What to do between Semesters?

JYM students on the full year program have always looked forward to the time between semesters (mid-February to mid-April) as a special time to discover and experience what it reallly means to live abroad and call Munich home. In years past we continued the JYM tradition of an Italienische Reise. Because of the current coronavirus situation, JYM will most likely focus on arranging field trips within Germany during the break between semesters until the coast is clear for more extended excursions.

JYM’s Italienische Reise
In March JYM’s resident director Prof. Hans-Peter Söder organized a pilgrimage to Italy to continue a tradition at JYM that goes back to its very first year.  Each year’s Italienische Reise was different, and JYM partially subsidized the cost of the trip so that the extra participation expense was kept affordable.

In 2019 the journey followed the footsteps of “Savage Pilgrimages”, inspired by reading selections from Vergil, Ezra Pound, Rainer Maria Rilke, James Joyce, and D. H. Lawrence . Setting out from Munich, the group arrives in BOLZANO, the Tyrolean gateway to the Dolomites mountain range in the northern Italy and passage to all points south. From there it’s on to MERANO, the “City of Flowers” in the Dolomites, and Castel Fontana (Schloss Brunnenburg), where Ezra Pound completed has “Cantos”, followed by a journey to MANTOVA, a Renaissance city south of Lake Garda, birthplace of the Roman poet Virgil and designated the Italian Capital of Culture for 2016. Arriving in the Italian seaport city of TRIESTE – where James Joyce lived 15 years and wrote nearly all his early works – opens the mind to a vast panorama of creative thought that reaches back in time.  For it is here, at DUINO CASTLE, that Dante is thought to have written part of The Divine Comedy, and where Rainer Maria Rilke was inspired to create his Duineser Elegien (“Wer, wenn ich schriee, hörte mich aus der Engel Ordnungen?”). Along the way there are surprise visits and surprise guests that frankly will blow you away. And of course VERONA and VENICE are still yet to come! P.S. If there’s enough interest, a Deutschland Reise may be offered as well.

The time between semesters is a great time to have an internship! Full year students have an advantage in that they can use the first semester to find an internship in Munich that really matches their interests and apply for it on their own (with JYM’s help, of course!). Full years students could also apply through Cultural Vistas out of New York for an internship that begins during the two month break, but students who discovered internships on their own found the process personally very rewarding (and cheaper).  Either way, having an internship at this time is one of the best ways to really become integrated into German life, meet new people, and improve your German.

Take a Language Course
Step up your game and take a language course at Deutschkurse bei der Universität München e.V. which is very close to JYM. Four week courses in pronounciation (Aussprachetraining), conversational German (Gesprächstraining) and grammar review (Grammatik) during March or April only cost between about 60€ to 165€. This is a great way to spend half of your break if you feel you need some more structured help with your German, or if you simply want to take advantage of every opportunity to improve your German.

Get a Part-Time Job
As a JYM student matriculated at LMU Munich, you are allowed to get a part-time job while in Munich. However, there are restrictions as to the amount of work can do before you have to apply for a work permit. This is another way to make new friends, become integrated into German life, and make some money at the same time! Visit the LMU Munich website for details about part-time work in Munich

This is what most JYM students look forward to during the break - traveling to all those places on their Bucket List, and then returning to what has become home to them in Munich. Maybe you've always wanted to visit the Louvre in Paris, enjoy tapas in Barcelona, wander the coast of Ireland or ski the Alps? Or perhaps take part in JYM's Italienische Reise and then head off to Greece afterwards and simply relax in the sun? The possibilities are endless!

Carneval / Fasching / Fasnacht
Known as Karneval in the Rhineland and Fasnacht in Switzerland, Fasching in Bavaria is that crazy time of the year at the beginning of March when the Germanic world gets turned upside down. But it's not just a big party - each regional celebration has their own special twist that reaches way back in history, rich with lore and tradition. Some people say you either love it or hate it - but what can you say if you've never tried it!