Health and safety policies

The Junior Year in Munich Program is committed to providing program participants with a study-abroad experience that is both physically and emotionally safe and educationally and personally rewarding.

Current health and safety policies in the JYM Institute align with the policies of the Ludwig Maximilian University Munich, the Bavarian Health Ministry, and the Robert Koch Institute, which provide clear safety guidelines. When our program is in session, JYM will regularly update this page pertaining to the state health and safety issues, including the COVID-19 pandemic and related restrictions.


Travel policy

JYM participants will receive a residency permit (Aufenthaltserlaubnis) upon arrival in Germany which will allow them to travel legally throughout the European Union. It may take up to several months for visas to be processed, so students should not plan to travel outside of Germany until after they receive the permit.

JYM-sponsored trips will depend upon the COVID-19 situation and are subject to change. JYM reserves the right to restrict travel if warranted by pandemic conditions.

Planning travel outside of Germany

JYM participants must follow the regulations of the city, state or country they visit. It is the participant's responsibility to understand those regulations as well as the current requirements in Germany, Bavaria, and Munich for traveling across borders.

Currently, Germany is not restricting travel to Germany from outside countries due to the Covid pandemic, in other words, Germany is no longer classifying any country as a Hochrisikogebiet, or high-risk travel area, due to the Covid pandemic. JYM will continue to monitor this and advise students accordingly.

The U.S. State Department maintains a map of the countries for which it has issued travel advisories due to health or safety concerns. While they are participating in the program, JYM students may not travel to any country with a level-3 or level-4 travel advisory. This includes during the break between the winter and summer semesters. Currently, these countries include Russia, Belarus and Ukraine.

Financial support

JYM can supply no financial, educational, or other support during independent travel. Students will be required to cover all costs:

  • Related to independent travel
  • Related to being detained, quarantined, or delayed while traveling independently
  • Incurred if denied reentry to Germany or required to quarantine

Overnight travel

Depending on the current situation, students may be asked to inform Munich staff of all independent overnight travel ahead of time.

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Mandatory for JYM participants

Students must be fully vaccinated against COVID and have received an updated COVID booster shot.

A supply of medical face masks (surgical masks) or N95/FFP2 respirators. It is still mandatory to wear one of these mask types on public transportation in Bavaria. Cloth masks are not allowed.

Mobile phone with the following apps installed:

  • WhatsApp for communication with staff (an emergency notification WhatsApp group will be created for your cohort)
  • A temperature app such as iThermonitor (Apple/Google Play)

Students are required to save all three of the Munich staff telephone numbers on their phones.

Suggested for JYM participants

  • N95 (European Equivalent: FFP2) respirators. You'll be able to find these in Munich, but you should beware of fake masks. Recommended: Bona Fide Masks.
  • Hand sanitizer
  • At least two COVID-19 home tests in your dorm room (these are generally cheaper in Germany than in the US.
  • Over-the-counter medicines such as Tylenol and Motrin (while readily available in Germany, they tend to be less expensive in the U.S.)
  • Small first aid kit of items that you frequently use

Prescription medicines

If possible, fill prescriptions in the U.S. that will cover you for the full duration of your time away from home. Because being in a foreign country is a new start of sorts, some students mistakenly think this is a good time to wean themselves off prescription medicines. We strongly advises students not to do this as being in a foreign country is stressful and coming off a medication could lead to severe emotional, mental and physical consequences.

Hand hygiene

In general, and especially during influenza season and times when there are pandemic concerns, experts agree that individual prevention is the best course of action. This starts with strict hand hygiene.

Use hand sanitizer liberally, especially after any transactions or touching door handles in public. When you're out in public, do not touch your eyes or nose or mouth to prevent viruses from entering your mucous membranes.

Wash your hands regularly, especially after being out in public. Use soap and warm water. Lather and scrub your hands for a minimum of 20 seconds.

