Dope September 26, 2018

By (Hampden-Sydney College) - abroad from 05/21/2018 to 07/02/2018 with

Hampden-Sydney College: The Münster Summer Program

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
Knowledge of German, German culture, and new appreciation for public transportation, in addition to all the positives mentioned above. Absolutely worthwhile.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? None

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

It was hard but rewarding to intensively learn the language as we were in the culture, and it added a lot to

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Dr Johnson and Herr Martz made sure we were being safe and enriching ourselves in the culture.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

The host family was kind, understanding, fed me well, and cared about my well being. I could not have asked for more.

* Food:

Dönner, but on a more serious note, all the food that we were shown as well as what we ate out an about was delicious. Coming back to America disappointed me.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I was able to converse with people and blended in pretty well. My only complaint were some of the Longwood students who did not seem to want to culturally immerse themselves.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I had none

* Safety:

Munster felt like one of the safest places I've been even late at night, as long as basic street smarts are followed as with everywhere else.

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

This was a great experience and I would absolutely do it again and recommend it to people. I was afraid I would not have a good time because I did not know many people going, but it exceeded my expectations by far, I made some great friends and learned a lot through the classes and being in the culture.

Finances

* 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 went through a lot of money, but that was fully within my control.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? In the 150-200 USD range
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Determine how much you want to spend weekly and across the whole trip and stick to it. Also, cash is king in Germany, so either make sure you can either access your funds with an ATM card, can venmo someone to do it for you, or just get a lot of euros beforehand.

Language

* 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

"Auf Deutsche bitte" was a mantra.

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? 100 level german.
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? Practice with your host family, and when you are out in the streets, someone will never get angry at you for speaking bad German, but speaking English is bad form and you probably won't get what you want anyways, so order things and ask for things in German and it will come naturally.

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?
  • Teachers
  • Students
  • Events (Art museum, history and architecture chiefly)
* What could be improved?
  • Longwood Students (Herr Martz is cool though)
  • Spacing of events for students (there were many in a day sometimes and then none for a while)
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Public transportation is cheap and freely accessible in Europe, so a lot more is open to you than you think.

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.