Students Meet Consul General of Luxembourg

Jean-Claude Knebeler

News Story: April 29, 2015

A group of Sacred Heart University students who will be studying abroad in Luxembourg City this summer had the opportunity to meet with Jean-Claude Knebeler, the consul general of Luxembourg and executive director of the Luxembourg Trade & Investment Office in New York. Mary Trefry, associate professor of management, introduced Knebeler, who was accompanied by colleagues Laurence Pierron, executive assistant to the consulate general of Luxembourg, and Brigitte Goergen, commercial attaché for the Luxembourg Trade and Investment Office.

Knebeler currently has jurisdiction over the states of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine. Furthermore, he is the executive director of the Luxembourg Trade & Investment Office covering the Eastern half of North America, facilitating both American investment in Luxembourg as well as commercial development of Luxembourg companies on the North American market.

The study abroad program in Luxembourg runs every summer at the global campus in Luxembourg City. The courses are held in the Chamber of Commerce and students have the option to take one or two courses in either business or religion. Knebeler discussed the atmosphere of the “intimate country,” which is best known today for finance. He also mentioned that students might experience a bit of culture shock as the city is made up of many different cultures, and various languages are spoken there.

Many of these undergraduates have never left the country before and found the presentation to be quite helpful. “He is very insightful and knowledgeable about the country, and I learned a lot of good information in a short period of time,” says Michelle Scatamacchia ’17. “Especially for someone who has never traveled to another country, he made me feel more comfortable and excited about visiting such a historic place.”

Zachary Niles ‘17 finds the process of planning for studying abroad to be somewhat “nerve-racking, especially for those who have never been to that part of Europe before. I found that by getting a chance to meet a native Luxembourger, I was able to take away a true feeling for what I may encounter during my study abroad experience,” he says.

Following the discussion, Knebeler answered questions about everything from his favorite places to visit in the city to recommendations for art, culture and restaurants. When asked if he had any last-minute advice for the group he replied, “You will be made to feel very welcome. It is a very safe city. You will see people from everywhere. Be open minded, make friends, talk to people, discover.”

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