Bachelor of Architecture
Bachelor of Architecture

Academic experiences

I studied at the Technische Universität München as part of my second year in the Bachelor of Architecture, and couldn’t imagine a better opportunity in my life, ever!
I arrived in Germany two months early for an intensive language course and found it incredibly useful, as my previous knowledge of German only consisted of “Danke” and “Guten Morgen”.
Completing this course set me up for a much more enjoyable time travelling and overcoming the culture shock.
It also helped me with organising my residence permit, bank account, insurance, accommodation and the dreaded process of course enrolment.
The requirement of 30 ECTS meant I had to take 6 courses in total. At the fourth semester level, finding these courses was difficult as there are a limited number of English taught classes and many were not equivalent to courses at UQ.
Most of my exchange mates took German language courses as they were worth double credits. Unknowingly, I took the most difficult design course in the Bachelor degree; it was overly focused on masonry construction and the detailing of it- I would recommend discussing your choice of studio with the chair of the faculty before enrolling.

Prague

Personal experiences

During the semester, parties and day trips organised by student unions are great ways to meet other international students.
Events included the Architecture Gluhwein party, language meet ups, a weekend trip to Berlin and visits to the Neuschwanstein castle.
Since the design studio was so intense, I tended to go out with my studio classmates more.
Munich’s close proximity to the German border meant we easily travelled by bus to Austria and the Czech Republic on weekends.

Olympic Village

Accommodation

Coming to Europe as a monolinguist was a huge challenge for me; I am glad to have taken German classes before the start of semester, but I would hugely recommend doing so as early as possible and perhaps exploring a few other languages as well!
Spanish and French speakers made up a huge demographic of the exchange students I met.
Learning German was imperative to fully take advantage of my time in Munich. I can’t stress how important this is, even if all you plan to take only English courses.
Also, learning a language in its country of origin is the best way to do it; I was able to reach an A2/ B1 level within 6 months!

Budget

Finding accommodation was easy as the student housing organisation sorted exchange students into a random student village between 300 – 400 euros.
This isn’t cheap, but residences outside of student villages are normally even more expensive.
I was given a small bungalow at the Olympic village which was 335 euros per month, 25 minutes away from the university by the U3 and U2 lines and close to the shops.
A bungalow is essentially a tiny double storey house suited to one person, with both a private kitchen and bathroom.
This was great for privacy and social events were happening around me all the time!

Olympic park Bungalows

Academic development and employability

I found the cost of transport much cheaper than Brisbane due to the “Semesterticket”. All students are initially allowed “free” use of public transport from 6pm and 6am for the whole semester.
I decided to pay an extra 146 euro so that I had the 24 hour access Semesterticket.
I also bought a bike, but only ended up using it for the first few months as it became very cold, very quickly.
I would definitely recommend buying the full 24 hour Semesterticket in the winter period, and I imagine it is possible (but tiring) to use only a bike in the summer.

Highlight

There are a few extra costs to watch out for: health insurance costs around 80 euro per month and is compulsory for all students in Germany. And, for Architecture students, the cost of printing and laser cutting is something to factor in your budgeting.

Top tips

Some tips for future exchange students:

-Learn German!
-A bike is only worth it if you can stand the winter cold.
-Go see Bayern Munich FC at the Allianz Arena; they are one of the best teams in the world!
-Munich doesn’t have the best night life -Berlin is where it’s at!
-The Vorhoelzer Forum gives out free coffee to architecture students between 10 and 11am!
-Don’t be too stingy, you can’t buy an experience like this again! (well, not really)

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