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Finding the right school

Finding the right school

by Sarita Rao 14 min. 03.02.2021 From our online archive
Luxembourg has a huge choice of schooling systems in several languages. Here's a guide to help you navigate education choices
Photo: Shutterstock
Photo: Shutterstock

It’s compulsory in the Grand Duchy for children to attend school between the ages of 4 years to 16 years, although it is also legal to home-school your child (we cover this at the end of the article).  

Children are automatically enrolled when you register at your local commune unless you provide a School Certificate showing they are enrolled at another school or relevant documents verifying that they are home-schooled. 

We’ve put together a list of schools plus links to our articles on taking the home-schooling route, but if you have just arrived, here are a few things to consider

How long you plan to stay. If you generally move around every few years, then an international school might be the best option. If you plan to return to your native education system (for example, Croatia, Slovenia or Denmark or Estonia) then the European schools might be a good option. If you prefer to integrate your family fully into Luxembourg then the free local system might be the right option for your children.

What languages your children currently speak and what languages you want them to speak. Luxembourg is a multi-lingual country and it’s not unheard of for children to be learning three languages at school whilst speaking two further languages at home. Find out more about the implications of raising multilingual children.

Entrance tests – some schools require an entrance test to be sat by a child in maths or specific languages and ask for an interview or meeting.

School intake year – some school years take children born between September to August, others January to December. Whether your child is the oldest or the youngest in the year, and what grade they will enter school, will depend on his or her birth date, so check this with a school.

Qualifications – there’s a great choice at secondary level between technical qualifications, European Baccalaureate, Luxembourgish diploma, International Baccalaureate and IGCSEs. Consider your own child’s preferred learning style (all rounder or specialist) and subjects they are interested in. Here's a lighthearted look at changing or choosing the right schools. 

Location – traffic in peak hours can be horrendous so consider the journey to school and access to public or school transport.

School hours – it may seem strange, but children can attend school for very different hours per week, so check the timetable of each school. Some attend a uniform number of hours a day, some have longer and shorter days, and finishing times can vary greatly, with some schools closing during lunch.

Wraparound care – if you both work, find out about wraparound care provided by a school, the costs and spaces available.

School fees – school fees can also vary greatly, with some International schools charging almost 20,000 Euros per year at high school level. Will your employer be picking up the tab or contributing towards school fees, and for how many years?

Size – some local village schools are small, while other schools incorporate ages 4-19 years on one campus.

Applications times – where possible we have stated these, but things can change, schools can grow, so keep an eye on school websites for up to date details.

Ask around – there are plenty of forums where parents are happy to discuss and share their education experiences in Luxembourg.

Luxembourgish state schools

Fundamental education covers the first 9 years of school and is divided in Luxembourg into 4 cycles. Secondary education lasts between six or seven years. Pupils preparing for higher studies attend a general secondary school whilst those likely to enter work after school attend technical secondary schools. 

Luxembourgish is the language used to communicate, and students in primary are taught to read in German, and later French. If your child does not know these languages, they will be given support with languages and integration, corresponding to their age. More information is provided in the government welcome brochure here.

Children normally attend fundamental education in their communes but can attend secondary education outside of the commune. There is a school service for newly arrived children over the age of 12 years, providing different options dependent on level of language skills and languages spoken.

You can find out about the Luxembourgish school system in more detail in our article here

State funded international schools

Lycée Michel Lucius (International school)

Located in Limpertsberg, this Lycée offers an English language curriculum from ages 6 through to 18+ years and follows the Cambridge Primary Curriculum, and the international GCSE qualifications (exams taken at approximately 16 years) and A'level exams (at approximately 18 years).

Application process: primary school applications can be made here. Exams in English and Maths may be required for secondary school application (depending on age and whether your child is a native English speaker), the details of which are listed here.

You can find out more about IGCSEs (also available at St George's School), here


International School Differdange & Esch-sur-Alzette

With French, German, Portuguese and English linguistic sections, it operates to the European School system, but does not charge a registration fee. Taking children aged 5/6 to 18+ years in primary and secondary school through the European Baccalaureate qualification. Luxembourgish language classes are also compulsory.

Application process: To register a child for the primary or secondary section click here. Registrations take place in March.


Lënster Lycée in Junglinster

The International School Junglinster follows the European School programme Photo: Serge Daleiden
The International School Junglinster follows the European School programme Photo: Serge Daleiden

The International School Junglinster, part of the Lënster Lycée offers the European School curriculum in English, French and German, at kindergarten level (ages 4 to 6 years), primary level (ages 6 to 11 years) and secondary level (11-18+ years). 

You can find more information here about enrolment and an FAQ about the school system.


International School Mondorf-les-Bains

Similar to its sister school in the south, this school operates a European School system in French, German and English languages. You can apply online for both the primary (French and English sections) and secondary (French, German and English). 


