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AYA Alumni

Chelsea and MargaretChelsea Armstrong with AYA Resident Director Margaret Davidson.

"I first went to Innsbruck with the International Summer School in 2012. I loved it so much that I vowed to go back. If I could have rustled up the money for the whole school year, I would have. Nevertheless, I was initially planning on going for a visit during my Christmas/New Year’s break, but one of my friends persuaded me to apply for the spring 2013 semester abroad. So that’s exactly what I did. It was the most spontaneous and largest leap I have ever taken. I worked hard, took out a loan, and applied for any and all scholarships/awards that I could. It was definitely worth the hard work. I do consider Innsbruck home even though I no longer live there. I have some of the best friends I've ever made in Innsbruck (whom I still talk with daily). I miss the lifestyle, the people, the culture, the simplicity, and the accessibility to other countries, and I guarantee I’ll be back in Innsbruck as soon as I can afford it."

Chelsea Armstrong, University of New Orleans


"The UNO Academic Year Abroad program is wonderful in countless ways. It is easy, with helpful people providing support at every turn. It gives you the opportunity to get a whole new perspective on life and on other people, along with a firsthand look at their culture. One of my major goals has been to become fluent in the German language. I came to Austria having had no German and now I am able to carry on conversations with friends here. I speak German as much as possible and improve it with every opportunity that I can.
Participating in this program will take your life in new directions and fill it with new, exciting and lasting memories."

Johnny DeMaine, University of New Orleans

"The AYA Program and the absolutely idyllic city of Innsbruck culturally, socially, and academically immersed me for two amazing years. When I left I took with me a life-changing experience, and an attachment to the city that I have never felt for any other place. In Innsbruck I found what I didn't even know I was looking for in an experience abroad. Choosing Innsbruck is always going to be one of the best choices of my life."

Allison Steinbarth, St. Mary's College &
The University of New Orleans



“The University of New Orleans AYA Innsbruck program couldn't have offered a more perfect abroad experience.  It will forever be my most memorable and exciting semester. As a student from Harvard, an avid skier and an outdoor enthusiast, there was no better place to be than Innsbruck. The mountains offered everything I wanted and more. Innsbruck itself was the perfect small city. The architecture is unbelievable and rooted in centuries of history. The city has a very young and energetic feel to it and everyone seems to enjoy life to the fullest. Innsbruck is literally in the dead center of Europe, so we were able to take a two hour train ride to Munich for Oktober Fest, an easy ride to Vienna and then bus to Prague, and easily travel throughout Austria and northern Italy with the extensive public transit system. With all the activities and distractions around Innsbruck, it's hard to believe anyone would attend class, but the array of fascinating classes taught by passionate professors kept me wanting to go back!
On top of Innsbruck's typical charm and happenings, there was additional excitement during my stay because Innsbruck was hosting the first ever Youth Olympic Games! I was lucky enough to get an internship, and not only gained great experience for the future, but also made many lasting friendships with people from across the globe. My most memorable part of the internship was volunteering as the mascot Yoggl (see picture on the side, with US Alpine ski racer Lindsey Vonn). I'll probably never be dressed up as a 7 foot tall Lederhosen-wearing Chamois ever again, but it'll most definitely be a memory that sticks with me forever!”

Anthony Ryerson, Harvard University


"Living and studying in Innsbruck through AYA has truly been one of my favorite things I have done in life. The impact this experience has had on me cannot be described in words and I strongly encourage everyone thinking of studying abroad to do it."

Ines Sigel, The University of New Orleans

Harris "I have learned so much about the history and culture of German-speaking Europe, and Austria/Tirol in particular, through field expeditions to various landmarks such as the Archeological Museum and the Messner Mountain Museum in Bozen, Schloss Ambras, and the Hofburg in Innsbruck, and many other official program field trips.
This opportunity has represented far more than learning about a culture beyond my own. It has presented quite a few lessons about my own culture as well, and my place within it. I have come to appreciate much of what I had taken for granted about my home, and simultaneously I have found solutions and an understanding beyond what my previously sheltered world view had offered. I have found new music, new ideas, and new means of thought that I had never dreamed of."

Harris Reitman-Swiss,
The University of New Orleans

"My semester in Innsbruck with the AYA Program was hands down the best decision I made while at Harvard. I was able to find phenomenal courses that matched my language ability, meet incredible friends, and enjoy the incredible outdoor activities provided by Innsbruck's spectacular Alpine setting."

David McCahill, Harvard University


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