From the start people were asking me why I chose Mannheim. Until now I wasn’t really ever sure either. Maybe it was because it has an amazing law school or cheap delicious beer or because my German relatives lived near by. But I can now honestly answer that I chose it because some how I knew that it would be the greatest city and that I would have the best experience of my life. Never would I have thought that I would be seeing the Arctic Monkeys live in Berlin, swimming in freezing Finnish lakes with beautiful Finnish boys or throwing a coin into the Trevi Fountain. It wasn’t only the places that I visited that made my exchange so amazing, it was also that I made friends from all over the world, many of whom I still talk to on a regular basis and hope to visit again in the future.
I remember before I left for my exchange I was so nervous that I would not make friends, the work would be really hard and I would just hate it. However I found that it was the complete opposite. The law electives that I chose were all really interesting and engaging, and the lectures were supportive and took an interest in getting to know us. It helped also that the class sizes were relatively small so making friends was easy. Mannheim University also offered many events for students to go out and get to know each other, normally over a few pints of beer. Unlike here in Adelaide where partying is generally only kept to the weekends, I found that we were going out to clubs or parties pretty much every night of the week. This was probably due to the extremely cheap alcohol prices. So many great nights were had dancing to German pop in clubs such as Soho, Tiffs and Suit. This was also often followed by going to City döner and devouring a yufka döner (For those who do not know what a döner is, it is a Turkish/German yiros, which is delicious but best eaten after a night out).
Overall I would not have changed anything about my exchange and am so happy that I chose to go to Mannheim. I can now answer ‘why Mannheim’ and would highly recommend it to other students. I got to experience so many different cultures, visit many incredible cities and meet so many wonderful people. Since returning from my exchange people have asked me what my favourite part was. I still find this question so hard to answer, as every part of my experience was amazing. So for those of you who have not been on exchange I highly recommend going, as words cannot explain how much you will learn and see, and also how much fun you will have. Without a doubt the past 5 months have been the best five months of my life and I would give anything to go back and do another exchange.