Past Program


As trust in media organizations continues to decline amidst cries of fake news, journalists and public communicators have to respond to attacks on their core mission while continuing to provide information for democracies to function. In 2018, the Salzburg Academy on Media & Global Change analyzed this fast-moving landscape and experiment with new approaches to reporting and storytelling that combine rigor and engagement to combat the age of distrust.

In many parts of the world, objective and balanced voices are coming under attack from increasingly polarizing politics, uncivil discourse in mainstream media, and a digital culture that liberates vitriolic and hateful expression and is easy to manipulate. Conventional news organizations struggle to compete with online communities that initiate and share sensational content, making it ever harder for the public to distinguish truth from fiction. This is compounded by the central role that extractive and value-neutral algorithms now play in the digital platforms from which most people get their news, creating customized coverage that reflects individual preferences and reinforces confirmation bias.

In 2018, the Salzburg Academy on Media & Global Change explored core challenges and opportunities for journalism, storytelling and public communications in an ever more dominant digital culture. We critically assessed the role of media organizations, large technology companies, and political processes in order to better understand the emergence of “post-truth” currents around the world. Through interactive seminars, intimate dialog, and hands-on workshops, Academy participants drew on their personal experience to create approaches, technologies and designs for more dynamic and robust journalistic practice. Bridging divides between cultures and geographies, this highly-international group worked together to develop a series of multi-media outputs for wide dissemination. These tools aimed to help emerging journalists, media organizations and public communicators re-imagine how they share information and interact with their audiences to support dialog and meaningful engagement in their communities. 

Since its establishment in 2007, the Academy has built a global network of partner universities and leading faculty, supported by an expanding number of visiting scholars representing key perspectives and sectors. Its independence, diversity and research expertise are critical assets that support open exchange on controversial topics to generate concrete outcomes for impact.

Participant Profile

The Salzburg Academy on Media & Global Change brought together young media makers and aspiring communication entrepreneurs, innovators, and activists to harness creative media to inform global problem-solving.

The Academy is open to students from all disciplines, including aspiring journalists, media makers, storytellers, artists, international relations specialists and scientists, and to community stakeholders. Graduate and Ph.D. students who participate will gain first-hand structured teaching experience and learn about transformative approaches to pedagogy from a world class faculty.

Program Format

The three-week Academy used a mix of pedagogical approaches to build expertise and maximize ways in which every participant can share and learn.

Each day was anchored by a plenary presentation in the morning, followed by an interactive, immersive workshop on the day’s topic. Afternoons were reserved for ideation and creation sessions, where participants work in cross-border groups to create prototypes for media interventions. Workshops on design thinking, reading groups, sessions on dance and movement, and the human library project were also an integral part of proceedings.


Key Questions

Throughout the three-week Academy, students addressed the following questions:

  • What are the main challenges to journalism and public communication in today’s digital culture?
  • How could new approaches build awareness of the role of algorithms and big data in shaping the information people receive through digital platforms?
  • What can news organizations do to restore public trust in and demand for objective and balanced reporting? 
  • Which technologies, platforms and tools can be used to combat the fake news, post-truth narrative? 
  • How can we re-imagine storytelling to bridge divides and bring people together in the name of truth and inclusion? 


Outcomes and Impact

The 2018 Salzburg Academy on Media & Global Change aimed to accomplish the following results:

  • A multimedia online publication that offers new models for experiential and transformative storytelling
  • A series of practices, technologies and designs that will help journalists and journalism organizations re-imagine pathways to effective storytelling and engagement in digital spaces
  • A report from a global cohort of faculty on the program’s topic of Re-Imagining Journalism: News and Storytelling in an Age of Distrust
  • The training of graduate students in media and journalism to be transformative teachers and experimental storytellers for the digital age.

Impact will be achieved through the development and dissemination of media texts that explore issues of global concern and help to create dynamic media storytelling and engagement across borders, across cultures, and across divides.

Together, participants of the 2018 Salzburg Academy on Media and Global Change produced Persist, a multimedia publication.

