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September 2007 issue

Contents
News
Travel News
Agency News
Agency Survey
Feedback
Direction 1
Direction 2
Special Report
Market Report
Course Guide
Spotlight
Destination
City Focus
Status

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Munich's many faces

Munich is both a high tech, world-class city, with plenty going on, and a relaxed traditional Bavarian town that really knows how to enjoy itself. Gillian Evans finds out more.

Is there a better place to mix learning German with leisure?” asks Susanne Mühlhaus from the Sprachen & Dolmetscher Institut (SDI) in Munich, who goes on to point out that, “numerous beer gardens, romantic castles, scenic roads and mountain trails, lakes, museums, theatres, open-air performances [and] hundreds of activities to choose from every day make Munich one of the best places to live in Germany”.

Munich has many personalities: on the one hand, it is a sleek, chic city with theatres, museums and other cultural attractions; it is also home to high-tech industries such as BMW car manufacturer; MBB, the aerospace company; and Siemens. On the other hand, however, it has the atmosphere of a small town, with plenty of Bavarian tradition.

“Students might be surprised that, despite the international atmosphere, there is a strong Bavarian tradition [in Munich],” confirms Melanie Mähren at BWS Germanlingua, which has a language centre in the city. “A lot of shops [sell] traditional Bavarian clothes, there are Bavarian festivals and religion is still important in public life.”

It is undoubtedly the city’s unique combination of all its personas that makes it attractive to all. “Students of all ages love Munich,” asserts Mähren, “since the city offers a big variety of activities for every taste and every age.”

In addition, Munich’s compact size makes it particularly accessible to international students. “Munich is a wonderful, charming city - not too big, very safe and easy to find one’s way [around],” confirms Mähren, although she is quick to add that its size does not affect the range of activities on offer. “[Munich is] also very lively and international.”

Kai Wede at Ludwig-Maximilians Universität (LMU) also mentions the city’s ideal size as “one of Munich’s virtues”. He adds, “Whilst large enough to embody the feel of a lively European city, it manages to retain a real warmth.” This warmth, or Gemütlichkeit, is evident in many of Munich’s free-time activities. In the summer, the numerous Biergarten [beer gardens] throughout Munich are popular meeting points for locals and international visitors alike, and the famous Oktoberfest in autumn is certainly a great social occasion. Wede relates, “The renowned Oktoberfest [acts] as a tremendous ice-breaker amongst the new intake of [international] students, as a lot of beer drinking and singing on benches [ensues].” Dating back to 1810, the Oktoberfest today claims to be the largest festival in the world. As well as the infamous Bavarian beer and food, there are fairground rides, circus acts, festival parades and brass bands playing traditional music. The festivities continue year-round, however, in Munich’s many beer halls and bars, notably the Hofbräuhaus in Marienplatz (1), a huge open hall with hard wooden benches and tables, which started out as the court brewery in the 16th century. However, to get to know the real Munich, Wede advocates going off the beaten track. “Whilst many tourists gravitate towards central Marienplatz, a lasting taste of Bavaria is also to be found within any of the city’s [seven] breweries, with Paulaner at Goetheplatz particularly worth a visit.”

Although the Oktoberfest is by far Munich’s most famous event, the city hosts many other festivities, including, twice a year, the Tollwood Festival, which includes international food and craft stalls and plenty of live music. Mähren calls Tollwood “amazing”, adding, “There is such a nice atmosphere and a lot of new things to see and experience.” She also mentions several street festivals in Schwabing, Munich’s entertainment quarter, as well as international film festivals at the city’s many cinemas.

During the summer months, Munich also plays host to the Blade Night, when the roads are closed to traffic to allow thousands of rollerbladers to take to the streets. Despite being some distance from the sea, Munich has lots of lakes nearby for swimming, sunbathing and water sports.

The city itself is an attractive blend of old and cutting-edge architecture. Marienplatz and the Altstadt are at the centre of the city, where shops and cafés are interspersed with churches and palaces, while, according to Ute Klünder at Carl Duisberg Centren in Munich, the Allianz-Arena soccer stadium and the church of Herz Jesu are among the city’s modern architectural highlights.

Munich is also one of Germany’s main seats of learning, with LMU being one of the country’s premier universities. There are plenty of language learning and educational opportunities for international students looking to study and live in Munich. SDI, which offers German language courses from beginner to university level, recently opened the University of Applied Languages, which offers seven BA and master’s degree programmes, from a BA in Chinese translation studies, designed for native German speakers and native Chinese speakers, to an MA in intercultural and multicultural communication. Continuing the learning process outside of the classroom is also an important factor at SDI. “The German as a Foreign Language (DaF) Department is renowned for its array of extracurricular activities and dedicated approach to making learning both fun and meaningful,” asserts Mühlhaus. Furthermore, “The department even puts on its own drama performances thus encouraging students to make the most of their freshly acquired language skills.”

