The course provides students with a perspective on the contemporary life of a vibrant, modern European city, as well as its history and cultural history. Munich is the capital of Bavaria and is the home of BMW, Siemens, Oktoberfest, numerous world-class breweries, Bayern Munich soccer club, and internationally acclaimed museums, art galleries, theaters, orchestras, palaces and stores. History notes Munich as the seat of the Wittelsbach dynasty, the site of the 1972 Olympics and the murder of Israeli athletes, the location of the Munich Agreement preceding World War II, and for the concentration camp at nearby Dachau. The course includes a three-week field trip to Munich. Knowledge of German is not a prerequisite for the course; instruction is in English. However, some basic "survival" German will be covered in the course.
During three weeks of class work in San Antonio students will become familiar with contemporary Munich and its history through in-class presentations, discussions, readings, videos, and internet materials. In consultation with the instructor, each student will select a topic for an individual project. Projects must incorporate some research done on site in Munich. During the visit to Munich students will discuss topics of general interest with local experts (student life, linguistic peculiarities of the city, White Rose movement, Dachau, etc.) and take part in English-language guided tours (Hitler's Munich, Deutsches Museum [science and technology]). There will also be excursions (Ulm, Salzburg, Regensburg), and meetings with German students.
In Munich we stay in a student dorm in the Studentenstadt (Student City), an easy ride on the subway from downtown. Accommodation is in single rooms; each room has a small bathroom with shower and toilet, and a kitchen area with refrigerator, hotplates, and sink. The dorm is self-catering, but there is a bar where food is served in the evening. Washing machines are available in the dorms. The program in Munich allows time for free days and time to work on the project.