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 Off Campus Study Opportunities

2017 Hope College

Vienna Summer School


For more information, please contact Dr. Stephen Hemenway
at 616/395-7616 or

60th Annual Program

    Program Objectives


In 2017, the Hope College Vienna Summer School celebrates its 61st year and begins its seventh decade! This summer’s two sessions (May, June) offer eight college credits in numerous academic fields: German Language, Austrian Art and Architecture, Theology and Ethics (An Illustrated Guide), Vienna’s Musical Traditions, Modern Austrian History, Empires of the World and Mind, Economic/Business Issues in Europe, Creative Writing: Nonfiction, and a Senior Seminar (Vienna: Values in Transit). Field trips within Austria and excursions to neighboring countries add a significant dimension to the learning experience. The program, open to qualified applicants of any age who have completed at least one year of college before summer 2017, has a maximum of 55 students per session. Minimum grade point average for acceptance is usually around 3.00. A student on disciplinary probation will need clearance for eligibility.  
Since the pioneer days of 1956 when the late Dr. Paul G. Fried (Professor of History, Director of International Education at Hope) founded the Vienna Summer School, close to 3,500 students from more than 200 colleges and universities have discovered how summer study in Vienna can provide them with a meaningful introduction to the rich heritage of European civilization. Dr. Stephen I. Hemenway (Director of the Vienna Summer School and Professor of English at Hope) will lead the group in Vienna for his 42nd consecutive year.


    Living in Vienna
Ferris Wheel Vienna


Vienna Summer School combines serious academic study with the benefits of living in a culturally rich city. Students reside with Austrian families, usually in double rooms, where breakfast is provided and clothes are laundered; they receive monetary refunds for daily dinners and are urged to explore local restaurants. Past students have contributed 350 restaurant reviews to "Inexpensive Eating in Vienna," an online blog for all participants. Some use facilities at their homes to prepare light meals. Students receive monthly transportation passes valid on all trams, buses, subways, and trains in metropolitan Vienna.

    Cultural Activities


Vienna features everything from famous choirboys to fabled coffeehouses, from Sachertortes to the Spanish Riding School, from baroque churches to a modern United Nations complex. While in Vienna, German-language students improve fluency; art/architecture and theology students explore museums and churches; students in history and “Empires” courses visit Habsburg residences and World War sites; music students attend operas and concerts; economics students meet with business experts; nonfiction students write memoirs about local people and places; senior seminar students question distinguished speakers daily. Several of these opportunities are available to all participants, and the cost of required field trips is included. Non-credit German-conversation classes meet a few afternoons each week. Beginners find these survival sessions beneficial, while those with German abilities gain more confidence.



For students participating in the full program or first session only, Dr. Hemenway has reserved group flights on Tuesday, May 9, from Chicago (bus transfers from Holland) with arrival in Vienna on Wednesday, May 10. Students with other flight arrangements must arrive in Vienna no later than 8:30 a.m. on May 10 for bus rides to Mörbisch in the Austrian state of Burgenland for orientation. For second session students, group flights from Chicago (bus transfers from Holland) depart on Thursday, June 1, and arrive on Friday, June 2. All students must arrive in Vienna by 8:30 a.m. on June 2 for orientation. Return dates from Vienna (or other cities) are open, but flights from Vienna to Chicago have been reserved on Friday, June 2, and Saturday, June 24, for students leaving at the end of each session. Participants will receive complete flight information and options in early January.


Vienna Vienna


    Weekend Excursions


On weekends, Dr. Hemenway arranges and leads excursions to places outside of Vienna. Plans for first session include two-day weekends in Salzburg (Austria) and Prague (Czech Republic). Second session features a two-day weekend in Budapest (Hungary), an overnight hiking trip in the Austrian Alps, and a weekday in Bratislava (Slovakia). Since weekend trips are considered part of the academic program, costs of transportation, hotels, guides, admissions, breakfasts, and dinners are included in the overall price.


Vienna Vienna


    Courses and Faculty


Students may enroll for either or both of the sessions. Each student selects one course per session for four hours of credit. Classes may be audited, but full tuition must be paid. Transcripts for non-Hope students are sent to home colleges for credit transfer. Enrollment for each course is usually a maximum of 15 and a minimum of 5 students. German language courses are taught partly in German, but other classes are taught in English. Most courses fulfill general education requirements for Hope students, and all courses satisfy the international global learning requirement. Classes convene at the Austro-American Institute of Education across the street from the Opera in central Vienna. 

    First Session Courses

First First Session
-9 May to 2 June

German I stresses basic skills necessary to communicate in German. Students earn credit for German 101, the first component of the Second Language general education requirement.  Prof. Karen Kalser, free-lance teacher and mother of four, has taught in the program since 1996. 