This piece of work features six chapters exploring methods to educate, inspire and motivate approaches to journalism that combat a culture of distrust.

The projects in the chapters include new approaches and models for storytelling, conceptual platforms, games, prototypes, and creative materials designed by participants.

Listen to some of their experiences at this year's Academy below:


Sanjeev Chatterjee
Professor of Cinema and Interactive Media, University of Miami, Florida, USA
Anunaya Chaubey
Provost, Anant National University, India
Donna Chu
Associate Professor, School of Journalism and Communication, Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong SAR, China
James Cohen
Meg Fromm
Journalism Teacher and Educational Initiatives Director for the Journalism Education Association, Colorado, USA
Roman Gerodimos
Associate Professor of Global Current Affairs, Bournemouth University
Eric Gordon
Professor, Department of Visual and Media Arts, Emerson College, USA
Manuel Guerrero
Director, Department of Communication, Universidad Iberoamericana, Mexico
Chris Harris
Associate Professor of Communication, Department Chair for Social Sciences and Business, Nevada State College, USA
Claudia Kozman
Assistant Professor of Multimedia Journalism, Lebanese American University, Lebanon
Jorge Liotti
Professor, Universidad Católica Argentina, Argentina
Pablo Martinez Zarate
Head Professor, Documentary Film & Digital Narrative, Iberoamericana University, Mexico
Jad Melki
Associate Professor of Journalism and Media Studies and Director of the Institute of Media Research and Training, Lebanese American University, Lebanon
Susan Moeller
Susan Moeller, Director of the International Center for Media & the Public Agenda and Professor, College of Journalism and the School of Public Policy, University of Maryland.
Stephen Reese
Jesse H. Jones Professor of Journalism, Moody College of Communication, The University of Texas at Austin, USA
Stephen Salyer
President & Chief Executive Officer
Clare Shine
Director, Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL),
Sangita Shresthova
Director of Research, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, USA


