Mein Jahr in Mannheim war mehr als ein Studium, es war eine Lebenserfahrung.
Rebeccah Dawson (Carrboro)
At first, when I arrived in Mannheim during the summer I glanced at the surrounding dilapidated and graffitied buildings in Jungbusch and literally fell into my bed at Hafenstrasse and released a long stream of tears. Not only was I jetlagged from my trip but I was already starting to regret my decision to study in Mannheim. However, in almost no time the Summer Academy in Mannheim turned into one of the best experiences of my life. I had the opportunity to improve my German and meet friends from all over the world before having to worry about the stress of school. From then things only continued to get better.
For example, after the Summer Academy, I was elated to be able to stay in the M2 housing after receiving a scholarship from the Ekkehard Foundation. Both conveniently located near the University and filled with many amenities, I was more than equipped to start giving it my all during my two semesters at the University. Not only was I able to participate in any class I wanted as an International Student but I found the professors to be interesting and devoted to their teachings. Inspired and in love with the abundant amount of classes offered I took about fifty ECTS hours and correspondingly received nothing lower than an "American B" in them in my first semester alone!
My experience in Germany was not all just about studying though. It was an opportunity to explore German culture and befriend Germans. With the help of Visum (The Society of International Student Partnerships at the University of Mannheim), I was able to make tons of German friends. Visum helped to plan and organize trips that explored the various regions of Germany and hosted parties, which brought Germans and Non-German together. Since the Ekkehard Foundation paid for the majority of my rent, I was able to divert my housing money to traveling! I was able to explore Europe and visit the places I had only ever read about in books. The United Kingdom, Czech Republic, Denmark, Sweden, Croatia, Finland, France, and Estonia were all fascinating in their own way.
As the saying goes in Mannheim, "In Mannheim Weint Man Zweimal" and for me, nothing could be more undeniable than this. In fact, I have already cried multiple times as the waves of friends I have met have left after the Sumer Academy, first semester and second semester. However, despite the pain of seeing friends go, I know the lifelong relationships I have formed are stronger than anything imaginable. I am extremely thankful to the Ekkehard Foundation, and the International Department at the University of Mannheim who rose above and beyond to help make my stay in Germany Wunderbar!
Sincerely, Cameron Musler