Originally King Maximilian II established the Foundation that bears his name in order to select the best students of Bavaria for his civil service. To that end he allowed them – regardless of the class and wealth of their parents – a period of study free from financial concerns.
Today the members are no longer obliged to enter the civil service but the idea of supporting their study materially remains.
A central point is free board and lodging in the Maximilianeum, which lies on the heights above the Isar, close to the city centre and the university. During the semester, a team in the kitchen caters for the students. The day begins with a buffet breakfast, and those who sleep late need not leave the house hungry. Lunch is taken together and in the evening those who cannot make it back from the university at midday receive a warm meal as well. Particular culinary highlights include Sunday lunch and the menus for various special occasions, which occur through the year.
Every member receives his or her own furnished room (on average around 14 square meters), which in most cases includes an en-suite bathroom as well as telephone and internet connections. The student is free to decorate as he or she chooses, and rooms are cleaned regularly.
In addition, a library, the computer room, and a photocopier are available to all. The common rooms include two television rooms, a music room with two pianos and a party basement.
Further, the Foundation supports study abroad periods for its members, who are able to take part in exchanges with Oxford Colleges, the École normale supérieure in Paris, the Collegio Ghislieri in Pavia, and University of Salamanca. A particular favourite of Maximilianeers is to take a year in Oxford. Exchange students who come for a year to Munich receive the same benefits as all Maximilianeers.
In Munich students have the chance to broaden their knowledge of languages. Every semester, the Foundation offers a series of language classes, which range from English and French to Spanish, Italian, and even Russian, Japanese and Arabic.
Once a year, traditionally in the last week of the spring vacation, the Maximilianeers go on a week-long study trip to an interesting region of Europe. Alongside education in art and architecture, the study of typical culinary specialties is not forgotten.
The Foundation offers an experience of living together in the Maximilianeum which is distinguished in great part by the varitey of personalities and interests that meet here. The value of the personal experiences that grow from the time together are immeasurable.