Luxembourg Insider is a regular column that takes a deep dive into life as an expat in the Grand Duchy.
Last week's Luxembourg Insider was all about Luxembourg's school system - when and where to enrol your kids, how the school system works, the various English-language school options available through the state, and who to contact if you need further information.
What wasn't included in that guide was private school options - and there are quite a few of those as well! So that's what we'll be looking into for this week's Insider instalment - but do note that I will only be going into detail on schools that offer English as one of their teaching languages.
European Schools is a network of private-authority schools that place emphasis on multicultural and multilingual pedagogy. The successful completion of secondary school study at a European School gives you a European Baccalaureate (EB). UCAS (a higher education authority in the United Kingdom, which processes university applications) notes that pass rates are generally high thanks to ongoing and preparatory testing leading up to final exams, while it is extremely difficult to obtain marks of over 90%.
Good EB marks will generally provide the opportunity to study at a broad range of universities internationally. To better understand how EB is viewed in e.g. the UK, see this UCAS page on admissions.
There are currently 13 European Schools in 6 countries (there were previously 14 schools in 7 countries, but the one in the UK closed in 2017). Of these, two can be found in Luxembourg:
Which European school your child is enrolled to will depend on their mother tongue. Bulgarian, Dutch, Estonian, Finnish, Latvian, Lithuanian, Polish, Portuguese, Spanish and Swedish native speakers will be enrolled to Luxembourg I. Czech, Danish, Greek, Hungarian, Italian, Maltese, Romanian, Slovenian, Slovakian and Croatian native speakers will be enrolled to Luxembourg II.
The schools don't have individual sections for all of these languages, however - though both schools have English, French, and German sections. The third (last) page of this PDF contains a full list of the language sections available at Luxembourg's European schools.
Enrolment and Fees
Enrolment is between April and May, and you can find more information (including admissions policy) here and further information here.
The European schools operate on a three-tier basis, and the category your child falls under will determine the likelihood of getting a place and the fees you will have to pay.
Category 1: children of a parent work for a European institution. Assuming that the parent's contract is for a minimum of 1 year, children in this category are given priority. They are also exempt from paying school fees.
Category 2: children of a parent who works for an employer with a special agreement with the European schools, stating that the employer will pay the school fees.
Category 3: children who do not fall under categories 1 or 2, and whose parents will be liable for the full fee. Admission is possible if places are available and if they fulfil the school's other criteria.
The actual fees will, as noted above, depend on your category as well as your child's age. For category 3, the fees range from around €3600 (nursery) to €6800 (secondary). Click here for a full and up-to-date list of European school fees.
International School of Luxembourg
International School of Luxembourg is divided into a lower and an upper school, and offers classes from preschool all the way to secondary. At secondary level, the school states that 90% of students pursue an International Baccalaureate (IB) diploma. As with EB, UCAS provide some insight into how IB diplomas are viewed in higher education (a short summary would be 'favourably').
The international school is located in Luxembourg City, near P&R Bouillon.
The curriculum at ISL is taught in English, and they offer programmes in English as an 'additional language' for non-native speakers, as well as French and German. They also have after-school activities in additional languages. Click here for further information on languages at ISL.
Enrolment and Fees
The school recommends that you apply at the earliest opportunity within a year of the intended enrolment date. Dates, and the documents needed, depends on the grade you are applying to. See this page for further ISL enrolment information.
The fees will vary depending on the grade you are enrolling into. All applicants are subject to a fee of €300, plus an additional fee of €3000 once a place has been offered and accepted. In addition to this, annual school fees vary between around €14,800 (preschool) and €18,600 (secondary). Click here for a full breakdown of ISL fees.
St George's International School Luxembourg
As with the above two options, St George's offers international schooling for children ages 3 to 18+ taught in English. They follow the National Curriculum of England and Wales, which means that students will sit GCSEs in years 10/11, and A-levels in years 12/13. As with EB and IB, this is an internationally recognised and well-regarded curriculum which allows entry to international universities.
St George's is located in Luxembourg City.
The primary teaching language of St George's is English. Students entering at the nursery level are not required to speak English, while older primary level children will have their English abilities assessed prior to admission to ensure they will be able to keep up. Students at secondary level are required to speak English fluently. Students also learn French from year 1 onward, with informal French lessons at preschool level. Click here for further information on languages at St George's.
St George's also offers after school activities centred around a host of languages, more information on which can be found here.
Enrolment and Fees
Applications follow the school year, but up until year 10 students can join in the middle of the academic year if there are places available. Click here for more information on how to apply to St George's.
School fees range from around €8,000 to €15,000 depending on the year of study and at what point during the academic year your child is enrolled. There is also a non-refundable application fee of €750. Click here for a complete breakdown of St George's school fees.
Over the Rainbow
The newest and smallest school listed, Over the Rainbow (OTR) follows the European curriculum and offers schooling in two language sections: English and French for students aged 3 to 18+. You can find more information about the European curriculum under the European School heading, above, or read OTR's summary here.
OTR focuses on providing an individualised and flexible approach to learning with emphasis on small class sizes.
Over the Rainbow is located Luxembourg City.
Enrolment and Fees
The school focuses on small class sizes and individualised learning, and as such recommend that you enquire as early as possible.
The fees vary depending on the year of study, and range from around €10,000 (preschool) to €12,000 (secondary) per year. There is also a refundable initial registration fee of €450, and a one-off educational materials fee of €300.
That's it for this installment of Luxembourg Insider. Do keep in mind that our last instalment (link below) covered Luxembourg's school system, which also offers English-language options, as well as information on who to contact to explore and better understand the options available to you.
Martin Jonsson moved to Luxembourg in October in 2016, before which he lived in Edinburgh, Scotland, for 10 years. He's a freelance journalist and RTL Today contributor.