Year of Study in Munich

A study abroad program established by Lewis & Clark College

Academic Program

The Year of Study in Munich offers you access to a large spectrum of courses and topics. You may choose from a variety of courses offered by the program or take advantage of the wide range of courses at several Munich universities, allowing you to focus on your desired field of study.

Museum in Munich
Courses & Credits
Fall Semester
Spring Semester

The program starts on the first Monday in September with a five-week presemester program. This ensures the best possible preparation before your university courses start in mid-October.

If you are interested in finding out about the university’s offerings, take a look at the recent course catalogues of Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, the Technische Universität München and the Hochschschule für Musik und Theater München. You can pick almost every course offered there.

You have to enroll for 16 hours per semester. Courses at the Year of Study in Munich and most courses at the university are four credits. Exams, presentations and/or term papers are required in all courses for credit. Letter grades are given at the end of each semester.

At the end of the program, the director evaluates all course work and forwards this information to the Registrar at Lewis and Clark College. This information is then forwarded to your home institution. You should receive an official transcript directly from your registrar.

Studying at a European university challenges American students academically, socially, and linguistically. Therefore, the Year of Study in Munich offers you an intensive academic and cultural orientation before the university semester begins. This presemester program lasts five weeks and on completion of the course work you will receive four credit hours.

Take a look at the basic pillars of the presemester program:

Advanced German Grammar & Style
  • After a placement test at the beginning of the presemester, you will attend the course that will improve your abilities most effectively. During four hours of daily class time, your language skills will be systematically improved in all relevant areas: listening, reading, writing and speaking.
Studying in Munich
  • Studying in a university system that is very different from the American system takes some preparation. You will learn about practical issues like course selection, course registration and credits. At the end of the presemester, our Resident Director will support you in setting up your individual course schedule for the fall semester.
Life in Munich
  • Finding your way around a foreign city is exciting, but can be challenging at the same time. You will explore the wide range of activities (e.g. cultural offerings and sport attractions) that Munich has to offer in small groups and thereby easily learn your way around in the city. You can find more information in the Munich Life section.
Intercultural Training
  • Spending a year in Munich, also means living in a culture that might be completely new to you. During our “intercultural days”, we will focus on the most significant differences between the USA and Germany. This will help you to understand the codes and mysteries of the German culture.
Munich Past & Present
  • Munich is steeped in history and of landmark buildings and places. In several afternoon excursions, you will explore the city’s historical development from the Middle Ages to the present. By the end of the course, you will have produced your own city guide of Munich, complete with a variety of sketches, facts and background information.
Germany’s Capital: A Trip to Berlin
  • Having learned so much about Munich already, at the end of the presemester it’s time to explore another importan German city, Berlin, Germany’s capital. For seven days, you will have the opportunity to discover the new center of German political life and a city rich in history and culture.

If you are a German major or would like to focus on German studies during the Year of Study in Munich, we offer you a broad selection of classes that are held exclusively for Year of Study in Munich participants.

The format of these classes is very much like the format of classes at your home institution: lecture/discussion, readings, quizzes, papers, oral reports and a final exam. There are also excursions outside the classroom which accompany the coursework, such as visiting museums, theaters, and other cultural events. All courses are graded and conducted in German.

Our classes are held in a classroom located near the university. The institute is easily accessible from the Studentenstadt by U-Bahn or bike.

Courses are offered on the basis of students’ interest and demand and cover the following areas:

