Getting Settled at the University of Mannheim
a. Housing at the University of Mannheim is filled EXTREMELY FAST so you must be actively looking for the email that opens up the opportunity to select where you stay. Within 4 hours of the housing window opening, all 6 student residences were full.
b. Upon arrival, there is a time schedule that delegates when you get the room keys from the hall manager. For example, if you arrive later than 2:30 in the afternoon you must pay 35 euros for a personal meeting.
c. Each room is provided with a modem to connect one device to the internet. This is rather frustrating since most people enjoy using wifi on their phones more commonly. I will have to go buy a router to get access to this.
2. Class Registration
a. Classes at UM are a bit of a gamble. About 2 months before the semester starts, you are sent a template to fill in with your primary course choices and secondary. It is not guaranteed you will get into any of the classes until confirmed one week before school starts. It is kind of unpredictable which makes it inconvenient to get classes approved for credit from HPU.
b. The language and culture classes fill up INCREDIBLY FAST. I signed on about 2 hours after the window opened and all classes were full and I was put on a waiting list. I was not made aware of how popular these were. I was advised to attend the first language course just in case someone who is enrolled does not show up.
c. Despite the issues I have with UM, the staff and international team seem to be very helpful. I have not enrolled yet, so I cannot elaborate on this till after next week.
3. Social Media
a. Getting access to the University’s Facebook pages seems really user friendly to meet new people. I do not really hang out with the house mates I live with as there is not much of a click. But using blogs like VISUM and Friends 2017, it was super easy to meet people and explore. For example, yesterday was my second day here and myself and 9 other exchange students met up and travelled to Heidelberg for the day. It was a lot of fun. But that is what study abroad is about right? Not so much the bureaucratic crap that you have to deal with from the University, but the experience and friends you make along the way.
4. Nifty Things I discovered
a. FOOD IS INCREDIBLY CHEAP. I bought a pack for water for 1 euro which I can recycle once empty for .25 cents a bottle. One-euro package of bacon, .98 cent bottle of wine.
b. Transportation is really effective, on time, easy to use once you figure where you are going.
The language barrier is essentially non-existent as most speak English, but it is always good to try and practice along your travels.