Maryia Skakouskaya

My First week in Luxembourg

Moien alleguer!I never really thought my first week of Erasmus would be that busy. But I guess first weeks of every Erasmus are always like that; so, mine was not an exception. I felt very free to start attending the lectures after signing a new Learning Agreement and finishing the registration process.

The first week started from the first assignments. This semester I am doing 7 courses in the university of Luxembourg and only 2 of them are online. Therefore, I used to spend most of my time studying or being at the university. This way, I really needed a suitable place where I could stay inspired and keep doing my things. I am the luckiest to have the most convenient conditions to prepare for the classes. This is something I really love about this university.

One of my favorite places to have classes is Belval Campus. I remember first time when I arrived there – I loved how quite and futuristic the place is, how it pulled me to that mood where everything was so easy, clean and minimalistic. Living in Luxembourg is pretty hectic, and I think it is really hard to find a peace of mind here, but this Campus is just that.

Belval Campus - my favourite spot

It is not just a library, it is a great Learning Centre, in every way. I would say it has already changed the way I used to study before. As a Learning Centre it has a lot of features. It has a lot of privacy and space, just like you are studying at home. The right words to describe are calm and elegant. You can have a comfortable chair, sofa, or even bed! You can easily find a table with computer, or your own couch. Taking into consideration the virus and the distance we must keep – this Centre is a perfect place to follow the rules. Plenty of space and minimum amount of people around. I often go there at weekend; it is about 15 minutes from my home. I always choose the little colorful cubes to study, or big desks with lamps if I need to do an engineering drawing. I love this place; it is completely different from what I had seen before. This place makes my studying days much more comfortable.

My covid Journey

My covid Journey

I started the last week of October from the positive COVID-19 test. Two days before the test were tough: I lost the sense of smell, was languid and afflicted with headache. I believe I will get better within the time – it has already been 7th days of self-isolation. What I learned is that being sick is acceptable when it hits you in a right time. On the test day I was not the only one with the symptoms and the University of Luxembourg reacted immediately and conscious. All courses have been switched to remote and it made me happy knowing I would not miss anything! For 48 hours I received my positive result and directly informed the University. The system is well-thought-out; the University did everything to make my isolation comfortable both for me and my neighbors. I am ordering food and necessary medicine online, following all the courses and take rest after. The University kindly provided me with some basics like masks, sanitizers as well as kitchenware, so I would not need to go to the kitchen that often. 

Having only good experience in life is a dream that will never come true. I have to deal with the difficulties I am facing now, and I am in good spirits and keep remembering what my mother always tells me when it is a hard time: “Life without the problems is like school without the lessons”…

Stay safe, keep the mask on and be healthy! 

FROM NEIGHBORS TO BEST FRIENDS

One of the great things during my Erasmus in Luxembourg is meeting new people and making friends! Neighbors become best friends. You get to know everyone and it is always a lot of fun to be together. It makes everyday special: an incredible company, board games, dinners, trips and cosy evenings. My new friends are from around the world: Germany, Russia, Algeria, France, Spain, Italy and much more. Most of us are living so close. Therefore, we see each other all the time and I can barely imagine me leaving them in a month. But I am sure I will take the first chance to see my friends again! I learned from Erasmus that friends are the most precious thing one can get. I am really the happiest to have it. I am very lucky with the friends I have, with the people I love, with the studies I did there. Erasmus in Luxembourg is definitely worth doing: starting from a high-quality education and ending with the amazing people and unbelievable international experience!

 

About me!

I am Maryia, a Belarusian studying in Germany. I came here to study in Trier University of Applied Sciences, in Environmental Campus Birkenfeld. I am 21 years old. And I am on the fifth semester of my Bachelor of Engineering in the course of Sustainable Business and Technology. It goes without saying that I have always planned to do Erasmus in Luxembourg, but this time I felt specially about it. Especially proud and fortunate that I made it work in such a difficult time.

I believe the University of Luxembourg is exactly where I have to be right now. As I am doing my degree completely in English, I found it very important to experience studying in German. There is no question that Luxembourg is absolutely the best place to do so. It is very multilingual and intercultural.

