IEE Newsletter No. 22

News: DAAD Scholarship Holders Meeting in Mannheim, Germany

MADM and PhD IDS students who hold a DAAD scholarship attended the annual student meeting of the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) held in Mannheim under the theme "Growing world population and demographic change - challenges for industry, politics and society". PhD IDS student and DAAD scholarship holder Callistus Agbaam gives an account of the event.

Every year, the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) organizes student meetings in five different cities for its scholarship holders. These meetings are usually meant to welcome new scholarship students to Germany as well as provide them with an opportunity to meet and interact with other scholarship holders and staff of the DAAD, particularly those responsible for the administration of their scholarships. From the 8th to 10th of May, six other DAAD scholarship holders from the IEE and I attended the meeting organized in Mannheim. The meeting, which was mainly for students studying in the area of social sciences (Economics, Law, and Politics), brought together a total of 495 scholarship holders from 102 countries across all continents of the world. Organized under the theme "Growing world population and demographic change - challenges for industry, politics and society", the meeting explored possible ways in which business, politics and society could deal with the challenges of a growing world population on the one hand, and demographic change on the other.

We arrived in Mannheim on the first day of the meeting after a three and half hour journey by train. We immediately rushed into our respective regional section meetings, where very important issues regarding the general administration of the scholarship were discussed. Scholarship holders were also offered the opportunity to raise any concerns requiring the urgent attention of their respective sections. Personal consultations were also offered to students based on prior request after the general meeting.
DAAD Seminar
Three DAAD scholarship holders from the IEE at the seminar in Mannheim. From left to right: Emmanuel Boachie (MADM student from Ghana), Qamer Jatoi (MADM student from Pakistan), and Callistus Agbaam (PhD IDS student from Ghana). 

Immediately after the regional section meetings, we headed towards the Foyer Audimax for the official opening ceremony. However, before the ceremony officially commenced, we were thrilled with an amazing guitar performance by the famous German singer, Klara Troung. Thereafter, the rector of the University of Mannheim, Prof. Dr. Ernst-Ludwig von Thadden, welcomed all of us to Mannheim and encouraged us to spend some time visiting a few nice places in the rich historic and artistic city before our departure. After the welcome address, the president of the DAAD, Prof. Dr. Margret Wintermantel, delivered the keynote address. In her speech, she expressed her joy at the rich diversity represented at gathering. Since this year marked the 90th anniversary of the DAAD, she took some time to recount some key achievements. Particularly, she emphasized that over the last decades, the DAAD has consistently increased the number of funding windows available to international students – something I found quite impressive! Furthermore, she reaffirmed the commitment of the German Government through the DAAD to continue offering financial assistance in the form of scholarships to qualified individuals from all over the world, both who intend to study in Germany and even abroad. She ended her speech with a piece of advice to all scholarship holders to take their studies seriously, since the future of the world largely depends on them. The ceremony ended with a short musical interlude by KT Tunstall.

On the second day, after breakfast at our respective hotels, we again convened at the University of Mannheim campus for presentations in parallel session on various topics related to the theme of the meeting. A colleague from the IEE, MADM student, Eliab Figueroa Hernandez from Mexico, gave a very interesting presentation on the "Demographic Bonus in Mexico: A Blessing or just a Challenge". The presentation sessions lasted until lunch.

Mannheim WasserturmAfter lunch came the first part of the fun bit! Sightseeing! Yessss...sightseeing! To enable us explore the beautiful city of Mannheim, we were divided into smaller groups and allocated a tour guide who then took us round the beautiful, artistic city of Mannheim. There was just too much to see! We visited historical monuments, such as the beautiful palaces of Mannheim, the ancient cathedral, the city center, Mannheim's Wasserturm (see picture on the right, photo: private), the Rosengarten, and of course, the first Mercedes Benz automobile manufactured in Germany by Karl Benz. We also took a stroll along the main shopping area and had the opportunity to visit the origin of the famous "Spaghettieis" in Germany.
At about 7 pm, we departed for dinner at the Luisenpark, a very cozy location with a beautiful, flowery environment. In such a very a relaxed environment, lots of people cemented contacts made earlier and took the chance for further networking. As usual, there was lots to eat and drink. After the "eats", came the dancing! We were treated to very good music and we danced it all out as well. It was simply all fun! After dinner and the good music at Luisenpark, most of the participants decided to continue chatting and enjoying the atmosphere of the beautiful city at other interesting places. The following day, everyone in the bus for the journey back to Bochum agreed that the visit to Mannheim was interesting and – as the look on the sleepy faces of many in the bus would tell – a lot of fun!

Callistus Agbaam
Callistus Agbaam

PhD Candidate - DAAD Scholarship Holder
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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