Odyssean Scholar: Travels and Daily Life
Special Contributor(s): Shamim Chowdhury Sajid
Each year, UNC Charlotte awards one student the Odyssean Scholarship. Through generous donors, this scholarship is awarded to a student who has a demonstrably high financial need as determined by the Financial Aid office and who could not otherwise study abroad without the support offered by the scholarship. Each Odyssean Scholar blogs during their experience abroad to share their experience with the UNC Charlotte community. This year’s recipient, Shamim Chowdhury Sajid, who is studying abroad on the UNC Charlotte Exchange with the University of Mannheim in Mannheim, Germany, continues to update Education Abroad with his experiences abroad!
When you’re in a country like Germany, you have the freedom to travel all over Europe. The best part is everything can be planned within your budget because every destination in Europe is well-connected by train and bus. So, no need to worry about breaking your bank traveling by plane. My very first trip outside of Germany was to Amsterdam, Netherlands. I would say time and money were well invested into this trip. People are very friendly and anyone on the street is willing to have a conversation with you. It was also really inspiring for me to see so many young people with their own start-ups. Overall Amsterdam was a very calm and relaxing city with more bicycles than cars. It is definitely a destination I would want to visit again later in life.
I also visited Munich for Oktoberfest. Oktoberfest is the world’s largest annual beer festival. The amount of Americans I ran into made me feel like I was back in the States. While the atmosphere in Oktoberfest was unmatched like any other, the city was equally incredible. From Rathaus-Glockenspiel, and Bavaria State Library to the Sunday farmers’ market, I enjoyed every second in Munich.
Back in Mannheim, grabbing lunch with friends at my school’s cafeteria, Mensa, has almost become a daily routine for me. Besides devouring my meal, spending time with friends and sharing stories with each other is the whole reason to be there. My friend, Weronica’s baking is always the highlight of every meal at Mensa.
After a long week of school, my friends and I attend the weekly Schneckenhof party. The Schneckenhof is a weekly event held by the school, with a different faculty organizing one each week. The Schneckenhof is a fun way for me to relieve my stress and I wouldn’t think of anything else other than enjoying my time with my friends.