Very Good Study Abroad Experience Past Review

By (German, Washington & Lee University) - 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?
Great program in regards of the fact that it provided academic credit and a number of good host families. My german improved dramatically. Otherwise, the program was rather disorganized and chaotic. It could definitely use more structure.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 6 months+

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

The program is ideal in the sense that it provides a good classroom-based learning environment and coordinates host-families for students to stay with. Beyond that, it is rather chaotic and somewhat disorganized. There were certainly ways to improve the overall experience, but it serves a good purpose.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

It was rather disorganized. There was little communication of any information to our host families or to the students.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

The host family situations were highly hit or miss. Students either had a completely inappropriate situation or were thrilled. I had a particularly good host family, whom I liked very much.

* Food:

Food in Münster is excellent and inexpensive.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

It was easy to slip into English more often than we should have. What's more, the program is held at a middle-school, not at the famous Münster University, so we met very few locals outside of our host families.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?


* Safety:

The city of Münster is incredibly safe.

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? No


* 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)

Easy, given how expensive the program was, they certainly should pay for more, but otherwise food and living in Münster is not expensive at all.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $200
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? The program should be pushed to pay for more per student because Hampden Sydney makes a serious profit off of the program.


* 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

We used it exclusively in class, but outside of class it was your prerogative to make use of the language with other students and your host family.

How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? Beginner
How would you rate your language skills at the end of the program? Intermediate
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? 200-level courses
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? Make sure to speak the language frequently with your host family and with other students in the course.

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?
  • the host family aspect
  • the academic credits
  • the leisure time
* What could be improved?
  • the overall organization
  • the structure
  • the organized trips
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? That it would be easy to go abroad on weekends and organize my own trips and outings. I wish we had more information about the academic courses we were enrolling in before we left and more information about our schedules so we could make our own itineraries.

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 Outright Urbanite
A social butterfly, you're happiest in bustling cities with hip people, and took advantage of all it had to offer. You enjoyed the nightlife, and had fun going out dancing, and socializing with friends. Fun-loving and dressed to the nines, you enjoyed discovering new restaurants, shops, cafes, and bars in your host country.