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When Phd student Edward Hyslop studied his first undergraduate degree in Scotland, it was the first time he and his fellow students had been responsible for their own budget.
As a result, he observed friends struggle to manage their money. “Back in Scotland, a friend of mine blew half of his first student loan on clothes. Luckily, he was living with his parents,” he said.
Now a mature student, studying part-time for a Phd in Law at the University of Luxembourg, Edward is an old hand at making his money stretch further, which is fortunate given the cost of living in Luxembourg.
“Luxembourg is an expensive place to live, especially as a student. Most Luxembourgish students generally speaking have no problems with money. They can also live at home,” he said adding: “Really, the students who find it hard are those coming to Luxembourg from abroad.”
“The most expensive thing for students is accommodation and so it's important for them to know where to find the cheapest,” explained Edward. Luxembourg University provides 550 student residence rooms at a cost of 360 euros per month. But, he explains, students can also find house shares around the country. Edward suggests the website appartager.lu for finding house shares or the student notice board. “Most of my fellow Luxembourgish students live at home. But I encourage all my students to live in the university residences because for me it's part of the experience.”
Students in Luxembourg are eligible to work up to 10 hours per week to supplement their income. While Edward is in a slightly exceptional situation as he is about to launch his own company, he says there are plenty of part-time jobs available for those who look. “Getting a part-time job is one way to save money. Of course you have to weigh that in balance because it's going to affect the time you have left to study,” Edward explained.
To find a part-time job, visit the university student services which provides a list of local jobs both within the university and in the private sector.
Being able to go out and unwind after a day studying is an important part of the student experience. But, as Edward says, “going out in Luxembourg is expensive”. He advises students to eat at one anothers' homes and share cooking. The university canteen in Limpertsberg offers good value meals meanwhile some restaurants have student deals, including Quick.
Student-friendly bars include Scott's Pub in the Grund and King Wilma in Clausen, which do student offers. In all cases, Edward advises students to check with the venue if they offer a discount.
Edward's big tip for student-friendly shopping is to bulk buy, particularly when it comes to long-life food stuffs. For anyone looking to buy cheap clothes or gifts, he says that a visit to Trier, just over the border in Germany, is a must.
“You need to take into account the fact that you must buy a train ticket, for around 10 euros. But, it's worth it. You can go there and buy a lot of clothes or toiletries and come back,” he said.
Books, meanwhile, he says are trickier. Students may be able to buy second-hand books for their course by posting an advert on the student notice board. However, he warns students to beware the books are not out-of-date. Otherwise, students who don't want to shell out for books can get them by visiting the library.
Students at the University of Luxembourg can purchase a student travel card for just 25 euros per term, allowing free travel on all trains and buses within the country.
Edward said: “Unless you have a car you have to buy it. I take the bus everywhere. It's a fantastic service. And the trains are amazing as well. Definitely, the number 1 for getting around.”
Most non-Luxembourg nationals studying in Luxembourg will have to open a bank account at some point. Edward urges students to shop around for the best deal. “The banks know that you're going to be a client for life once they get you as a student,” he said, adding: “Don't just take the first one or don't be attracted by gimmicks. Look at things like interest rates and charges.”
Students can save money on flights from Findel by booking in advance. Low-cost airline Ryanair also flies to a number of destinations from Frankfurt Hahn, which can be reached from Luxembourg using the Flibco bus.
From the end of October, Easyjet will begin a new route from Luxembourg to London Gatwick, in the UK. Meanwhile, student offers are available on the TGV to Paris.