6 Study Abroad Locations for the Winter Enthusiast

Does anyone else want to get outside and partake in some winter sports after watching the 2018 Winter Olympics?

If you’re a winter adventurist who is looking to study abroad somewhere that you can channel your inner winter Olympian, we’ve got several programs for you. We even have several program locations that have hosted the Winter Olympics in the past, can you guess which ones from the list below?

While winter sports can be found within several hours of most of our programs, the following locations are meant for those who love the outdoors during the crisp winter months.

Kraków, Poland

Our newest study abroad location has a variety of opportunities for outdoor winter activities. Known as the “Snow Queen of the Polish cities” Kraków is sure to provide you with layers of the white fluffy stuff during the winter. It’s known to get pretty cold in the city so be sure to bring a heavy winter coat and some solid winter boots.

When you’re ready to get active you can find skiing within 30 minutes of the city in the Kraków Valley. This resort is geared towards beginner skiers, so if you’re more advanced consider a day trip to Zakopane located in the Tatra Mountains about two hours outside of the city.

Lyon, France

Is snowshoeing the French Alps on your bucket list? Head to Lyon, France and we’ll take you on a field trip to do just this! Of course, there are a variety of additional winter sports you can do in the Alps such as skiing, snowboarding, sledding, or sipping hot cocoa in the lodge. But we recommend getting out there and experiencing winter in the Alps!

Oslo, Norway

Our first program where the Olympics have been held, winter in Norway is snow joke (see what we did there)! You’ll find snow on the ground, plenty of mountains to play around in, and you’ll most likely pick up a new sport. Take it from Bradley Lazar who insisted on learning how to cross-country ski during his time in Oslo. He documented his experience and recently won our #LiveWithoutRegrets Video Contest.

Pau, France

Located within miles of the Pyrenees Mountains, Pau is the perfect place to study if you want to be close to winter sports but not walking around in the snow for several months. Ski resorts are located within 45-minutes of the city, and if you need a snow fix, hiking the Pyrenees is sure to take care of that for you.

Prague, Czech Republic

Grab your coat and head to one of the most beautiful USAC locations in winter for a semester filled with ice skating, winter hiking, skiing, snowboarding, and other sports. You’ll be having so much fun on the variety of field trips and activities in Prague offered that you’ll forget that it’s a little chilly outside.

Torino, Italy

The location of the 2006 Winter Olympics,  even today, Torino still rocks their Olympic pride. Head to Torino and you’ll get to explore all the Olympic sites, ski and snowboard down the same hills as the 2006 athletes and enjoy winter in the fourth largest city in Italy. If you’re looking for a location where you can work off all that pasta and gelato, then Torino is it!

While we haven’t touched on every USAC program that offers winter activities, these are just a few locations to help get you started.

If you’re thinking it would be awesome to study abroad where the Olympics are being held, keep in mind that the next winter Olympics will be in Beijing in 2022 and we’ve got programs in Chengdu and Shanghai!

We’ll see you outdoors!