Sarah Achar
Iberoamericana University, Mexico
Ridhi Aggarwal
Ashoka University, India
Delfina Arambillet
Pontificia Universidad Católica of Buenos Aires, Argentina
Mai Al Khouri
Lebanese American University, Lebanon
Camila Arostegui
Pontificia Universidad Católica of Buenos Aires, Argentina
Rebecca Bastien
Emerson College, USA
Maria Victoria Buryaile Auguet
Pontificia Universidad Católica of Buenos Aires, Argentina
Daniel Castro
United States Military Academy, USA
Emilia Coll
Pontificia Universidad Católica of Buenos Aires, Argentina
Ruben Cuevas
Iberoamericana University, Mexico
Kourtney Dean
Nevada State College, USA
Molly Dishman
University of Texas at Austin, USA
Bridget Divers
University of Maryland, USA
Bettina Dorffer
Bournemouth University, UK
Catherine Edwards
Emerson College, USA/Canadian Association of Community Television Users and Stations (CACTUS)
Alex El Dahdah
Lebanese American University, Lebanon
Abir El Danaf
Lebanese American University, Lebanon
Lynn El Jbeily
Lebanese American University, Lebanon
Jonathan Elbaz
Emerson College, USA
Sally Farhat
Lebanese American University, Lebanon
Jad Fawaz
Lebanese American University, Lebanon
Lindsey Goldin
Emerson College, USA
Sabah Haidar
Lebanese American University, Lebanon
Paige Hall
Nevada State College, USA
Surya Harikrishnan
Ashoka University, India
Hassan Hassan
Daystar University, Kenya
Carly Haynes
University of Maryland, USA
Ahmad Hikmat
Capital Radio, Sudan
Mengqi Hu
Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong SAR, China
Victoria Huerta
University of Texas at Austin, USA
Parker Hughes
Emerson College, USA
Yara Issa
Lebanon American University, Lebanon
Lynsey Jeffery
University of Maryland, USA
Gabriela Jimenez
Nevada State College, USA
Reid Jowers
University of Texas at Austin, USA
Jena Karam
Lebanese American University, Lebanon
Mohamad Khoudari
Lebanese American University, Lebanon
Alice Knight
Bournemouth University, UK
Makenna Krist
University of Texas at Austin, USA
Akshay Kulkarni
Bournemouth University, UK
Yan Kei Lam
Hong Kong Baptist University, Hong Kong SAR, China
Hiu Lui Lau
Chinese University of Hong Kong, China, Hong Kong SAR
Yiming Li
Emerson College, USA
Conor Lum
University of Maryland, USA
Matthew Marcel
University of Maryland, USA
Gabriela Martinez Baigorria
Iberoamericana University, Mexico
Maria del Carmen Martínez López
Iberoamericana University, Mexico
Natalie Matthews
University of Texas at Austin, USA
Emilio Mounsef
Lebanese American University, Lebanon
Michela Newhouse
University of Texas at Austin, USA
Hoa Nguyen
University of Maryland, USA
Deborah Oliveros
Georgetown University, USA
Nicola Opfer
Nevada State College, USA
Maya Parchment
Bournemouth University, UK
Neil Perry
Emerson College, USA
Stephanie Ross
Emerson College, USA
Sary Sader
Lebanese American University, Lebanon
Gabriela Santillán
Iberoamericana University, Mexico
Johanna Schrey
St. Pölten University of Applied Sciences, Austria
Hiba Shaaban
Lebanese American University, Lebanon
Tala Sharif
Lebanese American University, Lebanon
Henry Smith
United States Military Academy, USA
Lauren Stott
Emerson College, USA
Rana Tabbara
Lebanese American University, Lebanon
Rawad Taha
Lebanese American University, Lebanon
Sara Taha
Lebanese American University, Lebanon
Moustafa Wehbe
Lebanese American University, Lebanon
Samer Wehbi
Lebanese American University, Lebanon
Lea Weissmann
St. Pölten University of Applied Sciences, Austria
Josh Wilde
Bournemouth University, UK
Amy Wong
Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong SAR, China
Fan Xiao
Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong SAR, China
Shuyi Yang
Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong SAR, China
Yara Yatim
Lebanese American University, Lebanon
Ifsha Zehra
Ashoka University, India
Meiyue Zhang
Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong SAR, China
Kinda Zoghby
Lebanese American University, Lebanon

Multi-Year Series


The Salzburg Academy on Media & Global Change was launched in 2007. To learn more about the Academy, please visit:


When should I arrive to / depart from Salzburg?

The Academy starts at 4 PM (TBC) on Sunday, July 15th. Students should plan to arrive at Schloss Leopoldskron in Salzburg no later than 3 PM (Salzburg time) on July 15th. Most students will arrive in the morning, sleep away the jet lag for a few hours, then be ready for the beginning of the Academy that day. If you are arriving early, however, you are responsible for your accommodations until July 15th (or after August 4th, if you depart late). Students are responsible for getting themselves to the Schloss. The staff, however, is happy to answer questions and give advice about arrivals and departures.


Salzburg Global Seminar Schloss Leopoldskron Leopoldskronstrasse 56-58 A-5020 Salzburg, Austria Telephone: +43 (662) 83 9 830 Fax: +43 (662) 83 9 837 

We require that you arrive at Schloss Leopoldskron by 16:00 CET (4 PM) on Sunday, July 15th. The final night of the Academy will be Friday, August 3rd. You can depart anytime on Saturday, August 4th, as long as you checkout by 9 AM. Your accommodation (arriving July 15th and leaving August 4th) is covered in your tuition.

How will I get to Salzburg?

Your university should supply a suggested group itinerary for students from your school to travel together to Salzburg. It is not required that you follow this itinerary.

Many of you will be coming from different locations, so it may be easier to make your own travel plans. Some of you may decide to travel in Europe, or elsewhere, before the Academy. If you do, please let us know your travel plans for our records.

Salzburg does have an airport, but it's small and can be expensive to fly into. Relatively few international destinations have direct flights into the Salzburg airport; flights to Salzburg almost always require a layover in Frankfurt, Vienna, London, etc. We suggest looking into flights to Munich, and then taking the train  or an airport shuttle van (about 2 hours) directly to Schloss Leopoldskron in Salzburg.

