As a 3rd year BCom student, attending the most prestigious business school in Germany was definitely a highlight of my university career.

Although the university is very prestigious, that is not why I would recommend the University of Mannheim to future exchange students. The university is highly prepared for exchange students, making it VERY easy for incoming students to get settled quickly and start enjoying their experience as soon as you arrive at the train station on your first day. Not only do the university host a wide variety of courses taught in English, but it also has a number of courses purpose taught for exchange students; they also have an incredible student organisation known as VISUM.

VISUM is by far the best student-run organisation I have ever come across. Starting from day one they will be there to ensure you have a smooth journey through your exchange. I highly recommend taking part in the ‘Buddy Program’ that they offer; your buddy will likely meet you at the train station on your day of arrive and make all of the bureaucratic obstacles that you face in Germany that much easier. What really makes this organisation stand out however, is their dedication throughout the semester to organise social events such as weekly parties and other recreation days. Basically, with VISUM it is impossible not to have an amazing experience, with amazing people while on exchange.

Academically speaking the work is no harder than the work at UQ. There are some slight differences in that you will not only have to enrol into your classes, but also register to take the exam. Also, one obstacle that some find challenging is the heavy weighting placed on theory and that in a lot of the subjects word-for-word definitions are a must, as opposed to interpretation like I was use to. (Recommended subjects: ACC350 International Accounting & MKT350 Consumer Behaviour. Not recommended: Finance and Operations courses as the difficulty is much higher)

When it comes to travel opportunities, being centrally located in Europe, Mannheim is abundant. You will quickly learn that the two cheapest ways to travel are to either fly Ryan Air (flying from Frankfurt-Hahn, a direct bus from Mannheim is available) or to rent a car with a group of friends. It was these lessons that made it affordable for me to go to Dublin for St Patrick’s Day, drive to the Austrian Alps for a ski trip and have a spontaneous road trip to Paris for the weekend; I was even able to fly to Norway returning from Sweden for under $20!

My Five top tips:

  • Get a residence in Hafenstrasse! (If not another one close the quadrant area). Although the Ulmenweg Res came highly recommended to me, after living their I don’t recommend it to anyone who wants o party a lot as it is a long way from the nightlife and very difficult to get to at night.
  • The down town is in grid format, so instead of street names, each block carries a letter and number. This makes navigating unknown areas very easy!
  • For cheap food grab some dinner at Café Vienna (block S1). The service may be slow, but the waiters are down to earth speak decent English and the food isn’t bad either.
  • Vogalfrei (Block C3) is my favourite café! With a very indie feel and the most friendly owner I have ever met with amazing food prepared vegetarian or vegan fresh every day it is amazing! It is also the only place you will find free tap water in all of Mannheim. Say ‘Hallo’ to Dorothy for me!
  • Make the most of every opportunity that comes your way! Take part in the language academy, go to the VISUM events, travel; how often do you have the opportunity to live and play in Europe?!


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