GER 315 Advanced German Review I
  • This course is a continuation of the preparatory language classes you took in the presemester with focus on grammar review and vocabulary acquisition. Check your progress in weekly short essays and tests!
GER 125 Art thru the Ages I
  • The uniqueness of German art within the context of European art history from the 8th to the 20th century is highlighted in this course. You will be introduced to significant art historical periods, such as Romanesque, Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque, Classicism, Impressionism, and Expressionism, by using examples from architecture, sculpture and painting. Taking advantage of its location in Munich, this course has no classroom: all class meetings take place in local museums and buildings!
GER 422 Culture and Civilization
  • The two main focal points of this course are the reunification of Germany and its consequences, and the political, social and cultural structure of the old and new Federal Republic of Germany. During the course we will visit schools and various political, cultural, and social institutions, as well as media organizations and conduct interviews with representatives from the institutions and organizations. This knowledge will help you adjust to and understand your surroundings during your year in Munich!
OS 425 Contemporary Literature: 1990-2012
  • You are presented with texts that deal with current political and social problems and other topics relevant to contemporary Germany. Selections from the reading list include well-known authors like Günter Grass (Nobel Prize winner for literature in 2000), as well as accomplished works from younger authors. The typical forms of contemporary literature are analyzed and group discussions approach these texts from every aspect, including technique, genre and literary theory.
OS 425 Poetic Diction
  • In this course, you will explore the poetry of major German writers, from Goethe and Schiller to the present. The course moves from simple poems and ballads to more complex works such as Rilke’s Elegies. You will learn about basic poetic concepts such as meter, rhyme, and rhythm, and also memorize and perform poems.
OS 425 Nationalism and German Identity
  • This course examines how poets have reacted to the dichotomy between nationalism and cosmopolitanism that has characterized German history over the past two hundred years. You will look at texts by Goethe, Kleist, Büchner, Heine, Fontane, Thomas Mann, Heinrich Mann, Horvath, Brecht, Tucholsky, and Andersch, which speak to the issue of identity and critical self-evaluation. Excursions to various sites in Munich are part of the course.
OS 425 Munich Through Artists’ Eyes
  • The course takes you on walks through the Schwabing district of Munich to visit the homes of writers who lived there from the turn of the century to World War II. In the class, the satirical newspaper “Simplicissimus” is compared to the political poetry of Frank Wedekind. The “cosmic” poet, Stefan George, with his elite manifesto and prefascist tendencies, is examined critically by Franziska Graefin zu Reventlow. The writings of painters Wassily Kandinsky and Franz Marc are discussed in the context of the Munich revolutions of 1918. Thomas Mann wrote the Buddenbrooks in Schwabing, and his brother Heinrich wrote The Subject there. Revolutionary writers living in Schwabing, such as Ernst Toller and Erich Muehsam, influenced the works of Bertolt Brecht and Oedoen von Horvath.
OS 425 Escape to Life or From Bavaria to America
  • Starting in 1900, Munich and its “Kuenstlerviertel” Schwabing have been known as the stage for important developments of the artistic and literary “Moderne”. Political development after 1933 forced many writers into American exile where they fought Nazi Germany in their writing. The course will discuss the interrelation between Germany and America by examining those writers who lived in Munich and fled to the United States and Mexico. In addition, we will take literary walks in order to visit those places in Munich where the writers lived, viewing Munich through the eyes of people who had to give up their homes in order to survive and to maintain their integrity.

For the spring semester, we would like to encourage you to take advantage of the vast course offerings of the of Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, the Technische Universität München and the Hochschschule für Musik und Theater München. If you need support in elaborating your individual schedule, please contact us anytime..

For those of you, who are particularly interested in German Studies and who would like to delve deeper into some of the topics that have been introduced in the fall semester program, the following courses might be of interest:

GER 316 Advanced German Review II
  • In this continuation of Advanced Review I from the fall semester, you will be introduced to new grammatical structures on an advanced level.
GER 125 Art thru the Ages II
  • This course is a continuation of Art through the Ages I (Fall semester), but can be taken separately. It concentrates on art movements and important artists in Germany from the end of WWI to the present. Since developments in German art cannot be understood separately for the international art scene, also much non-German art will be explored. The course grade is based on an oral report on a chosen topic, a midterm and final exam, and active participation in class discussions.
GER 411 Major Periods of German Literature
  • Delve deep into a selection of plays that are currently being performed in Munich theaters. Thouroughly prepared by reading and discussing the works beforehand, you will then see them "on stage". Post-performance discussions, oral reports, and papers deepen your understanding of the pieces and help you understand the socio-historical contexts of the works. Approximately ten works are studied, each one representative of an important literary period from the Enlightenment to the present.
OS 425 Conception of the World in Literature
GER 252 Reading and Writing
  • Improve your reading and writing skills on an advanced level while at the same time increasing your knowledge of current German politics and culture. By reading texts from newspapers, magazines and books you can learn specific vocabulary and stylistic elements and thereby increase your level of language competence.