Study at a European university challenges American students academically, socially, and linguistically. For this reason, the staff of the Year of Study in Munich offers its students an intensive academic and cultural orientation before the university semester begins. The presemester program lasts five weeks and is designed to provide effective preparation for the year in Munich. Four credit hours are granted on completion of the course work. The concept of the presemster program is based on five central elements:
1. Advanced German Grammar & Style
After a placement test at the beginning of the presemester, students are placed in the course which will improve their abilities most effectively. During 4 hours of daily class time, the students’ language skills will be systematically improved in all relevant areas: listening, reading, writing and speaking.
2. Studying in Munich
Studying in a university system that is very different from the American system takes some preparation. Students will learn about practical issues like course selection, course registration and credits. At the end of the presemester, students will meet individually with the Resident Director to discuss their course schedule for the fall semester.
3. Life in Munich
Finding your way around a foreign city can be a challenge. Students will learn about the wide range of activities that Munich has to offer. They will work in groups exploring Munich’s cultural offerings, sports attractions, entertainment and media. By the end of the presemester course, students will have a solid knowledge of how to begin their year in Munich.
4. Intercultural Training
Living in a new culture presents many challenges. During a number of “intercultural days”, students discuss and analyze the most significant differences between the USA and Germany. They learn not only to speak the new language, but also to understand the codes and mysteries of the new culture.
5. Munich Past & Present
Through afternoon excursions to several of Munich’s landmark buildings and places, students explore the city’s historical development from the Middle Ages to the present. By the end of the course, students will have produced their own Stadtführer (city guide), complete with a variety of sketches, facts and background information.
6. Germany’s Capital: A Trip to Berlin
At the end of the presemester the group takes off for Berlin, Germany’s capital. For seven days, students have the opportunity to discover the new center of German political life and a city rich in history and culture.