History of Center Austria
In 1983, the University of New Orleans signed a partnership agreement with the University of Innsbruck, seven years after UNO launched the UNO-Innsbruck International Summer School in 1976.
This program is administered UNO’s Division of International Education. It conducted its 36th session in the summer of 2011, bringing some 250 students and 25 faculty members from universities all over the American South to Austria.
As a result of this highly successful summer school, UNO began to offer graduate fellowships to Innsbruck students (see Appendix I). Innsbruck followed suit in the mid 1980’s when it began awarding stipends to UNO students.
In 1982, the Austrian Student Program (ASP) was started for University of Innsbruck students. It comprises a four-week introduction to the American university and American Studies (a Schnupperstudium).
That same year, the two universities offered their first annual symposium on comparative transatlantic topics, organized by a new Institute for the Comparative Study of Public Policy at UNO (seep Appendix VII). This has led to the regular publication of the conference papers (see Appendix VIII).
Regular faculty exchanges were added in the 1980s. In 1992, the universities began to publish their joint annual publication, Contemporary Austrian Studies. 2011 marks the publication of volume 20 (Appendix IX).
As the number of Innsbruck students at UNO grew by leaps and bounds, Center Austria opened in 1997. The Center functions, among all the other ongoing activities, as a hub for Austrian students, easing their coming to and stay at UNO (housing, visas, advising, etc.).
In 1997, Center Austria also initiated the Academic Year Abroad Program (AYA) for semester or year-long study in Innsbruck, with students signing up from all over the United States. In 2008, the AYA program was transferred to the Division of International Education. Dr. Margaret Davidson has led this program as its Resident Director in Innsbruck since its inception.