The City of Munich
With a population of over 1.2 million, Munich is the third-largest city in Germany and an important cultural and economic center. It has been ranked by Germans as the most livable city in Germany, and with a population of over 80,000 university students, it has plenty of attractions for students. Munich is known as Europe's "Intellectual Property Capital" because it is the location of the European Patent Office, the German Patent and Trademark Office, the German Federal Patent Court, a large number of intellectual property attorneys, and a large number of companies in industries heavily dependent upon intellectual property, including Siemens, BMW, and many media and biotech companies. Munich's cultural and recreational attractions include:
- 45 museums, including the Deutsches Museum -- possibly the best technology museum in the world -- and a cluster of world-famous art museums that include the Alte Pinakothek, the Neue Pinakothek, and the Pinakothek der Moderne;
- 2 opera houses, 58 (non-cinema) theaters, and 84 cinemas;
- the Bavaria Film Studios, where such films as The Never-Ending Story, Cabaret, and Das Boot were shot (Munich is the film and media capital of Germany);
- the English Garden, one of the largest urban parks in the world (larger than New York's Central Park), which offers an astounding variety of attractions, including surfing (on a well-frequented standing wave in a branch of the Isar River) and nude sunbathing;
- the largest concentration of beer gardens in the world (see the English-language Beer Drinker's Guide to Munich; and within an hour by car or train, the German Alps, and a number of beautiful Alpine lakes.
The Munich Tourist Office provides an excellent English-language online guide to the city and its attractions. You may find other useful information on the following sites: New in the City; Frommer's; Europe for Visitors; Toytown Munich. (Being lawyers, we can't help but add that we do not take any responsibility for the accuracy of the information contained on any particular website)
Although the program will be conducted entirely in English, to take full advantage of your stay in Munich you should consider learning some basic German (or brushing up on the German you've already learned). For a quick, inexpensive course in both language and culture, you might try the book-and-cassette combination "German Survival Guide" by Elizabeth Bingham.
The Month of July
July is the warmest and sunniest month of the year in Munich, with an average daily high temperature of 73.4 degrees Fahrenheit (23 degrees Celsius) and an average 241 hours of sunshine for the month (though there can be rainy and cool days, so don't just pack t-shirts and shorts!). July also features the largest number of music, theatre, and street festivals. Prominent festivals include Tollwood, the theatre and popular music festival, and the Munich Opera Festspiele. Among the numerous street festivals in July, the largest is undoubtedly Christopher Street Day, the GLBT festival, which attracts an audience of over 200,000 in downtown Munich. July is also the month when the city's open-air food markets and flea markets are at their liveliest.
The Munich Intellectual Property Law Center
All classes in the program will be held on the premises of the Munich Intellectual Property Law Center (MIPLC) and the neighboring Max Planck Institute for Intellectual Property, Competition and Tax Law. Students in the program will be able to use a number of study rooms and two libraries, including the library of the Max Planck Institute, which is the most complete intellectual property library in the world.
The MIPLC is right in the center of Munich (See Map) -- one-half block from the Four Seasons hotel and the most exclusive shopping street in Munich; one block from the opera house; two blocks from the English Garden, two blocks from the Hofbräuhaus, the most famous beer hall in Germany, and four blocks from the Marienplatz, the historic central plaza underneath which most of the subway train lines meet.