Munich’s city slogan is Munchen Mag Dich (Munich Loves You), and it is hard not to love it back. Considered one of the world’s most livable cities and a global leader in creativity and innovation, Munich is without a doubt one of the most inviting and enriching cities for high school programs in Europe. Germany’s third largest city is also capital to the southern state of Bavaria, and there are very few more rewarding destinations where you can attend a high school program abroad in Germany.
High School Programs in Munich
Language Immersion is a popular type of high school program in Munich, especially for those with a working knowledge of German or those who want to start from the beginning and work toward a foundational knowledge of the language. Language classes in Munich are generally offered at the beginning, intermediate, and advanced levels, and are structured so students can have the most educationally enriching experience possible. Field trips and other extracurricular activities around the city are usually included in language programs in Munich as well!
Cultural Exploration programs are a very common type of high school program in Munich. Students are given the opportunity to connect with peers from around the world while exploring the dizzying sights and sounds of Munich during an agenda packed full of fun activities. Students will learn all about the history and culture of the Bavarian region, while also potentially traveling to other nearby cities, such as Berlin and even Prague.
Traditional study abroad programs are also available for high school students in Munich, in which students have the opportunity to enroll in courses at a local high school or university, where they can earn academic credit. Most high school students choose to study abroad over the summer break, so they don’t miss any regular school at home, but it is also possible to enroll for as long as a semester or full year if you are up to the challenge.
Life in Munich
Throughout modern history Munich has been one of Europe’s leading progressive centers of science, culture, and the arts. Its infrastructure and reputation was largely damaged during World War II, yet Munich has since rebuilt over the past half century to reach new heights. It is an architecturally beautiful city, with a moderate climate, sprawling green public parks, and a highly efficient public transportation system. The Munich U-Bahn is considered one of the best designed subway systems in the world.
You will never tire of new and exciting things to do on their free time during any high school program in Munich. Some highlights of the city include the Deutsches Museum (one of the largest and oldest science museums in the world), the English Gardens (larger than New York’s Central Park, a great place to spend a sunny afternoon), and Marienplatz, the vibrant historical city center. Nearby also is Dachau, the first concentration camp ever built by the Nazis and a very powerful place to visit.
Many Germans living in Munich speak English well as a second language, so you will not have to worry too much if your German is not up to par upon arrival. Still if you want to improve your German during your high school program in Munich, then make the consistent effort to communicate in German as much as possible!
Scholarships & Costs
Although Germany’s economy is booming, the costs of living in Munich remain significantly more affordable than other major European cities, such as Paris or London. It is also likely that most students’ on-the-ground costs, such as food and housing, will be covered in up front program fees.
High school programs in Munich can still be pricey though. However, if affordability is a concern, have no fear! There are a variety of financial aid opportunities out there that students can take advantage of (start by checking out GoAbroad’s Scholarships Directory).
Accommodation & Visas
Homestays are generally the most popular housing option provided to students during high school programs in Munich (dormitories are available at some international and boarding schools as well). If you are embarking on a shorter cultural exploration or adventure travel program, then you will likely be staying in a variety of accommodations though, such as hostels, inns, and even Bavarian castles!.
Germany shares a similar visa policy with the rest of the European Union, meaning that students from most English-speaking countries are allowed to stay in Germany for up to three months visa-free. For more information regarding visa requirements for your home country you can locate a German consulate nearest to you via GoAbroad’s Embassy Directory.
Benefits & Challenges
Bavarian Life. In the heart of central Europe lays the state of Bavaria, a beautiful region of Germany on the northern side of the Alps, which used to be its own independent kingdom. Bavarian culture is very much alive and well in Munich, and high school students will enjoy its distinct character.
Historical Fascination. Munich was a centrally important city throughout the development of World War II, which was a very dark part of its history, and the city remains very self conscious of its past to this day. Today, Munich is a peace-loving, diverse city which is a continental leader in education and scientific research; it has truly put its best foot forward after the devastation of the 20th century.
Welcoming Locals. The Germans are a hardworking and industrious people, and are also exceedingly friendly and know how to have a good time. While some elements of the local lifestyle will definitely require a period of adjustment, as a whole you will greatly enjoy your time interacting with locals in Munich.