Viel Spass in Muenster Germany! Past Review

By (German Language, Literature, Hampden-Sydney College) - abroad from 05/27/2015 to 07/06/2015 with

Hampden-Sydney College: The Münster Summer Program

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I gained confidence in speaking the language and advanced my vocabulary and grammatical skills. I especially learned a great deal about the social interests in Germany including behaviors or attitudes and other nuances in the culture. Most importantly, I was able to get to know my host family very well and I intend to keep a close contact with them. The Muenster Program is, indeed, worthwhile.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 2 weeks - 1 month

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

The professors were well equipped with books and/or literature; classrooms were provided by a local "Gymnasium" (equivalent to a high school in the States); Tours and other activities including sight seeing were also organized in order to compliment our full-immersion experience, as students living with host-families; some weekends are left open for students to spend more time with their family or to visit a neighboring city or country. Overall, the level of academic rigor is perfect and quite possible for the completion of two intense classes.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

The family chosen for me was perfect as we shared the same interests and actively spent time together.

* Food:

Good, auhenic food was provided/payed for by the program leaders (professors) during the tours in Cologne and Berlin. Naturally, most of the food will be provided by the hosting families throughout the duration of the program.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I enjoyed my time in Muenster, being surrounded by native German speakers, speaking German everyday, eating common German foods, and even discussing local or international current events.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

It is extremely advisable to let the program leaders know about any pre-existing conditions that may become problematic for studying abroad; otherwise, the information including health insurance and German health requirements such as vaccinations are discussed in a meeting before the program begins.

* Safety:

The city of Muenster is filled with many college students. A study-abroad student will easily fit in among the crowds of local college or university students. The city is also small, meaning that crime is fairly low. The most common problem that students may stumble upon is misplacing possessions or becoming lost in the city. Naturally, it would be wise to always check your pockets before leaving a place and learn to know the inner-workings of a city (bus stops, times; landmarks..etc.).

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)

Depending on your lifestyle--excessive purchasing of souvenirs and/or frequent visits to the Kneipe or Restaurants--it is very easy to budget throughout the stay in Muenster. Touring neighboring countries or cities independently will of course be much more expensive than staying only in Muenster.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $50-80
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Have a budget laid out in order to have enough money for souvenirs and/or additional purchases by the end of the program--during the last days of the program, there will be half a dozen more tours.


* 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

For the 300-level German courses, speaking and writing were all done in German.

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? German 301 - Literature
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? Have confidence in the small phrases or words you have and use it with locals as it will help you actively learn how to speak and interact with local Germans.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
  • Hotel
  • Hostel
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
  • 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?
  • Experiences with host-family
  • Tours/Sightseeing
  • Improving language skills
* What could be improved?
  • More community interactions among the students and their families, especially at the beginning of the program.
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? The intensity of the program means that, as a student, much time will be spent preparing assignments. Although there is much to see in and around Muenster, sufficient time for homework and other assignments are needed if one expects to receive certain grade.

Individual Course Reviews

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