“I’m proud of my personal development”

Eliya Ameri is 21 years old and attended a German school in Iran from the 7th grade, which he completed in 2020 with the Abitur. Now he is in his 6th semester studying business informatics at the University of Mannheim and is so successful that he has received the Germany Scholarship. Because he likes to pass on his knowledge, he works as a tutor at the university. In his myUniMA story, you can find out how much his life here differs from that in his home country and what drives him personally.

Eliya, tell us a little bit about your background: How did it come about that you went to a German school in Iran?

I was born in Iran. My family and I moved to Dubai when I was five years old. Until the seventh grade, I went to an English school there and also learned Arabic. Afterwards we returned to my home country and looked at different schools. Together with my parents, I decided to go to an international school. We liked a German school the most, but for the first two years the lessons were still held in English. From the ninth grade we switched to German and only then did I learn the language. In the first half of the tenth grade, I reached the C1 language level – that was like a gift for me. I finished school there and graduated from high school.

Was it already clear at that time that you would also study in Germany?

When I graduated from high school, I knew that I wanted to continue learning and studying. So I did some research and took a year. I couldn’t go to an Iranian university, so I had to go abroad. With my German degree, Germany offered itself. It also made it easier for me to get a visa. In addition, I have family in Germany, which reinforced my decision.

Why did you choose the University of Mannheim?

I’ve been interested in math and computer science all my life. It was therefore obvious to look for a degree in this field and then I came across Business Informatics. I didn’t want to study computer science exclusively, so I thought that combining it with economics could be helpful. So I found out which universities offer this course. Mannheim was a very good fit for me, as we have a lot of friends and family here in the region. When I saw that the University of Mannheim is very well known and only read positive reviews, I thought to myself: That sounds great!

What do you like here at the university and in Mannheim?

The best thing for me is that I have so many contacts here and that new ones are always being added. I came to Mannheim at the end of the Corona period, which is why my first two semesters were still partly online. Having contacts was the most important thing for me, especially because it wasn’t so easy for me to approach people. Now I always meet a lot of people no matter where I go. The reason for this is also that I am part of the VISUM initiative and have become much more open-minded as a result. In general, I love helping others! Whether with my studies, privately or in the initiative, I really enjoy it and in this way I can always make new contacts. I think the reason is also that I see my personal development and feel like I’m never alone.

What I particularly like about my studies is the content and the professors, as I really enjoy the interaction. Every teacher is different and every semester I look forward to getting to know new modules. I think it’s easier to be good at things you’re really interested in. I am also proud of my professional development. The feeling of having understood everything at the end of the semester, even though the module description sounded quite complicated at first, is simply great. This shows me that I can do anything if I invest enough time.

How does life here differ from life in your home country and what challenges does it bring?

The biggest difference is that not so much happens here. I have my routine that is the same every day and I don’t have to worry that tomorrow will suddenly be different. I go to university, go to the gym and meet my friends. For me, that’s a good balance. Because when I come back home, I’ll have action from day one. Parts of my family are actors and actresses and are very well known in Iran. When I’m there, I’m suddenly famous and I’m asked for pictures, for example.

A real challenge for me was actually only the beginning. When I arrived and had to find an apartment and of course I didn’t know how things were going here in Germany. It took me a while to settle in. But I was lucky that I have family here and that they were able to support me. As I said, I wasn’t that open-minded. When I’m just at home, I don’t get to know anyone. I’ve noticed that I have to do something myself to get to know people.

How do you finance your studies in Mannheim?

Since the third semester, I have been a tutor for various courses in computer science and business administration, which is my main source of funding and what I really like. I like to be in the university environment and help others with the things I’m good at myself. I noticed this when I was still in school and helping other students with maths. I also applied for the Germany Scholarship after everyone advised me to do so, and I was totally surprised when I was accepted. It was a nice feeling, especially because I didn’t really expect it. Apart from the financial aspect, the scholarship also gives me more motivation and the feeling that I am on the right path.

Do you already have an idea of where you would like to live in the future and what your life could look like after graduation?

I haven’t thought too much about that yet. I don’t like to plan things so long-term. In the end, everything is different and the plans were in vain. But I thought about doing my master’s degree here in any case, because I just have a lot of fun here. Where I go after that, I don’t want to decide until the time comes.

Source: University of Mannheim