Heidelberg was Nino Fejzibegovic’s first choice of university in Germany. Also because he already knew the city, having taken part in a school exchange project. The fact that it actually worked out was, he believes, a stroke of luck. ‘The university has an excellent reputation, and I really like the international atmosphere and the student life there,’ he says. His favourite place is the Neckarwiese – a kilometre stretch of green along the river’s north bank. ‘In summer students meet up there for sport, for a barbecue or simply to relax. It’s the perfect place to go to recover from a stressful day at university.’ He has never had any regrets about his decision to come to Germany. ‘I can only encourage people to just give it a go and to see and do something different,’ he says about this ‘unbelievably positive time in his life.’
This courage to embrace new ideas remains a defining feature of Nino Fejzibegovic’s career path to this day. He has not only completed numerous internships in hospitals in South Africa, Austria, Japan and Sweden, but is also deeply committed to social projects. He volunteers with the Red Cross EU Office and is a member of the organisation ‘Helfer ohne Grenzen’ (Helpers without Borders). Furthermore, he is actively involved in the ‘EU Young Thinkers’ team initiated by the French-German Youth Office (FGYO). ‘Volunteering has significantly broadened by horizons,’ he says, explaining that it gives him a chance to help people in need alongside an opportunity to meet interesting people from all over the world.
In 2013, Fejzibegovic’s dedication and talents came to the attention of the Gesellschaft der Freunde der Universität Heidelberg (Society of the Friends of Heidelberg University), which promptly agreed to support him, announcing proudly that, ‘This young man is just one of many examples proving that an investment in education is always a good decision.’ And this investment in education is continuing to pay off: Nino Fejzibegovic is the first foreign student at the University of Heidelberg to get a place on the exchange programme with Columbia University in New York. ‘I’m really looking forward to seeing what life is like in New York City. The experience of working in a hospital at one of the best US American universities will be out of this world,’ says the medical student. As of 2017, he aims to complete his specialist training in Heidelberg.
This article was originally published on DAAD.de (in German only).