Learning German in Munich

2:00 PM


Summer language programs abroad offer plenty of advantages compared to learning back home. I began my German-learning journey almost two years ago through a summer program offered by the Maximilian Ludwig Universität München (LMU). I joined a second time to do the A2.1 level and had a great time, traveled, made new friends, and of course, improved my German! 🙌

Before getting there 📅


If you are unfamiliar with how it is like to join a summer language program overseas, here is how this one works. You pay a deposit to get your seat reserved and, if interested, a room. I highly suggest to book a room with the university because finding an apartment in Munich is a nightmare. Also it is highly unlikely that someone will rent you a place for just a month. You will end up renting an Air-bnb for 3 weeks and pay 4 times what you would have paid with the university. The dorms are not luxurious but I am highly practical and just need a place to stay. Both times I’ve stayed at the dorms and had no problem as they are located near transport stations and supermarkets. 

Depending on your country of origin, you may or may not need a visa for courses of less than 3 months. I suggest that you contact the German embassy at your country to make sure you have all your documentation in order. 

Servus, München! 🛫

Lessons 


Once you arrive, you need to attend a check-in event where you are given class information and keys to your apartment. The next day and for the next three weeks I would have lessons everyday from 9:00 to 13:00. What I love about this type of environment is that you get to learn alongside people from all over the world. It is fast-paced as would be any other intensive course but the total immersion in the language and culture is worth it. With every lesson, I felt more confident in speaking the language and tried to practice it “on the real world” as much as I could. I would try to communicate in German at the supermarket, coffee shop, train stations and stores. I even went to the pharmacy twice and was able to communicate effectively with the technicians. Most locals appreciate your effort in speaking their language so they are willing to speak slower, make a lot of signs or say some words in English. 

Free time 


My afternoons were mostly focused on studying and living a normal life. However, I was in Munich in summer. Naturally I would constantly visit my favorite park in the world: The Englischer Garten. There I would just lie on the ground, enjoy the good weather and do my homework.


I would also hang around Munich, visit museums, or do something football-related. I ended up attending 3 football matches: a friendly against Manchester United, the Bundesliga opener against Hoffenheim and a testimonial match for no other than Bastian Schweinsteiger. Naturally I attended public trainings, splurged money on FC Bayern merch and a new Trikot and was the happiest in a long time.























Travel

As part of the class excursions, I went back to the Neuschwanstein Castle in Füssen. I had only visited in the winter so the landscape was completely different. It was a very hot day which wasn’t so fun, but I had the chance to go on Marienbrücke and take the best shot of the castle:




I visited Augsburg and Regensburg with a Bayern Ticket. I’ll share more details about my visit to those cities but here are some of my favorite shots:

Regensburg






Augsburg





Why I think it's worth it 👍

Language lessons can be amazing in your home country, but the reasons why I would do it again are: 

You practice everyday, all day – you not just take a lesson and forget until the next one. You are surrounded by native speakers all around. It could surprise how much you can advance your language skills this way. 

You immerse yourself in the culture – as a student there for three weeks, it’s no vacation. You need to run errands, wash your clothes, cook, take the public transport. Even if it’s a short period, you are living like a local and that experience helps you to grasp the language a lot more. 

You meet people from all around the world – I find cultural exchange fascinating and it is always exciting to meet new people who share interests with you. 

Native-speaker teachers – we don't always have the benefit of learning a language with native speakers back home. This type of courses have local teachers that can enhance your learning experience.

Traveling – does this even requires explanation? 😉

The price is adequate – at least for this course, the tuition is 550 euros and the rent is 390 euros*. I find the price is good considering that in in 3 weeks you get 85 contact hours, worth around half a level or more. 

While this time around I was familiar with my surroundings, knew how the program worked and knew my way around the city, there is always something new to explore and new people to meet. I’m ready for the next trip back to lovely Munich.

Want a summer abroad?


If you are interested in knowing more about the summer courses that the LMU offers, you can click here.  There is also the Goethe Institut that offers intensive course in different cities and throughout the year. Munich is a very international city, beautiful and, in my opinion, the perfect size to have an abroad experience for the first time. It is small enough to not make you feel overwhelmed, but big enough to still feel like a modern city. You will learn a lot and find plenty of activities to do. It's a win-win.

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*2018 price

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