Advice for parents.Guest columnist Valérie, My Talent Academy
You have just arrived in Luxembourg with your children at school.
Whatever your reasons for moving your family to this small country, you want to make the move a success and make sure it goes smoothly.
And, as statistics show that a move is at the top of the stress scale, how do you reconcile the desire to do well with a cool attitude? How can you be sure of choosing the right school system, schools and activities? How can I be sure I'm making the right choices?
I have some bad news: there is no magic recipe, no incantation, no site that tells you exactly what to do. But if you are on the Luxembourg Accueil website, it is already a good indication that you have a network around you. Do not hesitate to ask to be put in contact with parents whose children are already in school to get an idea.
A choice is good at the time it is made. The environment, circumstances and our level of knowledge may force us or give us the opportunity to revise this choice. The adaptability of your children is a constant that you can count on. Moreover, you should be aware that, whatever their age, your attitude is their compass. If you look at the positive aspects of moving to Luxembourg, you will also help them to see the benefits for themselves.
Moving to Luxembourg with children is a real opportunity for them !!!!!
- leaving their comfort zone in the security of a family and in an environment where others are experiencing the same situation.
- a healthy and safe environment with incredible infrastructures (swimming pool, stadium, ice rink...), quality facilities, varied activities (sports and leisure), the forest 5 minutes away and transport.
- a European or even international environment, depending on the school, with the opportunity to be in daily contact with young people who speak several languages to the point that it becomes normal. advice to parents - Opinion of Valérie, my Talent Academy
-the possibility of changing school systems without going far away, discovering other languages, other cultures, different educations, other culinary habits.
- a good preparation for autonomy in student life.
This small country can be experienced as a concentrate of opportunity and ease.
I have lived in Luxembourg for 12 years. I have three daughters who are now 28, 25 and 22 years old and who arrived in Luxembourg at primary school, Collège and Lycée. Once they entered the labour market, one is now living in Paris, one in London and one in Berlin. We like to think that this is linked to the years spent in Luxembourg. They have each had a different experience of Luxembourg, but what they have in common is their openness to opportunities without the constraints of borders, languages or lifestyles: true Europeans.
Choosing an education system
School is compulsory from the age of 4 to 18, and public schooling is free. The Luxembourg school system is distinguished by its international and especially multilingual aspect, so take advantage of it! The offer is very varied, you will surely find the system that will suit your child. And take a look at the Mengschoul.lu platform which will help you make the right choice..
5 questions to ask yourself in order to choose the right school:
⁃ How long will we stay?
⁃ Which languages of instruction should I choose for my child?
⁃ What budget?
⁃ Which education system to choose?
⁃ Which hours and childcare arrangements suit his or her pace of life?
Before school age
Day care centres are the most common way to have your child looked after. The offer of nannies or "au pairs" is not very developed. Since 2017, children aged between 1 and 4 years old who are looked after in approved structures benefit from 20 hours of free multilingual supervision per week. Your child will therefore be made aware of different languages from even before they join the multilingual school system. Depending on your income, financial assistance will be offered, but you will have to choose a "CSA provider" structure (Chèque Service Accueil).
The Maisons-Relais offer in each municipality is a system of childcare and even a canteen for children enrolled in the primary school of the municipality (during the school year and also during the holidays).
From the age of 4 to 18, your child will have to attend the school
You can opt to have your children educated in the Luxembourg system, which is a real opportunity if they are young (more difficult from 7-8 years onwards). Newly arrived children are taken care of by the SDE (Service de l'Enseignement). After studying your child's file, he or she will be enrolled in a class and will then take tests in order to build an individualised project.
At the Luxembourg Primary School, There are 4 cycles of 2 years. Cycle 1 is in the Luxembourgish, in cycle 2 German is added and followed by French in Cycle 3 and 4. Linguistic support is offered to foreign pupils newly arrived in the Grand Duchy. At the age of 12, young schoolchildren join the lycée. The secondary school curriculum lasts 7 years. Some Luxembourg high schools offer preparation for the International Baccalaureate:
Lycée Technique du Centre = French International Baccalaureate
Athénée and Lycée de Garçons d'Esch sur Alzette = International Bac
A Differentiated Education offer is available for children with special needs. You can visit Guichet.lu to see the list of specialised institutes.
Please note: the Luxembourg school rhythm may not be the same as in your country. Children attend school 3 full days (Monday, Wednesday and Friday) from 8am -12am and from to 2pm-4pm and 2 mornings on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 8am-12am. The school year starts on 15 September and ends on 15 July. You will have a week's holiday in November, 2 weeks at Christmas, 1 week in February (Carnival), 2 weeks at Easter and 1 week for Whitsun. Schools are also closed on all public holidays. Unjustified absence from school is against the law and not tolerated.
International schools and colleges
If you want your child to continue his or her education in his or her home school system, it's quite easy.
Francophone: Only 2 schools are listed by the AEFE (under the Ministry of Education) Vauban and Sainte Sophie. To date, only Vauban offers the baccalaureate.
English speaking : ISL (international), St. George’s (British), Michel Lucius (British) and a number of other international schools are opening all the time see men.lu for the latest list.
The European School (in Kirchberg and Mamer) is an establishment dedicated particularly to the children of European officials. Other pupils are accepted but they have to pay their own fees. Recently, several Luxembourg public high schools have been offering a European curriculum (LLIS in Junglinster, EIES in Clervaux, EIDE in Differdange, EIMAB in Mersch, EIMBL in Mondorf les Bains and EIGT in Luxembourg) or an international curriculum (Athénée). Find out more on the website www.ibo.org
More specific structures (OTR International School, Charlemagne, Waldorfschoul) may be another private alternative for nursery and primary education.
Higher education and financial aid
After graduation, your child will have the choice to discover the world or to stay in Luxembourg to study. The University of Luxembourg was created in 2003 and offers a high quality education. The Faculty of Law, Economics and Finance has over 2300 students, 2100 in Humanities, Arts and Education and 2000 students in Communication Technology. Business studies, BTS are also possible in Luxembourg. You can also study the first three years of medicine in Luxembourg. Think that the line Luxembourg in a CV is generally a source of surprise. It is up to you to make it your "wow effect"!
Luxembourg strongly encourages its young people to pursue higher education by offering easily accessible study grants and loans (AideFi, Erasmus+). Whether your child is enrolling at the UNI or going to another country to pursue higher education, this assistance is not negligible..