Why did you decide to pursue a master’s program in Mannheim?
Louis: I did my bachelor’s degree in Law at a private university in Lagos where I graduated in 2015. As Germany is a very important player in the international market, I decided to pursue my master’s degree at the University of Mannheim. I hope that the program will inspire me, and that I can take practical approaches from it so that I can contribute to the economic development in my homeland, Nigeria.
What do you have planned for after your graduation?
Louis: It’s a one-year program which means I’ll graduate in the summer of 2017. My thesis focuses on how German law can serve as an example for Nigeria, especially when it comes to economic development. I might be able to extend this topic and continue working on it after my graduation, and then use my results to support the Nigerian economy. I’d like to send my thesis to Nigeria’s decision-makers and offer them my skills. But I wouldn’t mind finding a job in Germany either and staying here a bit longer so that I can improve my German skills.
What are the main differences between Lagos and Mannheim, and the student lifestyles in each city?
Louis: Lagos is a huge city. There’s always something going on. Some people even compare Lagos to New York because both cities are similarly crowded and hectic. Mannheim is a lot quieter. Another difference is the extremely cold winter in Mannheim – I’m not used to that. As far as the university is concerned, there are also some differences. Back in Lagos, I used to live right on campus and could spend my free time with friends or watch TV shows with them, for example. Now, I have less free time because my course schedule at the university is quite full and I have to work on a lot of assignments and projects. The living situation is different too, as students live all over the city here and not on campus.
How do you like the University of Mannheim and your program of study?
Louis: When I first saw the university, I thought I was at Hogwarts. I’d never seen a building so beautiful and majestic – except in movies. Being able to study here is something special. In my year, there are 17 students, and we all come from all over the world including Spain, Afghanistan, Australia, the USA and the Dominican Republic. Two of my fellow students are from Nigeria as well. I was surprised about that – I didn’t expect to meet anyone from my homeland here. We all get along well with each other and regularly meet up for lunch in the Mensa. We’ve also been to Karlsruhe and Stuttgart together to do some sightseeing.
Have you had any difficulties settling in at the university?
Louis: As I received my visa late, I missed most of orientation week. Fortunately, I was able to contact my program manager and could get the missing information from him directly. Apart from that, the only difficulty I had was finding my way around campus. But I guess that’s something every new student struggles with. After a week, I knew the university a lot better, thanks to my program manager and the staff at the International Office. All in all, I haven’t really had any problems in Mannheim or at the university. It’s been an exciting and good time so far.
Interview: Louisa Gille
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