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Photo: Foto: Marcin Krzyzak -

Cologne has the perfect mix

This fair presence pays off

Claire came to the University of Cologne’s fair stand with a clear goal: “I like Cologne very much. For me, it has the perfect mix of culture and student life. I’ve heard a lot of good things about the university and a few of my friends study there. They are majoring in art history, German and geography. I’m hoping to study German and history. For me, that would be the ideal combination.” Like many other prospective students, Claire makes use of the personal consultation offer at the fair stand. People’s interest is immense, as in past years. Cologne is the second most popular study destination in Germany among young people from Luxembourg. It is topped only by Trier, which is located close to the border. Luxembourg is a country of approximately 2,600 square kilometers and 560,000 inhabitants. Yet among the international students from EU countries at the University of Cologne, young people from Luxembourg are the third-largest group.

A report by Christiane Kienle (Student Advisory and Counselling Center)

Reasons behind this success story

The trade fair stand at the Luxembourg education fair Foire de l’Etudiant is organized by the UoC’s Student Advisory and Counselling Center and the International Office in cooperation with the Lëtzebuerger Studenteclub Cölln (LSC). Every year, the fair attracts approximately 12,000 visitors from Luxembourg and its neighboring countries. During the two days of the fair, the stand is almost always surrounded by visitors. Counsellors from the university advise young people on the university’s study offer, which is highly diverse and thus quite attractive. At the same time, advisers from the student club convey an impression of the city’s student life.

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  • Christiane Kienle (Student Advisory and Counselling Center) and Friederike Heuck (International Office) at the fair stand in Luxemburg. Photo: Friederike Heuck
  • Numerous prospective students seek information about the University of Cologne at the fair stand in Luxembourg.
    Photo: Friederike Heuck

A long tradition of close relations

Traditionally, relations between Luxembourg and Cologne are quite close. Luxembourgian students studying at the University of Cologne are mentioned in historical sources already in 1574 (!). Today, 75 percent of the country’s prospective students go abroad to study. Luxembourg has only one university, which cannot admit more than one fourth of those seeking a university education. Hence Foire de l’Etudiant is a central forum offering orientation and perspectives. There, students can use the expertise of counsellors and advisers to find the famous golden thread in the information jungle. Educational sciences? Special education teacher training? A dual bachelor’s degree with German? Economics? Natural sciences? Or better medicine? Most of the students from Luxembourg are enrolled at the Faculty of Arts and Humanities and at the Faculty of Human Sciences. But they are also represented at the other UoC Faculties.

Cathia has already made her decision. She wants to major in business administration at the Faculty of Management, Economics and Social Sciences. “I heard that this Faculty is very renowned,” she says. “And I have had a connection to Cologne since I was a child. My father is from there, so I have family roots in the city. Also, Cologne has many merits: you are away from home and can become independent. On the other hand, home is not far away. It is only a two and a half hour drive to Luxembourg.”

Georges is also enthusiastic about the city and its university: “It’s a beautiful city and people are more open than in other cities. My sister is majoring in psychology there and she really likes it – the university and the way the study program is organized. I want to major in physics. For me, the subject means discovering new things and finding out how the world works. I was really surprised to learn that the University of Cologne has a particle accelerator.”

Beautiful impression of Cologne's old town.
Photo: Fabian Stürtz

Studéieren an nei Leit kennen léieren

Probably there is no other European country in which the more than forty student associations play such an important role. In Cologne, the Lëtzebuerger Studenteclub builds bridges and helps first-year students feel at home abroad. Members of the LSC offer assistance in many practical questions such as finding accommodations or sharing a ride back home. This active network also has an informative website and a Facebook group, and hosts social events like a regulars’ table.


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  • Sara Schmitz (second from the left), head of LSC, and other members at the Foire de l'Etudiant in Luxembourg.
    Photo: private
  • Members of the LSC on a night out bowling in Cologne.
    Photo: private
  • Members of the LSC at the Réunion Européenne des Etudiants Luxembourgeois in Munich. Photo: Yves Roth
A success story of more than twenty years

Getting all the information in advance, feeling welcome and having steady contact persons throughout one’s studies are important factors for student satisfaction – and student success. The cooperation among Lëtzebuerger Studenteclub, International Office and the Student Advisory and Counselling Center goes far beyond the trade fair. There are also numerous joint offers during the semester, which is highly beneficial. One sign of success is that the number of students from Luxembourg has multiplied by five! Thus, in future many roads will continue to lead from Luxembourg to Cologne and its university.