Frequently Asked Questions and (more importantly) their Answers
The HR Office (Mrs Erica Bastian, Head of Human Resources, Mrs Herminia Guillén, Human Resources Specialist, Mrs. Laurianne Khodri, Human Resources Specialist, Mr. Vincent Biname, Human Resources Administrative Assistant, and Mr Brian Caroll, Human Resources Substitute Teacher Coordinator), will be helping you before and after your arrival in Luxembourg.
Erica, Herminia and Laurianne will be taking care of applying for your residency visas, registering you with the medical insurance and other official details concerning life in Luxembourg. Vincent will be booking your hotel stay, giving tips on living in Luxembourg, and generally pointing you out in the right direction when you need to buy furniture, a car or anything else you might need. Brian will schedule your initial SNST medical exam during orientation week.
In addition, we have a dedicated, friendly group of people on the faculty who are willing to give you pointers on living and working in Luxembourg as well as help you get settled in and taking you around to pick-up all the various items you might need, you will have a buddy assigned to you. You will be also provided with the name of people in your division, grade level or department whom you can contact to ask more specific, school-related questions.
ISL Mailing System
ISL uses Outlook 365 to communicate amongst staff and students through official notices. You will receive an email from HR office with instructions as soon as your account is ready to log-in.
Once you have your ISL email account, you will definitely want to regularly log-in and use it to communicate with new colleagues, read about what is going on in the school and most especially to "shop" through the “Faculty Information Exchange" for items (furniture, cars, apartments for rent, etc).
myISL Staff Portal
ISL’s staff Portal is providing messages and content for and from all sections of the School. This user friendly platform merges in one shared place various information and news, the information being filtered in accordance with the individual’s need and section of the School. For instance, you will be able to access specific blogs or quicklinks and All School information will appear on all homepages.
There are also sections dedicated to operational matters, therefore we strongly encourage you to visit the HR page which provides useful information for new and current Staff.
Access to this platform will be granted once your account is created.
ISL’s teaching resources
Collaboration between Teachers & Students
Student Portfolio (Lower School)
Communication with Parents
Student Information System
Collaboration between teachers and Leadership
You should plan to arrive in Luxembourg between mid-June and early July to be best allow you to find accommodation and calmly conduct all other business connected with re-locating to a new country before the back-to-school rush begins.
Please keep in mind that 15 August is a Luxembourg national public holiday and everything will be shut on that day, including banks, shops and real estate agents.
There is an international airport in Luxembourg and there are flights arriving several times each day from the major cities of Europe (Frankfurt, London, Paris, Zurich, Amsterdam, Rome, etc.) with the exception of Brussels. There are also trains arriving several times each day from these same cities should you wish to travel that way. You will receive a travel allowance equivalent to the cost of your travel from your home of record to Luxembourg to take up your teaching duties only if it is so stated in your contract.
In your employment contract it may state that the school will grant you (and any dependents) economy-class air transportation (apex or equivalent) from your home of record to Luxembourg.
The School will indeed pay you an allowance equivalent to the cost of your travel from your home of record to Luxembourg at the beginning of your contract. The amount of the allowance will be based upon a quote from a local travel agency based in Luxembourg and it will be stated in the assignment of salary when you first sign the contract. You will then know in advance what amount to expect in terms of travel allowance.
When you start to investigate for round-trip tickets as well as one-way tickets, please note that Round-trip tickets should have a return date within one month of your arrival (especially for NON EU citiziens) - the return portion of the ticket may be cancelled once you get there.
Note: Do NOT book open-ended, round-trip tickets as they tend to be prohibitively expensive. And for Non EU citizens, you will have residency visa difficulties at the airport.
ISL has hired relocation companies to provide new staff (overseas hired) with assistance in finding and acquiring appropriate accommodation as well as getting settled in during the first few weeks of life in Luxembourg. Each relocation company is expected to ensure that trained professionals assist you by organising and conducting:
- property visits with you,
- helping you get registered with the city authorities,
- taking you to the bank to open your accounts,
- and by generally acting in your best interests to help you get settled in to Luxembourg.
- for more detailed information please click to go to the document What can you expect from your Relocation Agency?
The relocation company will contact you at least one month (preferably more than that) in advance of your arrival in Luxembourg. The relocation company must provide you with a housing requirement e-form which you need to complete and return to the relocation company as soon as possible but no later than one week prior to your arrival in Luxembourg.
You can expect that your personal relocation agent will meet with you, at your hotel, to discuss your housing requirements (which you should have already sent back to them) within 24 hours of your arrival in Luxembourg.
The relocation agent must provide you with visits to 6-10 different, appropriate properties and must represent you throughout the negotiation process with the property owner to help you secure your desired rental property. The relocation agent must also accompany you during the walk-through meeting with the real-estate agent and assist you with all the details in acquiring the keys to your new rental property.