Like many language schools, BWS Germanlingua organises a packed timetable of free-time activities and excursions for students, including a guided city tour, trips to museums, ballet, opera and theatre performances, volleyball games and picnics in the Englischer Garten (2), Munich’s wonderful expansive park, where, according to Mühlhaus, “You can cool off in the Eisbach – [which translates as] ‘icy stream’ – which runs through the park.”

With so much on offer, both day and night, Mähren says, “The difficulty is to decide where to go.” She highlights Leopoldstrasse and the streets around LMU, situated in Schwabing, as a popular student area. She continues, “Another popular district to enjoy restaurants, cafés and bars is Haidhausen. Party people will certainly [quickly] get to know the Kunstfabrik/Optimolwerke – also known as Kunstpark Ost – near the S-Bahn train station Ostbahnhof. This is a big area with different discos and bars.”

And there’s plenty of choice when it comes to eating out. Traditional Bavarian fare includes Weisswuerste, a sausage flavoured with pepper, parsley and onion, usually eaten in the morning, and salty Bretzel (pretzels). As well as Bavarian cuisine, there are plenty of international restaurants too. Mühlhaus at SDI, which is situated in Amalienstrasse, says, “Whether you fancy Spanish food, Japanese, French, Thai [or] Chinese, you can find it all in Amalienstrasse.” She highlights another interesting fact about the city that may attract students – Munich has the highest rate of singletons of all German cities, so “if you are still looking to meet your match, there is no better place to go”!


Agent viewpoint

“Generally students choose Munich because of its convenient transport system, historic atmosphere and buildings, cheerful local people and its popular football team. They enjoy eating out, visiting art museums, seeing football games, going to events such as Oktoberfest and carnival, going shopping, learning or seeing ballet and classical music concerts. Students are surprised by the fact that people in Munich are friendlier than they imagined before. They think that the people in Munich are nice and easy to communicate with. Regarding the food, they generally say that they love beer, wurst, sauerkraut and torte.”
Yukari Yasui, Wintech Study Abroad Center, Japan

“Our students choose [Munich] due to its excellent flight connections and its cosmopolitan lifestyle. The students enjoy spending their free hours in the Englischer Garten and walking during the evenings in Marienplatz or along the Isar River, or visiting Michaelskirche and the Alter Hof. The trips to the nearby Alps, to the Neuschwanstein Castle, or to the medieval cities of Nuremburg and Regensburg are also extremely enjoyable for the students during their free time.”
Mihai Timofte, International Education Center (IEC), Romania

“Students like Munich because it is not only friendly but beautiful too. They like the international atmosphere and the numerous possibilities for entertainment. In the evenings they enjoy visiting the cafés and discos.”
Guelmino Erzsebet, Egida ILIC, Hungary


Contact any advertiser in the this issue now

The following language schools, associations and accommodation providers advertised in the latest edition of Language Travel Magazine. If you would like more information on any of these advertisers, tick the relevant boxes, fill out your details and send.

Name

Company
Country

Telephone

Email


ASSOCIATIONS / GROUPS
Capls Canada
CLC Canada
Eaquals
English Australia
Fedele
Feltom
Ialc
International House
       World Organisation
MEI-Relsa
Perth Education City
Quality English

EXPOS /
WORKSHOPS
Fedele
Ialc
IEFT- International
       Education Fairs
       of Turkey
International House
       World Organisation
WEBA

INSURANCE
InterGlobal Ltd

TOURIST BOARDS
Cyprus Tourist
       Board
Malta Tourism
       Authority

AUSTRALIA
English Australia
Perth Education City
Southbank Institute
       of TAFE

BRAZIL
Diálogo Language
       Schools

CANADA
Bodwell College
Capls Canada
CLC Canada
College of New
       Caledonia
English School
       of Canada
ELS Language
       Centers
       (Canada, USA)
Eurocentres Canada
Global Village
       (Australia, Canada,
       USA)
Hansa Language
       Centre of Toronto
ILSC
Language Studies
       Canada
National School of
       Languages
Pan Pacific
       International English
       College
Richmond School
       District # 38
Saint Mary's
       University
Stewart College
       of Languages
University Canada
       West
University of Alberta
University of Victoria
Vancouver
       Community College
Vancouver English
       Centre
Vanwest College
Worldwide
       Language Institute
YMCA Montreal
       International
       Language School
Zoni Language
       Centers
       (Canada, USA)