Other Destinations: While many students will fly into Munich, some students — especially those who want to travel beforehand — will take a train from Vienna, Venice, Prague, etc. It is up to you how you want to make your way to Salzburg but please let us know what you decide.

What if I'm flying into Munich?

If you fly into Munich, you have a few options to travel to Salzburg.

Train: Trains leave hourly from the Munich airport to the Salzburg Hauptbahnhof. You are usually required to take the Munich airport train (AKA S-bahn) to Munich Ost train station in the city, then change trains and go from Munich Ost to Salzburg HBF (you can see on the top right side of the map that the Munich airport is at the end of the S8 line. You would follow the S8 line - black and yellow striped - to Ostbahnhof, where many different lines meet. You would then board another train from the Ostbahnhof to the Salzburg HBF). These trains cost 25-35 Euro, depending on time of day. If you buy group tickets, it can also be cheaper. We recommend checking the Bayern Ticket if you travel in a group ( ). Once you arrive at the Salzburg HBF, you will need to take a taxi to Schloss Leopoldskron. Taxis are around 13 Euro for this trip. The average total cost for taking the train from Munich airport to Schloss Leopoldskron is 30 Euro (train ticket) + 10 Euro (taxi ride), total of 40 Euro. If you do this for your arrival and departure, it would be 80 Euro round trip.

SMS Shuttle: This is a van shuttle service from the Munich airport to Salzburg which takes you directly to the Schloss Leopoldskron. An 8-passenger van will drive you on the autobahn for 90 minutes to 2 hours, depending on traffic. The ride is actually quite beautiful, and gets better as you get closer to the Alps surrounding Salzburg. 

You may need to wait for other passengers to arrive in Munich before the shuttle will leave. If you are traveling with a large group of students, it is likely that you'll be given your own shuttle. If there are other non-students in the shuttle, however, you may also have to wait for them to be dropped off throughout Salzburg before the shuttle makes its way to Schloss Leopoldskron.

If you fly into Munich and would like to book your shuttle, please visit for the price list and booking your shuttle transfer. You will need to provide your flight information to make your reservation. You will be required to provide payment in Euros to the driver when you depart the Munich airport. There are cash points (Bankomat) / ATMs in the airport if you are not traveling with Euros.

Instructions on locating the shuttle service in the Munich airport can be found below.

If you have difficulties booking the shuttle, please call their service first or send them an email with your flight information /travel arrangements. Contacts can be found on their website. Please note the shuttle service is a separate company so first try to contact them. Lastly, if you have additional questions please email Elizabeth Cowan, Impact Fellow at

DIRECTIONS FOR ARRIVING AT MUNICH TERMINAL 1: In order to find the shuttle company desk from Terminal 1 you should do the following:

After collecting your bags and passing through passport control, exit the arrival terminal to the main part of the airport, turn left and follow the signs towards "Airport Center." This will lead you down one level and you will come to a open area with shops and restaurants. When you get to the train information area (ticket machines and stairs to the "U Bahn"), turn right, still following the signs to “Airport Center.” After turning right and walking past the “U-bahn” and train information area, you will come to a desk in the middle of the hallway that has a sign "Transfer Service." Go to this desk and tell them you are traveling to Schloss Leopoldkron in Salzburg. They will ask for your name and confirmation number. (You may also want to show them a printout of your shuttle confirmation.) They will be expecting you and they will be familiar with your destination. Note that you may have to wait if there are others with whom you are sharing a shuttle. You can ask them how long the wait will be, and if it is more than a half hour you may want to buy some food at one of the restaurants or the supermarket right in the immediate area and use the restrooms. (DO NOT be late getting back to the van area, however... take your food to go, as passengers can be unpredictable in their arrival times). Once on the shuttle you will be taken directly to Schloss Leopoldskron. Because of heavy summer traffic on the autobahn/highway, it is possible that the shuttle will take you through back roads on the drive to Salzburg. Don't worry... the back roads are more scenic and will typically get you to Salzburg much more quickly!

