Emanuela Kumurija / Photo credit: Leah Kratschmann

“I am a big fan of Germany”

Emanuela Kumurija is 26 years old and comes from Albania. After finishing her bachelor’s degree in Business Informatics, she worked for an Italian company in Tirana. After two years of working, she made one of her biggest dreams come true: She went to Germany and started her master’s degree in Mannheim. In her myUniMa story, she tells us why she likes Germany so much, why she almost did not make it to Mannheim, and what she misses about Albania.

What did you do before you started studying in Mannheim?

I completed my bachelor’s degree in Business Informatics in Tirana. Right after writing my bachelor’s thesis, I started to work with an Italian company.

Why did you decide to study at the University of Mannheim?

After two years of full-time working, I felt it was time to continue my studies and applied for a master’s program in Germany. In fact, I knew very early on that I wanted to study in Germany one day. I am a big fan of Germany, in every aspect.

Yet, I have not really thought about Mannheim. I applied at several universities and was admitted in Frankfurt. I was right in the midst of the visa application process and the program in Frankfurt had already started, when I got the letter of admission from Mannheim. It was only then that I started to do some research on the University of Mannheim and only moments later, I decided that I would like to study in Mannheim. The first contact I had with the University was with the International Office. I got a very good first impression; they assisted me a lot with all administrative procedures and helped me finding an accommodation.

Do you like studying at the University of Mannheim?

Yes, I really like the University of Mannheim and the international environment shaping the campus. Even in a group of Germans, you do not feel like a stranger because you are from a foreign country. Moreover, I like the way the university and the classes are structured. In Mannheim, you learn that you have all possibilities and can achieve everything. I also like the fact that the university is well known internationally, enjoys a good reputation with many companies, and is ranked at the top of national and international rankings. In addition, Mannheim offers countless job and internship opportunities. I also have many friends here – I already got to know some of them during the german classes offered by Studium Generale that I attended before I started my master’s program.

You said you are a fan of Germany. Can you explain what you mean?

There is the stereotype that Germans are very straightforward and serious and I kind of like that. Throughout the world, Germans are known for being organized and punctual; you do not find this in every country. In addition, everybody is so kind. What I do not like, however, is the weather.

What are the differences between Albania and Germany? 

I had never been to Germany before I came to Mannheim. I got all the information about this country from reading and watching TV and football. I like Germany because, right from the beginning, I had this feeling that once I am here, at least if I work hard, I will achieve something. Whether I am successful depends only on me and not on other, external factors as in Albania. Albania is still a developing country. There, if you want to achieve more and be a little bit more successful, you will inevitably (have to) struggle.

Do you miss Albania?

I miss the beaches. While Germany is a very good place to live and work, Albania is a good destination for vacation. What I really miss is my family. However, even my brother is learning German right now, because he wants to come to Germany as soon as he has finished his master’s degree. He wants to work here and maybe do a second master’s degree. If he was here, I would be perfectly happy – as all I care about would be here.

What do you do in your free time?

Sports, every day. I work at the gym as a student employee and last semester, I even held sports classes. My closest friends are there. In addition, I work a lot at SAP in Walldorf.

What are your plans for the future?

I do not think I will go back to Albania. Some weeks ago a company in London contacted me for a job, but I am loyal to this country. My heart is here in Germany. Right now, I am writing my thesis at SAP and, hopefully, I will get a job there afterwards.

Text: Luisa Gebhardt / January 2020