CHINA
Mandarin House

CYPRUS
Cyprus Tourist Board

CZECH REPUBLIC
Global Study
       (Karlov College)

ENGLAND
American
       Intercontinental
       University,
       London
       (Dubai, UK, USA)
Bell International
       (England, Malta)
Bloomsbury
       International
International House
       World
       Organisation
WEBA
Cambridge
       Education Group
Camp Beaumont
Eaquals
English Language
       Centre Brighton
       & Hove
English School
       (Northumbria) Ltd,
       (The)
Globe School
       of English
ILS English Ltd
International
       House World
       Organisation
InterNexus Centre
       for Language
       Studies
Islington Centre
       for English
Kaplan Aspect
       (Australia, Canada,
       Ireland, Malta,
       New Zealand,
       South Africa, UK,
       USA)
LAF
LAL Language
       and Leisure
       (England, Malta,
       South Africa, USA)
Language in London
Language Upon
       Thames
Liverpool
       Community College
Liverpool
       International
       Language
       Academy
London Metropolitan
       University
Malvern House
       College London
Mountlands
       Language School
Quality English
Queen Ethelburga's
       College
Rose of York
       Language School
Saint Peter's School
       of English
Shane Global
       Language Centres
St Giles Colleges
       (Canada, UK, USA)
Study Group
       (Australia, Canada,
       England, France,
       Germany, Ireland,
       Italy, New Zealand,
       South Africa,
       Spain, USA)
Tellus Group
Twin Group
       (Ireland, UK)
University
       of Manchester
University of Sussex
West London
       Business College

FRANCE
Alliance Française
       Paris
CIPEL
Lyon Bleu
       International
Institut de Touraine
Institut International
       de Rambouillet
SILC - Séjours
       Linguistiques
       (England, France,
       Spain)

GERMANY
BWS Germanlingua
Carl Duisberg
       Medien GmbH
       (England, Germany)
inlingua Berlin
International House
       Berlin - Prolog
Sprachcaffe
       International /
       Languages Plus
       (Australia, Canada,
       Cuba, England,
       France, Germany,
       Italy, Malta, Spain,
       USA)

IRELAND
Alpha College
       of English
American College
       Dublin
       (Ireland, USA)
Dublin City University
       Language
       Services
High Schools
       International
       (Australia, Canada,
       England)
Galway Cultural
       Institute
ISI- International
       Study 65 Institute
       Ireland
MEI-Relsa
Swan Training
       Institute

ITALY
ALCE
IH - Palermo
IH Team Lingue -
       Lecco- Merate

LATVIA
Durbe Ture

MALTA
EC English
       Language Centre
       (England, Malta,
       South Africa)
English Language
       Academy
Feltom
Linguatime
Malta Tourism
       Authority
NSTS

RUSSIA
AMBergh
       Management AB
       (Russia, Ukraine)
Derzhavin Institute
Language Link,
       Russia

SCOTLAND
EAC Language
       Centres and Activity
       Camps (England,
       Ireland, Scotland,
       Wales)
Live Language

SOUTH AFRICA
Cape Studies
EC Cape Town
Eurocentres Cape
       Town
Good Hope Studies
inlingua Language
       Training Centre
       Cape Town
Interlink School
       of Languages
LAL Cape Town
LAL Durban
Shane Global
       Language Centres

SPAIN
Fedele
International House -
       Spain
Malaca Instituto -
       Club Hispánico
Pamplona Learning
       Spanish Institute

SWITZERLAND
EF Language
       Colleges Ltd
       (Australia, Canada,
       China, Ecuador,
       England, France,
       Germany, Ireland,
       Italy, Malta, New
       Zealand, Russia,
       Scotland, Spain,
       USA)
Eurocentres
       International
       (Australia, Canada,
       England, France,
       Germany, Italy,
       Japan, New
       Zealand, Russia,
       Spain, Switzerland,
       USA)
WEBA

USA
ALCC - American
       Language
       Communication
       Center
California State
       University
       San Marcos
ELS Language
       Centers
       (Canada, USA)
Global Education
       Services Inc
Global Village
       (Australia, Canada,
       USA)
Kaplan Aspect
       (Australia, Canada,
       Ireland, Malta,
       New Zealand,
       South Africa, UK,
       USA)
Saint Timothy's
       School
University of
       California Riverside
University of
       California San Diego
University of
       California Santa
       Barbara
University of Illinois
       at Urbana-
       Champaign
Zoni Language
       Centers
       (Canada, USA)



EDUCATION TRAVEL MAGAZINE

AGENTS
Felca

CANADA
Bodwell College
School District # 8
       Kootenay Lake

SCOTLAND
University of Stirling

USA
Lincoln Educational
       Services