Voices (ISL Stories)

Meet Catherine Goetzinger

Learn more about Catherine Goetzinger, Alumni (Class of 2012)

Catherine Goetzinger

Where are you living now?
I moved back to Luxembourg about two years ago

What did you do after you left ISL? What did you study at University?
I enjoyed my summer and traveled with friends, then in September 2012 I moved to Maastricht, the Netherlands, to study European Law. After the first year of studying, I noticed that I didn’t want to continue and I applied for European Public Health at the same university. After my B.Sc I continued with a M.Sc in Epidemiology (research). 

Do you feel your ISL education prepared you well for University?
I do - time management, giving presentations, and writing essays.

What are you doing now?
Right now, I am registered at the University of Luxembourg and Liège as a PhD student. My research focuses on the importance of oral hormonal therapy in breast cancer survivors, and is carried out at the Luxembourg Institute of Health

Do you think that your time at ISL helped you pursue this? If yes, how?
I do.  ISL teaches its students to think critically and out of the box. These are essential for my current work. 

What advantages has studying at ISL given you?

  • To be open-minded
  • Ambition 
  • Critical thinking 
  • A network of remarkable friends and colleagues  

What advice would you give students to help them make the most of their time at ISL?
I advise every student to participate in CAS trips as well as debates (if I could choose again I would definitely go for it), but also to enjoy their lives and friendships, as it is very precious later in adult life.

Describe some of the things that ISL does above and beyond teaching and learning?
ISL provides a community platform.  

How did your time at ISL help shape you as a person?
I believe that the CAS hours really shaped me as a person. I participated in the trips to Australia and China. You learn about new cultures and you do get to see the country from a local perspective. ISL teachers that organize the trips either are originally from the country or have lived there for a long time. 

In Australia, we did our bronze surf-life-saving medallion and patrolled the beaches. This taught me to commit to, and stay focused on, objectives I want to achieve. We trained already weeks before going to pass the test. Also it teaches you group work and sharing experiences together as you live with your friends for almost 3 weeks (at that time it was a big deal ).  

China was a very educational trip for me. On the one hand, you learn about a new culture that is completely different from yours. Sometimes it was tough and we could not understand certain behaviors or manners of the Chinese people, but I learned to accept it and not to judge. The visit to huge companies was also a highlight of the trip as we spoke to managers and got an insight into their business visions and strategies to lead a huge company/business such as Volkswagen, Adidas, etc. 

After all, both trips showed me that I love to travel and my passion to visit new cultures. At that age, the trips also taught me thoughtfulness and not to take everything for granted!
Lastly, I believe that doing presentations on frequent bases really shaped me to the person I am right now. It was hard for me to speak in front of other people because I was afraid of what others would say. Doing many presentations helped me to overcome these fears. Speaking freely was one of my main advantages over the other students at university as no one ever volunteered to give the presentations as they did not practice this in high school. 

What do you think is unique about ISL?
I personally believe the side activities such as the CAS hours, debates, sports, etc. are unique opportunities ISL offers to its students. They do prepare you for your future life (without you recognizing it at the time being). 

Describe ISL in 5 words
Open-minded, Goal-oriented, Student-centered, Community, Supportive

Catherine Goetzinger





  • Alumni