It’s been practically a month since courses began. Since I’m starting a bit late, I think I’ll sum up with a list of impressions I’ve had so far.
One of the things I love most about Munich, is student ticket pricing. To see a show in Edmonton, it can cost a student $60 or more. In Munich, I pay 7 Euro. Every time I receive my ticket from the cashier, I have this goofy smile on my face, like I’m shyly (but greedily) receiving a Christmas gift from someone I don’t know that well.
We haven’t had any yet. :o)
Efficiency vs. Bureaucracy
These are two German cliches that I always believed worked hand in hand. But after matriculating and registering and signing up for classes, I have determined (for now, at least) that these two things are actually battling a gruesome war with one another. I’ve never stood in so many lines for so many stamps, signatures and paper in all my life.
It did feel good afterwards though. A great rite of passage. Whenever I flash my student ID or bus pass, it’s like I’m saying, “That’s right. I survived.”
It’s lovely being able to get around so easily. I get this funny impression that no matter where in Munich I am traveling from, everything is exactly 25 minutes away.
First Two Weeks of Class
At my home university, everyone has a pretty solid idea of their class schedule before the semester starts. People have registered months in advance, they walk in on the first day, receive detailed syllabi with a myriad of deadlines and class expectations, and get to work.
I started panicking in my first week at the LMU. There were no syllabi, no deadlines, and I’m still not completely sure if I’ll ever be officially registered in a class. After two weeks, I realized I had to ASK for assignments in order to get credit. A very different study culture.
I heard of this one woman who said that it takes two months of adjustment before you can even start asking the right questions. No kidding.