Personal statement – Edward Strauss, Baader Bank AG
What do you like best about Munich?
High Standard of living – “Lebensqualität”
How would you evaluate the leisure facilities and cultural offers in Munich?
Top notch offerings for Sports, Culture, recreational activities, Parks, and plentiful offerings for children. In addition, the fact that Munich is more or less the geographical center of Europe and is close to many different cities and countries as well as many interesting attractions.
What’s your favourite place to go?
Any of the many parks, beergartens within Munich. In the surrounding area ... any of the different lakes or mountain "Almen".
How would you describe the city and the mentality of its inhabitants?
Open to different ideas and cultures, while still being proud of the local Bavarian culture and traditions.
Which advice would you give newcomers?
Don’t be shy, put on some "Lederhosen" or a "Dirndel" and have a "Mass".
How does Munich differs from your previous residence?
It is cleaner, safer and has better beer.
Which kindergartens and schools would you recommend, and why?
I have had a good experience with Kindergartens that are set up and run by Parents (Eltern Initiative).
Although Bavaria had high "Pisa study" ratings, I have been personally been told by a few teachers and am convinced that the parents of children in Bavarian schools are really responsible for this honor. I believe that the German (Bavarian) school system defiantly needs to be re-examined as hours are short and parents really end up "home schooling" to keep their kids up with the material. The system also separates and classifies children extremely early (based on grades in the 3rd and 4th grades) as to which track they will take (Hauptschule, Realschule, or Gymnasium). It is also my experience that the local schools are understaffed and underfinanced with the responsible entity (the Bavarian Kultus Ministeriums) focusing on the needs of the whole state rather than the city of Munich’s specific needs. Munich has a couple of international alternatives which have good reputations, but one has to consider the commuting time for the children, the higher turnover of Ex-pats, as well as the costs.
What would you like to do in Munich if you had 4 hours to spend?
Walk though the "Fussgängerzone" a bit and spend some time at a Beergarten or the Viktualenmarkt.