Mein Jahr in Mannheim war mehr als ein Studium, es war eine Lebenserfahrung.
Rebeccah Dawson (Carrboro)
Before coming to the University of Mannheim, I imagined what it would be like to study in a Baroque Palace. Various things would come into my mind when I first think of Mannheim. It is the place where I will spend five months of my life living in. As a result, I hoped and looked forward to getting memorable experiences and to broaden my mind in a wider perspective.
Because I used to study in an international school, the multicultural environment has always provided me passion and hunger to learn and experience other cultures and languages. Fortunately I had a chance to come and study at the University of Mannheim and was able to not only experience the German culture but also from other countries. I was able to share my home language and culture with the others as well. One of my favorite quotes of Federico Fellini, an Italian film director once discussed how important it is to learn another language, "A different language is a different vision of life." By coming here, I had a chance to learn a new language, which definitely gave me another view of life. I learned what the Germans like to do, what do they considered as impolite and much more. I was even able to experience the richness of the German culture during the Oktoberfest. By interacting with people from across the globe, I was better equipped to adjust in a fast-changing world, new lifestyles and customs, which eventually gave me a better understanding of people from different walks of life.
Apart from learning another different culture and language and making new friends, the institute has provided me with the best education. I had a chance to gain new business knowledge and even went on some excursions to see the actual site of some companies. I believe that this was a very rare opportunity that could not be found anywhere else. Besides my studies, I also got a chance to travel to many different countries including France, Austria, Ital and Czech Republic. By seeing the different lifestyles of the people in various countries, it definitely further broaden my way of seeing things.
Many people asked me what I expect to get from this exchange program before coming here. My response was to study, make new friends, experience the German culture and learn a new language. This, however, was a little bit different from what I had imagined. The new things I have learned here are far beyond what I expected to receive during my stay in Mannheim. Not only that I have the opportunity to make new friends across the globe, get the best education, along with the chance to experience Germany’s diversity and enduring history, but I also gained the maturity and skills that will prepare me for the future.
Regarding to the aforementioned reasons, my study experience at the University of Mannheim would be described under one single word, "unforgettable". I would share this meaningful experience and certainly recommend my peers back in my home university who want to be in the exchange program to choose this university.