[Editor's note: Christa Thompson left for Seminar Schloss Bogenhofen (Austria) in Septermber, 2010. Here is a report after her first semester attending classes and other activities.]
I’m standing at a sheer precipice; looking down at a small town resting by the lake. From up here the buildings and cars look like a child’s toys. Sitting down at the edge of the cliff, where the view is most spectacular, I pull my lunch out of my backpack and ponder how I got to this place. It’s been four hours since the hike started - since three buses pulled out of Seminar Schloss Bogenhofen on their way to the Alps for “Wandertag” (hiking day). And hike we did - all the way to the cross standing at the top. So here I sit, an amazing view in front of me, a cross behind me, and my friend beside me, happily munching on an apple.
This was my experience the second Monday after having finally made it to Bogenhofen (Bogi as the students call it), and there have been many more amazing adventures since then. I’m sure, as well, that there will be many more to come.
Hiking in the Alps
Life here is not all excursions and adventures. I still have classes: German, Culture, Literature, and Religion. Some weeks I spend in Vienna, Salzburg, or even Passau, to listen to the world’s largest organ. Just a couple of weeks ago, I found myself on a mountain again. This time snow covered the surface and I got to the top by lift - a board strapped to my feet. Though my instructor and friends encouraged me, my first thought was, “I’m going to die.” Thankfully, I survived the trip down the ‘bunny hill’ as well as all the others, including my very first intermediate run.
The time that I am spending here at Bogenhofen is so much more than class trips or learning new language and culture. The friends I’ve made and the life lessons I’ve learned here make this year so much more than just studying abroad. It’s been the experience of a lifetime.