During my very first day of being here I visited one of my favorite places in Luxembourg. Right there I made this photo you see in my contact box. The place is known as Golden Lady, or Gëlle Fra. I always enjoy this statue and lots of other amazing places when I am on the way to my faculty. I want to notice that one of the best things about being in Luxembourg is that the country itself is so tiny and divine that it seems like you are living in a castle!

I expect this semester to be both special and challenging. It is about everything: starting from being concerned about the Corona virus, having classes in another language and ending up with making Erasmus experience useful and memorable. What I am sure about is that is going to be a lot of fun!

I look forward to sharing with you my experience!

My new home

Self-isolation made me ready to show you my apartment in Luxembourg! I have to mention that my home is so many things. It is a place of limitless comfort, a place where I can cozy up with a good book. It is truly a safe and quiet place especially during this hard time.

I am living on the south-west of Luxembourg in the commune Differdange. It is 15 minutes away from Belval Campus if I catch the train. Minimalism is what one can see first being outside and inside of the building: it looks simple and clean, nothing distracts you. There are trees and bushes around, nice citizen’s gardens in the neighborhood - so picturesque and almost criminal not to love it! :) Additionally, the building has two entrances and four floors as well as parking places and a social room (due to the pandemic it is temporarily closed). Every floor has a free laundry room.

I have my own room with the bathroom, yet I am sharing the kitchen with three other people. My room has only essentials, a huge window and a lot of space. It is very light there and the view out my window is amazing. Having a distance learning life is not that stressful when I am in Zoom from this apartment, really!

A little bit modern, but light and pretty a lot - this is how I would briefly describe my kitchen. I love the amount of space it has and the atmosphere it keeps in there. We used to have brunches and dinners with other Erasmus students, enjoy cooking and spending time together. No cafe and coffee shops are needed!

Three minutes of walking will bring me to the bus station from where I can reach Luxembourg City. It will take around 30 minutes. Also, five minutes away from the dorm there is a train station where I used to take a train to the faculty. Transport is for free and well-organised, but at weekend there are less means of transportation provided.

One of the reasons I always look forward to Fridays the most is the rest they give me. At the end of the week I am so relieved and happy I can just stay home, therefore having a comfortable place truly means a lot.

In fact, the place where I live is adorable. It is not just beautiful and modern, no, more importantly, it is so comfortable, bright and airy that I can not imagine me leaving it in a couple of months!

Merry Christmas and Happy 2021!

Christmas is coming! These are the best days before Christmas as well as the last week of my classes. I am happy and sad at the same time; my semester is almost over, but I feel like I have just started it. Nevertheless, I am still having lots of things to do. The winter semester in Luxembourg has a different time schedule than the one I am used to in Germany. The semester in Germany starts in October and ends three weeks after Christmas, yet in Luxembourg it started on the 14th September and ended on the 18th December. It means that my finals will directly start after the holidays. So, it is a bit challenging, but also, my exams are switched to online ones due to the current pandemic.  In the University of Luxembourg there are three main instruction languages: English, German and French. I registered for seven classes in my Erasmus semester. My classes are between two campuses (Kirschberg and Belval). In Kirschberg Campus I am taking one class which is taught in English and other four classes are in German. In Belval Campus I have only two classes and both are instructed in English. I really enjoy having this mix of languages and this variety of classes! I learned a lot and had enough time to enjoy the exchange. This Christmas I will spend in Luxembourg with my friends and you must know that Luxembourg is amazing during the winter holidays! The atmosphere is amazing; Christmas trees and lights are all over the Campus and I cannot stop enjoying it. It is time to send the gifts, decorate our apartments and study in between!

