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Integration is… step by step

Moving to Luxembourg – challenging however positively surprised

I am a positive thinker. When last spring my husband was offered a job in Luxembourg and I first heard we might be moving here, there were two most important questions, which came to my mind: Is there any English language school we could find for children? and shall I quit my business project or shall I continue it distantly? Both things which I did not understand how to deal with and control.

So we decided to go step by step and first of all find a proper school. Our daughters are 15 year old twins and there are just a couple of years ahead for them before the university. They have been demonstrating high academic results in their studies and it was important for us to continue in the same line. The school had to be of high standards, most preferably using the UK curriculum and the classes had to be in English as the girls did not speak any other foreign language. I investigated the market and it turned to be only 7 English language schools in Luxembourg. Four private ones out of seven by that time were filled in and there were no places – just a waiting list opportunity. One private out of seven did not have a high school program and two state owned schools allowed us to pass tests for the vacant places. We were happy and in July arrived for the first time in Luxembourg just for three days for the girls to pass the tests. At this point my second question related to my business project stopped being that important and was left aside for a while. I hope I will return to it one day 🙂

What surprised us the most in Luxembourg was that people spoke three or four languages everywhere and switched from one to another so easily. In Ukraine it is a big achievement if you have a command of English and here almost everybody we met starting from school staff to shop assistants and waiters – all speak several languages as a norm.

Another very positive surprise for us was the school which we found – Lycee Michel Lucius. The school of our dream – it has an English department and the A-level program providing UK certificate of education, it is multinational, it is modern and well equipped and it is state owned and free of charge! The girls were accepted to the school after passing the tests and have been happy to study there until now. They are treated with great respect and tolerance. It helps them achieve good results and be among the top students at their class – by the way, it is another positive surprise.

One more striking thing for us in Luxembourg was the diversity of the population. Living in Ukraine we did not realize there would be such an international country just in the middle of Europe. The integration procedures are quite clear and one should just search for the information and apply it the right way. At the start we had organizational questions and we wished there would be somebody to provide assistance. The Just Arrived book help a lot. Only later I found the information about the JAA Club in Facebook. I think if I knew it earlier our settlement would have been smoother. That is why I consider it is important to represent Ukraine in the JAA Club so that with my help our Ukrainian fellows could feel more comfortable in their initial stage of arrival to Luxembourg.

There are a lot of things which make our life in Luxembourg pleasant and comfortable – fresh air, green parks, very convenient transportation system, governmental support for expatriates, social support, feeling of safety. It is small and cozy – comparing to Kiev, my native place, where there are a few millions of population. Is it good or bad? – It is different.

What we have brought here from Ukraine are books. We like sitting with a real paper book and reading it in the evening after the hustle and bustle of the day. The rest for our good quality life can be easily found locally.

My dream is to open a Ukrainian cultural center in Luxembourg – the space where Ukrainians living here will be able to come and feel at home, where we could show others our cultural achievements, promote and develop creative and educational projects. Ukraine is reach in very intelligent people – great artists, poets and writers, sportmen, scientists and engineers. It will help us be involved, sharing Ukrainian culture with people living in Luxembourg.

There are many more things to open in Luxembourg yet. Let’s do it together!

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