ISL expects that you should receive at least 10 hours of time with your relocation agent. The majority of this time should be dedicated to finding appropriate accommodation for you. However, there should be time remaining once you have found accommodation and signed your rental agreement, for the relocation agent to help you take care of other official business such as finishing registering with the city authorities, arranging for utilities (electricity, water, telephone, etc) hook-up, etc.
You should also receive a “welcome information package” from the relocation company which includes maps, information brochures and a copy of the book “Living in Luxembourg”.
The HR Office will act as the main point of contact for you and the relocation agents. The HR Office will provide information and answers to all your questions up to the moment where the relocation agent has the property visits organised. The HR Office will also provide you with support for the translation or explanation of your rental agreement (before you sign it!) and take care of all other necessary steps to ensure that your are able to become resident in Luxembourg.
Please make certain that you bring with you originals of the following documents for yourself (and any dependents):
- employment contract,
- letter of "Authorisation de Sejour" from the Luxembourg Ministry of Foreign Affairs,
- marriage certificate(s), divorce certificate(s), death certificate(s) (in the case of widows / widowers),
- birth certificates (at least 2 official copies for yourself as well as any dependents),
- special records of any pre-existing medical conditions,
- copies of glasses or contact lenses prescriptions,
- copies of medical prescriptions,
- copies of immunization records,
- copies of diplomas,
- police clearance record of current country (Non-EU citizens will need to exchange their current driver’s license for a Luxembourg one. To do so you will need to provide Police clearance record (s) covering the last 5 years)
Goods and Personal Items
Personal laptop, some personal teaching supplies, books, compact disks, clothing, linen, towels, other items of small bulk.
International carriers are becoming much stricter concerning the amount of baggage a traveller can have and limitations on its weight. Please check with your flight carrier before you pack your suitcases.
a. Large electrical appliances (for employees arriving from US only). The current in Luxembourg is 230 volts, 50 cycle, so you will need a transformer to operate American appliances which run on 110 volt, 60 cycle current. Having said this, we strongly recommend that you visit a very informative web page that lays out various problems and solutions for this electrical appliance difficulty:
The German Way:http://www.german-way.com/electric.html
b. Bulky items, furniture, etc. It can be expensive to ship these to Luxembourg, and they may be difficult to clear through customs. You will be required to pay a deposit of approximately 10% of the declared value. The deposit will eventually be refunded, once you have been given residency, but getting residency usually takes several months and in the meantime a considerable sum of your money is tied up. (This process is much quicker for an EU citizen.)
A point to note is that your shipping and relocation allowances, as stated in your contract, will be paid you upon your arrival in August, in a lump sum. You can use this money to purchase items of furniture, etc.
Often times teachers and families leaving Luxembourg will have items (ranging from forks to fridges to everything in between) to sell or give away. Please check the FirstClass email system "Faculty Info Exchange" notice board as the school year goes on to see if you might like to acquire anything on offer.
The easiest way would be to bring them with you as surplus baggage, but again this will depend upon the international carrier which you will be using. If you have more than you can carry that way, air freight is the next best way. In sending items air freight, make sure they are sent to arrive by air in Luxembourg, rather than having them sent by air to another European city, to be trans-shipped to Luxembourg.
Several international moving companies in Luxembourg which you might want to contact for further information and price quotes are: Santa Fe Relocation, Daleiden Moving, Arthur Welter Luxembourg, and Schenker. Recommended cleaning agencies for homes are: Netto Concept Plus, JoDan Services, and Net & Clean.
If your child(ren) will be attending ISL, you will need to fill in an online application as soon as possible.
Click here to access the Online Application
Once you have submitted your application and the related documents, the Admissions department will contact you back to let you know if everything has been received correctly or if there is any document/information missing.
You can refer to the “Admissions” section in the website for further general information, or contact the Admissions department directly, Henriette Rosenkvist ( Head of Admissions), Monica Trinchero or Monika Pasiak (Admissions Specialists), will be happy to help you (+352 26 04 41 05)
There are different options for childcare in Luxembourg. You can find general information in English in the following link
In the following links you can find childcare institutions on a map and in a list, or classified ads:
Expatica - childcare (in French and English)
Webnounou (in French)
Once School begins after the summer holidays, After School activities are available each day to Lower School children attending Preschool to G5 at ISL through an external provider and operate throughout the ISL school calendar year.
There are a number of days when Lower School is closed due to Lower School conferences and ISL Lower School staff development days. On these days this service provider is able to offer Full Days Course Activities for registered children.
Public transport works well and in a timely manner in Luxembourg. There are a wide number of bus lines and train connections.
You will find all related information to public transport in Luxembourg (in French) in the website: http://www.mobiliteit.lu/
The search engine to plan a trip is also available in English: http://travelplanner.mobiliteit.lu/hafas/query.exe/en?