Lycée Edward Steichen in Clervaux

The international section of this school offers the European School system in English, French and German at early years (4-6 years), primary and secondary levels. 

You'll find the enrolment forms for secondary and primary, together with other information on the international section of the school here


You can find more information on the European Baccalaureate here

Athénée de Luxembourg

The Athénée in Merl offers secondary education from 11 to 18+ years with the International Baccalaureate (IB) programme in English. Students must take six subjects at IB level including English, French and Maths.

Application process: Applications can be made in the first year (7th grade) and fourth year (10th grade) of secondary school when there is a full class intake. You can also apply for 11th and 12th grade. Registration forms are available here, and tests in English/Maths for 7th grade and English/Maths/French for 10-12th grade are held in July.


Lycée des Garçons - Esch-sur-Alzette

This school in Luxembourg's second city launched IB classes last year, starting with grades 7 to 9. You can find out more about the application process here, with applications accepted from January up until late August. 


You can find more information on the International Baccalaureate here

Private international schools

St George’s International School Luxembourg

St George’s provides education for children aged 3 to 18+ years following the National Curriculum of England and Wales leading to International GCSEs and A’levels. School fees are approximately 8-15,000 Euros per year depending on the age/stage of the child.

Admissions process: A non-refundable application fee of 750 Euros must be made with the application. Places are limited and some year groups can have waiting lists. To apply click here.


International School of Luxembourg (ISL)

ISL follows the IB programme Photo: Anouk Antony
ISL follows the IB programme Photo: Anouk Antony

Divided into two sections the school provides education from 3 years through to 18+ years, students pursue IGCSEs and then the International Baccalaureate. School fees range from 16,600 to 19,780 Euros per year, depending on the age/stage of the child.

Admission process: You can enrol your child for the next academic year up to early November, and you will receive a decision on a place between February and Easter. Your child may be asked for an interview and tests depending on age/stage of education. You can also apply ongoing throughout the year if there are spaces in a class.  Details of the process and timeline can be found here. There is an application fee of 300 Euros. 


Over the Rainbow

Over the Rainbow has French and English speaking sections. It provides education for children aged three from early years through primary and secondary following the IB curriculum.

Admission process: Children can enroll throughout the whole school year. School fees range from 9,550 Euros to 12,350 Euros depending on the age/stage of the child, with discounts for younger siblings. 


European schools (not state funded)

European School II in Mamer has classes in English, German, French, Italian, Danish and Greek Photo: Serge Waldbillig
European School II in Mamer has classes in English, German, French, Italian, Danish and Greek Photo: Serge Waldbillig

Two schools in Kirchberg (Lux 1) and Mamer (Lux 2) provide education for children aged 3-4 to 18+ years to attain the European Baccalaureate. Priority is given to children of employees of the European institutions in Luxembourg, but spaces are available for a fee to category 3 (non EU institution employees).

Both campuses cover English, German and French languages whilst Kirchberg also has Nordic languages, Portuguese and Spanish, and Mamer has classes in Italian, Danish and Greek (and Czech and Hungarian at primary level). Children who are nationals of a language not represented in the main class, can take it as their second language or as an additional language (Irish and Maltese).

Children without a language section must enrol in a class from one of the three main languages, but continue to study their native European language as the primary one. This is a good option if you are from Slovenia, Croatia, Poland, Slovakia, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania and Romania, and you'd like your child to continue learning your native language.  More information on languages represented can be found here.

Admission process: Enrolment is usually April/May, with the application process here. Fees range from approximately 3,800 to 7,125 Euros depending on the age/stage of the child.


Technical college in English

The Lycée technique privé Émile Metz offers classes after the “5e” class taught in English providing training for future technicians in electronics, mechanics and IT. This secondary school also offers a training course taught in English leading to the aircraft maintenance licence.

Non-English language private schools in Luxembourg

Private schools

Other schools

The Lycée Technique du Centre is state funded and offers the IB in French.

The Waldorfschule is a private school but with much lower fees than most, which offers primary and secondary education leading to an IB in French. In the early years children are expected to learn in Luxembourgish and German. 

The Montessori school in Strassen offers a free-learning approach with French teachers but also German and English ones. The primary school section caters to children aged 6-12 years whilst the nursery school has children aged 3-6 years. There is also a Montessori school in Hobscheid which takes children aged 3-12  years and teaches in Luxembourgish, French and German. Both schools are fee-paying. 


There is a trend towards  parents and children opting for home-schooling, either to follow traditional qualifications online, or to follow a self-directed eduction.

You can find out more about how to register for home-schooling in Luxembourg and the support available locally in here, or read our article on Eileen, who chose a self-directed education path when she was eight years old. 

More information 

The Luxembourgish government publishes the Welcome to Luxembourgish Schools brochure for newly-arrived parents and children. 

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