University in the Spotlight:
Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität (LMU) in Munich is one of Europe’s foremost universities, with a heritage that stretches back for well over 500 years. Today LMU Munich forms part of an international network of leading research universities. Covering a broad and increasingly differentiated array of fields, LMU offers an environment that nurtures innovative researchers and first-rate teachers.
The University’s 18 Faculties cover the whole range of contemporary scholarship, encompassing Humanities and Cultural Studies, Law, Economics and Social Sciences, Medicine and the Natural Sciences. An intense interdisciplinary approach fosters the innovation so critical to our global future.
LMU Munich is a founding member of the League of European Research Universities (LERU).
The University now has approximately 700 faculty and some 3,300 academic staff members, who pursue research and provide tuition for the University’s undergraduate and graduate students.
Students will find an extraordinarily wide range of courses on LMU’s curriculum. They can choose from some 150 study programs, which can be combined in a variety of ways.
LMU attracts a large number of international students - 14 percent of its 49,000 students come from abroad, originating from 125 countries worldwide. Approximately 6,900 international students pursue degree programs at LMU, while an additional 600 students spend a semester or two in Munich as exchange students. The University is committed to helping students to settle in quickly, achieve their goals and develop their talents and interests.
LMU, the University in the heart of Munich, forms an integral part of the urban landscape and has campuses throughout the city. Munich is not only one of Germany’s hubs for higher education and research, it also has its own inimitable appeal. Its location within easy reach of the Bavarian Alps, its urban flair, its rich palette of cultural institutions and the wide variety of leisure activities available attract visitors from all over the world.
LMU’s research strength
LMU Munich is one of Europe’s most research-intensive universities. LMU’s faculty—whether they are early career professors or internationally renowned prize-winners—form the foundation of the University’s distinguished record in research, and are responsible for the University’s consistently high placements in national and international rankings. Since the inception of the awards, 13 Nobel Prizes have been bestowed on LMU faculty. Furthermore, LMU has garnered more of the prestigious grants awarded by the European Research Council (ERC) than any other German university. LMU’s outstanding performance in the Excellence Initiative, a nationwide competition designed to strengthen cutting-edge research at German universities, further documents the University’s status in this sector.
As a university with a strong focus on research, LMU enables gifted young people to lay the foundations for a research career by emphasizing the links between research and course content at all stages of academic training.
Recognizing that ground-breaking research, whether in the sciences or the humanities, is dependent on free and open discussion of viewpoints, findings and insights across disciplinary and national boundaries, LMU has built up an extensive network of contacts with more than 400 well-known institutional partners worldwide. The major nodes of this network are located in Europe, North America and Asia. In addition to its international commitments, LMU also participates in national research networks – whether devoted to individual disciplines or involving representatives of disparate fields.
EuroScholars Midstay Recaps
EuroScholars Midstay Program in Helsinki by Whitney Yoder
The 2013 Midstay Program at the University of Helsinki was a wonderful experience. Not only was the timing perfect, but it was also very nice to be brought together with other American students going through the same experiences! The program not only allowed for us to see another country, experience another culture and language, and to learn about other education options for the future, but it provided a chance for us to share our research AND personal experiences with one another and to form a connection with alike students. Due to the fantastic location, our group of students even decided to extend our trip and travel to Stockholm, Sweden by ferry after the Midstay program was over!
Finland and the University of Helsinki was a great location for a Midstay. I really enjoyed the presentations given by the University faculty and I can say that I learned a lot about the Finnish education system and that, overall, I was very impressed. I was very impressed by the research focus that the university holds. The equipment and the opportunities available to those studying there is remarkable. We were invited into many different labs and given the chance to talk to students regarding their research projects that they were currently working on.
Being a student from abroad, the international feel from the campus was very notable and made a very welcoming atmosphere. Fulbright students who were currently studying at the University of Helsinki were invited to lunch on the last day which added a very nice touch to the program. It was a great opportunity to be able to hear about their experiences and to ask questions regarding the application process, as many of us are interested in continuing research abroad.
Aside from the wonderful food, the organized schedule, and the impressive presentations and tours from the University, my favorite part of the program was getting the chance to meet with the members of the EuroScholars Board. Being able to share a wonderful traditional Finnish meal together and exchange our views on education and research was really the icing on the cake! The opportunity to really work together to understand the importance of studying and research collaboration abroad really helped to open my eyes and see how impactful the EuroScholars program can be on a relationship among young American and European students and researchers. It made me feel very proud and very honored to be a part of such a wonderful program. Overall, the Midstay Program offered a fun, exciting, and enhancing 3 days and I am very thankful that I had the chance to see another part of the world!
