When I got the email declaring that I will be studying abroad at the University of Mannheim in Germany, I was beyond excited! However, from the point where I learned that I will be coming to Germany to the day I boarded the flight, it still didn’t seem real to me.
One of the most pleasant surprises I got from the University of Mannheim is that students do not get one but two weeks of spring break! Once I heard that I was beyond excited because that meant I didn’t have to limit myself to one week of travel.
Before arriving in Germany, one of the biggest concerns for me was winter. Living all my life in Southern California, I didn’t really have a proper experience with temperatures below 50 degrees Fahrenheit during the day, and I most definitely did not have the proper attire for such conditions.
Last semester, registering for classes was intense. It was my first time learning how the system works in Germany and learning about the registration deadlines. But now in my second semester it was better because I’ve already been through it once. At the University of Mannheim, registering for classes is very different than registering for classes at SDSU.
My study abroad experience has continued on into Mannheim Part II. The Spring semester has officially started in Mannheim, Germany and I feel as if I pressed rewind on my study abroad experience.
There’s a common scene in movies were children wake up, look outside their window and see snow. They get joyful and excited looks on their faces, and they run off to go outside and play. That scenario has always kind of stuck with me. I have gone to the mountains where there is snow, but it has never been fresh snow; it was usually melted, or just chunks of very dirty snow. One of my very first questions when I arrived in Mannheim, Germany was if it snowed here. It does!
My first semester in Mannheim is coming to an end. Because of finals, it didn’t really hit me that some of us are at the end of our exchange program. I want to point out a couple of observations that I came across while studying abroad in hopes that it will help future students on their journey in Mannheim.
Even though Thanksgiving isn’t a holiday here in Germany, I was well aware of the approaching date. The biggest reminder was when I FaceTimed my family, and my younger sister said that they were already on Thanksgiving break. This was my first Thanksgiving away from my family, and I didn’t know what to make of it or how to feel. As the date approached Thursday I was beginning to feel a little sad – a little empty.
I’m about nine weeks into my study abroad experience and it has been amazing. My classes have been great, I adore my roommates and interacting with other international students is enlightening. Meeting students from different countries has been truly amazing; learning about a different lifestyle and what they did growing up intrigues me. So, when I heard about Studifahrten my friends and I took the opportunity and went for it.