The Alderson-Broaddus College Semester in Europe program, having completed a successful semester of study abroad from September to December 2011, is now actively recruiting and enrolling students for the fall 2012 experience.
Under the direction of Dr. James Daddysman, the SIE program is now holding information sessions during selected dining hall hours and evenings to enroll the group that will head to Europe the first week of September next year.
The group of 18 that has recently returned from the fall 2011 Semester in Europe has been universal in praising the experience. Comments from the various students include "amazing" and "very valuable - a life learning experience" and "best program out there."
Alyssa Jones, vice president of the A-B Student Government Association, and resident assistant for last fall's Europe group, echoed these thoughts.
"I've gained so much from studying abroad for a semester in Austria," Jones said. "Studying in a foreign country while learning their native language is something I wouldn't take back for the world. Seeing all the history within the once huge empires, the cathedrals and landmarks was something I had previously experienced only in books. Now it has all come alive for me."
Brandon Cochran, another A-B student who spent fall semester in Europe, agreed.
"This was a life-changing experience for me," he said. "I pushed my boundaries and conquered fears. I really loved seeing Scotland, where I bought my Scottish attire and really immersed myself in the culture. And Interlaken, Switzerland - what a beautiful country. I loved scaling the Swiss Alps and also the bungee jumping."
Justin Strawn commented on all the sights he was able to take in.
"I loved going to Europe in the fall 2011," said Strawn. "I was able to see sights like the Colosseum in Rome and Big Ben clock tower in London. It was surprising how soon while overseas the fellow students and faculty became like a family."
Faculty leaders for the 2011 Semester in Europe program were A-B Professor Dr. Kenneth Yount and his wife, Carol, who were on their 12th trip to Europe, many of the times leading A-B student groups. They were assisted by a faculty person from Eastern University, a partner school with A-B, plus a native Austrian teacher for the German language instruction.
The group stayed in Haus Wartenberg, a small historic hotel or "pension" built in the 1600s in Salzburg, Austria, the city that has been the headquarters for the A-B Semester in Europe program since its inception in 1965. Salzburg, sitting at the edge of the Austrian Alps, has frequently been described as the world's most beautiful city. It is also very historic, with the best preserved fortress castle in Central Europe, beautiful baroque architecture and the birthplace of composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. It is also the setting for the 1960s movie, "The Sound of Music."
Students involved in the program paid normal A-B tuition, fees, room and board for the semester, plus a $2,500 program fee to pay for a roundtrip airfare to Salzburg plus a two-month Eurailpass to provide virtually unlimited travel through many countries of Europe. The group had classes from Monday through Thursday each week, on European history, culture, art, literature and German language, then traveled on three-day weekends.
Two longer travel opportunities of 10 days each took them to Italy as an entire group, and to more distant locations like Morocco, Spain, Greece, the British Isles and Scandinavia, in smaller groups. During the Italy trip, the group attended a papal audience with Pope Benedict XVI.
In their free travel, students visited as many as 14 countries each. Some ranged as far as North Africa or the Greek Isles just off the coast of Turkey.
"The favorite place that I visited was Croatia," Jones said. "The view was breathtaking, and swimming in the Adriatic Sea was probably a once-in-a-lifetime experience. And the culture was very welcoming and friendly."
The Younts will again be leading the Semester in Europe group in the fall of 2012, with the assistance of a faculty member from Franklin College in Indiana.
Students interested in more information or in signing up for the fall program should contact Dr. Yount or Semester in Europe Director Dr. James Daddysman.