Vienna’s Musical Traditions focuses on Vienna's contributions to classical music and opera (Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Bruckner, Strauss, Mahler). Students may earn credit for Music 295 or History 295 or fulfill the Arts I (Music 101) or Cultural Heritage II (History 131*) general education requirement. Dr. Wolfgang Reisinger (Viennese native with PhD degrees in Music from the Universities of Vienna and Kansas) has served as Director of the Vienna Church Music Conservatory and organ consultant for the Vienna Archdiocese. He composed music for Pope Benedict’s 2007 visit to Austria. Homework includes attendance at the world’s finest operas and concerts.

Modern Austrian History fulfills the Cultural Heritage II (History 131*) general education requirement or is an elective (History 295). The course focuses on Austria from the decline of the Habsburg Empire, through both World Wars, up to Austria’s entry into the European Union.  Walking tours, museums, and films make Austrian history come alive. Dr. Herberth Czermak (PhD from University of New Hampshire, Professor Emeritus at University of Vienna’s Institute for Translators, and teacher for many overseas programs) has taught for Hope since 1987. 

Austrian Art and Architecture focuses on rich treasures of the Baroque and Rococo, for which Vienna is an ideal setting. Austrian artifacts from Roman, Medieval, Renaissance, Biedermeier, and Modern periods are also examined. Many classes occur in museums, palaces, monasteries, and churches. Students may get credit for Art 295 or History 295 or fulfill the Arts I (Art 111) or Cultural Heritage II (History 131*) general education requirement. Dr. Beatrice Ottersböck (Czech native and art historian with a PhD from University of Pittsburgh) has taught in numerous American programs since 1968.

Theology and Ethics: An Illustrated Guide fulfills the Religion 200-level general education requirement (Religion 295).  It examines Christian beliefs about God, creation, evil, and salvation, as well as their implications for Christian ethics. Students read key Biblical texts and theological commentaries and take field trips to churches, museums, and performances to learn how the arts exemplify theological themes. Dr. David Cunningham (PhD from Duke University and Professor of Religion) focuses on the intersection of theology and the arts as one of his academic specialties.   Vienna

Intermediate Creative Writing: Nonfiction is a new offering this year, although the teacher, Dr. Stephen Hemenway, has done several independent studies in creative writing with past Vienna students. Students will read memoirs and essays by Austrian writers and compose personal pieces about places (Mauthausen concentration camp, Stephansdom), people (host families, street musicians), politics (Green Party, socialized medicine), events (Laterna Magica in Prague, barbecue on Neusiedlersee), etc. Style, structure, audience, and originality will be examined. Pre-requisite: a 200-level writing workshop or equivalent.

*History 131 counts for CH II if a student has taken or will take IDS 171 or IDS 175 for CH I. Consult the Hope College Catalog and your advisor to assure that you are making the right choice.



    Second Session Courses

Second Session - 1 June to 24 June

German II, a continuation of German I with Prof. Kalser, develops further knowledge of German. Students earn credit for German 102, the second component of the Second Language general education requirement. German 101 or its equivalent is a prerequisite.


Empires of the World, Empires of the Mind fulfills the Cultural Heritage II general education requirement (IDS 172). Incorporating literature, philosophy, and history from the 16th to 20th centuries, the course examines cultural/intellectual developments of Central Europe from the Holy Roman and Austro-Hungarian Empires to the dawn of modern Austria. Readings include fiction (Kafka), history (Morton), philosophy (Kant, Nietzsche), and cultural criticism (Freud). Dr. Janis Gibbs (PhD from University of Virginia and Associate Professor of History) specializes in the interplay of religious, social, and cultural factors in early modern German cities. 


The Theology and Ethics course is also offered during this session by Dr. Cunningham (see description under First Session). 


The Austrian Art and Architecture course is also offered during this session by Dr. Ottersböck (see description under First Session).


Economic and Business Issues in Europe fulfills the Social Science I (Block B) general education requirement as Economics 200 or 211 or a major elective requirement as Economics 395 or Management 395. This course delves into economic principles and policies of the European Union and examines the impact and implications of the EU on businesses and people. Readings, speakers, and field trips explore these issues under the guidance of Prof. Brian Gibbs (Hope alumnus and Board of Trustees member and Associate Dean at the European Business School in Wiesbaden). With 25 years of expertise in strategy and operations consulting to businesses worldwide, Gibbs has served many vital roles in the Vienna Summer School since 1985.


Vienna: Values in Transit celebrates its 29th year as a Senior Seminar course (IDS 481).  Students question the philosophies and life choices articulated by daily speakers. Artists, business people, clergy, diplomats, politicians, teachers, and World War II veterans and victims share their life stories. Under the guidance of Dr. Stephen Hemenway (PhD from University of Illinois), students interact with speakers and each other, read nonfiction, write journals, and formulate personal views for a "Philosophy of Life" paper. Prerequisite: at least second-semester junior status.




klimt kiss



    Application and Scholarships


For the first time, paper applications are no longer available for the Vienna Summer School. Please visit, click on “Programs,” perform a program search for “Hope College Vienna Summer School,” click “Apply,” enter your Hope College email credentials, choose your preferred term (“Both May/June” or “May only” or “June only”) and complete the application.  

