Reflecting on studying in Salzburg, Austria

Erika Lewis in Salzburg

Erika Lewis ’16, with Justices Kennedy and Kagan

In law school, students often find themselves spending overtime in a corner at the library with nothing to look at except a book with too small of print. So you can only imagine how good it feels for students to have the luxury of finding a corner café, ordering some fantastic Austrian food, and  people watching while reading about pressing issues like the death penalty, gay rights, and freedom of speech.

Here are some of our favorite things about Salzburg:

Food: “You must try the sausage,” says the Salzburg local sitting next to me, “it is the best sausage in the world. Hotdogs, bratwurst, Frankfurters, and of course Wiener schnitzel!”

After walking around for a few hours, I decided to take a chance and order a Bosna (Bratwurst in hot dog roll). Yes it was tasty. But it is misleading to think that Salzburg only serves sausage; I can say with confidence that I only tried schnitzel once during my stay in Salzburg. There is a vast variety of delicious foods including pasta, seafood, gyros, and schinken (not to be confused with chicken- it actually means ham).  There is a particular gelato stand, where students and I have come to know, where they insist on offering an extra scoop of gelato just because they know we have not tried it yet. FYI ginger chocolate is not the best flavor.

Hiking: There does come a point when students need a break from reading and this is the time when I must tip my hat to the beautiful hiking trails in Salzburg. There were many days when students would follow a trail and not know where it ended, only to

find an old, historic run-down castle or a historic church hidden among the trees. The view at the top of the trail was worth every step because not only did they provide breath-taking views of the city but also distant hills and mountains.

Also the walk to school/to eat/ the store/ back to the dorms can be thought of as a hike in itself. Remember, there is no driving!

The Weekends: On the weekends students traveled all over; some as far as Italy or Prague while others hopped over to closer cities such as Hallstatt or the Austrian capital, Vienna. Some students loved Salzburg so much that they stayed through the weekend and enjoyed the palaces, Mirabellgarten (yes this is the garden where the children in Sound of Music sang) and beer gardens- where the beer either came in size large or extra extra large.

The People: People in Salzburg really do walk around in Lederhosen. It is possible this is because the Salzburg Mozart Festival started a week after students arrived but we like to think that this is typical street garb for an average Salzburgan.

Beyond the welcoming locals, I have met so many students that I never had a chance to meet during the busy school year. Studying abroad in Salzburg has given students from all different levels the chance to build life-long friendships. And who can forget the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to personally converse with Supreme Court Justice Kennedy and Supreme Court Justice Kagan!

These are just a few tidbits about Salzburg that stand out in my mind. I know that I am missing a lot so maybe students who studied there can help point out what I am missing.


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