- The May Term in Luxembourg
The May Term Experience
Encompassing an area of approximately 1,000 square miles, the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg is the smallest country in the European Union and borders on Belgium, France, and Germany. At the crossroads of major European cultures and a political center of the European Union as well, Luxembourg is thus uniquely positioned to give students and faculty a varied and stimulating experience of Europe. Nearby major universities and capitols offer additional educational resources, while Luxembourg itself is rich in beauty, culture, and tradition.
The country's total population is about 444,000, with its capitol and largest urban area, Luxembourg City, providing approximately 77,000 of the total, followed by Esch/Alzette with a population of approximately 24,000 and Düdelingen with about 14,700 inhabitants. In addition to these urban centers, about 91.5% of the entire country is rural.
The official language of the country is Lëtzebuergesh (Luxembourgish) and is mainly spoken by the natives, while French and German comprise the standard languages used by the government and are taught to children as early as in elementary school. About 150,000 foreign nationals, or more than a third of the country's total population, add to the linguistic mix as represented mainly by Portuguese and Italian inhabitants.
Luxembourg's very high standard of living is evident almost everywhere you look—in the well-kept medieval castles and churches, modern architecture, the multitudes of banks, the clean cities, their relatively high employment rate, and their relatively low crime rate.
The May Term is conducted at the Centre de formation et de seminaires (CEFOS) in Remich, also known as Reimech in Letzeburgish, the native language of Luxembourg. CEFOS is run by Luxembourg's Chamber of Labour and functions as a center for educational conferences/seminars.
The May Term defines weekends (from Friday afternoons to Sunday evenings--not past midnight on Sundays!) as the students’ free time, which they can spend as they wish. Students may stay in our residence during weekends, although meals are not provided by the program. Most often, students opt to travel privately, since they also have access to excellent public transportation.
Please note: While we certainly expect students to be cautious at all times, they should know that free time (time outside class as well as the weekends) and private travel are NOT official parts of the program. Whatever students do during their free time or whatever private trips they decide to take, they do so at their own responsibility and at their own costs. The Program will not guarantee any information the student acquires about travel destinations nor reimburse students for costs incurred for these purposes.
Please be aware that in the wake of September 11, 2001, geo-political and military situations are still tense. Students should be aware that there is danger due to increased anti-American sentiment overseas, which will, obviously, vary from location to location and according to the kind of people one encounters. Statistically, however, it’s not terrorism but traffic-related incidents that cause the greatest threat while being abroad. Cars drive faster, rules are different, and streets can be very narrow. Be careful!
The Henry J. Leir Luncheon
At the end of each May Term, we plan to hold our traditional Henry J. Leir Luncheon at The Restaurant Lea Linster in Frisange. Léa Linster is the only female chef ever to have won the prestigious Bocuse d’Or. She is Luxembourg’s best known chef—winning a number of awards including a star in the Michelin Guide in which she has never lost as well as a Golden Key from Gault et Milau. One of her published cookbooks was voted the Best Woman Chef Cookbook in the World.
The May Term Reunion
After returning to The United States, Margot Gibis of The Leir Foundation, has traditionally invited the entire group for a reunion at Mr. Leir's estate in Richfield, CT. Typically, this event takes place in the month of April. We'll provide transportation for all students going to the event.