Nevena Palic,
BMS Phase II student,
Qualifying Exam BMS, 
BSc University of Belgrade

I joined BMS in October 2013 as a Phase I student, passed the Qualifying Exam in October 2014, and since then I am a BMS Phase II student as a part of the Discrete Geometry Group at FU. I am working on Algebraic Topology and its connections to Geometry and Combinatorics with Professor Ziegler and Professor Blagojević. During my Bachelor studies, I got an advice from my high school teacher who stayed in Berlin as a postdoctoral researcher to apply for BMS saying that it is “a perfect place for me”. Luckily I was invited for the BMS Days, when I got sure that it is true.

Berlin is one of the rare places in the world where one can do really good mathematics and at the same time enjoy the student life. The three universities offer plenty of courses and research possibilities. Almost every field of mathematics is covered and the professors are very happy to work with the BMS students. Furthermore, the working atmosphere is very pleasant and stimulating. I really like the fact that the BMS students do not compete with each other, but rather support each other. On the other hand, the city has much to offer: from sightseeing and museums, over cultural events and diverse night life to numerous parks and lakes. I also find very important that most of these offers are affordable and that one can do well even without speaking German. For example, many theater plays or movies are offered in English.

I especially like the social aspect of being a BMS student. During the BMS days I already met some current and prospective students so that I did not feel alone when I moved to Berlin. In addition, my BMS Buddy and the One-Stop Office helped me a lot at the very beginning, which made the moving to Germany much easier than I expected. During the language course and the orientation week I became friends with many other students and we used the opportunity to discover the city before the semester started. Moreover, BMS Fridays and social events organized by students are great opportunities to meet the others.

published in February 2015