Wherever possible, eliminate the use of things like shared pens, books, notebooks, paper sign-in sheets, common coffee makers, etc.

The "SAFE" rule

The Bavaria-wide FFP2 mask requirement in indoor public has been lifted, but hygiene measures are still strongly encouraged. These include:

Social distancing

Keep at least six feet between yourself and others. Follow posted guidelines to avoid individuals with symptoms of a respiratory infection. Nearly all people now will understand if you don't want to shake hands or give hugs or what was the customary cheek-kiss greeting pre-COVID-19.

Airflow awareness

Especially indoors, avoid crowds and make sure you are in well-ventilated spaces. Open windows regularly to bring in fresh air.


Facemasks are required on public transportation in Bavaria. You might want to consider wearing them when in any indoor public space. Rules and regulations regarding masking are subject to change.


Remember to cough and sneeze into your sleeve or tissue (not your hands) when out in public. Use tissues only once and properly discard them.

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  • JYM students are housed in the single-occupancy apartments provided by Studentenwerk
  • Each room has an internet connection and wireless router provided
  • Students have the option in Munich of ordering groceries online from the REWE Supermarket for pick-up or delivery (minimum of €50). Payment can conveniently be made using PayPal or with a credit card
  • Studentenwerk regularly updates its policies in regard to the current state of the pandemic and has helpful COVID-19 FAQs on student accommodations

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JYM Institute

COVID testing

Currently, COVID testing is not required to enter the JYM Institute.

In case of illness, injury or suspected COVID-19 infection

  • In case of any illness or injury, students are expected to contact Munich staff and one other student (or class representative) immediately, regardless of the time. Staff will contact each other and refer the student to proper help, either by recommending they go to the doctor, or directly to the hospital
  • In the case of suspected COVID-19 infection, the student should first do a self-test or go to a test center for an antigen test. If this test comes up positive, they should get a PCR test
  • If the PCR test returns positive, the student should contact the Munich staff, which can help you determine whether you need to see a doctor
  • Do not come to the JYM Institute until you are sure you are COVID-free

In case of the need for self-quarantine

  • JYM staff in Munich will check in on any students in quarantine (via email, phone or WhatsApp)
  • Quarantined students will be able to participate in courses via Zoom
  • JYM staff will help them to reach out to LMU faculty teaching any LMU courses they are taking to ensure that they do not fall behind in those classes

Hygiene measures

  • Instructors will open windows for air circulation halfway through each class
  • Staff will disinfect tables, work stations, door handles, copiers and computer stations twice daily
  • Staff will air out the facilities after each period of use, ex. between classes and once every two hours in the main Aula
  • If a period of quarantine is in Bavaria, courses will pivot to online instruction

These policies are subject to change.

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Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich

The LMU updates COVID-19 Information regularly on its home page, LMU COVID-19 Informationen.

The LMU adheres to the Robert Koch Institute's (RKI's) regulations on safe social distancing and hygiene practices. The RKI is a highly regarded, independent public health organization that also recognizes European Union and World Health Organization guidelines.

The LMU uses a combination of Moodle and Zoom for online teaching. LMU professors are able to switch from classroom teaching to online and back again based on the current pandemic situation.

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Health care in Munich

Germany has one of the best, most comprehensive health care systems in the world. The student statutory insurance offers full coverage with no copay for most health care expenses (including hospitalization). If you suspect you've been infected with the coronavirus, rapid antigen testing centers are abundant, fast and reliable in Munich and throughout Germany.

Related ministries and organizations include:

  • Robert Koch Institute (RKI) (similar to the U.S. CDC)
  • Bundesministerium für Gesundheit (BMG) (089/12-22-20 óder 116 117)
  • Gesundheitsamt in München (available to advise and test in case of infection with the COVID-19): Referat für Gesundheit und Umwelt, Bayerstraße 28a; 80335 München; phone: 089-233-96300

Our carrier, TK Insurance, covers all costs resulting from COVID-19 illness and complications. This includes testing and hospitalizations. TK has a COVID-19 hotline for all questions: 040/46-06 - 61-91-60 (Montag bis Freitag von 8 - 20 Uhr).