Brügge, Belgium

Do you know what I treasure the most? Being with my friends, traveling and enjoying the moment. Luxembourg is so very well-located that we could not but decided to plan a 48-hours trip to Brügge, Belgium! With the three friends of mine we took the train to Brussels and then switched to another direct train to Brügge. We were really happy to be there: historical narrow streets, hundreds of shops with the variety of the most delicious Belgian chocolate, breathtaking views, architecture and the nicest people around! What we loved the most is the comfort we had there. This Belgian town was so small that there was no need to use the transport: it took a few minutes to walk from one place to another, from the apartment to the center - everything was so close to each other that we could not but enjoyed it! Brügge is quite close to the Netherlands and is thus surprising to see how most of the ads and signs are in Dutch and how many people use Dutch rather than any other language. There is a nice market in the very center where you can get Belgian Waffles, hot chocolate, and then get to the top of the tower to enjoy Brügge from the bird’s view. Wherever I go I like buying the local postcards to send them to my family or hand them on the wall - a small reminder about the places I love. Two days there hours were totally enough to fall in love with the town and I believe I would love to travel there again!

Kontakt

Kontakt

Maryia Skakouskaya

s18c76(at)umwelt-campus.de

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„Happiness depends upon ourselves” said Aristotle and I am unconditionally happy that I made my semester in the University of Luxembourg possible!

My happy to go places near Belval Campus

My happy to go places near Belval Campus

K'Fé Bar Belval

Address: 7 Avenue du Rock’n’roll, 4361 Esch-sur-Alzette, Luxembourg

Whenever I need a cup of coffee to power through the day, K'Fé is my first choice. It is a very cozy Italian coffee shop. K'Fé is just a walk distance from the train station and Belval Campus. It offers a delicious variety of Italian pastries and deserts, alongside my favorite: Italian coffee. Since everything there is inspired by the Italian culture, I really recommend this place for anyone who would like to take a quick trip to Italy in a blink of an eye! The food, drinks, music, and even the nice lady who works there are Italian. Also, K'Fé is very recommended, if you are just looking to enjoy a tasteful cup of coffee or reading a book in a calm atmosphere.

BiBim - Authentic Korean Food

BiBim - Authentic Korean Food

Address: 14 Porte de France, Esch-sur-Alzette, Luxembourg

If you ever found yourself in Luxembourg and were looking to try something new after the universities, then call your friends and head to BiBim. I had no experience whatsoever in the Korean food, but after trying the food in BiBim, Korean cuisine became one my favorite. BiBim was not only about the great food for me. It was a whole new experience. It has this authentic atmosphere which I have never had in any other restaurant. Furthermore, the way that costumers can create their own special orders was surprising. Customers can create their orders by choosing from a wide verity of ingredients starting from the type of meat and rice down to the type of the sauce. Everything you have on your plate is unique, and the most important delicious. 

 

Cocottes Belval

Cocottes Belval

Address: 6 Avenue des Hauts-Fourneaux, 4362 Esch-sur-Alzette, Luxembourg. As an international student, who tries hard to make my exchange experience as profitable as possible, I spend a lot of time in the library. I believe that traveling and fun activities should never conflict with my academic performance. A long day of studying requires good time management, and Cocottes is an essential part of my time management plan. Cocottes is just two steps away from Belval Learning Center. It is kind of a deli that offers ready-to-eat items. It offers high-quality fresh meals, which can be eaten on the spot or can be packed to go. Cocottes is very convenient for students who have no time to waste. It is literally two steps away, and the ready-to-eat products there are healthy, delicious and one of the best option to have a quick lunch inside the Campus. 

"In the end, it is not the years in your life that counts. It is the life in your years." - Abraham Lincoln

Good to know

Good to know

How to get around like a local in Luxembourg? I would like to leave here 3 Best Apps that I am using every day! Like any other international place, Luxembourg is relatively easy to navigate with the use of only Google Maps. Nevertheless, there are a couple of apps that can make your life much easier.

1. CFL Mobile - Info from Luxembourg’s national train operator to make sure you are catching a right bus. https://de.jobs.lu/CFL-GOLD/

2. Affluences – A must have if you want to book a workplace in the Learning Centre or reserve 30-minutes to print or borrow/return a book. Additionally, the app is a must if you need an appointment with the University staff. 

3. wort.lu - Very well-structured App with the most important news from Luxembourg and the world. https://www.wort.lu/de

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