Most memorable and productive part of my college experience! Past Review

By (Foreign Affairs, Hampden-Sydney College) - abroad from 05/06/2012 to 07/02/2012 with

Hampden-Sydney College: The Münster Summer Program

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
Not only did my language skills improve immensely, but I also gained a confidence in my language abilities that I didn't have before. I used German much more frequently than I ever had and that boosted my confidence while also practicing it.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 1 month - 6 months

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

This program focused on language and culture. Living with a host family allowed full submersion into the language and assignments such as newspaper readings provoked thoughtful conversation on current topics. In doing this, I was able to discuss current events with my host family over dinner in German and felt like an authentic part of the German experience. One class focused on grammar and current events while a second focused on German literature. Both were invaluable to my German career and living abroad during these courses bettered my command of the language exponentially.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Never experienced a single issue.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I lived with a host family that was assigned through the program and I couldn't have been happier! I lived in a suburb of Muenster and my host family had hosted previous students from this program. They were extremely inviting, helpful with my studies and made a sincere effort to ensure that I maximized my experience abroad by participating in local events and outings.

* Food:

I made a lot of friends during the program, and we found a favorite restaurant that we went to every week! We loved it! My host family also cooked regularly and provided plenty of delicious meals.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Living with a host family really integrated me into the local community. I rode the bus everyday to class, went to class in a real German school and read the German newspapers for class discussion. The only downside was that my family did not have kids my age, so all of my friends were from the other American schools participating in the program.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

I never felt unsafe in my time in Muenster. It is a small city and everybody was extremely welcoming.

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? Yes


* Money: How easily were you able to live on a student's budget?

(1 = not very easy/$200+ on food & personal expenses/week, 2.5 = $100/week, 5 = very easily/minimal cost)

I had plenty of money for the duration of the program and would have been able to save even more had I not taken two weekend trips to other countries while abroad.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $175
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? eat at the local farmers market for lunch! They have awesome food and it is very inexpensive, plus it is the best way to feel like a real local!


* Did your program have a foreign language component? Yes
How much did the program encourage you to use the language?

0 = No encouragement, 5 = frequent encouragement to use the language

I was in the advanced language courses and almost the entire class was taught in German. Additionally, we were encouraged to use it in local restaurants, bars and at home.

How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? Intermediate
How would you rate your language skills at the end of the program? Advanced
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? I had taken 6 semesters of German prior to my trip.
How many hours per day did you use the language?
Do you have any tips/advice on the best ways to practice the language for future study abroad participants? watch the local news at night and discuss it with your host family! Additionally, reading the newspaper really helps.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
About how many local friends did you make that you will likely keep in touch with?

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • Living with a host family
  • the city and everything it had to offer
  • that my professor from H-SC went with us to teach
* What could be improved?
  • the weekend trips that the group takes
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I did the program a year earlier, because I would have then considered doing an entire semester abroad rather than just a Maymester

Reasons For Studying Abroad

To help future students find programs attended by like-minded individuals, please choose the profile that most closely represents you.
The Academic or Linguist
You went abroad with specific academic goals in mind; the program credentials and rigor of your coursework abroad were very important to you. You had a great time abroad, but never lost sight of your studies and (if applicable) were diligent with your foreign language study. Good for you!