Amen Ben Ahmouda is a student at the University of Ottawa and left Canada for four months to study in Mannheim, Germany, thanks to the Ontario-Baden-Württemberg student exchange. She shares her experience studying abroad with SoGerman in a series of blog posts.

Hallo Freunde!

After learning German for two years at the University of Ottawa, I’ve decided to take my German practice outside the classroom! With 14 days to go until my new four-month adventure begins, I’m very excited to visit Germany for the first time.

I decided to learn German because I was looking for a new challenge, and it’s a language that I’ve always been fascinated by. Many people would describe German as being a harsh sounding language and even Germans will say it’s a hard language to learn. However, for me, German is the language of Kant, Hegel, Freud and Einstein. Thus, learning German to me has been an opportunity to understand original texts written in German, expand my love for history and philosophy and learn a new and exciting language!

With all this in mind, it was a natural next step for me to spend a semester abroad in Germany. It’s bitter-sweet to leave my home city of Ottawa, particularly leaving my family, my friends and my academic community, which I grew very attached to since enrolling in the Public Administration and Political Science program at the University of Ottawa.

Nevertheless, my future home Mannheim seems like a promising city to spend a semester abroad; from its reputable standing as one of the best universities in Germany, to its nightlife and student diversity. As well, Mannheim is great for Canadian students with very structured programs as the university follows the same academic calendar as most Canadian universities, which is not common in Germany.

While in Germany, I aim to immerse myself in the German culture, make amazing new friends and travel both Germany and Europe. For the next four months, I look forward to meeting other students from all over the world and improving my German!

I’m super excited to share my adventure with you. If you’re curious about my time in Mannheim, stay tuned for my next blog post! I will be posting three more times: twice during my stay and once more once I’m back in my hometown.



An intimidating boss, street music and a Berlin restaurant

What came first, the plan to go to Germany or the job offer?

A bit of both. I was invited to Germany to help with a friend’s restaurant project. At the [...]


Culture Shock in Mannheim


Before an exchange, the University of Ottawa offers a mandatory culture workshop to its students going abroad… I remember sitting at the 8 a.m. workshop while the presenter w [...]


Finding Myself in the Unknown

How Canada turned my year abroad into a life-changing experience

When I graduated from high school in 2016, I’d been dreaming for years of going to the United States, experiencing American culture and exploring the American wilderness. I n [...]

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