Students From Austria study semester of business at Penn College

December 12, 2014

WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. -- Two Austrian students spending a semester exchange at Pennsylvania College of Technology will return with valuable perspectives from their months in the Keystone State.

“Our experience here showed us that it is important to be open to other cultures, other points of view and other opinions,” said Katharina M. Sutter. “Furthermore, it is important — especially in a new country — to be open to your classmates, neighbors and people you meet. An open attitude helps to come into contact with these people.”

The students recently talked about their experience over a student-prepared classic European dinner in the college’s Le Jeune Chef Restaurant.

Sutter and travel mate Anita K. Fink are participants in a semester exchange program between Penn College and Fachhochschule Vorarlberg University of Applied Sciences in Dornbirn, Austria. Students in their fifth semester of international business majors at FH Vorarlberg are encouraged to study abroad. During that semester, students from around the world study at Vorarlberg.

“In our opinion, it is important to study abroad to achieve a unique experience,” Fink said. “You get in touch with the culture, the people, the differences between home and host country in a way which is not possible if you just stay there for a holiday period. Furthermore, you learn the language; and, moreover, you meet new friends.”

While most of the students remain in Europe for their study-abroad experience, Fink and Sutter chose to study at Penn College because it offers courses that are a good fit for their programs of study. Both have a primary concentration in international human resource management. Fink’s secondary concentration is international marketing, while Sutter’s is international finance.

“But the main reason was that, in the past, some students from our home college spent their exchange semester at Penn College, and they loved it and told us about their good time in Williamsport,” Sutter said.

At Penn College, they took courses in human resource management and human relations, as well as finance, small-business management, international business, international marketing and consumer behavior.

For Penn College students, the exchange offers an opportunity to spend a semester in the Alps studying international business and the German language. The city of Dornbirn is at the base of the Alps and the economic center of its state.

The young women believe Penn College students would enjoy a semester at their home university: “The school system in Austria is totally different,” Sutter said. “It seems like the perfect system for students. Most classes don't expect buying books or doing homework. In return, you have to be present more hours at school.”

While in the U.S., the students have visited Niagara Falls, New York City, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., and Boston. After final exams, they plan to visit Miami.

“There are plenty of things we’ll remember for a long time,” Fink said. “The great evenings we spent with friends on their porch...the trips we made, the food we tried (all different kinds of burgers, cheesesteaks, Boston cream pie, cheesecake, pancakes, bagels), but we think we’ll never forget the great and funny times we had here.”

To learn more about study-abroad options at Penn College, call 570-326-3761, ext. 5257, or visit

To learn about business majors at Penn College, call 570-327-4505 or visit

For more about the college, which is celebrating its Centennial throughout 2014, visit or call toll-free 800-367-9222.

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated December 15, 2014