DIRECTIONS FOR ARRIVING AT MUNICH TERMINAL 1: please follow directions at the Airport to get to Terminal 1, where you will find the SMS shuttle desk (there is only one SMS shuttle desk at the airport and it is located in Terminal 1)

Can I take a taxi from Salzburg Airport to Schloss Leopoldskron?

If you fly directly into Salzburg, you will also be responsible for getting yourself to the Schloss. The Salzburg airport is very small and easy to navigate, and taxis are always waiting out front. Leave baggage claim through one sliding door, and then walk straight outside. Taxis will be lined up out front.

Schloss Leopoldskron is well known, so all you have to do is get in the taxi and say “Schloss Leopoldskron”, but remember the full name as there are a few Schlosses in town. The driver will know where to go. It’s a 15 minute ride from the airport to the Schloss, and will cost anywhere between 10-15 Euro depending on time of day/traffic.

How do I call home from Salzburg?

There are numerous ways to call back home and you may want to check with your cell phone provider before you add international roaming onto your plan. If you have a tri or quad-band phone, you may be able to use your own cellphone and number while you are in Austria. But we don’t recommend that you do so for anything other than short or emergency calls as the toll charges will be very high. If you have an unlocked phone you can purchase an international SIM card and swap out your SIM card for the duration of your visit, but unless you are planning on doing additional travel in Europe this summer, any of those options may be more hassle than they are worth.


What we highly recommend is that you sign up with Skype, a free internet telephone platform. To sign up for Skype, simply go to:

The only investment to make the Skype calls clear (and easy) is to buy an inexpensive headset with microphone. If you have a relatively new computer you may already have a microphone installed and therefore you do not need to purchase a headset, but you may well choose to bring one for privacy when you are calling. Most rooms do not have WiFi, so you will be using the WiFi from common areas, such as the seminar rooms.

What should I pack?

Clothing: The Academy is a fairly casual event. Most participants wear jeans and shirts for the majority of the three weeks - nothing too fancy. Do note, however, that Europe can be slightly more modest than, say, the United States. You will want to save your T-shirts with questionable graphics or words and your shortest shorts for home.

Although most students will wear shorts, jeans and casual summer dresses most of the time, there will be, however, a handful of slightly more formal occasions. Women usually wear cocktail attire, and men wear a coat and tie. These events will include the classical concert at the Schloss and the final banquet.

Salzburg summers vary wildly. One day it can be warm and sunny, and the next day it can be cold and rainy. We recommend a mix of long pants and shorts/skirts, and a mix of t-shirts and warmer tops. Most of the time, mornings (and evenings) are a bit cooler, but then it will warm up in the afternoon. Bring several sweaters and a light jacket/windbreaker/fleece for wearing in the rain or if you go for evening walks. The Schloss has umbrellas, so you don't need to pack those.

Sandals are acceptable to wear around the Schloss, but you should bring a pair of athletic sneakers. Women should pack at least some shoes that do not have heels, as many of the paths both at the Schloss and in town have gravel and cobblestones. Note too that we will take two field trips (you can read about them below), and some walking will be involved. If you're interested in hiking some of the local Alps, you may want to pack your hiking boots, though the Untersberg can be climbed in trail sneakers (with good gripping soles).

There is a pool next door that includes a water slide and many students also swim in the local glacier-fed canals, so you may also want to bring a swimming suit, a beach towel or wrap and sun block. Regular towels for showers will be provided, as well as all bedding.

Supplies: the Schloss staff will provide everyone with notebooks, pens and paper, so academic supplies beyond your laptop are not necessary.

If you own a laptop we strongly recommend that you bring it with you. Although it is not a requirement that you bring one, there are two reasons you might want to do so.

First, you will need to go online for research, evaluation of global media outlets and creation of projects during the program. There are not enough computer terminals at the Schloss to allow everyone individual access, so you might prefer to bring your own.

