Munich, home to two of Germany’s absolute top universities, is a city full of contradictions. Vibrant and energetic but also laid back and quiet. Hard-working but also relaxed. It’s a world of laptops and lederhosen.
The capital of Germany’s southernmost state lies on the Isar River north of the Bavarian Alps. Known for all things beer-related (including the world famous Oktoberfest), and its vast cultural and recreational offering, Munich is also a strong economic engine, with major players in the high-tech, electronics, and automotive industries based there. Among those operating out of the Bavarian capital are BMW, Siemens, Infineon Technologies, Allianz and Munich Re Group.
Overview of the universities
Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München (LMU)
LMU, with its 700 professors, offers 160 programs of study in the humanities and natural sciences, and students have the opportunity to participate in a variety of study courses available within Germany only at LMU. Both the list of professors and alumni reads like a who’s who of academia, business, and culture. The LMU currently boasts academic heavyweights such as Professor Theodor W. Hänsch, winner of the Nobel Prize for Physics in 2005.
Technische Universität München (TUM)
The TU München boasts its own list of Nobel Laureates, most of whom won in the fields of Chemistry or Physics. With the university not having one central campus, the students attend its courses in technical and natural science related subjects at locations throughout the city. Such a dispersal of facilities provides a great contrast in study settings;
With its commitment to the idea of the “entrepreneurial university,” TUM invests in its students and faculty and has a number of corporate research centers, including the Central Institute of Medical Engineering (IMETUM) and the Walter Schottky Institute for Semiconductor Research.
Did you know?
Nobel Prize winner Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen was a Physics Professor at the LMU from 1900 to 1920. Röntgen received the Nobel Prize in 1901 for his discovery of the X-ray.
Munich was home to the White Rose, the most organized anti-Nazi resistance movement in Germany during the Second World War. The White Rose consisted of five students and later one professor from the LMU. Their activities were brought to a halt when the founders, siblings Sophie and Hans Scholl, were arrested by the Nazi secret police Gestapo in the main university building and later executed.
Things to check out
While you’re in Munich, be sure to try the traditional Bavarian breakfast of Weisswurst, Weissbier, and a pretzel.
Also worth a visit is the Olympic Tower, in the northern part of the city. On a clear day you can see as far as the Austrian Alps.
Munich is also home to FC Bayern, one of Europe’s best soccer teams. Check out one of their games in the flashy new Allianz Arena, which was built for the 2006 World Cup and is mistaken by some to be a gigantic hovercraft.
And don’t miss a stroll through the English Garden, home to multiple beer gardens and many naked sunbathers. Don’t be offended by the “Nackerten,” though – after all, Munich’s guiding theme is “Live and let live.”
Studentenwerk München - The city-run student dorms prove an affordable housing option for students. With dorm locations throughout the city, Studentenwerk offers various types of accommodation, from shared living to efficiency apartments.