CenterAustria at the University of New Orleans is celebrating twenty-five years of promoting student exchange between Austrian universities and the University of New Orleans. Established in 1982, the program has sent well over 1,000 students from throughout Austria, immersing themselves in studies of American history, politics, society and economics at the University of New Orleans, and enjoying New Orleans cultural highlights like Mardi Gras, swamp tours and gospel masses.
In celebration of the 25th anniversary, the University of New Orleans hosted a group of thirty students from the University of Innsbruck for one month’s study, after having first paid a visit to Washington, D.C. to capture the new mood of Obama’s America. A delegation of dignitaries from the University of Innsbruck accompanied them, and on February 11 Dr. Eva Lichtenberger, member of the European Parliament from Austria’s Green Party, delivered a keynote address on transatlantic relations following the Bush presidency.
President of the University of New Orleans Timothy P. Ryan spoke of his gratitude to those who contributed to the expeditious re-establishment of the program following Hurricane Katrina so that students from Austria - be it those participating in a short-term program or a joint-study program - could continue in strong numbers as before the catastrophe. The partnership between the University of New Orleans and the University of Innsbruck is known to be one of the longest and most successful of student exchange programs and serves as a model for other partnerships with the University of Innsbruck.