Guest Post By: Simon Jones, a Fifth Year studying Finance and Information Systems. He is a Global Business Center Study Abroad Scholarship Recipient, and he studied abroad through a Foster Exchange and Direct Enroll at the University of Mannheim in Mannheim, Germany, during Autumn Semester 2022.
Through the VISUM program at Mannheim, I had a ton of opportunities to connect with other students in ways other than in the classroom. One of the trips that a couple of friends and I had agreed to go to was the Oktoberfest trip to Munich. The total cost of the trip was something like 250 bucks, but all in all that was a pretty good steal because it included 2 free drink tokens (Oktoberfest beer was like 20 bucks a piece) 2 free meals, transportation, and a 3 nights stay at a hostel that was only a 15 minute tram ride away from Munich. Paying to go to Oktoberfest on your own would have probably totaled something like 300-400 dollars.
We stayed at a Hostel in Dachau, a small village outside of Munich. There were about 40 total students on the trip, and the trip coordinator was a Graduate student from the neighbouring town of Heidelberg (really cool spot by the way!, they have a castle). The first night everyone went out to the Augustiner Keller, a really nice restaurant in the middle of Munich. We all got drinks, had a good time, went to a club afterwards, and took the late night transportation home.
The second night was the night we all went out to the actual Oktoberfest. The fest runs for three weekends, and we got there on the Saturday of the last weekend – the final hurrah. There were so many people crowded into that fairground. The air smelled of sausages and vomit, and the sounds of people fighting each other filled the air. Outside of the big beer halls which most people think of when they think of Oktoberfest, there is actually a massive Carnival kind of vibe going on. Ferris wheels, carnival games, food stands etc… Inside of the beer halls are rows and rows of tables, people dressed up in Oktoberfest clothes, good music, dancing, and a LOT of beer. I can’t remember much of what happened after that, but I woke up the next day with the worst headache I’ve ever had. I highly recommend going to Oktoberfest.