Michelle Billick - Summer in Salzburg with the American Institute of Foreign Study

This past summer '07 I studied abroad in Salzburg, Austria.  I studied with the American Institute of Foreign Study (AIFS), which is one of the organizations that works with UNCW.  While abroad I also traveled to Vienna, Austria, Munich, Germany, and Prague, Czech Republic.  Studying abroad was something I had been wanting to do for a while so decided to finally go through with it.  I never had my mind set on a particular place so just started researching my options. 

I came across the Austria trip (5 week program) with AIFS and thought it looked like an amazing place.  I decided to go there because it looked so beautiful and it wasn't one of the typical places people went.  After my experiences over there I can say it was by far the best time I have ever had in my life.  I took a chance and went there not knowing anyone in the program prior to arrival and became really good friends with most of them.  I learned that I should never let my nerves get a hold of me and to take risks, otherwise I might never get to experience great things like my trip.  I learned how unfamiliar I am with other cultures and customs around the world and developed a stronger desire to try and learn other ways of life.  While in Austria, I studied German for the first time, along with the Sociology of Austrian Culture.  The classes alone were a completely new experience for me.  I have and will continue to recommend that others study abroad.  It is an opportunity of a lifetime and I believe everyone is changed from the experience!

~Michelle Billick, Communication Studies Major

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