Studying abroad, at all costs

By Camille FratiLex KlerenMisch Pautsch Switch to French for original article

After a year of almost no exchanges between universities, the University of Luxembourg’s mobility program is in full swing again – in the hope that the health crisis will not once again shatter or shorten the dreams of hundreds of students.

The start of the new academic year is once again marked by uncertainty for the Uni, which is preparing for all eventualities – a return to 100 percent face-to-face teaching or, on the contrary, the 100 percent distance learning so feared by students, or even hybrid teaching. The return to normality is officially planned, unless a sudden deterioration in the health situation forces the institution to draw up a new protocol sending teachers and students back to their computers at home. This is also the case for the international relations department, which manages student mobility, i.e. welcoming students from other universities for a semester (incoming) and sending students from the University to other universities abroad for the same period (outgoing).

What might seem anecdotal for a university is not for the University of Luxembourg, since ”mobility is a legal obligation at bachelor level”, explains Sylvain Saint-Amand, team leader of international relations office. And the semester starting in September will see a return to the usual volume of mobility for the first time since the emergence of Covid-19. ”We have 156 international student enrolments compared to 175 previously”, says Saint-Amand. ”We are extremely surprised by this high number. We thought it would drop as the new school year approached because of health insecurity, but that is not the case. There are several hypotheses, but we have the impression that students want to try to do their year abroad at all costs.”

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