life abroad | ulmenweg

**this is part of a series for my university about studying abroad in Mannheim**

I have a love//hate relationship with Ulmenweg, my residence in Mannheim. On one hand, it's a 20 minute bus ride to the city center-my apartment is literally falling apart {although this seems to just be my apartment, go figure}-and as I type this, I will probably go offline because the internet sucks. But I also have amazing roommates, a sink in my room {why don't American dorms have these?}, a kitchen, a bar in the residence, a supermarket across the street-oh, and it's a mere 289 euros a month, which is almost half of what I pay at UMass for a shared double with a bathroom down the hall. I'll take it.

I think that the most important thing about Ulmenweg is that it's full of international students. Since most German students snatch up the residences near the city center, Ulmenweg has plenty of spots open, and that's where most end up-so in an ironic twist, the kids who did get to live in the city center oftentimes end up bussing out to Ulmenweg before we go out.

Here are some other tidbits of information and some pictures-

rooms

ulmenweg room-5ulmenweg room-3 ulmenweg room-2 ulmenweg room-1ulmenweg room-8ulmenweg room-9All rooms come with the same furniture that you find in a UMass dorm-bed, bookshelf, wardrobe, desk and chair(s), and a nightstand. You also have a sink, which as I mentioned before, is a phenomenal idea-no more waiting for the bathroom!

Each apartment also has a kitchen (only some have ovens, though), two toilets and a shower. I have five roommates, from Hong Kong, Colombia, India, Taiwan and Canada-they're all super awesome. The only thing that I don't like is that I'm on the ground floor-I can't ever leave my window open when I leave the room or go to sleep, for fear that someone will climb right in and rob me! My suggestion is that you pick a room on the upper floors (quick reminder that in Germany, the 1st floor is actually the second floor, and so on)

the residence 

ulmenweg-2 ulmenweg-3 ulmenweg-4

Ulmenweg consists of several buildings, each referred to as a Haus. The numbers are 1-6, 42 +43-this makes no sense, but hey-that's Germany for you. If you are having a package or letter delivered, make sure to put your full address, which consists of the residence (Ulmenweg 55), your house number and your room number-otherwise you might not get your mail.

I live in Haus 5, which has a laundry room and a party room (affectionately called the dungeon, due to its low ceilings and grungy look). There are also barbeques outside, which are very popular-now that it's nice out, someone is grilling almost every day. Ulmenweg has its own student bar, called Gezet, which is run by students and seems to be open whenever they feel like being open-it's a great place to grab a beer and play some foosball.

the neighborhood 

ulmenweg-8 ulmenweg neighborhood-5 ulmenweg neighborhood-9 ulmenweg neighborhood-10 with emily-1-20 erin-1-3 erin-1-4 erin-1-13Once again, there's not too much to do in Ulmenweg-however, if you search hard enough, there are a couple of hidden gems. There's a bowling alley and mini-golf place around the corner, doner, pizza and a supermarket across the street, and community gardens all around (something fun to explore.) I highly recommend exploring Herzogenreid Park, (2 euros with student ID) which has a couple of swimming pools with diving boards and a slide. There's also a network of little paths around the park, which are a good shortcut late at night home from the 1 tram (i also recommend getting to know those). ulmenweg-1-13

Overall, Ulmenweg isn't a bad place to live-and even though it's not the most beautiful or picturesque place, it has some of the most insanely beautiful sunsets I've ever seen-something to make up for dirt piles and crumbling doorjambs. And it's home-and that's the most important thing.

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