Stay abroad via TUM without borders: Diving in Mexico, soccer in South Africa

TUM Global, News |

Christopher Chvalina is studying sports science at TUM. Right now, he is in South Africa for an internship. He teaches soccer to children and young people from the townships near Cape Town. His journey however began in Mexico. Christopher's stays are funded by the TUM without borders project.

Christopher Chvalina in scuba gear under water
Coral farming in the Mexican Caribbean: Christopher Chvalina on his daily control dive in the sea. Image: Private

During the pandemic, Christopher Chvalina was generally stuck at home, where he spent most of his time following his online lectures. He found himself longing for distant shores, at least partly because he hoped to acquire international experience. In Mexico the 31-year-old, who hails from Bad Tölz, south of Munich, lived in a wooden cabin that often lacked running water. But as he is quick to point out: “I was actually living in comfort. The people nearby were worse off.”

Looking back, he says: “Those experiences taught me to value life and have helped me to become more grounded.” In Germany people enjoy levels of luxury far beyond their needs. He also recalls how impressed he was by the capacity of those he met to enjoy life, regardless of what they have.

Find Christopher's full story at

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TUM without borders
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