Second, you may well want to bring your own laptop to keep in touch with family and friends. The Meierhof and the Schloss have public spaces with wireless Internet. Having your own laptop may well be an advantage if you want to make international calls.

How much will I spend in Salzburg?

It’s up to you how much money you want to spend while in Salzburg. All of your meals will be provided, but some students choose to visit a local grocery store to have a few extra snacks at hand. Also, some students will occasionally choose to eat at local restaurants instead of eating at the Schloss . If you choose to do these things, you’ll be spending a bit more money.

Shopping for clothes and gifts is also possible while in Salzburg. If you plan on buying souvenirs for your friends and family, budget accordingly. The currency is the Euro, and no other currencies are accepted. The easiest way to get money is from your home country's bank card – you can use it in Salzburg to pull cash out of the cash machines (ATMs / Bankomats) around town. You may also want to have a few Euros on hand (around 20) for when you first arrive in Salzburg to pay for a taxi or a snack.

It's possible to stay in Salzburg and spend very little but you can also spend a lot if you decide to go shopping. It’s your decision how much money you want to spend while in Salzburg. But be assured that all your food – three meals and two coffee/tea breaks a day – are covered as part of your fees.

What about electricity and adaptors?

European outlets and voltage are different from other places around the world. Make sure you bring a European adapter for your electronics (2 prongs). Computers already have converters for the voltage issue, but other small electronics will not. If you want to bring a flat iron/electric razor/other electronic, you will need to also purchase a converter to adjust to European voltage. The Meierhof building where you will be staying has hairdryers; but if you want to bring your own, bring a hairdryer that is a dedicated 220 current one, as hairdryers that are dual voltage only work on the lowest setting on the 220 current. You will not need a transformer for your computer, but you will need a plug adapter. We strongly encourage you to bring at least two adapters... and please write your name on them in permanent marker.

What meals will be available at the Schloss?

Breakfast, lunch and dinner and a morning and evening snack, with coffee and tea.

The "Marble Hall," as it's called, has a high ceiling (with Greek mythology paintings and other decorations). 

For breakfast there will be a buffet (eggs and sausage or something similar) as well as fruit, yogurts, cereal, nuts, bread, jam, honey, cheese, sliced meats, juices, teas, coffee, etc.

If you have any dietary restrictions please let us know and we will do our best to accommodate your needs. Vegetarians will always find salad/fruit at every meal. Please note that we do not cater for vegans. If you have any particular concerns (such as an allergy, Halal or kosher), and you did not state so in the electronic form, please let us know (email Impact Fellow Elizabeth Cowan at and the kitchen staff will do their best to accommodate you.

What is the Meierhof?

Salzburg Global Seminar owns two buildings, the Schloss (Palace) and adjacent Meierhof building. The Meierhof building is around 100 years older than the Schloss (it dates from 1736), and hosts most of the hotel rooms and offices. All meals are served in the Schloss and most of the working groups will gather there as well. The lectures will be held in the main conference room, Parker Hall, which is located in the Meierhof building. 

The Meierhof was originally a carriage house and stables. Today, it has 55 single and double newly renovated rooms (all with their own bathrooms), and hosts Salzburg Global Seminar's offices, a large library, several conference rooms, and two apartments/Town-Houses for visiting staff members. There's a courtyard in the center. All the rooms are on the second and third floors (the "first" and "second" floors in European terms). Some rooms look towards the courtyard, some towards the lake and the mountains, some towards Salzburg's fortress.

Information about the rooms and what to bring: you will be living in a hotel room - clean linens (duvets) and clean pillows, fresh towels, etc. will be provided. The housekeeping staff who come every day will not pick up after you, but they will clean your bathroom sink and shower, empty your trash, give you clean towels, clean linen, etc. If you don't keep your room reasonably clean, the housekeeping staff will stop coming to your room. It will be in your best interest to try and keep your room in a reasonable state. If housekeeping cannot clean your room for several days because of your mess, you will be notified and you will need to clean up your room sufficiently so the staff can come in and clean. Do note as well that most students will be in double rooms and assigned to live with someone from another country; it is only thoughtful and respectful to your roommate to keep your (side of the) room and bathroom in good, clean condition.

