Skiers thoughts and feelings about living abroad

Karoline Rettenbacher 

Hometown: Klagenfurt, Austria  

Favorite food from home: Käsnudel (cheese-filled noodle)  

Academic year: Senior   

Major: Business Administration   

How to succeed both in sports and school: “Time management is key to success”  

Goal for the reminder of the season: “To not suck (laughs)…and enjoy the last races of my skiing career.”  

Plans after graduation: “Pursuing master’s degree in “Advanced International Studies” in Vienna, getting an internship over the summer… otherwise working on my tan.”  

Advice to someone who has never been abroad: 

“Definitely go abroad, just to see that the world can be so much different to what your used to at home.”   

Camille Jackson   

Hometown: Sydney, Australia  

Favorite food from home: “Meat Pie with tomato sauce from 7/11 that burns my tongue”  

Academic year: Sophomore  

Major: Political Science  

Where the idea of studying abroad came from: “I always loved traveling and have done it since I´m little…it was never something I dreamed of but rather something I enjoyed doing. I never thought I´d study abroad just because it is really expensive.”  

Biggest takeaway from coming to Castleton: “A lot of Americans don´t know a lot about the rest of the world.”  

What you miss the most about Australian culture: “I think Americans sugarcoat a lot of things. Australians are a lot more realistic.”  

What about being homesick? 

Australia is 16 hours ahead of Vermont, so it is rough, and I of course miss my family and friends. I haven´t been back to Australia since I came here in December 2020 and don´t plan on going home until December 2022 or even 2023. The main reason I can´t go home over breaks is because flights are simply way too expensive. So, it of course does suck but it’s not like I don´t communicate with them, with Facetime and everything you just try to make the best out of it.”  

Key factors of success for the Castleton ski team: 

“Europeans,” said with a laugh, but perhaps not totally kidding.  

How Americans benefit from having internationals on their team: I think apart from skiing, it really helps them broaden their horizons globally. They get to see different perspectives, and how the systems work in Australia or Europe. 

Advice to someone who has never been abroad: I would definitely encourage going abroad. You could literally go anywhere you want, experience something completely new and realize that your little bubble in America isn’t the greatest, which maybe helps changing the American system for the better.  


Petra Veljkovic  

Hometown: Nis, Serbia  

Favorite Food from Home: Sarme (stuffed cabbage)  

Academic Year: Sophomore  

Major: Molecular Biology  

Where the idea of studying abroad came from: Disney (laughs). I kind of always wanted to come to America, I don´t know why. But what actually brought me here is obviously the possibility to do sport and studying at the same time which is no option in Europe  

Biggest difference to skiing at home: Serbians don´t even know what skiing is. When I tell them I went to ski on one of the glaciers in Austria during the summer they always ask me “What? There is snow in Summer?”  

But in general, it´s a lot more serious in Europe than college skiing. I actually started enjoying skiing a lot more when I came here. I stopped worrying about results which actually helped me put less pressure on myself and improve as a skier. It started being more about having fun than caring about results only.  

What about homesickness? Well, I have a good reason to be homesick because I have a boyfriend back home… I guess that´s one of the reason why I waste all that money on flights and want to go home whenever the breaks are long enough.”  

Did your parents always support you in going abroad? 

Always. There is no doubt. My mum sort of pushed me out of the door.  

Lena Soehnle  

Hometown: Bad Säckingen, Germany  

Favorite Food from Home: 

Maultaschen (meat-filled noodle-dumplings)  

Academic Year: Senior  

Major: Sports Management and Business Administration  

Why being on the CU Ski Team is so special:  

I think skiers are sort of a different breed but that’s what makes it so special. You just know that everyone loves the sport and it´s definitely really cool to have friends from all over the world. It feels like a little family that you have far away from home  

Is Homesickness still a Topic? No. I mean as a skier, most of us start being away from home when we are six, so we are really used to it. But a huge part is having your friends over here. If I was a lonely person, I would cry in my bed all night.  

Biggest takeaway: You learn who your true friends are and who you truly can rely on.  

Advice to Someone Who Has Never been Abroad:  

There is so much more to see out in this world. You will learn so much different things just by being somewhere else.   


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