A charming counterpart to Germany’s larger northern cities of Berlin and Hamburg, Munich is a municipality of 1.5 million people sitting on the banks of the beautiful River Isar in the southern state of Bavaria. It is a thriving city of growing global importance, a modern center of education and innovation, and the host of the infamous Ocktoberfest. Amidst a backdrop of stunning historical architecture, studying abroad in Munich will provide students with a deeply enriching cultural experience in the heart of Central Europe.
Subjects & Courses
Munich is a leading educational and research center of Europe. Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich and Technical University of Munich are two of only three German universities to be granted “Elite” status by the State, therefore these institutions consistently attract funding for cutting edge research in a variety of fields. The Max Planck Society, often regarded as the premier non-profit research institution in the world with 32 Nobel Prizes awarded to its scientists, also has its administrative headquarters in Munich. So simply put, you’ll get a pretty solid education in Bavaria’s capital city.
Popular areas of study in Munich include Engineering, Applied Sciences, Computer Science, and Business. Being at the global forefront of scientific and technological research, Munich is a fantastic place to enhance your education in any of these fields while participating in a wide variety of extracurricular opportunities. In addition, the city has always been a spiritual and German philosophical fortress, making studying Philosophy, Religion, Literature, or History in Munich all great options for those thinkers not inclined toward the hard sciences.
Most academic institutions in Munich offer courses taught in German, so if you are not planning to supplement your study abroad experience with German language studies then your options may become more limited. However, many colleges will offer at least some classes taught in English, and many study abroad programs will provide students with independent courses in English or partner with alternative academic institutions where classes are taught in English.
The German semester system is a bit offset from many other Western academic calendars. Academic terms generally run from September to February and March to July, with many shorter breaks weaved throughout the calendar year. Make sure to plan ahead with your study abroad program provider and home university to accordingly organize a manageable plan for studying abroad in Munich.
Life in Munich
You will find German culture to be industrious, intellectual, and very hospitable to foreign visitors. Beyond the bright autumn lights of Oktoberfest you will find a jovial spirit pervading streets year round. When work is over, most locals take enjoyment in the simple pleasures of good beer and good food. This tradition will be especially warming in the winter months, when skies become dark and temperatures cold.
Beyond socializing with peers and interacting with locals, there will be certainly no shortage of culturally immersive opportunities to pass the time while studying in Munich. Munich has a thriving traditional arts scene with world-class opera and theater, several prominent museums, and arguably the best football club in the world. Whether strolling the English gardens, shopping in Marienplatz, or touring historical landmarks, it seems possible to live in Munich a lifetime and never stop exploring.
Munich is not only a great city for walking and biking, but also has one of the most efficient public transportation systems in the world, encompassing an intricate system of subway and tram lines throughout the metropolitan area. Nearby locations in Germany, Austria, and the Czech Republic are also easily accessible from Munich Hauptbahnhof, the city’s main railway station.
Although Munich is the most expensive city in Germany, it is actually quite affordable compared to other major cities of Western Europe. A thrifty lifestyle is very much possible for individuals who choose to study in Munich. Students should learn to take advantage of the city’s free public services while also shopping locally and dining out infrequently during their study abroad program in Munich (For information on available financial aid opportunities for study abroad in Munich, check out GoAbroad’s Scholarships Directory).
Accommodation & Visas
Different housing options are available for students who decide to study in Munich, depending on the program type and length of stay. Homestays are quite popular for students studying in Munich, especially for those who are studying abroad for a summer term. Living with a local family offers students a fantastic opportunity to intimately embrace Bavarian culture. Apartments are also popular accommodations, especially for students who are studying in Munich for an entire year.
Typically students who are planning to study in Munich for more than 90 days will need to acquire a student visa. Most study abroad program providers and host universities will help students organize students visas.
Benefits & Challenges
Munich is a truly special city. Replete with historical wonders, vibrant cultural celebrations, and leading research institutions, it is hard to imagine a more worthwhile location to study abroad in Germany. In Bavaria’s capital you will be challenged to reach for your highest academic and personal potential while enjoying the cultural experience of a lifetime amongst a genuinely hospitable and industrious local people.
Study abroad in Munich and the hardest part will be saying Auf Wiedersehen when it is all over!