Mein Jahr in Mannheim war mehr als ein Studium, es war eine Lebenserfahrung.
Rebeccah Dawson (Carrboro)
As an international business student I always thought about studying abroad in a country with a culture completely different to mine, but I was not sure which country it would be and was a little bit nervous about studying in another language. In the last semesters of my career I decided to do an exchange and it is how I started looking for options in Germany, because I also wanted to improve my language skills. I heard about Mannheim University and the reputation of its business school, applied and started looking for a flat. One week before my travel I was still looking for it, and fortunately I received an e-mail asking if I would like to accept a housing scholarship otorgued by the Ekkehard Foundation. I said yes but I had no idea of what the foundation was about and how they chose me, so I decided to investigate what it was about and I was amazed that there was such a foundation, with the mission to serve the understanding among cultures and I felt lucky for being chosen by them. Living in the guesthouse of the university, just in front of it, in the heart of the city and at a very low cost was very convenient for me as I could use more money for travels. I shared the flat with two girls, a taiwanese and a british, and with both I had a very good relationship.
The location of the guesthouse was simply perfect for me, because I was close to everything and did not need to take any public transportation to go to class, the supermarket or anywhere I needed to go to. I found that the university, its business school, subjects, programs and support for exchange students were excellent, and I must thank the employees of the university for all the help they provided. The people in Mannheim are completely different from the idea I had about Germans. I found out they are not too rigid, serious or boring as people say. They were very polite, kind, helpful and friendly with the internationals, from the bus driver to the lecturers, everyone was always willing to help.
In this exchange I experienced many things that taught me to be a more comprehensive and open person. I had the opportunity to make new friends and have real contact not only with the german culture but also with many other cultures. I must thank the Ekkehard Foundation and the University of Mannheim for making of my exchange in Germany such a good experience.