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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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