University of Munich
Operating through Lewis and Clark, the Munich study-abroad exchange, is an exclusively year-long program at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität. Upon arrival in Munich, students will undergo an intensive 4-week orientation period focusing on linguistic, cultural, and pedagogical integration, and will then be offered courses both from the Lewis and Clark faculty and directly through the University itself (all Lewis and Clark classes are taught strictly in German). Students studying through this program will have the opportunity to pursue an internship for their spring-semester break, which is facilitated through a cooperative effort between students and the Lewis and Clark faculty. Housing is organized by the program, providing rooms in a dormitory community 10 minutes away from the university. The community is home to a bakery, a library, restaurants, two discothèques and offers intramural sports. The Lewis and Clark program, acting as a direct liaison to the university, provides an immediate source of student support, and promotes a guided integration into Bavarian culture and everyday student life. Its three major goals are the enhancement of education through academics and experience, cultural understanding, and the discovery of the city of Munich. 2 years of college-level German or the equivalent are required to qualify for this exchange.
Further info can be found at: http://legacy.lclark.edu/~munich/
Having already lived in a foreign country made it easier for me to come to Munich and start right away experiencing the wonderful attractions and culture characterizing Munich and Bavaria. However, I do think that the pre-semester, which the program has set up, is a wonderful idea as it introduces students to the aspects of life different from their home country. In addition, the knowledge of the German language I acquired during the pre-semester further helped me feel more comfortable in anything I did. The intensive language course at the beginning of the school year is actually one of the best things about the program. The other courses that the program offered were also very well organized and I definitely learned a lot. The professors who taught them were extremely interested in offering any assistance students needed. Their knowledge of the subject areas they taught was excellent, which made classes lively and interesting. Moreover, classes were challenging in many different ways - writing a lot and not easy papers, taking exams, other homework. However, this is why I feel like I have enriched my knowledge in various ways. The dorms, in which students live are great. The rooms are very comfortable and satisfied my needs completely. As students have the chance to cook for themselves, food is not a problem at all. Munich has many wonderful fruit and vegetables stands from which you get fresh stuff all the time. The supermarkets are also extremely good and offer a great variety of products. In addition, since many foreigners live in Munich, one can find international stores from around the world. It's great!
I thought the classes that the institute offered were very good. They could at times feel a bit like high school but I feel I learned much more there than at the university itself. The institute classes went at a more comfortable pace but most of all I felt more comfortable participating even though I had less German experience than anyone else in the class. I feel this helped me more than anything in advancing my language skills. By contrast I was not so much a fan of the classes at the university proper. The housing was fine, not exactly the grove dorms at Reed but much better than the dorms at state schools in Cali. The food was relatively expensive but with some dedicated searching for deals and proper planning at the grocery store I made it work. I think students need to realize that it's not all how it seems. I was told the classes were much easier and that did play into my picking this program. I saw it as a break from Reed. I would still definitely recommend this program because I feel the experience challenges you and forces you to grow in ways you never would at home but I think students need to have realistic expectations and realize it's not as simple and easy as it may seem.