Size doesn’t matter. Or does it?

Did you know:

a baby kangaroo is called a joey and the kangaroo pouch marsupium?

The official animal of Lüneburg is the wild boar, but for me, the city is like a kangaroo, and Leuphana a marsupium. Warm, safe, nurturing, though maybe overlooked, underestimated and -appreciated at first. The city and university have more to offer than they may seem.

The most asked questions I get — and I suppose other foreign students as well, when meeting someone new, are always:

  1. Where are you from? — Sometimes followed by: Which city?
  2. Why are you here? — Alternatively: Why did you choose Germany/Lüneburg?

In return, repeating answers I’ve practiced hundreds of times by now, sometimes with a joke added in to mix things up, I’d go:

  1. I’m from Vietnam. Hanoi – the capital city to be specific.
  2. I had German in school as my second foreign language, so it’s not all too unusual that I’m here. Two thirds of my high school classmates are actually here to study as well. And why Lüneburg? Honestly, I googled “media studies”, found my study program, thought it’s really cool, went to the bachelor information day at Leuphana, found it even more cool, applied and tada, here I am.

So, in short, I came to Lüneburg for my study. And I stay for the people.

Born and raised in a metropolis populated by 8,000,000 people, the start at Leuphana and life in a city with 80,000 citizens took me some time getting used to.

The city’s Old Quarter and its brick houses from the Middle Age welcomes you into a time capsule, tricking you to maybe think it somehow has magically stayed the same for centuries. Well, on the surface, that might be the case, but on a deeper level, it’s definitely not. The city is in fact extremely supportive of the university and their students’ visionary ideas and future-oriented projects.

Am Sande in Lüneburg, an old town quarter with many historic houses.
Am Sande in Lüneburg, an old town quarter with many historic houses.© DAAD/ Linh Tran

Meanwhile, Leuphana has made a name for itself thanks to its unconventional academic model. Here, open-mindedness is a must, and curiosity is most warmly encouraged. During the first bachelor semester – called Leuphana semester, one would get to know scientific research in general through interdisciplinary lectures and seminars with fellow first year students from all other study programs. After that, a typical study structure consists of modules from one’s major, minor and complementary studies. Furthermore, there’s even a possibility to double major. Personally, I always find the courses in my minor and complementary studies especially exciting, as they allow me to get to know students from other majors, who often provide me with completely new perspectives and knowledge.

As a 4th year student at the end of her bachelor study, I thank my marsupium for facilitating numerous inspiring encounters and allowing me the safe space I didn’t know I needed to become the person I didn’t know I could and should be.

When I first arrived in Lüneburg, I sort of gave myself a deadline to move away after three years or less, thinking I’d be bored enough by then. Now, I’m already living here for more than three years.

Linh Tran

When I first arrived in Lüneburg, I sort of gave myself a deadline to move away after three years or less, thinking I’d be bored enough by then. Now, I’m already living here for more than three years. Yes, the city is as peaceful as I thought, and I cannot deny that I sometimes miss the buzzing big city vibes and ponder the idea of moving to Hamburg. Nevertheless, I’m not bored to death — instead, I feel at home.

I suppose, like a joey, I know I’ll have to leave my comfy cocoon at some point. There’s certainly some growing I’ll have to do on my own. But that adventure will start in time. For now, all I can say is, I’m glad I saw the ad for Digital Media 4 years ago and I’m just going to thankfully enjoy the time I have left with Leuphana and Lüneburg.

  • Community
  • Everyday life
  • Lüneburg
  • Small town
  • Student life

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