn more about the Mount's study abroad opportunities.

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