This weekend, March 18, the University of Luxembourg hosted an open day for graduate and undergraduate courses at its main campus in Belval. Luxtoday attended the event and shares the main insights.
Today the university offers 20 bachelor's and 40 master's degree programs. The university emphasizes internationality as well as research orientations. In three campuses located in different parts of the Grand Duchy (and not exclusively), about 7,000 students from 132 countries study to get their degrees.
More than half of the students at the University of Luxembourg (56% of all undergraduates) are foreigners.
On Saturday, about three thousand people, university applicants, students and their parents, came to the main campus in Belval to learn more about the campus and the available higher education. The five floors of the Maison du Savoir (main building), as well as the Maison des Arts, hosted information desks in various educational areas.
Representatives from the Faculty of Science, Technology and Medicine, the Faculty of Law, Economics and Finance, and the Humanities, Education and Social Sciences programs shared important information with applicants, helped with career guidance, and even held competitions.
One of the most interesting panels at the open day was an honest conversation with five alumni, intriguingly titled «What I know now and what I wish I knew then». The panel was organized by the Luxembourg University Alumni Network, led by Andy Adams, who is in charge of alumni relations. In the course of the exchange, former students shared their experiences of enrollment, language abilities, the learning process, and the career achievements they have since made in Luxembourg and beyond.
At my time, it was recommended to know French when applying. I did not, but I went for it. Today it is mandatory: I'm not going to say if I was the reason for it! But during my studies I got a lot of support, and even not knowing the language, the teachers were very helpful, students too. I had the professors saying, "Look, we can do some exams in English or you can turn in your work in English if you feel comfortable with it". It was very, very welcoming. So the language barrier here is not an issue. The university is so international. I think it's super funny: when I would be studying, my friends would be talking in Luxembourgish and French, and then one would fight with another in Portuguese, I was speaking English, and it was all at one table. So this is something that I've never experienced before. And it's super interesting, how the uni can bring so many cultures, so many backgrounds together and put us in one room
I would say you need to learn very fast because it's a different speed at University. You will learn a lot, but you will have to do it yourself. And I was not prepared for the speed at which professors could go. I remember the first semester: the classes were interesting and quite similar to high school. But then the exams came. It is when you realize, usually just in your first semester: "Oh, okay, actually I was not prepared"! In the fifth month, when you see your results and you understand you should have studied more, it's not easy. When you start university, you also start a new social life and you are attracted to other things too. You think that studying as much as you did in high school would be enough. That's not the case. You need to study more, way much more. But you will also build a social life which is way more interesting than in school. So you need to find a good balance. It might take some time, but it's okay. I think it's the moment in your life when you will learn how to find balance.
There are two exchange programs at the University of Luxembourg — the Erasmus and the Global Exchange. The Erasmus program allows you to go study somewhere in Europe, and the second one is outside of Europe. And I was so excited about the idea of leaving Europe for another University and a different culture. And I was very much attracted by Asia. So I went to South Korea and it was definitely a life-changing experience. I'm so grateful. I was really surprised that I was accepted because it is a very competitive process, and I had to pass like three or four interviews with the head of international relations of the University of Luxembourg. I think I was a bit lucky because they were normally a lot of applications. And yeah, I got accepted. I went to Korea, and even though there was a language barrier for me, I took a bunch of classes in finance and started practicing my Korean. As I studied like Asians, I did it 24 hours a day, non-stop. They even were sleeping in libraries, and it was really great!
Applications are now open and will continue for some time now. You can apply online through the official site. Although some educational programs are still fee-based, the university offers scholarships and financial support to international students.