“If I had to decide again, I would always choose Mannheim”

Santiago Rey-Sanchez Parodi grew up in the Peruvian capital Lima and came to Mannheim for his bachelor's degree in Economics. In his myUniMA story, he tells us what he likes about Mannheim and the University, where he prefers to spend his free time, and what his plans for the future are.

In what way is life in Germany different from life in Peru?

Living on my own for the first time has been a big challenge for me. I had to learn to clean, cook and generally be self-sufficient. Originally, I am from Lima, the capital of Peru. Compared to Mannheim, the city is really huge. Here in Mannheim you can reach everything by foot – everything is close by and I really like that. Of course, I had to get used to the language, but all in all, there were no big barriers to be broken down.

How come you speak German so well?

I attended a German school in Lima. That's where I completed my Abitur. And when it came to what and where I wanted to study, it was only logical for me to choose Germany. Though I have no German background, my father already attended the same school – he was also the one who supported and motivated me a lot in my decision to study in Germany.

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

I've always wanted to study economics; the decision for the University of Mannheim therefore was an easy one: It is one of the leading universities in economics and getting the chance to study here is very rewarding. If I had to decide again, I would always choose Mannheim. By the way, this is also because of the city: It has exactly the right size and a central location in Germany and Europe. You can easily reach other cities and countries in Europe, there are many students living here, and the choice of leisure activities and exciting events at the University is amazing.

What do you do in your free time?

I play football as part of the university sports program, and I’m also working as a working student at the Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research (ZEW). I have also been a member of the TEDx sponsoring team for one year now. My tasks include finding sponsors for the events, writing a lot of e-mails, making phone calls, sending out contracts and the like.

What are your plans for the future?

After completing my bachelor’s degree I would like to do also my master’s degree at the University of Mannheim. In any case, I would like to stay in Germany, and Mannheim would be my first choice. Afterwards, I can see myself working in Germany or Europe for some time to gain experience, improve my German language skills, and get to know Europe better before returning to Peru one day.

What do you miss about home?

My family and friends who stayed in Peru – but also the food. Moreover, Lima is directly on the coast, so you can go to the beach almost every day, which is unfortunately not the case here. But my friends from Peru have already visited me several times. With them, I like to go to the river Rhine. The beautiful banks of the Rhine are my favorite place in Mannheim.

Text: Selina Supper / June 2019