In the Loop
Student Stories : Sep 11, 2014

UF in Salzburg shows students European music and way of life

By Chloe Weber

Just as Maria taught the von Trapp family the wonders of music in the Salzburg countryside, UF College of the Arts students increased their musical knowledge while becoming Austrians for the summer during the UF in Salzburg study abroad program.

UF in Salzburg is a program that is open to all majors, but has a specific section forUF School of Music majors. Students choose whether to only complete Summer A coursework in either European Studies or Music or to choose the Summer C option which includes the coursework and an arts, business, social studies or communication internship. 

The program, which was created by Mutlu Çitim-Kepic, senior associate in advising for the School of Music, in 2003, allows UF music students to take private lessons (instruments/voice) and study music history and arranging for instruments and voices at Salzburg College in Salzburg, Austria. 

In addition to the coursework, music students receive opportunities to travel outside of Salzburg for tours of famous locations, such as the site of the 1972 Olympic Games and the United Nations, as well as to surrounding Austrian cities for exclusive lessons from distinguished musicians. 

“I was given opportunities to sit in on opera rehearsals and attend concerts for free, as well as the opportunity to take a short train ride to Linz for a free lesson from a well-known Austrian percussionist,” said Hannah Bergstrom, UF Music Education senior.

Unlike other study abroad programs, UF in Salzburg is completely immersive. Students are assigned an Austrian host family, with whom they eat meals, see the city and learn culture from. Additionally, students who choose to complete an internship gain valuable time to catch the small perks of living and working abroad. 

“The most memorable part of Salzburg was simply living there,” said Sarah Girand, UF Art History senior. “Toward the end of our trip, most of the days were spent lounging by the river together, visiting the outdoor market, walking around the city eating ice cream or making plans to grab a drink together after work.” 

After returning from Salzburg, students not only grew academically, but also became more worldly and interested in exploring the unknown – even if the unknown is in their own neck of the woods.

“I have definitely caught the travel bug,” said Samantha O’Brien, UF Music Education senior, “Since I can’t travel extensively in my last year at UF, I am embarking on a mission to truly explore the hidden treasures in Gainesville. It may not be Europe, but every place in the world has its unique experiences to offer!”

UF in Salzburg has given students a summer they will never forget and knowledge they will forever use. Added Çitim-Kepic, the most rewarding aspect of seeing the program come into fruition is the amount that the students learn in a short amount of time and how much it changes their lives.

 “That’s worth all the hard work that goes into this program.”