Wesley Hebert - Norwich University
When I landed in Helsinki I was greeted by a friend of mine from Norwich University back home and we immediately caught up on our stories as we waited for the girls to land and we met at a Starbucks like good Americans. We took a bus to our hotel and I noticed the immediate similarities between some Nordic countries, and I took the opportunity to explain a little bit about Fenno-Scandinavian culture. You see, while everyone else on the bus were coming from Germany, Italy, Belgium and Switzerland, I was coming from Sweden so I saw myself as the temporary tour guide since I knew some Finnish students at Karolinksa. However, after the bus ride, I had exhausted my knowledge on the similarities and now it was time to start learning. That night there was not much planned for the program so we went to walk around Helsinki. It was marvelous!
The next day, however, was the most significant for me when we toured the Viikki campus of the University of Helsinki where they have their biological sciences and biotechnology institute. As a biochemist and researcher, this was a treat. We started by getting a general tour and a great presentation from Markus, whom acted as our guide the majority of our time, on Finland, Helsinki and the University. Then we shared our research with one another and afterwards were taken by Tuula to the Viikki campus. There we met with Jonna, a PhD in Ecology, for lunch at a restaurant within a greenhouse and she acted as our guide for the rest of the day. I immediately struck a conversation with Jonna about science and research in Finland, all but ignoring my food at first. She shared about her work and how her husband has a lab at UH studying Stem Cell aging. I immediately began asking about his work. Afterward, we made our way to the Neuroscience labs where we had the opportunity to watch a patch clamping procedure and more, which, for me, was fascinating to witness first hand. We then met with a few other scientists and were given tours by them as well. When we met with Zuzanna and Ingrid, though, I was sold. They showed us their lab and told us everything they do and how the lab is efficient but they like to play around to keep entertained: they had a stuffed monkey named Oscar whom they claim does all the work. After the tour..., we went back to the hotel and got ready for dinner.
At dinner I had the opportunity to have conversations with faculty from all the Universities represented through EuroScholars. It led to wonderful discussions ranging from nightlife in Stockholm to the differences in the organization of graduate studies in the US and Europe and topped off with an exceptional dinner! It was an amazing night and a few of us did not want it to end, so we explored some more of Helsinki. The next day we finished off with a lunch with some Fulbright (scholars) and many of us got on a Ferry to Stockholm! We had known a few months in advance that we would be in Helsinki for the week so the others asked if we could go to Stockholm together! We got on the ferry and enjoyed a night with all of the Fins and Swedes on board. The next day, I showed the others around as much of Stockholm as they could get in one day. We went to Gamla Stan and walked around and met with my German friend, Marie, and went to the Royal Palace. After, we went to lunch and made our way to the Svenska Akademien for the Nobel Museet. That night a few of us went to a party that some of the other international students had and we called it a night.
Overall, the MidStay was one of the most unforgettable weeks of my time in Europe. As well as all of the good times I had, I saw networking work firsthand. Because of one of my conversations, my CV was passed on to one of the lab heads at UH and I may have found where I will be pursuing my Master’s: one of the most amazing countries, cities and universities I have had the chance to visit. None of it would have been possible without EuroScholars and the work that they put into the MidStay program!
EuroScholars Midstay Program in Helsinki by Wes Jansen
As I embarked on my journey to Helsinki, Finland during the EuroScholars Midstay I couldn’t help but to wonder what I would encounter when I arrived. I was excited to experience a new culture and language, meet new people, and travel to a place that I may have otherwise not decided to go.
Shortly after I arrived, I met with a fellow EuroScholar and friend from my home university in the airport. We quickly caught up with our adventures abroad and our research experience, sharing comical insights and difficult points. When the others arrived we took a bus to the hotel and shared humorous anecdotes of our time so far. Once we were settled in at the hotel, we ate a light dinner and began to explore the beautiful city of Helsinki.
The next day we began with a tour and presentation of Finland and Helsinki by the Helsinki EuroScholars co-coordinator Markus Laitinen who acted as a great host for the short duration of our trip. We then had lunch with Jonna Katajisto, the Senior Officer in Research Affairs in Biological and Environmental Sciences. Jonna was an excellent guide, asking questions to involve everyone (computer scienctist to chemist) and ensuring that everyone got the most out of the tour through Viikki, the life sciences campus. The research projects were interesting and the faculty was warm and engaging. This exceptional day concluded with a fantastic dinner with EuroScholar coordinators in a local restaurant where discussions ranged from our research experience to the funny similarities between cultures and languages. At the conclusion of dinner a few of us chose to experience Helsinki night life, and I can say we were not disappointed.
Friday was the last official day of the program and concluded with meeting a few students associated with the Fullbright program in Helsinki and a presentation by Ritva Dammert, the Research Director at Helsinki. Although the official Midstay was over, the majority of us decided that it was too good to end now and took a ferry from Helsinki to Stockholm, Sweden in a way to not only have a fun time, but to be immersed in the culture. In Stockholm we had a blast visiting Gamla Stan and the Nobel Museum.
The Midstay program was an awesome experience that allowed me not only to connect with fellow EuroScholars and coordinators, but to visit a new and exciting part of the world.