Director:   Stephen Hemenway, English Department

Associate Director:  Janis Gibbs, History Department

Full Program:  May 12 to June 25

First Session (Actual Orientation & Classes):   May 13 to June 3

Second Session (Actual Orientation & Classes):  June 2 to June 24


In 2009, the Hope College Vienna Summer School is 53 years young.  This summer’s two sessions are open to qualified applicants of any age who have completed at least one year of college at an accredited institution.  The minimum grade point average for acceptance is usually around 3.00.  Normally, a student on disciplinary probation is ineligible. The program has a maximum of 55 students per session.


The academic program features twelve courses and the option of independent studies, each for four semester hours of credit.  Students may enroll for one course in either one or both of the two consecutive sessions.  Enrollment for most courses is limited to fifteen students; a course with low enrollment may be canceled.  Non-Hope students receive Hope College transcripts which are sent to their home colleges for transfer of credit.   Full tuition is charged whether a class is audited or taken for credit.


Classes are held at the Austro-American Institute of Education in the heart of Vienna.  German-language courses are taught partly in German with English explanations of grammar.  All other classes are taught in English and require no previous study of German. 


Dr. Stephen Hemenway will lead the program for the 34th consecutive year.  Dr. Janis Gibbs will serve as Associate Director.  The first-session group will depart from Grand Rapids to Vienna on Tuesday, May 12.  Students may fly directly to Vienna apart from the group but must arrive by 8:30 a.m., Wednesday, May 13, to join the bus ride to Moerbisch, a seaside village near the Austro-Hungarian border, for orientation.  A similar group flight for second-session attendees will leave Grand Rapids on Monday, June 1.  Those arranging their own transportation must arrive in Vienna by 8:30 a.m., Tuesday, June 2, for orientation. 


In addition to the orientation sessions, Dr. Hemenway will lead weekend excursions to Salzburg (Austria) and Prague (Czech Republic) during the first session and weekend trips to Budapest (Hungary) and the Austrian Alps, as well as a day trip to Bratislava (Slovakia), during the second session. Return flights from Vienna on June 4 and June 25 have been reserved, but other return cities and dates can be arranged.


Applications, scholarship forms, and a special brochure are available from Ms. Kendra Williams (Room 116 in the Fried International Center, Martha Miller Center (; Dr. Stephen Hemenway (Lubbers 310 or; Dr. Janis Gibbs (Lubbers 330 or; or the English Department Office (Lubbers 338).




Art 111 or 295/Hist 131 or 295 - Austrian Art and Architecture


This art history course focuses on the rich treasures of the Baroque and Rococo, for which Vienna with its vast cultural resources provides an ideal classroom and laboratory.  Austrian artifacts from Roman, Medieval, Renaissance, Biedermeier and Modern periods are also examined.  Most classes are held in the museums, palaces, monasteries, and churches of Vienna.  The instructor, Dr. Beatrice Ottersboeck, a noted art historian who obtained her Ph.D. from the University of Pittsburgh, has taught American students in Vienna since 1968.  The course fulfills the Arts I (Art 111) or the Cultural Heritage II (Hist 131) general education requirement or may count as an elective art or history course.


Germ 101 - German I


An introduction to German language for beginners, this course stresses the basic skills necessary to communicate in German.  Students earn credit for German 101.  Ms. Karen Kalser, a free-lance teacher and a mother of four, has taught in the program since 1996.


Hist 131 or 295 – Modern Austrian History


This course fulfills the Cultural Heritage II (Hist 131) general education requirement or can be taken as an elective (Hist 295).   It focuses on Modern Austria from the decline of the Habsburg Empire, through the two World Wars, up to the post-Waldheim era and Austria’s entry into the European Union.  Dr. Herberth Czermak--a Ph.D. from the University of New Hampshire, professor-emeritus at the University of Vienna’s Institute for Translators, and a teacher on the staff of many American programs overseas--has taught in the Vienna Summer School since 1987.  Museum visits, walking tours, other excursions and films help make Austrian history come alive in this course.


IDS 172 - Empires of the World, Empires of the Mind


This course, which fulfills the Interdisciplinary Studies Cultural Heritage II requirement (IDS 172), debuted ten summers ago.  Incorporating literature, philosophy and history from the 16th to the 20th centuries, the course examines cultural and intellectual developments of Central Europe from the Holy Roman Empire, through the Austro-Hungarian Empire, to the formation of the modern state of Austria after the fall of the German Empire.  Readings include fiction (Grimmelshausen, Kafka), drama (Harrison), philosophy (Kant, Nietzsche), history (Morton), and cultural criticism (Freud).  Dr. Janis Gibbs, a Ph.D. from the University of Virginia and chair of Hope’s History Department, specializes in the history of early modern German cities and the interplay of religious, social, and cultural factors. 


Mus 101 or 295/Hist 131 or 295 – Vienna’s Musical  Traditions


This Music History course focuses on Vienna’s contributions to classical music (Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Bruckner, Mahler, Schönberg, etc.) and the development of the opera.  Students may earn credit for Music 295 or History 295, or fulfill the Arts I (Mus 101) or Cultural Heritage II (Hist 131) general education requirement.  Dr. Wolfgang Reisinger, a Viennese native with doctoral degrees from the Universities of Vienna and Kansas, will teach the course.  He is Church Music/Organ Consultant of the Archdiocese of Vienna and a professor of organ at the Vienna Church Music Conservatory.  He recently composed music sung during Pope Benedict XVI’s September 2007 visit to Austria.  Students’ homework includes attendance at the world’s finest operas and concerts.


