September 28, 2018 at 9:41 am

40 Alumni Return for Salzburg 50th Anniversary Celebration

The Modern Languages Department celebrated the 50th anniversary of its study abroad program in Salzburg, Austria, in September.

Since 1968, Ohio University students have been traveling to Austria to refine and expand their German skills. Initially, a collaboration with Bowling Green State University offered an academic year abroad for more advanced students. The Salzburg Program then switched in 1975 to a spring quarter and later-semester program open to all levels of language learners.

Since 2006, the program has been housed at the University of Salzburg and began an exchange partnership that, since 2008, has annually welcomed a student from Salzburg for an academic year in Athens. In its 50-year history, the study abroad program has taken more than 800 Ohio University students to Salzburg for an enriching and exciting experience.

2019 Program – Maria Alm, Austria, group shot with snowy mountains in background

2019 Program – Maria Alm, Austria

Forty alumni returned to Athens on Sept. 15 to celebrate alongside Modern Languages faculty. The event began with an informal meet and greet, where students considering the upcoming 2019 program had the opportunity to discuss their goals with former participants who represented programs stretching from the previous year all the way back to the 1979 program. That was followed by an open house in Gordy Hall and then proceeded to the formal banquet in Nelson Commons. There, speakers included Interim Arts and Sciences Dean Joseph Shields, who congratulated the program on its successes, Office of Global Opportunities Director Catherine Marshall, who reiterated the value of studying abroad, and Modern Languages Chair Chris Coski, who celebrated the achievements of the program’s 50-year history.

Emeritus Professor of German Barry Thomas, standing at lecturn

Emeritus Professor of German Barry Thomas

The University of Salzburg was represented by this year’s exchange student, Judith Klanner, who delivered congratulations from liaisons in Salzburg and offered her own praise for the warm welcome she received from Ohio University. Former Director and Emeritus Professor of German Barry Thomas, who helped initiate the program, reflected on its long development, and current director, Nikhil Sathe, closed the event by highlighting and celebrating student achievements and transformative growth as a genuine cause for celebration.

As the words left by attendees on the comment poster indicate, the program has been a success. A student from the 1981 program noted that it was “a real learning experience and the highlight of my studies at OU,” and a participant from the 2006 program wrote that “participating in the Salzburg Program was one of the best decisions I’ve made and it has helped define who I am today.”

View images from previous programs. 

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