Published on Monday, 09 January 2017
Interview with Laura Zaccaria, student of the Trinational Master in Literary, Cultural and Language History of German-Speaking Regions at the universities of Luxembourg, Saarland and Lorraine
UniGR: How did you learn, within your Master’s programme, about the study possibilities of UniGR?
Laura Zaccaria: "At the beginning of my studies, I have been informed by my director of studies about the UniGR and its services within the framework of the trinational Master’s programme. The speciality of this programme is that it has been conceived from the outset to the cross-border study possibilities in the Greater Region. The Master’s programme is offered in common by the universities of Luxembourg, Saarland and Lorraine and benefits completely from the wide study offer of the UniGR-network."
UniGR: Why did you choose the trinational Master’s programme after your Bachelor degree at the University of Luxembourg?
Laura Zaccaria: "There have been several reasons for me to choose such an international study programme, even if the University of Luxembourg is already known for its intercultural and multilingual orientation. Because I was very satisfied with the Bachelor’s programme in Luxembourg and because I didn’t want to forego the experience abroad, this cross-border Master’s programme was the appropriate choice for me – precisely because living in a small country like Luxembourg and having a geographical proximity with the foreign partner universities was a chance to benefit from their wide course offers. The fact that I can obtain with this Master’s programme the degree of three universities constitutes a significant added value for me. Furthermore, I have the possibility to write my master thesis as a sort of cotutelle by choosing a supervisor at my home university and one at one of my partner universities. This brings me the advantage to benefit from the knowledge of different supervisors."
UniGR: How do you commute to go to your hosting universities?
Laura Zaccaria: "In order to obtain the triple degree, I have to complete at least 30 credit points at each university, which correspond approximately to five courses. Accordingly, I commute each semester one or two times per week to Saarbrücken and/or to Metz. For this reason, it was a great help for me to benefit from the UniGR Mobility Fund. To facilitate the mobility of its students, the UniGR reimburses a large part of the travel costs at the end of the semesters, regardless of the used means of transportation."
UniGR: How do you feel about being in three different academic systems?
Laura Zaccaria: "A great enrichment of this trinational study programme is that not only the multilingual and intercultural skills are promoted, but also the adaptability to the different academic systems. You discover the different research and teaching methods of the universities. All of this becomes more important in the time of globalisation and increases the career opportunities. However, the simultaneous studying at three universities from three different countries requires of course more self-organisation. Nevertheless, the directors of studies as well as the UniGR-employees help you make the mobility as uncomplicated as possible, so that you have time to concentrate on the courses. On the UniGR website you can find a special course offer from the three universities specifically suited to the trinational Master’s programme, so that you don’t have to consult the whole course catalogue of the three universities at the beginning of each semester. This extremely facilitates the course choice. Moreover, the creation of a learning agreement is superfluous in this Master. In addition, there are often block seminars offered by the hosting universities, so that you don’t need to travel abroad every week. All of this facilitates the simultaneous studying at several universities."
UniGR: What do you plan to do after your studies?
Laura Zaccaria: "After my degree, I intend to work in the publishing sector or in a communication department of a cultural institution. This must not necessarily be in Luxembourg. I can also imagine pursuing a cross-border career and so I will look for job offers within the Greater Region."
UniGR: Would you recommend the UniGR student status to the other students of the University of Luxembourg?
Laura Zaccaria: "Because not only the students of the trinational Master’s programme can benefit from this cross-border course offer but all the students of the university, who want to complete a mobility at one of the five other universities of the UniGR-network – either for one or more courses – I strongly recommend the UniGR student status. It offers the possibility to recognize the taken courses at the home university and you get a student card from the hosting university with which you can use the canteens and libraries without paying additional tuition fees. Furthermore, the UniGR staff helps you with the organisation of the mobility."
To (re)read the interview online and learn more about the University of the Greater Region, you can visit its website.