HomeBlogLove is in the air: #unili-love and first dates on campus

Love is in the air: #unili-love and first dates on campus

It's probably the most important topic besides studying: love on campus. And because the University of Liechtenstein is quite small, you get to know someone very quickly here - especially in and around the student dorms.  

Gabriela Cortés is usually around when it comes to these love affairs. From the first shy approaches to the wedding, the person responsible for accommodation knows everything that goes on in and around the "Dorms". She introduces us to couples from all over the world who met at the university in Vaduz. 

Whether for flirting, for a short liaison or for the big love affair: at the latest after the Welcome Week at the beginning of the semester, everyone knows everyone else at the University of Liechtenstein. So no one stays alone for long. This is especially true for the small community of exchange students who make new acquaintances here far from home.  

Malin and Bassel: First date at the farewell party 

"It was on a rainy May 1, 2010, when my friend Mimmi dragged me to a farewell party for Bassel, who was going back to Damascus the next day after three years of studying architecture at the University of Liechtenstein," recalls Malin, a Finn, of her first meeting with the Erasmus student from Syria. "To cut a long story short, it was a good party. We exchanged phone numbers and met briefly the next day before Basel had to leave for the airport." What followed were many hours on Skype. "We then quickly fell really in love, neither of us wanted a long-distance relationship, so we went all in," Malin enthuses about the beginnings of their relationship. 

After Malin's return to Finland, the two of them really got to know each other. Bassel visited Malin there and afterwards Malin met his family in Damascus. These mutual visits were a complete success. The couple got married in Finland on January 1, 2011. With them were their friends from their time at the University of Liechtenstein: Malin's friends Mimmi and Karin, of course, Bassel's roommate Jonathan.  

"I come from a small Finnish town, Bassel from a Syrian metropolis, so we couldn't have grown up more differently. But the cultural difference was never a problem for us, because both our families always supported us," Malin recalls. But after all the romance came hard times. The war in Bassel's native Syria cast its shadow, and Malin struggled with health problems. "Then life has thrown us some curveballs ", summarizes the Finn. "But as cheesy as it may sound - these challenges make us even stronger." 

"Today we live in a yellow house near Vasa. Bassel is the co-owner of an architecture firm there. And I worked in a transport company until our son Adam was born nine months ago." 

With Liechtenstein, Malinfell in love from day one and spent the best time of her life here, she emphasizes. "Liechtenstein and the university campus are quite small. That's why you need to find friends who get creative and work together for their own entertainment. That’s how you make friends for life." With that, Malin alludes to the parties around the dormitory and her first meeting with Bassel. "I will be forever grateful to my friend Mimmi for taking me to Bassel's farewell party, even though I wasn't invited. Without her, our lives would have been completely different and we would never have had our "first date" shortly before Bassel's departure in a café in the Vaduz Städtle. I didn't tell anyone in the dorms about that, only my roommate Karin knew."   

Diana and Anthony: "I love you" at the university ball 

The American Anthony Camargo and the German-Bulgarian Diana said "I love you" for the first time at the university ball in 2015. They married six years later in July 2021 in a small circle in Vienna. Diana's friend Anja, who introduced them to each other at university, was also present. 

In between, there were eventful years on the campus in Vaduz, a long-distance relationship between Liechtenstein, Vienna and the USA, and a happy ending for the two business students with degrees from the University of Liechtenstein. 

When they were new to campus, Diana and Anthony spent a lot of time with their friends in the dorms. "The order of the day was lots of sports, trips to Feldkirch and, of course, parties in the dorms," the two recall. "On the first date, though, it was just the two of us at the movies." 

Butterflies in the stomach were also followed by tough times for the couple, Diana recalls, "It wasn't easy for us when I studied in Liechtenstein and then moved to Vienna, while Anthony went back to live in the U.S. after getting his master's in Information Systems here. But that made our relationship stronger. We learned how to be close even when we're far away." 

Soon, the management consultant will move from Vienna to join Anthony in Connecticut, where he works as a Robotic Process Automation Consultant. Diana and Anthony will always have fond memories of Liechtenstein: "This is where we met and had so much fun with our friends." And in August, the big wedding will take place - in Bulgaria and with all their friends from their time together at the University of Liechtenstein. 

Nadine and Kristóf: Love while skating 

"We disagree on when we first met. Kristóf claims it was in November 2010 when he came to the dormitory to hand in his application for the Master's in Finance. I think it was in September 2011 when he carried a half-empty garbage bag out of the dormitory just to meet me there," recalls Nadine Székely, who came to the University of Liechtenstein from Germany to do her master's in Information Systems. Both agree that the first date then had something to do with sports - inline skating or hiking, probably. 

Since the native Hungarian and the German had spent a lot of time abroad and with international students, there were no cultural challenges in their relationship from the start. Instead, they enjoyed their time together on campus to the fullest - with international cookouts in the dorms or study trips abroad. "Before the semester started, we went inline skating together, and during the semester we mentored exchange students or went hiking," Nadine recalls of their time together on campus. 

Nadine and Kristóf also got married internationally: in a civil ceremony in Hungary and in a church in Germany with all their university friends. Afterwards, they remained loyal to Liechtenstein and continued to work in the country after completing their master's degree. Nadine has never let go of the university: she did her PhD at the University of Liechtenstein and is now a project manager in research promotion on campus.  

