Becca Gap Year course in Munich
Becca (19 yrs):
8 week German Gap Year Course
I decided to take a Gap year as I wasn’t quite ready to start University, and intense studying, so soon after A-levels! Having already been to Munich a couple times and because I have a few friends there, I was motivated to do a language course and further my German knowledge from its current A-level standard. My goal was a mixture of, not wanting all the work I had done at A-level to go to waste, and also to improve my German speaking ability so I could talk to my German friends with greater ease.
I’ve attended previous language courses so it was no surprise to me when the lessons were entirely ‘auf Deutsch’! It definitely speeds up the learning process and makes you focus more. It’s a little tricky at first but after a couple days it’s completely normal.
The staff were fantastic, very relaxed, and felt more like friends than students (especially when a regular school “excursion” was to a bar every Thursday evening). The school is right in the centre of Munich, a couple minutes walk away from the beautiful Marienplatz. I chose to stay in the Student House rather than an apartment on my own, through doing so I have definitely made some friends for life. Being able to travel to school together and explore Munich with someone is great and makes you feel a lot more confident about being in a unfamiliar city. Munich itself is my favourite city I’ve visited so far; with a vast range of culture, cuisine and things to do, there really is no excuse to sit at home and do nothing. I visited various museums, the Olympic Stadium, BMW World and Dachau, just to name a few. Another of my favourite aspects of Munich, especially as I live in a very rural area of England, is the fantastic public transport system. From trains to trams, there’s always an easy way to head into the city, or to get home (whatever time of the night!).
I’ve been to Munich in summer before and it’s wonderful to waste sunny days in the Englische Garten, lying along the banks of the Eisbach. It is, however, equally lovely in winter; watching (I’ll leave the actual surfing to the professionals) brave individuals surf the famous Eisbach wave by the bridge near the Haus der Kunst.
The area I like the most, just as somewhere to explore without any real goal, is Universität. There is an U-bahn stop right in the centre of the street, so it’s easily accessible and always energetic. I would highly recommend this area if you have a free afternoon and want to discover a particularly beautiful part of Munich. As the name suggests, it is where the Ludwig-Maximillian-Universität München is located, so it is very student orientated. There are, what feels like, endless University bookstores all along the street, fabulous University buildings, with stunning architecture and of course plenty of Imbisse (that’s takeaways to us) with the best Döner Sandwich in the whole of Munich (as I’m told by many regulars). If you don’t know what a Döner is, then that’s good enough reason in itself for you to go to Munich.
Without being too cliché, my only real complaint was that I had to leave. I look forward to going back in the near future and really couldn’t suggest a friendlier, more beautiful city to spend time in, with the bonus of furthering your German knowledge!