Why did you decide to study Politics at the University of Mannheim?
I chose the University of Mannheim because it is at the top of many rankings, not only in Political Science. At the same time, Mannheim is my hometown: I was born in Mannheim and grew up here for the first six years of my life, which was also a decisive factor for my decision. In addition, the specific political situation in Bosnia aroused my interest in political science: Serbs, Croats and Bosnians all live together in Bosnia and must all be represented at political level. That is very interesting.
Have you always planned to study abroad?
No, initially I wanted to study in Bosnia, yet I also applied in Mannheim. When I received the letter of acceptance, I still wasn't sure whether I should really go to Germany. However, as I am an adventurer by nature and love challenges, I decided to go.
How did your family and friends react to your decision?
My family was delighted for me. They all advised me to go to Germany from the very beginning, because they thought that it would be easier for me to study and work here. In the end, it was the best decision of my life. I would have missed a lot if I had stayed in Bosnia.
Is there anything that surprised you about living in Germany?
I always knew that Germans are super punctual and very reliable. Yet, I underestimated just how much. Therefore, I was positively surprised. I was also surprised at how extensively the Germans use the Internet – that's quite different in Bosnia. It doesn't play such a big role in everyday life there.
Did you encounter any difficulties at the beginning?
Fortunately, I had no major difficulties. It was easy for me to get used to life in Mannheim because I had lived in Germany before. In addition, I have some good acquaintances near Mannheim who supported me very much during my early days here. They showed me the city and helped me, for example, when I didn't know where to find building L1,1 when I had to enroll.
What tips would you give to international students who are interested in studying in Mannheim?
I would definitely recommend them attending the events organized by the university because you can meet a lot of new people there. The city itself is beautiful and offers many opportunities to make new friends. However, I don't think anybody will have any problems in this regard. People in Mannheim are very kind and always willing to help.
What are your plans for the future?
I would like to spend a semester abroad. The university has over 450 partner universities and offers its students many opportunities. After completing my bachelor's degree, I would also like to pursue a master's degree in Germany. In former Yugoslavia, the consequences of the war are still to be felt, both in economic and political terms. Therefore, it would be difficult for me to go back there. However, if I can stay in Germany and yet contribute to the development of my country, I would like to do so.
Text: Tina Ratacjyk / March 2019