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SU students Benjamin Hutchins and Luke Orner
SU students Benjamin Hutchins and Luke Orner at the Austrian Central Alps

SU Adds to AIFS Partnership with Public Health Course in Austria

By SU Public Relations

SALISBURY, MD---For more than a quarter-century, SU students have been studying abroad with the American Institute for Foreign Studies (AIFS).

After 30 years of partnership, SU has added a new feature to that relationship. Dr. Sherry Maykrantz of SU’s School of Health Sciences in the College of Health and Human Services recently taught her public health course, HLTH 225, at the AIFS Center in Salzburg, Austria, marking the first time an SU professor has taught an SU course for SU credit at an AIFS Center.

“My public health course in Austria has been unbelievable,” said Maykrantz. “From palaces and castles, to operas and balls, to skiing and touring salt mines, the students have had amazing opportunities to see and experience the cultural differences in public health, both in and out of the classroom.”  

Benjamin Hutchins, a sophomore finance major from Hazlet, NJ, found the chance to experience the ski culture of the Alps to be a highlight of the course.

“Dr. Maykrantz has been a huge help in making sure that I have had the best time in Austria while I’ve been here,” he said.

Luke Orner, a sophomore marketing major from Reisterstown, MD, and Hutchins’ teammate on SU’s varsity football team, also found great value in the outdoor physical experience of studying in Austria.

“My favorite part was snowboarding in the Alps,” he said. “Being able to take the train from Salzburg to Bad Gastein was perfect.”

Nikki Mondo, a junior psychology major from Sparks Glencoe, MD, thought the interpersonal interactions with culturally different people was a key experiential learning component to the health course. She loved the residence hall, which used to be the St. Sebastian monastery, where students lived during their study abroad program.

“I was able to connect with people from Austria, Germany, Italy, Ireland, Arabia, South Africa and even more countries,” she said. “Meeting and talking to people about their cultures was one of my favorite parts of my study abroad experience.”

Amanda Keeler, a senior English major from Henderson, MD, never tired of seeing the Alps.

“The mountains in the background made every picture interesting,” she said. “Even at the AIFS Center where we took classes we could see mountains through the window.”

Zoe Clarke, a junior biology major from Annapolis “liked being immersed in a different culture and being in a place where the main language wasn’t English. I spent a lot of time trying to learn German, despite never taking a [German] class,” she said.

Those in Maykrantz’s public health class were among 17 SU students studying abroad at AIFS sites throughout Europe during the winter term. The “SU in Austria” course was a pilot for a new model of study abroad at SU that opens the door to many more faculty having the opportunity to teach at AIFS Centers around the continent.  

Ingrid Stengel has been the director of the AIFS Center in Salzburg for more than two decades. She celebrated Maykrantz and her SU course: “[Dr. Maykrantz] is absolutely wonderful — the ideal faculty member. The Salisbury students love her; the AIFS staff love her. The students were also great — so positive, so friendly. We were sad to see [the] group leave.”

With centers in Rome, Florence, London and Salzburg, and other instructional sites throughout Europe, the South Pacific and Latin America, AIFS provides many options for SU students to study abroad. More opportunities for SU students to study with SU professors at the Salzburg Center and other locations are expected in future academic terms.

For more information about study abroad opportunities through SU, visit the University's Janet Dudley-Eshbach Center for International education webpage.

Learn more about SU and opportunities to Make Tomorrow Yours at the SU website.