Big change for the family, however, has been in their personal lives: they now have three children, ages 1, 3 and 6. "Liechtenstein will always have a special place in our hearts. This is where we met, and it is and will remain a part of our daily lives." 

Marina and Roope: More than an "Erasmus fling" 

A hotspot for love is the dormitory right next to the university. This is where Marina Vasileva from Bulgaria and Roope Jaakonmäki from Finland met. They came to the University of Liechtenstein in 2011 on an Erasmus scholarship. After countless evenings of games and movies in the "Dorms", the student dormitory, they fell in love at a party in neighboring Austria. The first (unofficial) date then took place at the university ball - and so didn't remain a secret for long.  

"But then the Erasmus semester ended, and we both had to go back home to finish our studies," Marina recalls. "I thought at that time that I would never see Roope again. It was only then that I realized that this was more than an 'Erasmus fling.' But no one else thought this relationship would last." And it took a year for Marina and Roope to meet again at the University of Liechtenstein - this time for their master's degree and for good.  

Now the graduate of the Master in Finance and Roope, who did his PhD in Economics here in Liechtenstein after his Master in Information Systems, have been together for 11 years and have a daughter. They were married at a beach resort in Bulgaria. "About a third of the guests were acquaintances from our time at the University of Liechtenstein," remember Marina and Roope, who now live in Feldkirch.  

They still meet their friends from university days: at reunions or for skiing. Marina has fond memories of her time at the University of Liechtenstein: "This is the place that unexpectedly gave my life a new direction! 

Love on campus: it remains romantic 

These are just four romantic stories of international students who met at the University of Liechtenstein. Gabriela Cortés knows countless more. And some are just taking place, but sooner or later Gabriele will learn about them, too.  

On the terrace of the student dormitory of the University of Liechtenstein, Fürst-Franz-Josef-Strasse 15-17 in Vaduz. More info on https://www.uni.li/en/university/services/living


The world meets in the student dormitory in Vaduz. How can you describe the community on site?

Gabriela: There in the dorm, students from 25 to 35 nations study, do handicrafts, cook, make music, laugh and date. Life there is usually colorful and characterized by interculturality, which is lived there. Every year, new residents join the dormitory at the beginning of a semester. Through the university's worldwide partner network, which functions very well, many exchange students come - not only from all European countries - but also from Latin America, Asia, the Middle East and America.  But not all international students come from "Erasmus" or exchange programs. For many years we have been serving regular students from countries such as India, Indonesia, Peru, Ecuador, Lithuania, Ghana, Pakistan, Tunisia, Morocco, Zimbabwe and Kenya.

Here you can find all information for international students as well as the blog "Seven steps to studying in Liechtenstein"

What makes life there so unique? How do people from different cultures encounter each other?

 Gabriela: I think that for many people multiculturalism is perceived more as a "conflict zone". In my personal experience, life at the Dorm is full of lessons and experiences that graduates will never forget. It is a place to make bonds for life. Living in the dorm feels like belonging to a family. Individuals grow together into an extended family, diverse with very different beliefs, faiths, religions, logic and experiences. It is not left out that empathy grows into sympathy, the "angel of love Cupid fires his arrows" and couples of very different backgrounds find each other. These stories are diverse and romantic. We would like to tell four of them here in the blog.

What is the significance of cultural diversity in the Dorm for you?

In the many years that I have been taking care of the students in the dorm, I have learned so much about customs, rites, traditions, gastronomy and logic that they bring with them to Liechtenstein from so many places on the planet. This is what makes life in the dormitory so special and so beautiful.

I wouldn't want to miss all of these wonderful experiences with the students from the Dorm - it's a great benefit for everyone involved. And I'm always personally pleased when former students let us know that. With news and continued communication via social media, that's not a problem today. And so, many stories and narratives reach me about the lives of my students who have grown into mature and successful people.

It's something wonderful when the university contributes a little bit to this international understanding. And for me this "little oasis called dormitory" is a living peace project - a place to learn more understanding and tolerance from and for each other and also to demand it. Of course, there are also conflicts that are addressed in an appropriate culture of conversation and solved by consensus. This also includes heartbreak when couple relationships dissolve. Then, of course, I am available for consolation. But what remains lasting are our loving couples and their romantic stories that find a happy ending and end well. And these outweigh the others.


220718_Blog_Gabrielagabriela_1.jpgPortrait: Lic. cc Gabriela Cortés

Head of Accommodation - University of Liechtenstein

  • Born in Mexico and raised in an intercultural family
  • Studies: Communication Sciences with specialization in Journalism and Journalism at the University of Sonora
  • TV journalist, presenter and correspondent in Mexico
  • Worked for various German companies
  • At the University of Liechtenstein for over 12 years

Gabriela's three tips for prospective students

  1. visit our public lectures and events, but also info events for prospective students on site or online to get a personal impression. Or just give us a call. We are always there for you!
  2. get in touch with our Alumni and Student Ambassadors, they will tell you from their own experience what you will find here at the university and in Liechtenstein. Feel free to contact me!
  3. Take the chance to live in a small country with many special features: Culture, nature, proximity to many beautiful cities and leisure areas. More about this soon here in the blog ...

Here you can find all the information about living on campus and in the region.


Your studies - your future

  Apply now until July 31 to study at the University of Liechtenstein!

  Click here to apply


We dedicate this blog post to Ines Hartmann, who came up with the idea. The architecture program manager just became a mother. Congratulations


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