Mein Jahr in Mannheim war mehr als ein Studium, es war eine Lebenserfahrung.
Rebeccah Dawson (Carrboro)
This year in Germany, at the Economic Faculty in the University of Mannheim has gave me way more than what I expected so far. Not only could I develop valuable skills and make precious contacts, but I think I also opened myself up to a new me, with a new approach on things and on the way professional issues should be treated. Studying in Mannheim has become and is becoming an important experience in my university career as I gain so much culture and perspective as the time pass by. Because of the cultural differences between Yemen and Germany, and the fact that the education system is totally different here, I am learning to work as part of a group whilst thinking independently. Teachers in Mannheim University play a role as guiders and supporters and are mostly easy to contact with per email at any time.
The big challenge for me was learning the German language. Although I have passed the DSH, it is difficult to quickly improve my language skills in writing and speaking to the equivalent of a local student, so when I write some reports or essays, I sometimes lose marks. Not to forget that the workload in Mannheim University is heavy and comes with strict teaching methods & grading. The final exams are usually intense, difficult and require much more preparation. The requirements for academic writing are substantially higher than in Yemen, in terms of both quantity and quality of submitted coursework. But I think that carefully reviewing the literature on a subject and expressing your thoughts on paper is much more useful than closed-book multiple-choice tests. So this is also a plus point for you Mannheim J
During my residence at one of the Ekkehard Stiftung housing building in Mannheim M2, I feel like I´ve learnt a lot about living with other people. Admittedly, in my dream world people would wash up their plates immediately and the kitchen bin would never be left to overflow onto the floor. Alas, being a student means learning to live with people that aren´t the same as you, and a lot of the time, learning to tolerate mess and noise. On the contrary living in WG near the university has its good sides as well. Everything is on my doorstep. I don´t have to wake up extra early to walk or take the bus to university each morning or spend money on bus fares or taxis too.
I was able to live in a building that could be filled with potential new friends from all over the world. It was also comforting to know that everyone around me is going through the same experience of settling into a new country as I am. I was able to make good friends with some of the girls I shared the apartement with in the end as well.
I am happy to share my experience in Mannheim at this platform, which I also want to use to thank the Ekkehard Stiftung and the lovely workers at the international office in the University of Mannheim for opining this one door for me and for being this supportive.