Sidal Lutterbach recently arrived at UVa-Wise on exchange from the University of Luxembourg.
Luxembourg is a small country in Western Europe, bordered by Germany, France and Belgium.
“There is only one university in the country, The University of Luxembourg,” Lutterbach said. “It’s really hard to understand that I’m German, that my nationality is German, but I study in Luxembourg. That’s quite different and that’s a bit hard to understand I think, because it’s two different countries. And it’s kind of a different language but the culture is quite the same.”
Classes at the university are taught in French, German and English. Lutterbach said that the school day was organized to account for students who traveled from neighboring European countries.
“Uni normally starts at 10 [a.m.] for me because some people are arriving from the border from Germany and taking the train and that’s why they need a bit longer to get there,” she said. “That’s really common.”
Students take seven to eight classes a semester, and each class is taken for one and a half hours per week. Lutterbach often has classes from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. with an hour lunch break.
“The University of Luxembourg wants students to go abroad, one semester, so it is required,” she said. “Most of the people stay in Europe. I could even go to Germany for my semester.”
However, Lutterbach decided that she wanted to travel out of the continent because she was already very familiar with European countries. “I wanted to go as far as I can and get new experiences,” she said.
Lutterbach also wanted to improve her English, especially as most new psychology research is written in English and originates from the U.S.
Lutterbach identified the biggest differences between UVa-Wise and the University of Luxembourg as living on campus, the open contact between students and professors and the short classes that are taken repeatedly in a week.
The University of Luxembourg is only 11 years old and does not have a well-developed sports culture.
“That’s really sad, that’s why I like here and I really like that students can go to the gym, and that’s all so new and that sport here, or team sports, are quite big in the University,” Lutterbach said.
For more information about participating in exchange opportunities, see Witold Wolny in Smiddy Hall, room 255.