a Tourette returns from trip to Austria

By Brian Slupski

NIU President John La Tourette recently returned from Salzburg, Austria where he was visiting an NIU international studies program.

La Tourette said he was the first NIU president to visit the program in the 21 years of its existence.

During his visit La Tourette sat in on classes, talked to students, faculty and administrators and got a general feel for the program.

“The program is excellent. The faculty are of high quality and the students get a lot out of the program,” La Tourette said.

He said the program is an excellent opportunity of which more students should take advantage. He said the students enrolled in the program are very enthusiastic and get a lot out of it.

The cost of the program per semester is $6,000, which La Tourette calls a bargain. He said the students stay with a host family, and therefore don’t have to worry about food.

La Tourette said the program could be within the price range of many NIU students since 50 percent of the student body has parents who make at least $55,000. He added that students can use financial aid for the programs.

He said he would like to see more students take advantage of the overseas opportunity. While there are about 400,000 foreign students studying in America, only about 40,000 Americans study overseas each year.

“I wish they had these opportunities available when I was in school,” La Tourette said.

La Tourette added that students only need limited German for the program and should not let the language deficiency deter them.

He said he was invited to visit the program by Salzburg College which picked up the cost of the trip in Austria. NIU paid for the airfare.

La Tourette said he stayed in the castle which was used in the film “The Sound of Music.”

La Tourette said NIU has one of the largest international study programs in the nation with 37 permanent sights around the world.

He said NIU’s other permanent sights include Mexico, Spain, England, France and Australia.