Although our brains are still in summer mode, Fall is only a few weeks away and in a blink of an eye ( or 150239402 blinks), we’ll be craving turns in deep snow, carves on freshly groomed slopes, and after-exam snowpark laps to make sure the brain is getting enough air(time) after our studying.
With this in mind, we put together a list of places where you can ski and study. We’re calling it The Db Guide to the Best Sports For Every Snow Sports Enthusiast Who Wants to Find A Shred/Study Balance. Note: this is also a good cover-up for anyone looking to pitch spending all day on the mountain to parents. If you think we’ve missed any, send your suggestions to email@example.com.
Munich can definitely be a decent location to combine study and city life with a good amount of time on snow. Although it doesn’t have mountains right on the doorstep (despite the infamous Olympiaberg), it’s close enough. There are a few small resorts nearby and the renowned Zillertal is only about 1h away. As the largest city among our “snow and study” best-of, it has a huge variety of different study programs and schools as well as a wide variety of nightlife, a river wave in the city center and numerous skate parks and spots.
For everyone, who wants a proximity to the mountains but a city with bubbles beyond the traditional “shred-bubbles”, Munich is a nice option. Big plus: Munich’s quality definitely increases in summer with multiple parks and spots to jump into freshwater rivers flowing through the city.
Probably what the Oxford Dictionary would list as the definition of a “Study and Snow Hotspot”. Innsbruck nails both student life and endless hours on the mountain. While it’s relatively small, there are a tonne of bars and things to do in the town. There are multiple universities in Innsbruck, so you have the pick of the degrees - anything from Architecture to Medicine floats here. Also, there are about 80 additional resorts within a ninety minute drive so the options to shred are endless. With about 80 resorts within a 1.30h drive, the options to go shred are endless. That said, you don’t need to travel to hit the slopes - there are two mountains right above the city that will take you less than 30 minutes to get up and in your boots.
Photo cred: ®PatrickSteiner
Salzburg is another Innsbruck. It has loads of degree and study options, but is also close to several ski resorts - big win. The city itself has a nice old-town vibe, but in terms of skiing, it has Austria’s most known snowpark - Absolut Park - only an hour away. Overall, Salzburg can be a great choice for anyone who likes it a bit more mellow and less cliché than the classic “Innsbruck-Shred-Bum-Student”.
Bern has a reputation of being THE sport-student city in Switzerland. With the “Berner Oberland” close by, the skiing possibilities are endless: You can find everything from nice snow parks such as Adelboden, stunning resorts such as Jungfraujoch and Grindelwald and there are a tonne of options for ski touring.
One of the most picturesque study spots, Lucerne has to be up there with our top picks. There are a couple of university options here including one of the world’s most renowned design schools. In winter, Lucerne is only one hour away from Engelberg, which has become one of Switzerland’s hotspots for freeriding. You can also get to Andermatt in an hour by car, or two hours by train and multiple other resorts.
With its proximity to Geneva and the French border, Lausanne is a great location for students and shredders alike. There are 11 universities and schools in the city, which means it has a huge student population. To hit the slopes, you generally need a car, but there are some great places within an hour like Lesin, Crans Montana, and Verbier. You also have Zermatt, Portes de Soleil, Chamonix and many other resorts a little further afield.
The “French Innsbruck”. Grenoble is a fun, young city that has loads of good outdoor activities on its doorstep. With around 60 thousand students, there is always something going on and you have a huge range of degrees to pick from. The Alpe d`Huez and Les 2 Alps are only an hour drive away, and you have a couple of ‘home mountains’ on your doorstep too.
This small(er) french city might not be on everyone's list, but hear us out. There’s a reason that this is the educational hub for the French snowsports teams.. Located in the heart of the French Alps, your shred possibilities are endless. Chamonix is on your doorstep (need we say more), and you’re an easy drive to a host of other French ski resorts.
Nestled at the the bottom of the Foothills, Boulder provides picturesque views of the Flatirons that only get better as winter sets in. It's no wonder the campus has been ranked as one of the most beautiful colleges in the US.
While the education here is good, if you can stay focused its a bit of a party school just remember the "Hill", the abundance of skiing is even better. Your closest mountain is Eldora about a 40 minute drive, although not the biggest it is quite convenient. If you have a couple friends you can pile into a car you're looking at anywhere from 1 hr 50 to 2 1/2 hours on I-70 to have a pick at 7 ski resorts where you'll have everything from serious parks to side country runs, and groomers, with plenty of stops for some back country action. This is all given you don't get gridlocked on I-70 for 6 hours due to tunnel closures or crashes, its just getting busier out there. Join one of the ski clubs and grab yourself a student discount on those season passes, well worth it. And dont forget to try one of the other 21 resorts out on a long weekend, sometimes it's better than a party on the Hill.