Ludwig Maximilians University is the top university in Germany and one of the leading universities in Europe. Its main building is located in the centre of Munich and dates back to the 1800’s.
There are a large number of student housing options available across the city. ‘Studentenwerk München’ is the company that organises the housing of students of all universities in Munich.
It’s super simple to apply – you just have to tick the box in the application form with LMU that you would like to be offered a room in one of the houses, and you’re 99.9% guaranteed to be offered a spot for the entire year because you’re from the land far far away. You can’t choose where you want to stay or give preferences but this doesn’t matter as all the residences are pretty lively and buzzing with students and you will no doubt be hanging out at a different one each weekend depending on whos having a party. All residences have their own bars and organise events open to everyone.
I stayed in the Felsennelkenanger Halls of Residence and thought it was great. There were a lot of other exchange students staying there and I also made friends with a heap of the local students living there.
The bedrooms are almost identical in all of the residences and there’s a mixture of dorm-style, apartments or studio living available. It’s a luck of the draw for what you get but none are better or worse than the other. Most rooms cost around 350-400 euro per month.
I highly recommend doing the Intensive Language Course program offered to all exchange students beginning one month prior to the beginning of semester, i.e. September or March. This is how I met the majority of my friends for the entire year. You get 6 ECTS and can get it credited back to UNSW for a ‘Studies of the Region’ course or even a German course if you’re doing a German major/minor. Make sure you pay for the excursion program too!
In terms of university courses, there are a huge number of English classes to choose from. I took a lot of seminar courses which consist of fortnightly classes or even block seminars where you do 3-4 classes which can last from 4 to 6 hours. These types of courses usually require you to complete research on a topic of interest to you that relates to the course and deliver a presentation and write a research paper.
Some seminars require you to email the professor to enrol in the course – this is a pretty simple process and they usually give preference to exchange students as they love having different international perspectives in the classroom. Just make sure you look at the course guide thoroughly to choose your courses early as classes like this fill up quickly.
Seminars are usually worth 6 ECTS while lecture courses are often worth 3 ECTS and require you to complete a one-hour final exam. The more ECTS a course is worth, the more workload it requires. As long as you are doing the regular full-time load as required by UNSW, the amount of ECTS you do at LMU doesn’t really matter as an exchange student.
There’s always something going on for students in Munich, whether it’s a bar night at one of the student residences, an event in a nightclub organised by the student networks, or an excursion to a nearby lake, castle, city or even country. Make sure you follow the ERASMUS Munich and MESA Munich Facebook pages to stay in the loop with all that is going on. MESA Munich organises excursions to different cities and countries such as Berlin and Budapest, offers tickets for reserved tables at Oktoberfest and Frühlingsfest, does BBQs in the English Gardens, and plans huge parties in the city’s nightclubs in conjunction with the other universities. All exchange students get around these events and trips and they’re always a lot of fun.
Surrounding Area and Travel
You don’t need to go too far outside of Munich to experience some breathtaking mountains or ancient cities. Travelling within Bavaria by train is super easy and cheap with the ‘Bayern Ticket’ where you can travel with a group of friends on the one ticket. There’s so many beautiful lakes and mountains within a couple hours of Munich. During winter I recommend going to Wallberg with a bunch of friends where you take the lift up to some breathtaking views and sled all the way down the mountain.
It’s also ridiculously cheap and easy to travel within the rest of Europe. Munich has a huge bus station which services buses going all across Europe and flights are insanely cheap if you book at the right time and to the right places… for sometimes 20 euro return it’s hard not to go somewhere every weekend.