JYM has its own mental health counselor who is available (virtual/in-person) to students for psychological first aid or advice on cultural adjustment issues.

All aspects of the German healthcare system and current RKI information on staying safe from COVID-19 infection will be covered during orientation.


All students will have statutory German health insurance, which is very comprehensive and covers symptomatic and asymptomatic testing for COVID-19 and health care and hospitalization costs. JYM students will also receive supplemental travel, accident and sickness insurance through iNext.

Neither of these policies covers reimbursement for trip cancellations, repatriation costs or costs for extended shelter in place beyond the end of the program. If students would like coverage for these situations, they are encouraged to purchase their own international travel insurance with CFAR (cancel for any reason) coverage. This coverage is optional, but we highly recommend it for our students, particularly given the current state of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Here are some companies that offer CFAR (cancel for any reason) coverage:

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Evaluation dates, refunds, withdrawals

Evaluate dates

To help you deal with the uncertainty of travel during the pandemic, we have established evaluation dates of August 4, 2022, for our year-long and first-semester programs and January 4, 2023, for our second-semester program. We'll confirm by these dates whether our program will run as planned that semester so that if it does not, you can complete a full semester of coursework at your home institution.

Withdrawals and refunds

Students who intend to withdraw from the program can do so up until the day before orientation in Munich begins. Written notification of the intention to withdraw must be sent to Full refunds will not be given after the official start of the program, ex. the first day of orientation at the end of September for the full year or end of March/beginning of April for the second semester.


If students must be evacuated from Germany due to a CDC or State Department advisory, partner school directive or Wayne State University mandate, all recoverable costs will be refunded to students. Recoverable costs include housing and insurance costs. Costs that would not be recoverable include rent already paid or due for the current month, student semester fees for the current semester, and transportation fees.

Program interruption

In the event of a program interruption for health or safety reasons, JYM Institute courses will continue in an online format. LMU classes should pivot to online instruction as well. If, however, the online format offered is problematic, or if this format is not offered at all, the student would be allowed to either drop the course entirely or the resident director would work with the student in turning the course into an independent research project in order to complete the course for credit.

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Mental health advisory

Students who are immune compromised or have been diagnosed with anxiety/depression are advised to consult with their health care professional about the advisability of travel abroad at this point in time, and then to discuss their situations with us to ensure that we can make the proper accommodations.

Proof of vaccination

Important: All JYM participants must be fully vaccinated for COVID and have received a booster shot. A copy of your vaccination card must be on file with our Detroit office prior to departure for Germany.

You'll need to travel to Germany with the original white CDC card that you received as proof of vaccination (and to make a photocopy backup as well). We recommend purchasing a passport holder with pockets to hold your passport and your original vaccination card, keeping these documents together. Once you're in Germany, you can take your card to the pharmacy (Apotheke) to get a digital vaccination card.

Prevention measures

JYM encourages all students to practice illness-prevention measures, including masking in indoor public spaces and proper hand hygiene, at least 14 days prior to departure and while in public in Germany.

We encourage all students to familiarize themselves with the CDC health guidelines for studying abroad.

JYM will enroll all participants who are U.S. citizens in the STEP program with the U.S. Department of State for travel warnings and security updates. Citizens of other countries should check to see if those countries offer similar programs.


Prior to departure, students will be asked to complete a pre-orientation course. This course will provide important information and instructions for aiding in the preparation and easing the transition and arrival in Germany. It's also an opportunity to address any issues/questions/concerns beforehand.

JYM is prepared to hold information sessions via Zoom should a quarantine be in place. Pre-recorded orientation information will be sent to any students unable to arrive on the initial days of orientation.

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