All rooms (singles and doubles) have bathrooms (shower and toilet) inside the room, and all have hairdryers. If you would like to bring your own electronic devices, be aware that the electric current may be different to your home country, so don't bring over any appliance that isn't dual current. (See above for other details.) Do note that even if your appliance is dual current you'll need to get a plug adapter. The plugs in Austria are all European two-pin plugs. Your computer will most likely be dual current – so don't worry about that, but you will need to get a plug adapter for it.

There is a safe in every room or you can leave valuables with the reception for the hotel safe if you want. We haven't had theft problems at the Schloss (and the staff is very trustworthy), but we recommend that you leave significant amounts of cash, as well as passports and other small valuables that you won't need frequently in the hotel safe. We do recommend that you mark your name on small electronics (including your laptop) and adapters, etc. that you will be using regularly. Many students will bring identical laptops, cameras, tablets, adapters, etc. Please always keep your valuables with you. Salzburg Global's facility is really safe but it is always good to be cautious of your belongings and don't leave them around when you walk away for a longer time. 

What is the Schloss?

Schloss Leopoldskron is an 18th century Rococco Palace built by orders of the Prince Archbishop of Salzburg Leopold Anton Freiherr von Firmian (1679-1744), but the most significant era in the history of the Schloss began in 1918, the year in which the Schloss was sold to Max Reinhardt, Europe's most famous theater director and co-founder of the Salzburg Festival. Reinhardt acquired the Schloss when it was in a severe state of disrepair. With the assistance of Salzburg artisans, Reinhardt renovated the staircase, the Great Hall, and the Marble Hall. The Library and the Venetian Room are Reinhardt creations, as are decorations in other salons.

It was purchased by Salzburg Global Seminar in 1959 and is currently a national historic monument in Austria.

Is Salzburg safe?

Yes! Salzburg is a fairly small and a very safe town, but that does not mean it is devoid of all crime. The same rules apply in Salzburg that apply in other cities – always keep your belongings in sight, be aware of your surroundings and be sensible.

Participants bring large SLR digital cameras, laptops, iPods, etc. and they are safe on Schloss grounds. Mind that there is always a risk when leaving small pocket valuables in public spaces, so we recommend not leaving your possessions unattended.

Though the Schloss is private property, it's sometimes open and unlocked, so every now and then people walk through; these are usually tourists trying to sneak a peek. You can, and we recommend, to always lock your bedroom and use the safes provided in every room.

What will the field trips be during the Academy?

Each summer, all Academy participants and faculty take two excursions (already included in the fees) to other interesting areas in and around Salzburg. The excursions are booked on Fridays, so after long work days, we all can take some time off and explore a bit. Sometimes we take a bus ride into the Alps for a boat ride on an Alpen lake.

One trip we often take is to the Mauthausen Memorial where a Nazi concentration camp once stood. It is a somber yet powerful experience. We frame this visit by having a discussion about the memorial site that help students and faculty put the visit in historical and geographic context.

Weather permitting on the weekends, we also organize a hike up the Untersberg, which is the mountain just opposite Schloss Leopoldskron. It's the mountain you'll be looking at every day. If you are not a serious hiker, you may want to take a cable car up to the top and meet the hikers at the restaurant at the peak.

We're still deciding on what excursions we'll take this summer, and when, but this will give you an idea of some of the extracurricular activities you'll be partaking in at Salzburg.

Are there outdoor activities around the Schloss?

If you like swimming and anticipate going either to the 5 pools next door (from slide pools to an Olympic-sized one with a 10m diving platform) or to going to the rope swing over the canal, you might want to pack a beach towel – the white towels in the room are rather small – in addition to a bathing suit.

Right next door to us is also a mini-golf course; there are outdoor cafés in the pool and mini-golf complex to have an ice cream, a hot dog, etc.

And for those of you who prefer the natural landscape, the canal runs right outside the iron gates of the Schloss. It's perfect for running or biking alongside, and if the weather is hot enough (the water is really cold as it is fed by glaciers), you can just jump in or swing in on one of the rope swings!

