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Starting with studies in Europe – Opening Week 2017

09/27/2017 Campus is still relatively quiet. But, by the end of the week, Leuphana will witness life returning to its premises, marking the beginning of the Opening Week. Teresa from the US and Amira from Tunisia have already breathed “uni-air” during the induction week which they just completed. They alternate between excitement and anticipation.

Amira from Tunisia can't wait. Since she learned that she will begin her teacher training at Leuphana in the winter semester of 2017/2018, her thoughts have been circling around the near future: “1500 people will start here at the same time as me, which makes me a little apprehensive. Teresa from the US state of Maryland is one of her new fellow students. She completed a bachelor's degree in finance and information systems in America. In Lüneburg, she concentrates on sustainability sciences. “Before I came to Lüneburg, I was worried that teaching and learning methods could be quite different from those of my home university” she says. “But talking to other students during the orientation days took away my fears”.

Taking away students’ fears, providing a clear overview is what the Opening Week is for. It will officially begin next Thursday with the Opening Ceremony and a speech by Bundestag President Norbert Lammert at Saint Johns’ Church. On the other hand, however, students will deal with the topic of Europe in small project groups – in discussions, speeches and presentations. The question we ask the participants is: How can a common Europe be strengthened at civil society level” explains André Bader from the Opening Week organisation team. We look forward to a critical examination of the topic in general, of EU institutions and of European policy”, he concludes. But it is also about ourselves: “what can and must we do to promote European integration”, this theme is accompanied by an art exhibition in the foyer of the Main Building, among other things.  

For Amira, 28, and Teresa, 24, Europe is an exciting subject, also –or even because– as an American or Tunisian, they bring in a view from the outside. I am particularly interested in how countries in Europe can work better together. This concerns so many core areas, such as sustainability, the refugee crisis or the economy”, Teresa enumerates. Amira, on the other hand, looks forward to the international exchange that awaits her at the Opening Week: “The students come from different countries. I find it interesting to hear how similar problems are dealt with in their respective homelands”. A look at the countries of origin of the new Leuphana students reveals that one may expect many perspectives and impulses: Colombia, Tajikistan, Vietnam or Nigeria – the list is long and covers almost all continents of the world. 

A broad-based organisation team provides information on what happens where and when during Freshers Week. André Bader: “The students have been well informed in advance about what the days are holding in store for them. In addition, many tutors and mentors support and provide advice to the newcomers on site. “In addition, there is an information and contact point in the foyer of the Libeskind Building. There, students can ask questions about the Opening Week all day long. The events organised will take place on the fringes of the city and include for example a poetry slam, a city rally or various activities by student initiatives. I am very interested in the programme items that bring different cultures together”, says Amira from Tunisia. And Teresa from the USA is already looking at the opportunities offered by her studies: “I will travel a lot” she announces, returning to the motto of the opening week: “I am looking forward to discovering Europe”.

Opening Week 2017 (Video 11:30 min)

More information

Opening Week Team:
Fon +49.4131.677-2000
Monday through Friday 8:00 - 20:00

Author: Urte Modlich, University Communication. Please send news from and around the University, research, teaching and studies to