2019 May Term Abroad in Central Europe: Budapest, Krakow, and Prague

Credits: 6 (GVFA)
Dates: May 20-June 8, 2019
Estimated Cost:
Applications are now closed.
Application and deposit due February 1, 2019
Scholarships: Hampden-Sydney students are eligible to apply for the H-SC Garlick, Schug and Blogging awards.  Please see the Abroad Scholarships page for application links; applications are due January 1.

Dr. James Pontuso
Dr. John Eastby

The Central Europe May Term Abroad program is a Government & Foreign Affairs Program that explores the history, government, politics, and culture of three countries - Hungary, Poland and the Czech Republic. The courses will examine the problems and prospects of nations emerging from communist totalitari­anism. The course will focus of the history of the three Central European nations before, during and after the com­munist era. The countries are: Hungary, Poland, Czech Republic. Special attention will be given to the problems that these nations have encountered in restructur­ing their economies, creating workable politi­cal institutions, reestablishing civic socie­ties, re­gaining and rebuilding their traditional cultures, and reintegrating European institutions. The program is open to all students in good standing.

University-level courses will be taught by Dr. James Pontuso and Dr. John Eastby.

Students will take the following two courses for a total of six credit hours:

GVFA 224:
GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS OF CENTRAL EUROPE An examination of the historical and political development of Central European nations. Special attention is given to the problems and prospects of nations emerging from communist totalitarianism. Topics include transforming economies, creating workable political institutions, reestablishing civic societies, and renewing traditional cultures. The course also focuses on the issues involved in the integration of Central European nations into the wider European community. Prerequisite: GVFA 140 or permission of the instructor. (Dr. Pontuso)    

GVFA 323: TYRANNY AND TOTALITARIANISM A practical and theoretical analysis of tyranny and the modern variant, totalitarianism. It examines various writings on tyranny, such as those of Xenophon, Aristotle, Machiavelli, and Solzhenitsyn; and considers particular tyrannical and totalitarian regimes, such as Cromwell's Protectorate, Napoleon's Consulate, Hitler's Nazi Germany, and Soviet Communism under Lenin and Stalin. Prerequisite: GVFA 140 or permission of the instructor. (Dr. Eastby)

ITINERARY (subject to change)

  • May 20       Arrive on H-SC campus and begin classes
  • May 20-24  Classes on H-SC campus
  • May 25       Bus to Dulles for group flight
  • May 26       Arrive in Budapest; Classes begin
  • May 30       Travel to Krakow
  • June 2        Travel to Prague
  • June 8        Group flight to Dulles

Students will stay in shared rooms.  Meals on campus are included; in Europe, breakfasts and 6 group meals are included in the program fee.  Students will be responsible for most lunches and dinners.

Flights are not included in the estimated cost, but will be included in most students' final cost.  Once the size of the group has been determined, the Office of Global Education will organize a group flight for the program. All students are encouraged to join the group flight and must work with Dr. Widdows to make any alternative arrangements.  Faculty will accompany students on the group flight.

Students will need a valid passport to leave the U.S.; the passport must also be valid for at least six months after the program return date of June 8, 2019.  Students who do not already have a passport or need to renew theirs are advised most strongly to apply for one as soon as they are accepted to the program as it can take approximately eight weeks to receive it.  For more information, please review the State Department's webiste: http://travel.state.gov

U.S. citizens do not need a visa for stays of 90 days or less:


Students are advised to schedule an appointment with their primary care physician or health provider several weeks before departure to obtain any recommended and/or required vaccines or immunizations.  Students are responsible for ensuring that all routine travel and immunizations are up-to-date.

Please review the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's website for information on recommended and require immunizations for travelers: https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/list

Please see the information on our May Term Abroad page

The estimated cost $7210. will cover two courses, medical insurance, housing, some meals and group transportation. The fee does not include airfare, textbooks, most meals, and personal expenditures. Final cost will depend on the number of students; the estimated cost is based upon a minimum number of 15 students.  February 1: $500 deposit and application due.  After the number of participants has been determined, the full program cost will be finalized and bills posted.

For more information, contact:
Dr. Daniella Widdows, Director of Global Education & Study Abroad: dwiddows@hsc.edu
For application, and for latest updates on dates and cost, please visit: http://www.hsc.edu/Global-Education/Study-Abroad/May-Term-Abroad