Munich and Surroundings
Acceptance to the Year of Study in Munich means being able to go to one of the most cosmopolitan cities in Germany! Munich boasts an exceptionally fine opera house and is famous for its theater, art and musical offerings. You can also dine well in Munich, whether you want a Würstchenor an elegant meal. Situated in Southern Germany, Munich has a sunnier climate than Northern Germany. Summers are warm, but not what Americans would call hot, and winters are snowy and cold.
Like all big cities, Munich has many different parts. The downtown area is made up almost entirely of Fussgängerzonen, or pedestrian areas from which all traffic is barred. The well-known neo-Gothic Rathaus is located there and many cafes pour out into the wide sidewalks for people to sit during the summer. Around the university and along Ludwigstrasse is the part of town called Schwabing. Here you will find student Kneipen, cafes, art galleries and restaurants. When the weather gets warm, residents walk and sit along the banks of the Isar River, which flows through the center of Munich. All of these areas are connected by streetcar, or Strassenbahn, and by the U-Bahn, Munich’s clean and efficient subway, which was built for the 1972 Olympics. Despite its large size, Munich has an extremely low crime rate and it is safe to walk at night through the streets. You will find that Germans walk much more than Americans and that they also take advantage of the superb public transportation system.
Munich is the capital of Bavaria, or Bayern, which is the southern-most of the German states. Outside Munich there is rich farm land, beautiful lakes and rivers and, of course, the Alps. On a clear day the mountains are visible from Munich, especially during Föhn, the dry warm wind which is similar to the Northwest’s “Chinook”.
The University of Munich, which has a student body of 60,000 students, is one of Germany’s finest universities. Although the large number of students sounds intimidating, they are spread out across the city. German universities do not have campuses, as do American colleges, and the Germanistik Institut may be located several blocks away from the Amerikanistik Institut. Each Institut, or department, has its own library and you will become familiar with the location of the departments where your classes are held.