About 400 students, educators and dignitaries gathered in Innsbruck, Austria, earlier this month to celebrate the opening of the 42nd UNO-Innsbruck International Summer School.
The summer program marked the enrollment of the program’s 10,000th student, a milestone for this student-focused international education program that draws participants from several U.S. universities as well as the University of Innsbruck.
This year, U.S. participants come from the University of New Orleans, the University of Georgia, Ole Miss, LSU, the University of Alabama and Auburn University. They included students from all majors, including business, sciences, humanities and arts who are serious about their studies: almost 90 percent of them hold a GPA of 3.0 or above, with 46 percent of them boasting GPAs of 3.5 or higher.
The opening ceremony on July 2 at the Innsbruck Congress Center featured the sounds of a traditional Tirolean Brass Band before participants were greeted by leaders from UNO and the University of Innsbruck as well as elected leaders from the city of Innsbruck and the state of Tirol.
University of New Orleans President John Nicklow said the cross-cultural opportunities available to students through study abroad programs like UNO-Innsbruck Summer School provide rich and transformative experiences for the whole student.
“In my view,” he said, “education is not merely restricted to the accumulation of knowledge or the development of critical thinking skillls. Those are certainly important. But I believe that education encompasses intellectual growth as well as emotional and social growth. International education is uniquely positioned to spur growth in all of these areas. The opportunities to gain new perspectives and provoke different ways of thinking are nearly limitless.”
This year’s program includes a team of 14 students who are working with UNO anthropology professor D. Ryan Gray on an effort to excavate the site of a World War II aircraft crash in the hopes of finding and identifying the remains of an airman missing since the war. Besides being part of this exciting dig near Villach in southern Austria, participants will earn credits in archaeology and history.
Also recognized was Raquel Riviere, a UNO student who was named the recipient of a scholarship to study in Innsbruck that was awarded by Innsbruck Mayor Christine Oppitz-Plörer.
For more information about the UNO-Innsbruck International Summer School and all opportunities to see the world with University of New Orleans, visit inst.uno.edu.