Munich and its Festivals

Munich is a city rich in culture and activities. As such, it has a variety of things to offer every season of the year. Now that it is summer, there are multiple festivals and celebrations. For example the Sommer Tollwood with its delicious and diverse ethnic cuisine, located on the grounds of the Olympic Park. You can stroll over the intercultural festival area while enjoying a crêpe or langosz pastry before heading to one of the hills where you can listen to concerts and watch the sunset.

Bavaria’s capital also celebrates its birthday with the Stadtgründungsfest (German) – this Sunday it will be 857 years old. Music, food carts and stands, information about the city and live performances make for a wonderful day. Even the stores will be open for customers, something that only happens a few times per year in Munich!

Another highlight is the traditional Kocherlball (German). The annual open-air ball is held in the early morning hours at the Chinese Tower in the English Garden and attracts locals as well as tourists. In the 19th century, maids and footboys would meet on Sundays to dance shortly after dawn, as they had to work the rest of the day. Now it is open to everyone and equally enjoyed. Maybe you can go there yourself this July and see what it is all about!

Second Semester

We’re right about in the middle of our summer semester in Munich and the beautiful weather is making it harder and harder to resist going outside! One of our students, Audra White, shares what her semester has been looking like so far:

This semester I’m taking all of the Institute courses that are being offered: Sprachkurs, Theaterkurs and Konversation. I really enjoy the Institute classes because we are constantly improving our German speaking, writing,  and reading skills but we are also able to interact with each other in a very comfortable and casual environment. I am also taking two courses at Ludwig Maximilians University (LMU) in the Amerikanistik Department: Crime & the City and Contemporary Literature. They are both American literature classes in English, and I’m really enjoying having an excuse to read books again on a daily basis!

As far as what I’ve been doing in my free time, spending time outside and traveling is the name of the game! The Englischer Garten (just behind Studentenstadt where we live and reaching all the way to downtown) is always a surefire way to spend some extra time in the sun and people watch. My parents are actually currently visiting, and we spent a beautiful sunny morning exploring the grounds at Schloss Nymphenburg before heading to Zurich, Switzerland for the weekend. We’ve had so many holidays in the summer months and they make for the perfect long weekend trips to any of the many destination cities that are in such close proximity to Munich!

Devon’s Travel: India

One of our students, Devon Streich, was one of the many people who utilized our 10 week break in between semesters here in Munich to travel. Read a little about his amazing experience here:

“For the month of March I traveled within India, with my home base in New Delhi where my great uncle and great aunt live. In the ancient city of Benares, I visited a temple so old it is mentioned in the Vedas (ancient Hindu scriptures); I saw the ghats where every evening they hold an aarti, which is a prayer and celebration to the Goddess of the Ganges river; and I saw Morari Bapu speak, who is a revered and beloved Hindu holy man.

Then I traveled up to Rishikesh and Haridwar, which are nestled in the foothills of the Himalayas along the bank of the Ganges some 1000 miles north of Benares. I saw Hindu temples in spades, took part in more aartis, and visited a cave in the hills, in which there is a shrine to a holy man who became enlightened there some 10,000 years ago. The hills themselves bespeak the ancientness of the culture, traditions held unbroken for thousands of years.

Upon returning to New Delhi, I got the opportunity to see the Dalai Lama himself speak in person. I was lucky enough to get an article published in a South Asian news website, which you can read here:


German isn’t always an easy language to learn, but its worth it when you find that word that you just love to use in conversation whenever possible! Here are a few of our students’ favorite German words:

Elizabeth: der Tintenfisch –octupus/squid/calamari

Noa: das Kopierpapier — copy paper

Reed: der Ohrwurm — catchy song (literally translates as “ear worm”!)

Jackie: der Hai — shark

Jessie: der Zwetschgendatschi — plum cake

*BONUS WORD: schmeckerlich — tasty (WARNING: this isn’t a real German word, but Jose created it and we use it with shocking frequency)

Our very own Mentoring Program

Before you come to Munich, you might be nervous because everything is new: the city, the language, the people. You might wonder how and when you will get to know your peers and make friends. But not to worry, we have something for you: our very own Mentoring Program.

Every student gets a mentor, usually a local LMU- or TU-student, who in addition to the wonderful people of the Year of Study in Munich can help you settle in. Your mentor may take you to their favorite café, they might go to one of the many museums with you and just in general are excited to have you participate in their life and leisure time. On top of that, having a mentor means that you automatically have someone you can practice your German with – juhu!
There are also group ventures planned for all by the head of the Mentoring Program, including a variety of exciting events and fun activities throughout your stay: Christmas and carnival celebrations, hikes through the beautiful Bavarian landscape, or a visit to a soccer game at the Allianz Arena (see photo). You can go to lunch together, cook and bake in your dorm kitchens, and explore the English Garden which is fun for both snowy and sunny days.

The best part, however, is that by the end of your year you will leave Munich with lots of new friends, great memories, and wonderful stories. Are you excited yet?

Favorite places in Munich

Munich is a beautiful city with lots of things to offer. Whether you’re looking for food, shopping, a cultural experience, or just a nice place to sit and take in the view, you can find it in Munich! We asked a few of our students what their favorite places in Munich are, and here’s what they said:

Noa loves Bazi’s restaurant at Sendlinger Tor, which offers good quality and fast-food style Bavarian food for a good price.

Jessie likes to spend time in the Englischer Garten (pictured above), which is one of the world’s largest urban parks. Especially as we are now well into the spring season here in Munich, there’s nothing better than sitting in the sun and watching endless amounts of dogs and bikes just passing through. The mini brahaus, tucked away near Studentenstadt in the Garten, is also well worth a trip.

Jose agrees that the Pinakotheken Museums are definitely worth a visit while in Munich. Those of our students who choose to take Kunstgeschichte (Art History) last semester know how much these museums have to offer. There are five different museums under the Pinakothek umbrella which range in era and style. Alex adds that there is an “indian fast food place by the Pinakotheken has three euro half liter mango lassis if you can handle the yogurt.”

Jackie notes that she always takes visiting friends and family to the Alter Peter church, where you can climb 299 stairs to see a fabulous view of the city.

So long as you continue looking, you will always find that Munich has something new and exciting to offer you.

A beautiful day in Munich

Munich is one of the most beautiful cities in the world – especially when the sun is shining. You should absolutely visit the Rathausturm while you are here and enjoy the wonderful view over the cityscape. You can see lots of other great things from the top of the Rathausturm worth visiting as well, for example the Frauenkirche in the heart of Munich (cf. picture), the Olympiaturm and its gorgeous park, and of course the outskirts of Munich. On a clear day, you can see the Alps where you can go skiing, hiking, and in general explore the amazing nature Bavaria has to offer.