By Erin Lutenski
Munich is a huge city, and nowhere is that more apparent than on the crowded “U-Bahn,” or subway. My day begins by stuffing myself into one of the already crowded cars, where one can observe almost every drama of the human existence. I like to listen to people’s mindless chatter as we go, and can’t help but be jealous of the ease with which they speak the language.
One of my favorite parts of each day is getting off the U-Bahn. It’s very dramatic: when one climbs up the stairs to ground level, Munich looks as though it has been transformed into Athens! “Königsplatz” is a collection of Greek-inspired building, which house art museums. During the time of the Third Reich, the space between them, which makes up a square, was used for the Nazi rallies in Munich. The buildings are so dramatic, and the history so rich, I just love being able to walk past them every day on my way to school.
I have a grammar class at my exchange school, Junior Year in Munich. Since it is a class for foreign students, we all make silly mistakes from time to time, but I learn a lot.
Then, I head over to the university, Ludwig-Maximilian Universität, for my “Übung” course in Oral History. I really enjoy it, because the class size is very small, and it is completely designed around discussion: we choose the topics, which we want to study and deliberate. The university courses are really difficult. Not only is the level of language very high, but your grade is based on only one or two pieces of work. The atmosphere is quite serious, as people are very involved in their studies. Nevertheless, after our class, a few peers and I go out for coffee. Side note: German coffee and baked goods are the best. I’m not sure if I am embarrassed or proud that the baker doesn’t even ask anymore; she knows my usual order!
The absolute best part of my day comes next. My hobby back in Michigan is horseback riding, and I am lucky enough to be able to attend the University Riding School Munich, just a few minutes’ walk from the actual University. I absolutely love it there. My instructor is so nice, and the other students are very fun as well. Unfortunately, I don’t learn much horse/riding vocabulary through my academic studies, but my fellow riders are always ready to teach me something new. After such a busy day, it feels good to pet my favorite horse, Aaron, for a while.
When I come home, friends stop by and we make plans for the weekend. Travel is so inexpensive; we are able to discover new places all the time! Just last weekend, we went all the way to Hamburg (in the north of Germany, as opposed to the south, where Munich is), and were able to see Goethe’s Faust.
Writing this piece has made me realize how incredible my every day is. I am so lucky, and so appreciative, to be where I am. I couldn’t ask for a better experience.