Ryan - Technical University of Munich

B. Architectural Design
Semester 2, 2017

Academic experience

I aimed to undertake courses which were quite different to those offered to me so far by UQ, these included urban design, urban and regional dynamics and architectural acoustics to name a few. It was this course variety and being able to choose from such an array of exciting studio projects that I enjoyed most about a different academic system. Initially figuring out how to research and select courses was difficult but with some patience, I eventually got the hang of the course management program. The other challenge was some organising and reorganising of exams at the end of the semester due to dates and time constraints - my advice, get it sorted early!

Personal experience

This exchange was my first time living independently for such a long period and as such I learnt a great deal about being organised, self-sufficient and general independence. My cooking skills certainly broadened and improved as well as my ability to navigate around and travel over longer distances using a mixture of transport types and maps in addition to learning a little German. More significantly though I made what will likely be lasting friendships with people from all different backgrounds and countries and shared some fantastic experiences both working late nights and travelling together.

Accommodation

I lived off-campus, about 20 minutes away via the underground and 15 minutes from the city centre. The metro system in addition to trams and buses made getting around the city convenient and easy at a reasonable price for a semester ticket. Having an individual apartment afforded more space and the ability to have friends visit but at a higher price than the standard shared student accommodation. My advice is to start looking early, ask the university for assistance early on as there is a large variety in both location and prices.

Budget

While Munich isn't a cheap European city it was not as expensive as I expected it to be, especially when compared to Australia. I would recommend to budget about 1500 euros per month for general living expenses and food/necessities, but this will depend on your rental costs and additional travel expenses.

Food, travel and entertainment are all quite affordable, especially if you shop at Aldi and take FlixBus or trains around Europe.

Professional development and employability

Organisational skills, proactive working attitude, skills working with different computer programs and a greater amount of physical model work.

Highlight

The highlight of my experience was immersing myself within a different culture and the people I met from such a variety of backgrounds along the way. Trying different foods, local events and customs, experiencing Oktoberfest and a very wintery Christmas were all experiences I will never forget.

Top tips

  • Go for it! I still feel surprised at how seemingly few people from Australia participate in a student exchange in comparison to those from other countries, it was such a great and interesting experience that I could not recommend more.
  • Plan your travelling early, I waited until later into the semester before making many travel plans and found it to be quite challenging towards the end juggling both university work and getting around so make the most of the time you have there.