Which course? Which university? What about moving to a new city? There are so many questions that need to be answered before commencing a graduate course.
I knew for sure that I really wanted to move to Munich. Obviously I was often asked why in God’s name I wanted to leave Frankfurt, which also has an ISM campus, and relocate to – of all places –Munich!
I love Frankfurt and I am a really big fan of the city, but I wanted to make a fresh start on my own, in a city that I had always liked.
After making my decision, I soon had to face the scepticism sometimes shown by other Germans towards Bavarians. “Do you really want to go and live with those stuck-up Bavarians? Most of them have never put a foot outside Bavaria and their world ends at the edge of their yard!”
But it is a totally different story in reality. Needless to say, as a ‘non-Bavarian’ you have to get used to some of the local sayings. It definitely took a few weeks before I felt comfortable using some distinctly Bavarian vocabulary. And it also took a while for the traditional Bavarian greeting “Servus”, which can also be used for goodbye, to become second nature.
Finding affordable accommodation in Munich is definitely not easy either, and students on lower budgets find it difficult to meet the local monthly rents. But these problems exist in Frankfurt, too, and maybe you just have to accept that higher rents are compensated by the vibrancy and beauty of the city. When the sun comes out, so do the Bavarians; and it is easy to relax in the English Garden or Munich’s many famous beer gardens.
Where else would you see someone walking through the city with a surfboard tucked under their arm? And as soon as you reach the man-made Eisbach (ice brook), you won’t believe your eyes. Crowds gather with cameras and mobiles to film the surfers as they perform crazy stunts all year round, whatever the weather.
And when you consider the many unspoilt lakes and mountains on Munich’s doorstep, that holiday feeling is never really gone. Other Germans have to travel many miles to find such things. The residents of Munich are spoilt for choice, be it hiking, climbing, skiing or water sports. Spend a day on the banks of Lake Starnberg and you will feel as though you have been on holiday.
And not to be forgotten, the world famous Oktoberfest each autumn: For two weeks of the year the city goes wild! All attention is turned to the “Wiesn”; born and bred Bavarians, new residents and tourists all wear traditional costumes and all this is completely normal – unimaginable in any other German city.
And the city takes its football just as seriously. When Bayern Munich play at home, the city turns red and the chants of fans ring out from the underground stations. I already feel completely at home after just nine months in my adopted city, I enjoy the big “small town” and I am really happy that I chose to study in Munich. But at the end of the day it is all about how you approach these adventures and how open you are to new things. Luckily, Munich is a city that allows you to feel at home and happy pretty quickly
Author: Sofia Rosenberger