Leidy Ximena Chavarro Sanchez is quick to recommend others to study at the University of Luxembourg. The Colombian has travelled a long way to get her Master of Science degree in Quantitative Economics and Finance (MQEF). She wanted to propel her career and life forward. But before that, she needed training, so she left behind a prestigious job at the Colombian central bank and packed her bags for Europe. For the 29-year-old, it was all worth it.
These days, she typically starts her day at the cosmopolitan city of Esch-sur-Alzette, Luxembourg’s second city, with a hot cup of coffee from the campus cafeteria before zipping off to her first lecture of the day.
“What I like the most about my classes so far is the fact that we can all participate and exchange ideas and insights and learn from from each other. Professors are very open to discussion and encourage it. They are very helpful when you need it,” she said.
“Moreover, as I am in a research programme, I really enjoy the high level and quality of topics we are taught,” she added.
Officially founded in 2003, the University of Luxembourg is the only public university of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. Ranked 17th worldwide in the Times Higher Education (THE) Young University Rankings 2019, the multilingual university is home to 850 scientific and research staff, supporting 242 professors, assistant professors and lecturers in their teaching.
The European higher education institution offers Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees, as well as doctoral programmes. Courses are taught in English, French and German with degrees generally bilingual (usually French/English or French/German), though some degrees are taught entirely in English. All are designed with the aim of producing employable graduates in mind.
Like Leidy, many professionals around the world consider it crucial to advance their qualifications abroad, seeking world-class education, adventure and new environments to expand their worldview. There’s no shortage of all this in Luxembourg, which is why Leidy and other working executives have chosen the postgraduate programmes here.
For French student William-Alexandre Toublanc, the university’s location in the heart of Europe is its strongest asset.
Toublanc is now a trainee at the Legal Service of the European Parliament (Robert Schuman Traineeship), his third stint at a law firm dealing with EU law and Luxembourg law. All of which was made possible through the integrated internship offered as part of his Master in European Union Law and Litigation (LLM).
At the European Parliament, he assists members of the Legal Service by taking notes of parliamentary committees, conducting research in various domains of EU law such as asylum, personal data protection, etc, and analysing legislative provisions and the case law of the CJEU. Due to its proximity to several EU institutions – the Court of Justice, European Investment Bank, European Parliament, European Commission, European Stability Mechanism – as well as one of the leading financial centres of Europe and law firms, Luxembourg is the perfect base to kickstart his legal career.
But that’s not all; the diversity of professors at the university should not be underestimated. Most are not from Luxembourg, “which makes this University so special in its teaching methods and the approach for classes,” he said.
Brazilian national Beatriz Kallenbach shares a similar sentiment of a unique study experience. Previously working in project management and demand planning in a multinational company in Brazil, Beatriz today pursues a Master’s in Logistics and Supply Chain Management at the university’s campus in Limpertsberg.
“What I enjoyed the most was knowing people from all over the world in our class, with different cultures, backgrounds and experiences,” she said
Although it’s a small campus, students come from 125 countries, while personnel represent 20 nationalities. It’s an invaluable experience to know people from all over the world, with a range of different cultures, backgrounds and experiences. The balance between faculty members with academic and professional backgrounds was “crucial” to Beatriz as it helped her prepare for a career in supply chain management.
“We have the best of both worlds, so that we can became a better professional in our career,” she explained.
Beatriz also got to spend one month at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology meeting and working with people from other programmes – a real global community.
She sums it up as such: “If you are looking for an international environment and to share experiences with classmates and the professors and of course to learn a lot, this is the place to be.”