Amy - Technical University of Munich

B Architectural Design
Semester 1 & 2, 2019
Wow what a year! An experience of a lifetime.

Academic experience

I completed my last year of my Bachelor of Architectural Design degree. I completed 4 courses each semester which made up 21 ECTS. All of my Subjects were in English, however because I completed a year on Exchange it was harder to pick English Bachelor subjects that matched my UQ subjects, so 2 of my subjects were at a masters level in my second semester.

The courses that I completed were:
Summer Semester:
-    Krucker and Bates Studio
-    Lecture Series 3: Cultural, Heritage, History and Criticism 
-    Building Archaeology 
-    Green Technologies: Living Architecture 
Winter Semester:
-    Kere Studio 
-    Context+ (Studio extension) (Master level)
-    Lecture Series 2: Sustainable Building and Technologies 
-    Building Information Modelling 

The part that I enjoyed most about the academic system is the ability to pick subjects that I had an interest in yet they still aligned with the UQ curriculum. The studio subjects are very time consuming and they put more emphasis on them than at UQ. The studio project is completed in group or partner work, which I found strange and hard at first, but it made more sense as the semester progressed, and I gained a lot of new skills out of it. 

The enrolment process is very different. The subjects/ course capacity are much smaller than UQ, some only take 15 people and many cap the numbers at around 40. So it is usually a first in first served situation, however they don’t inform you when the enrolment time and dates are, so when looking at the courses, take note of the enrolment date and time so you don’t miss out, if you do miss out always attend the first class as not everyone who got a place turns up.

Personal experience

The people I met on my exchange made the entire experience 1000 times more fun. I have made so many friends across the globe. I travelled to a few cities with some of these friends on the weekends. Travelling on the weekends was very possible in the beginning of the semester before the workload got to large.
I travelled to 17 different countries in my year abroad. I did most of this in between my two semesters. It is a perfect opportunity to travel as there is a large period of time as well as it being summer in Europe (which is fabulous). I hadn’t done much travelling before, so having this continent at my fingertips was incredible. I learnt so much about the different cultures, languages and histories of the world. This form of learning was much more valuable than anything I could have read in books. 

The language barrier was a bit challenging at the beginning of my exchange, however everyone I surrounded myself with generally could speak good English. I took language courses whilst in Germany for my own knowledge and experience. This helped with basic day to day activities. 

I bought a bike at a massive bike flea market at the beginning of my exchange. Munich is such a bike friendly city. I used my bike quite frequently in the summer although wasn’t quite brave enough to use it frequently in winter. But I highly recommend getting a bike, it is a unique way to see and experience the city.


I lived in student accommodation, these aren’t on campus but situated around the city within 20-40 mins of the different campuses. These are provided by the student union (Studentenwerk) at a much cheaper price than private accommodation. I paid 350‎€ a month. 

I lived in a self-contained Bungalow in Olympia Dorf, which is located right next to the Olympic park. The bungalows where originally the 1972 Olympic games village. It was a very good place to live, a lot of the student events and parties happened very close to the student village which was very convenient. The main Campus, which is where architecture is studied is 20 mins by U-Bahn (underground train) or 25 mins by bike. 

If you get an offer from studentenwerk, I highly recommend taking it as it is very much worth it.


This year abroad definitely wasn’t cheap. I however did do a lot of traveling and that costs money.  Rent was 350‎€ a month. I spent approx. 30-40€ a week on food. Health Insurance was 100€ a month. There were other costs as well. Specifically, for architecture, we made many models and had to print posters every 2 weeks. The semester ticket for the public transport costs 200€ a semester. Alcohol is much cheaper but I found eating out could be expensive if not careful where you go. During the semester I spent around 900-1000 euro a month (not including travel). This included many activities organised by TUMi (international student activities) and living costs. 

In total for the entire year, I spent $32 000 AUD. This includes all air tickets, 3 months traveling, Uni expenses, living costs and health insurance. To help fund my exchange I saved a lot of money from my part time job and used the os-help loan, and funding from UQ and the government

Munich is not the cheapest place to live but it is was well worth it, as the location was ideal for traveling. You could definitely do this exchange on a cheaper budget, by traveling less and watching your spending. However, I took every opportunity that was thrown my way and majority of them cost money, but I do not regret spending the amount of money I did.


This was the first time I lived alone, let alone in a new place. This was a challenge, however I gained greater independence and wasn’t afraid to do things by myself. I participated in an orientation program. I can recommend this highly. I made majority of my friends from these 2 weeks and it made living alone easier when you could do things with friends. 

Group work was also a major challenge as pretty much every subject included it. At first it was hard but the more we worked together we started to understand different people’s strengths and how we could all work together.

Professional Development

I have gained many valuable skills over the year studying in Munich. Adaptability to new situations would probably be top of the list. Living in a place with new culture, people and ways of living, forced me to adapt quickly and make the most of the new situations. Participating in group work also helped me adapt to working with others, and different projects. 

A lot of the studios are run by well-known architects, and from this a lot of my work that I did in Munich went into my portfolio, and with the help of some of the friends I had made in my studio subject, I got an internship at an architecture firm after my last semester, however because of logistical issues I had to turn it down. The people I have met from all around the world are all future contacts in the industry and great friends as well.


I had many highlights, but the one that stands out is the German/Austrian Alps. Munich is so close to the Alps, from certain points in the city you could see the mountain range on a clear day. The part I enjoyed the most was hiking in the Alps on Summer weekends. Most of these were organised by the International student organisation (TUMi). The alps are definitely a one of kind, there is nothing that could compare to it. In the winter semester the snow on the mountains was something I have never seen before so that was a big highlight. My family visited me over Christmas and we went skiing in Austria.

Top tips

- Join as many TUMi activities as possible, they are definitely worth it (and sign up ASAP particularly at the beginning of the semester)
- N26 is an easy bank to open an account with 
- Check enrolment dates well before the semester starts
- Sign up to the Free German language course during the semester