On weekends, you will also be able to rent a bike at the Schloss.

What about restaurants, grocery stores, pharmacies, etc?

Sometimes you’ll want to venture off the Schloss grounds for lunch or dinner or a late night drink, in which case, please always inform a staff member. There are a handful of restaurants very close to the Schloss, including a Thai restaurant and several Austrian restaurants. If you want to walk into town (about 20 - 30 minutes on foot), there are many restaurants to choose from. The staff at the reception desk can guide you in the right direction.

Two of the more popular places to go are the breweries Stiegl and Augustiner Brau. Stiegl has a very nice outdoor patio. Augustiner used to be a monastery on the edge of town, where the monks have been brewing beer for centuries. It’s a classic Biergarten, with a large open-air space full of trees, where people picnic and hang out. You can bring your own food, or buy food there from all the different vendors.

The main grocery stores are BILLA and SPAR, which you may find within a 5-8 minute walk from the Schloss. Most of the basics can be purchased at these stores. Again, the reception desk will be happy to give you directions. Most European grocery stores don’t have a wide selection of toiletries, but there are stores specifically for these, both nearby and in town (DM and BIPA). 

If you require any prescription medications, please bring enough with you for the duration of the trip. If, however, something happens and you need medical care or medication, there is a nearby hospital (Landeskrankenhaus Salzburg) and a pharmacy. We would send you to the hospital with a German-speaking staff member.

What is the Salzburg Festival?

While you’re in Salzburg for the Academy, something else will also be taking place in the city: the world famous Salzburg Festival. This year marks the 97th anniversary of the music festival, and people from around the world descend upon Salzburg to take in some of the finest operas, concerts, and other performances.

While tickets to most of these performances are very expensive (and most performances are sold out for months before anyway), it doesn't mean you’ll miss out on the Festival. The city sets up a large open-air projection screen in the middle of downtown, and airs performances from the main opera house. You can bring a picnic basket and friends, and enjoy the performances for free!

The city of Salzburg becomes especially busy during the Festival. There are more street musicians, open-air performances, vendors and activities in Salzburg during the Festival than any other time of the year. You'll see ladies in ball gowns (including the local dirndl — only in a silk version) and men in tuxedos (or the Austrian native jacket and leggings ) heading for the opera house. It's an exciting time for the city and great fun to people-watch.

The Schloss almost always plays host to some impressive parties during the Festival as well. For this reason, there may be some nights when we are not allowed into the Schloss.

How do I get around in Salzburg?

Salzburg is a small city, so participants can walk almost anywhere. Salzburg has a very efficient fleet of taxis, and all the drivers are familiar with the Schloss, but remember the full name, Schloss Leopoldskron, as there are a few Schlosses in town. If you’re leaving the Schloss and looking for a taxi, the reception desk can call one, and it will arrive in less than 5 minutes. 

What about laundry?

Participants (and faculty) are allowed to use the washing machine in the Meierhof. There will be a sign-up form for laundry and drying racks are available in the designated area.

The washers have several settings and instructions will be provided, but ask someone for help if you're confused.

The basic detergents will also be available.

I want to come early and/or stay late. Where can I stay?

Every year people ask whether it would be possible either to arrive a day early or stay a day or two later because of plane connections or other issues (or maybe a family member is coming through Salzburg and would like to stay locally).

Sometimes it is possible to stay on site – please contact Impact Fellow Elizabeth Cowan ( to check on availability of rooms – but as July and August are high season, the Schloss and Meierhof are often fully booked. If there is room on site for before or after the Academy session (or during the session if a family member is coming through), you could reserve a room for them, but they would have to pay for a room and meals. Please contact Elizabeth Cowan for more information.

If there are no rooms available or if you want to make other plans, there are other hotels and hostels/pensions that are relatively close to the Schloss, as well as to town that are recommended:

Another option is to simply look on the Salzburg Information website under accommodation. There you can search for rooms based on price, location, etc.