University in the spotlight: KU Leuven
KU Leuven: a center of learning
| Oude Market & KU Leuven Library |
Situated in Belgium, in the heart of Western Europe, KU Leuven has been a center of learning for nearly six centuries. Today, it is Belgium's largest university and, founded in 1425, one of the oldest and most renowned universities in Europe. As a leading European research university and co-founder of the League of European Research Universities (LERU), a select group of distinguished research-intensive universities that sets the tone for research in Europe. KU Leuven has established itself as one of Europe’s technology hot-spots and its research output consistently ranks among the European top.
Research and Education at KU Leuven
At KU Leuven, excellence in research and excellence in education go hand in hand. Leuven’s concentration of brain capital, its excellent infrastructure and its convenient location in the heart of Europe create an exciting and creative climate for research and innovation. The university thus offers a wide variety of international programs, all supported by high-quality, innovative, interdisciplinary research, thus enabling students to acquire academic competences, including thorough knowledge and skills in the discipline, coupled with a broader interdisciplinary perspective, and a critical and research-oriented attitude. Flexibility and state-of-the-art technology are integral to each study program. Moreover, KU Leuven has
strong ties to the industry, thanks to its long tradition of collaboration, patenting, licensing and creating spin-off companies. KU Leuven Research & Development (LRD) is the technology transfer office of the university and is dedicated to valorizing research, building bridges between science and industry and transferring knowledge and technology to the marketplace. Thus, as a comprehensive university, KU Leuven pursues curiosity-driven and strategic frontier research as well as targeted and demand-driven research, all in an interdisciplinary environment
|Arenberg Castle - College of Engineering |
KU Leuven: a university within a town, a town within a university
Leuven Health Sciences Campus Gasthuisberg
KU Leuven's rich history can be read from the dozens of historical university buildings. The medieval cloth hall, near the famous gothic town hall, is the university's administrative center. The beautifully restored Great Beguinage houses students and guest professors. And numerous other old colleges and residence halls give Leuven the stylish face of a university town with a tradition. Where else can you find a university within a town, and indeed a 'town' within a university, so dynamically integrated? To this day, KU Leuven thrives as a bustling student town with a strong international allure, where various cultures meet and experiences are exchanged. Moreover, the city's central location offers a truly international experience. Major European capitals such as Brussels, Paris, London and Amsterdam are only a (very) short train journey away.
KU Leuven’s EuroScholar: Zachary Fromson
I was initially introduced to the EuroScholars program by my study abroad counselor and a couple of EuroScholars alumni at Clark University, my home academic institution. The program attracted me from the beginning because of its emphasis on graduate-level research as well as its reliance on students' independence. As a psychology major, EuroScholars offered me a challenging work environment with which to advance my academic skillset as well as a unique study abroad experience to call my own. While working in a psychology research lab at KU Leuven through the EuroScholars program, I have learned equally from working with my professors and from independently navigating my way through the obstacles that graduate-level research holds. Furthermore, the EuroScholars program has given me the opportunity to live independently during my stay in Belgium, through which I have learned so much about myself, in academics as well as in everyday life. Overall, the EuroScholars program suited my desire to be challenged in multiple facets, and the psychology and overall academic skillsets I have acquired here will assist me as I continue my academic career.
"In my country, Portugal, the name Leuven is one of the best and most prestigious names when you speak about universities."
José Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission
Leuven City Hall
I chose to study at the University of Geneva mainly because of the research project that had interested me. When I decided to go abroad, I knew I wanted to conduct research in the biomedical sciences. I had previously conducted cancer research over the summer on childhood brain tumors and I wanted to get further experience in cancer biology and the University of Geneva had a project in ovarian cancer I found particularly interesting. When I arrived in Switzerland just about everything surprised me. This was my first time in Europe and the little things surprised me, like how easy it was to go to other countries; in my first week I went from Geneva to France with a co-worker without any hassle.
While I was abroad I tried to travel as much as I could because it was so easy to jump from country to country. I ended up traveling to 8 countries as well as traveling around Switzerland quite a bit. I would have to say my favorite trip was to Stockholm, Sweden with my fellow EuroScholars after the mid-stay program in Helsinki. The weather the entire time was beautiful and we got to see the old city, visit the Nobel Prize museum and eat some fantastic food.
When I was leaving for Geneva, many friends and family kept commenting that it is an international city, and they were right! While I met a good amount of Swiss people while there, a majority of my friends I met through my flat-mates, who were Senegali, German and Chinese. I met someone from just about every continent. There were times at the dinner table where we were all chatting in English, but I was the only one for whom it was my primary language. It astounded me how almost everyone I met could speak at least one additional language.
My research abroad has already helped me immensely. While I was abroad, I applied to numerous graduate PhD programs in the US in the field of biomedical sciences/cancer biology. Once I returned I received interviews from almost all the schools I applied to and in the interviews the first question a majority of my interviewers asked was about my research and time in Switzerland. I have since accepted a position in the cancer biology program at the University of Pennsylvania and strongly believe it was in part due to my experience abroad that made me stand out from the competition.
My advice to anyone thinking about studying abroad would be to do it! It truly is an experience of a lifetime. I have met people from countries I never thought I would meet and have traveled to many countries. Being able to experience different cultures and learning about a different country is amazing. Switzerland is a very interesting place and pretty different from the US in its government and social structure being a country with a smaller population than that of New York City. Also, since Switzerland has 4 national languages, it was fun to take the train and get off in a different part of the same country with everyone speaking a different language. Further recommendations for Switzerland: try the traditional food, its delicious! Especially a fondue, raclette and rosti. The chocolate is phenomenal as well!
May 25 - 30
San Diego, CA
Some of the members of the EuroScholars Consortium will attend the NAFSA. Would you like to schedule a meeting, please contact:
Ms. Usha Mohunlol
EuroScholars Poster Presentation at NAFSA, scheduled on Wednesday, 28 May 2014 from 8.30 – 10.00 AM.
September 16 - 19
Prague, Czech Republic
Some of the members of the EuroScholars Consortium will attend the EAIE. Would you like to schedule a meeting, please contact:
Ms. Usha Mohunlol