Tanya Kaushal Srivastava, 
Phase II student, 
MSc Indian Institute of Science and Education and research (IISER) Mohali, Punjab


I joined the BMS in 2015 as a Phase II student. It has been a joyful experience since then. I first heard about the BMS when I visited Berlin for a summer internship with DAAD at Freie Universität. Let me first start with the reason why I joined the BMS for my PhD studies: it was the freedom that the program provided me with, the flexibility of an individual PhD, and support of a structured PhD program along with a scholarship, though I was awarded another fellowship as well. I could always choose the courses I wanted to do and most of the time even suggest and organize them. The best part is that we get to enjoy all the facilities from the three universities of Berlin, whether it is sports or libraries or to attend courses. And the BMS Fridays provide a place to meet your fellow students, discuss ideas with them, and get to know the latest happenings in the mathematical world from the experts. One of things that I really liked about these lectures is that I could always see the happiness that the speakers had while explaining their work to us. I also had the opportunity to attend BMS Kovalevskaya Lunches with leading women mathematicians who were always eager to answer our questions about pursuing a career in mathematics and life in general. They have been a great source of inspiration to me.

The support provided by the BMS One-Stop Office is simply admirable. They are always well prepared and ready to help you. When I arrived in Berlin for my studies, they helped me with all of the official processes, which made it very comfortable for me to get started. I actually learned a lot about organization from them when I saw them organizing the BMS 10th Anniversary.

Something that I never thought I would be doing was learning new languages, but after my first German language course at the BMS, I found myself really having fun learning new languages. There was no looking back for me from then.

The BMS is not only about academics, it is also about being a part of new family, the BMS family. I appreciate the BMS tradition of BMS Buddies, who are senior BMS students, helping you settle in to a new city and a new environment with lots of practical advice. Now for the fun part, we have parties all year round, BMS Christmas parties being my favorite.

Lastly, Berlin is a very vibrant and multi-cultural city. It is a city where I always feel like home.