“I always wanted to come back to Germany – that was my main goal”

Rita Fábiánová (20) comes from a village near Komárno in Slovakia, however she is actually Hungarian and belongs to the Hungarian minority in Slovakia. Rita feels at home in Germany. She has been living in Mannheim for a year and is currently completing her second semester of the bachelor’s program in Business Law. In her myUniMA story, Rita tells us about her dream of living in Germany.

Why did you decide to study in Germany?

My parents and I moved to Germany shortly after I was born. I lived here until I was four, and went to Kindergarten here. German was the first language that I learned. Unfortunately, then my parents separated and I returned to Slovakia with my mom. I was very sad and found it difficult to settle into life there at first. Since then, I always dreamed of returning to Germany and I kept telling my mom and my grandparents that I would go back one day. For me, Germany feels like home. Slovakia is also my home, but I’ve always longed to return to Germany. Once I finished high school, I decided to go for broke and applied for degree programs at German universities.

How did you prepare for your move back to Germany?

After elementary school, I started to watch TV programs and films in German, and read German magazines and books to make sure I didn’t forget the language. My dad always said that I would need a good grades to study in Germany. So in my final year at school, I spent most of my time learning – I rarely went out. But it was all worth it, and my grades meant that I was able to apply to universities in Germany. I also got a German language certificate.

My offer to study Business Law in Mannheim meant that everything was perfect. In Slovakia, the University of Mannheim is considered one of the best higher education institutions. So, I couldn’t believe it when I received my official letter of admission. My parents and my German teacher were also really pleased for me. Everyone was very proud.

Do you think coming to the University of Mannheim to study Business Law was the right decision?

Yes, I like my life here. It’s what I always wanted. I really enjoy my program of study even though it is very challenging. I had difficulties with the language during the first semester. I used to have to go home and sleep after my lectures because I had such a headache. I really had to concentrate to understand the material. During this time, I doubted if I could cope with everything. But now, things are going well. I really like the combination of business and law.

What do you miss about home?

 Of course, I miss my family and friends. But I also really miss the Danube. I come from a small Slovakian village which lies directly on the river. It’s very peaceful there, whereas both my life here in the city and my program of study are hectic. So sometimes I miss the peace and quiet of home.

Where do you see yourself in the future?

 I really want to finish my studies. Then, I’d like to get into international law or European law. I speak four languages – Hungarian, Slovakian, German and English – so I’d like to use them.

Text: Sina Buschhold / April 2017