Approximately $50,000 is available in scholarships for Vienna 2017.  If you choose to apply for a partial scholarship, you must also submit a separate blue scholarship form since scholarship applications are not yet online.  One scholarship form suffices for a student applying for one or more of the eleven endowed funds: Fried, Fritz, Jurries Family, DeNooyer Family, Gibbs Family, Mitsos, Hemenway, Snow, Cady-Blom, Doublestein, and Austrian Faculty Funds.

Descriptions of and specific requirements for each award are listed on the form. A student applying for any of the first seven funds must also have the scholarship form signed by someone in the Financial Aid office to verify need. Each applicant must also submit a creative essay with the scholarship form; see scholarship form for details. Completed scholarship forms and essays are due at the International Education Office, 116 Martha Miller Center) by noon on Friday, November 18. Last year about 25 students received awards ranging from $500 to $5,000. Students may also check with Financial Aid officials about federal direct loans.

Blue scholarship forms are available from Ms. Kendra Williams at Fried International Center, 116 Martha Miller Center, 257 Columbia Ave., Hope College, Holland, MI 49423 (phone: 616/395-7605; email:, or from  Dr. Stephen Hemenway, English Department, Lubbers 310, Hope College, Holland, MI 49422-9000 (phone: 616/395-7616; email: Early applications are encouraged; some classes generate wait lists. Deadlines are listed in Calendar for Summer 2017.

    Program Costs


1) Full Six-Week Session (May and June Terms) with Weekend Trips* = $7,200.  Included are tuition costs for eight semester hours of academic credit, German language instruction, housing, daily breakfasts and dinners (including weekends), tram-bus-subway passes in Vienna, cell phones, required field trips, and orientation/farewell festivities. Also included for first session are transportation, hotels, guides, and admission fees for orientation in Mörbisch and weekends in Salzburg and Prague. Also included for second session are transportation, hotels, guides, and admission fees for weekends in Budapest and Austrian Alps and day trip to Bratislava. A student enrolled for both sessions saves $600

2) First Session Only (May Term) with Weekend Trips* = $4,100. Included are tuition costs for four semester hours of academic credit, etc. (plus everything listed in first and second sentences in #1).

3) Second Session Only (June Term) with Weekend Trips* = $3,700. Included are tuition costs for four semester hours of academic credit, etc. (plus everything listed in first and third sentences in #1).

4) Round Trip Flight Estimates*: 9 May departure = $1,135; 2 June departure = $1,349. This flight fee, paid directly to a travel agent, is not part of the Hope College costs. Return dates are negotiable individually.

*The above cost estimates are based on prices and exchange rates as projected in September 2016. They may be revised if economic or political conditions change significantly. 





Nov. 18

Deadline by noon for early admission (with online application, reference letters, transcript) and/or for scholarship applications (also with blue form, essay)

Dec. 5

Acceptances, wait lists, and denials sent online; scholarship winners notified

Jan. 9

Deadline for scholarship winners to accept or reject offers and pay deposit of $300

Jan. 12

Deadline for deposit of $300 for others accepted in December

Jan. 23

Application deadline (with transcript, reference letters) for late applicants (if places are still available)

Jan 30

Deadline for group flight reservation and $100 deposit

March 1

Deadline for group flight final payment

March 31

Half of remaining balance due in Business Office

April 28

Balance of account must be paid in full at Business Office

May 9

First-session (and both-sessions) group flights from Chicago to Vienna

May 10

Arrival in Vienna for orientation and first-session classes

June 1

Second-session group flightsChicago to Vienna

June 2

Return group flight from Vienna for students enrolled in first-session only

June 2

Arrival in Vienna for orientation and second-session classes

June 24

Return group flight from Vienna for students in both sessions or second-session only



     Deposit/Refund Policy & Notice of Nondiscriminaton

Upon written notification of your acceptance, a nonrefundable deposit of $300 (which will be applied to final balance) must be made by January 9 for scholarship winners, January 12 for all others accepted in December (or later for January applicants). Half of remaining balance is due March 31; final half is due April 28. If you withdraw from the program before classes begin, the unexpended portion of the fee will be returned. After classes begin, refunds cannot be made except for grave reasons. Hope College admits students of any race, color, national and ethnic origin, sex, creed, or handicap to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at Hope College. It does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national and ethnic origin, sex, creed, or handicap in administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, and athletic and other school-administered programs.



New photo credits: 
David Cunningham, Brian Gibbs, Emily Krueger, Haley Menzies,
                                    Carrie Mullen, Laura Ramaker, Claire Reenders
, Micah Sall


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