My name is Valentina and I started studying at the University of Mannheim in the fall semester 2019/
The bachelor's program in Culture and Economy has an interdisciplinary approach. You learn to think outside the box and expand your horizons. The program offers many opportunities for discussing interdisciplinary topics and looking at different fields. I study Spanish and Business Administration.
The core subject is Romance Studies—you can choose between French, Italian, and Spanish—and looks at three fields: linguistics, literary studies, and language practice. In linguistics and literary studies you have different seminars and learn a great deal about the country-specific literary classics from all periods, but also about the functions and evolution of language and its cultural meaning. In language practice classes you discuss current topics, do comprehension exercises, and improve your speaking and writing skills. Students can choose from a variety of courses at different levels that match their current knowledge. In addition to these subject areas, you have courses in cultural studies and intercultural studies. For example, I attended the seminar on Gender Studies. Many students complete these modules during their semester abroad at one of the the University of Mannheim's excellent partner universities.
In contrast to the traditional program in Romance Studies, the bachelor’s program in Culture and Economy additionally provides you with a basic economic education. You can choose a combination major in either Business Administration or Economics. In Business Administration we gain knowledge in the most important areas, such as marketing, business informatics, and finance. If you want to dive deeper into economic fields you can take the specialization module in Economics or continue with a master's degree in Business Administration after your bachelor’s.
I was already passionate about Spanish language and culture when I was at school, so I decided early on to study Spanish. That’s how I ended up enrolling in the interdisciplinary program in Culture and Economy at the University of Mannheim.
Studying at the University of Mannheim campus is quite an experience. How many people get the chance to study in one of the largest baroque palaces in Europe? The schools’ curricula are excellent and the programs in Romance Studies have a good reputation. If you have itchy feet you can benefit from the various exchange programs of the University of Mannheim and study in almost any country.
Mannheim also offers an exciting student life: students have many opportunities to do volunteer work in the departmental student committees and multiple student organizations, for example. Anyone will certainly find their topic of interest, from politics to environment protection to leisure activities. The departmental student committee Linguistics and Literary Studies organizes many internal but also external activities and events, and campaigns for the rights and interests of students at the University of Mannheim. The Institute of Sports further offers a wide range of sports for all tastes.
While the university has plenty to offer, the City of Mannheim is just as diverse and colorful. Have a barbecue by the river on the Neckarwiese, go for a run along the Rhine promenade, visit the Christmas markets around the Wasserturm and the Paradeplatz, have a drink in the bars in Jungbusch, or dance in the clubs of the Quadrate—Mannheim offers everything a student’s heart desires.
The opportunities you're given with a degree in Culture and Economy are just as diverse as the students themselves.
If you want to broaden your knowledge of both fields after your bachelor’s, you can continue at the University of Mannheim and pursue a master's degree in Culture and Economy or study another program in linguistics, such as the master’s program in Language and Communication. Of course, you may also do a master's in your combination major. For example, the University of Mannheim offers an excellent master's program in Business Administration, the Mannheim Master in Management. After earning your master’s degree you can also pursue a doctorate and start an academic career.
The Rhine-Neckar metropolitan region provides you with excellent opportunities for internships and career entry positions after obtaining your bachelor's or master’s degree. The region is home to various companies and numerous cultural institutions. So far, it hasn't been difficult for me to find an internship. Of course, your personal interests also play a role, but as there are so many offers in the region everybody can find a suitable placement.
And what are you going to do with your degree? I’ve been asked this question a lot. What I like about the bachelor’s program in Culture and Economy and the main reason for choosing this program is that it offers many opportunities. You don’t have to decide on your future career right away; instead, you can always reinvent yourself. For example, you can work as a project manager in PR agencies, as a business consultant, or in international organizations.
Why not study Business Administration or Economics? That’s another question people ask me a lot. Others often make sneering remarks about us not studying Business Administration or Economics as a major. But it’s the interdisciplinary approach, in particular, that makes the program in Culture and Economy so appealing. It demonstrates where economics and humanities overlap—an aspect that is increasingly important in today’s interconnected world.
Students of the humanities only sit in cafés talking about the meaning of life, but in the end they become cabdrivers!
Well, drinking coffee during your studies is important—many conversations I had with other students taught me more than some lectures. I’ve never been worried that I might end up as a cabdriver, though, and I don’t need to be: as I'm specialized in two fields, I will probably have more opportunities than pure economists or business administrators.
Would you like to learn more about the program in Romance Studies at the University of Mannheim?
You will find everything you need to know in the program descriptions.