French expat in Luxembourg, Fanny suggests her tips about the different things you must think of upon your arrival as an expatriate in Luxembourg.
What should I bring to Luxembourg from my country?
Everything is available in Luxembourg. If not in the country, then you will find everything at less than 1 hour driving in the neighboring countries: Belgium, France or Germany. By the way, all deserve a visit!
Are there any products cheaper in Luxembourg?
The cost of living in Luxemburg is comparable to the cost of living in another capital city. Special attention needs to be given to the cost of housing (both for renting and to buying) which can seem very high compared to French provincial towns.
Some products are cheaper in Luxembourg such as fuel, cigarettes. Some others are cheaper in neighboring countries (for instance, cosmetics and home care products are much cheaper in Germany).
Important documents to carry apart from IDs?
When expatriating to Luxembourg, it is useful to bring:
- Copies of wedding certificates, recent (less than 3 months) birth certificates for all members of the family
- Copies of diplomas and references from previous employers if you will be looking for a new job in Luxembourg
- Special attention must be paid in case of non-married couple such as “Pacsé”, for whom special documents are requested. See the Luxemburgish administrative procedures website guichet.lu.
Is the measuring system the same in Luxembourg as in Europe ?
Measuring system is the same as neighboring countries. Any special equipment either for electronic equipment like transformers for phone or computer.
Choose your school before arriving in Luxembourg
It is very important to decide before your arrival, which school you would like for your children. This choice will influence where you shall be looking for a house or a flat. There are several international schools dispensing their trainings in French: the Vauban school “Ecole et Lycée français de Luxembourg”, the “Ecole Sainte Sophie”, the “Ecole Européenne”.
Be careful ! The number of places in some of these schools might be limited, especially for young kids. Furthermore, even if there are places in the school classes, it might not be warranted to have places in the after-school care or canteen organizations. It is important to check your options as early as possible before moving.
The Luxembourgish public school is also a very good possibility: the language is Luxemburgish until the age of 6, then German is introduced when pupils start reading and French is introduced later (pupils ultimately speak fluently the 3 languages). Of course, the younger the kids, the easier the integration. The organization of the public school is very good and additional trainings in German and in French are provided to foreign kids to help them reach an acceptable level.
Be careful : there will always be places in your local primary school (the Luxemburgish “ecole fondamentale”) but the “Maison Relais” which is the organization who will take care of them before/after school and during lunch time might be fully booked which may cause great headaches if the parents are not available.
There are also a large choice of Luxemburgish Lycees as secondary schools for older kids, they are splitted in two groups: technical lycees and classical lycees. It is important to take time to visit the Lycees you might target and learn more about the various classes and orientations to be sure to make the right choice.
Get in touch with someone in Luxembourg before arriving
To get contact in Luxembourg quickly, simply speak around you before your departure. You will discover that a lot of your friends know someone who lives or has lived in Luxembourg. Contact these friends of friends. There is a great sense of solidarity between expats!
Short term location, an option before choosing your home
It is important to consider where you will work and where children will go to school (and afterschool care) before choosing where you will live (Luxembourg or neighbouring countries). Traffic can be very dense on the main roads and downtown. More than 190 000 people commute every day to Luxemburg from neighboring countries !
It might be a good option to use a short term rental accomodation if you had no time to fix everything before your arrival. When possible, we do recommend that you spend sufficient time here to get acquainted with the possibilities. Some relocation services can offer a good support to facilitate your choices.
Is it difficult to find a house or a flat? What can you suggest?
Yes, it was difficult to find a housing to rent, especially when doing it remotely. There is a gap between supply and demand (flats or houses) and you may have to decide quickly, sometimes on the spot. There are some good local websites. Overall, housing in Luxembourg is comfortable, well equipped and well maintained. Use the help of a relocation agency if possible. Ask your local network (if any) whether they know a family who might be leaving in the area you are targeting.
What about tax issues back in your country?
It is advisable to take into consideration the different tax system before moving. In Luxembourg, the income tax is taken directly from your salary. Knowing this, there are some internet websites to make simulations to help you answer the question of your salary expectation as employers always refer to gross salaries.