Sociology 151 – Cultural Anthropology and European Ethnology


This course fulfills the Social Science I (S1A) general education requirement and is a required option for the International Studies major or an elective for the Sociology major or minor.  A survey of Southeastern and Eastern Europe since 1400, the course focuses on multi-ethnic and multi-religious “melting pots” in the Habsburg and Ottoman Empires, with special attention to Islamic communities.  Dr. Valeria Heuberger, a Ph.D. from the University of Vienna and co-author of a recent book on Bosnia-Herzegovina, is also a folklorist and art historian.  She teaches at the Austrian Institute of East and Southeast European Studies.   




Art 111 or 295/Hist 131 or 295 - Austrian Art and Architecture


See course description under First Session.


Comm 295 - Intercultural Communication


Intercultural Communication explores how cultural "programming" affects different areas of life, business and communication.  The course focuses on the immigrant experience, culture shock, language barriers and biases, and cross-cultural competence.  Each student becomes a "cultural detective" and prepares and presents a relevant project.  Field trips to the United Nations, Austrian State Television, Central Bank, etc., supplement class lectures.  Elisabeth Cassels-Brown, M.A., a 20-year resident of Vienna, teaches International Business at Webster University in Austria and has taught in various capacities for the Hope program since 1992.  Her thesis was on "Achieving Cultural Synergy in International Business Ventures."


Econ 395/Mgmt 395/Econ 200/Econ 211 - Business and Economic Issues in the European Union


This course focuses on how EU members wrestle with macroeconomic policy, membership expansion, global competition, movement of labor within the EU, and economic relations with non-member countries.  Readings, discussions of current events, presentations by experts, and field trips explore these issues and their impact on the U.S. and Austrian economies.  The instructor, Dr. James Heisler, a Ph. D. from the University of Nebraska and professor-emeritus from Hope’s Economics Department, has taught throughout Europe and Japan and for years directed the "Management in the British Economy" program in London each May.  The course fulfills major elective requirements for Economics and Management and the Social Science II (S2B) general education requirement.


Germ 102 - German II


A continuation of German 101 with Ms. Karen Kalser, this course is designed to develop the acquisition of a comfortable communication knowledge of German.  The course fulfills the Second-Language general education requirement. 


IDS 172 - Empires of the World, Empires of the Mind


See course description under First Session.


IDS 495 - Senior Seminar - Vienna:  Values in Transit


Students in this values-oriented course will listen to and question the philosophies and life choices articulated mainly by Austrian speakers:  distinguished artists, business people, clergy, environmentalists, musicians, politicians, psychologists, and World War II veterans and victims who share their life stories.  Students will interact with the speakers and each other, write response papers, and formulate their personal philosophies for a “Philosophy of Life” paper.  The class will be guided by Dr. Stephen Hemenway (Ph. D. from the University of Illinois) and assisted by Professor Jacqueline Heisler, M.A., former director of the Hope College Academic Support Center.   Prerequisite:  at least second-semester junior status.


Independent Study Projects


Independent study projects that make specific use of the Vienna location are possible during either session, though second session is preferable.  A project worth four credit hours is an alternative to the listed courses; fluency in German is an advantage.  A student must obtain advance approval for such a project from the appropriate department and from Dr. Hemenway, who arranges meetings with Austrian resource persons and supervises preparations of the project reports.  Former students have done independent studies in political science, education, communication, sociology, theater, music, film, religion and German language.


Scholarships and Financial Aid


More than $40,000 is available in scholarship awards for Vienna 2009.  One scholarship application suffices for a student applying for any of the listed funds:  Jurries Family Fund, Fried Fund, Mitsos Fund, Fritz Fund, Hemenway Fund, Snow Fund, Austrian Faculty Fund, and Gibbs Family Fund.  Last year more than 20 students received partial scholarships ranging from $500 to $4000.  Scholarship application forms are available from Dr. Stephen Hemenway, Dr. Janis Gibbs, the English Department Office, or the Fried International Center.  Students may also check with Financial Aid to determine eligibility for guaranteed student loans and other aid possibilities.




1.   Both Sessions with Weekend Trips - $6,400*


Included are tuition for eight semester hours of academic credit, non-credit German language instruction, housing, breakfast and dinner every day (including weekends), tram-bus-subway passes in Vienna, orientation and farewell festivities, and all field trips or excursions required for courses in which the student is enrolled.  Also included are train and/or bus transportation, hotels, guides, admissions, and special events for weekends in Salzburg and Prague during first session, and for weekends in Budapest and the Austrian Alps and a day trip to Bratislava in the second session.  The student enrolled for both sessions saves $400. 


2.     First Session only with Weekend Trips - $3,500*


Included are tuition for four semester hours of academic credit, etc. (see everything listed in first sentence in #1), plus costs for weekend excursions for first session.


3.    Second Session only with Weekend Trips - $3,300*

Included are tuition for four semester hours of academic credit, etc. (see everything listed in first sentence in #1), plus costs for weekend excursions for second session.


4.    Round-Trip Flight Estimate:  (May 12) $1,200; (June 1) $1,600

This fee, paid directly to a travel agent, is not part of the Hope College cost.  Return                                

dates are negotiated individually.


*Since most weekend trips have direct links to the academic program, they are included in the overall cost.  Students who choose to forgo one or more trips will be reimbursed in Vienna.  The above cost estimates are based on prices and current exchange rates as projected in October 2008.  They may be revised if economic or political conditions change significantly.  Students should check the separate Vienna Summer School Brochure available from Dr. Stephen Hemenway in the English Department, Dr. Janis Gibbs in the History Department,  or from the International Education office in 116 Martha Miller Center or English Department Office in Lubbers 338. 


Please see the special brochure on the Vienna Summer School for exact deadlines listed in Calendar for 2009.