As I alluded to, the level of interaction is something that is very different. In the business courses at Mannheim there is no interaction between students and professors. The main problem is that there are no homework assignments or projects during the semester that get the class involved. The course is just made up of the final exam so there is no incentive to participate in class. This leads to the professor droning on for two hours until time’s up. I honestly do not like this aspect. I like a class where there is interaction. For example I’m taking a cultural class here and there’s a big difference. First of all the class only has ten people so there’s plenty of interaction. Class time is focused on discussion and activities. Also there was a major presentation that we had to do, which contributed to more interaction. I feel that it depends on what courses you take, but expect less interaction and less work during the semester in general.
Despite these mostly negative thoughts, there are some things that are better. First off, I get to study in a royal palace. It’s really cool to walk and attend class in a massive baroque building. It feels more special and there’s more of a sense of occasion when going to class. At night for example, the palace is all lit up and it feels like you’re in a movie set. I understand that Drexel has the new and impressive LeBow building, but unfortunately it can’t hold up a candle to the Mannheim Schloss. Another positive is the quality of the professors. For example my professor for management information systems is also a vice president at SAP. This means that the professors know what they are talking about and have extensive experiences in the field they are teaching in.
Something strange that I found was that there is no required textbook for courses. None of my courses teach from a textbook or even follow one. Of course there are recommended books but nothing official. This might prove tricky as I study for exams because I don’t have firm reference point when studying.
Overall academics at Mannheim and academics at Drexel differ. Although Mannheim does have some pretty strong positive features I believe that the way academics are taught at Drexel is better. I believe that it’s the interaction that facilitates learning. Mannheim is very good but it teaches too much theory and it doesn’t let students apply it. This means that the learning experience is a bit disconnected. I feel that at Drexel the focus is on the application of what you learn. Since I’m a more hands on person I find the more applied version of teaching to be more beneficial to me.