Lena Walter, 
Phase II student, 
MSc Goethe Universität, Frankfurt

I first came into contact with the BMS in November 2014. In the second year of my Master’s at the Goethe University in Frankfurt, I visited Berlin for a few days to find out whether or not to apply for a future PhD position there. I was told beforehand that I should definitely visit on a Friday, because the BMS Friday would always take place then and I shouldn't miss it. Still unaware of that concept at the time, I arrived on that one Friday afternoon and was immediately welcomed into the BMS community. I joined an interesting lecture, talked to students from 7 different countries studying at three different universities about mathematics and life in Berlin, someone helped me solve a computer problem on the go and, last but not least, there were lots of cookies.

Almost a year later, I started my PhD studies at the FU Berlin and officially became part of the BMS community. The short insight I got on that Friday in November showed me quite aptly what the BMS is all about. It offers a manifold framework for mathematical learning and research. By involving the three Berlin universities and offering regular lectures by experts from various fields, you can draw on the full breadth of the mathematical research landscape. In addition, there are firmly established opportunities for mathematical exchange among students, for example within the framework of the so-called 'what-is...? seminars by students for students or the BMS student conference. The focus here is set on learning together and from one another. In addition to numerous local opportunities, the BMS also offers the opportunity to meet experts at research institutions all over the world by financing trips. I am very grateful for all these experiences, which have really enriched my mathematical everyday life.

What makes the BMS so special, however, goes far beyond everyday mathematics. The BMS is a very international and diverse community. No matter whether you are looking for an apartment, have to battle through German bureaucracy, want to know where to get the best Indian food in Berlin, or are just looking for someone to have a picnic or go ice skating with, the BMS will deliver. All this is just as much a part of it. This way you not only get to experience exciting new mathematics, but also new cultures and - above all - interesting people who will accompany you during your time and turn into friends.

Published in September 2018