- The nearest bus stops to ISL are: Merl, Marcel Cahen; Merl, Conservatoire; Hollerich, P+R Bouillon; Hollerich, Poincaré
- The train station (Gare Centrale) is approx. 2 Km from the school. There are also buses from the train station to Hollerich, P+R Bouillon which is in front of ISL
Used cars are easily available in Luxembourg at reasonable prices. Public transportation by rail or bus is also very good. We recommend that you NOT ship your car to Luxembourg because of the technical alterations (lights, exhaust emissions, visible chassis number, etc) which must be made to the car before it can be shipped as well as the extensive paperwork (need all original title papers) and costs (import taxes, stamp taxes, license plate taxes, obligatory technical controls, etc) involved once you arrive. However, for further information, please contact us.
b. Coming from inside Europe
You can drive your car into Luxembourg. It will have to be imported and the number plates changed to Luxembourg plates within six months of your arrival. Your driving license will be recognized in Luxembourg, but will have to be changed over to a Luxembourg license within 12 months of your arrival if you are a non-EU citizen. EU citizens do not have to change over their driver's licenses. Having said all that, these procedures change frequently and thus, we will call the Ministry of Transport for up-to-date information for you once you arrive.
You will be enrolled in the "Caisse Nationale de Santé" ("CNS") as of your first day of employment with the school. This is the national health and pension insurance fund for employees in Luxembourg. Coverage for you begins from your first day of employment at the school. Enrollment in the national health and pension fund is obligatory under Luxembourg law. You should receive your CNS card in your mail box 3 or 4 weeks after your enrollment in the CNS. If you don't receive your card, please let us know.
Coverage for any dependents (spouse, children) will not begin until you have received residency status and this can take up to several months for non-EU citizens. However, dependents will be retroactively covered back to your first day of employment and medical expenses incurred during that time will eventually be reimbursed.
We strongly recommend that you ensure that you have additional insurance coverage for yourself and your dependents until your and their coverage with the CNS begins.
You may visit any doctor or dentist in Luxembourg. At Doctena.lu you will be able to search for dentists and other specialists indicating your language preference. You can find doctor's availability and book the appointment online. You can also talk to Mrs. Roxzanna Eaton (firstname.lastname@example.org), Mrs. Leah Villafuerte (email@example.com) and Mrs. Heidi Glente (firstname.lastname@example.org), ISL School Nurses if you need other specific information.
Emergency medical services at the local hospitals are handled on a rotating schedule. If you have a medical emergency, you must go to the hospital which is listed as being on call. You should call 112 (Luxembourg's emergency number) to enquire which hospital is on duty. This is also the number to call if you need an ambulance or the fire service. This service will also tell you which dentist is on duty and which pharmacy is on twenty-four hour duty in your area. If you need to call the police, the number is 113. The children's hospital in Luxembourg city (the Kannerklinik), is always open for emergency services for children.
Again, you will be covered by the "CNS" as of your first day of work and will be able to claim back for medical expenses incurred in Luxembourg as of that day. However, the school strongly recommends that you have additional medical insurance which will cover you during the time prior to beginning work at ISL.
You can claim back for medical expenses incurred in Luxembourg as of the first day of your contract. To be reimbursed you need to send the doctor's invoice and the proof of payment to the following address:
Luxembourg Caisse nationale de santé
No stamp is needed for the letters submitted to the CNS for reimbursement. You can post your letter in any mailbox in the city or leave the envelope at the reception in the "External mail" tray (there are stickers with the address available).
You should receive a letter in your mail box from the CNS with the reimbursed quantities within two weeks approximately.
Yes, you ought to, but .... a substantial part of the local population speaks English, and of course everyone at the school does, except some of the cafeteria ladies. English is the language of instruction at the school. Being able to get along in French or German does make life here much more interesting, convenient, and enjoyable. You don't have to take crash courses before you come. The government and several private language companies offer courses in French, German, and almost any other language you might care to learn. The school also organises staff professional development courses in French, German and Luxembourgish throughout the school year and will reimburse you the cost of any other course you take locally (French, German or Luxembourgish), up to a certain financial limit.
Hint: If you really want to endear yourself to the local population, take courses in Letzebuergesch, the local language.
Yes, but if you bring a dog you might find it more difficult to find a place to rent than if you have a cat or a gold fish. If you are bringing pets, make sure they have had all vaccinations and inoculations, especially against rabies, and bring the vaccination records with you. Also, you will need to have a micro-chip implanted on your pet, if it does not already have one.
Please check with the airlines concerning their rules and regulations on the transportation of animals before you book your tickets. Also, if possible, your pet should come on the same flight with you. Finally, you will need to keep in mind that the smaller airlines and airplanes which fly into Luxembourg often-times do not have any possibilities for the transportation of animals; you may need to bring your pets in to one of the major hub airports and then travel to Luxembourg by either train or automobile.
Again, please do remember to let the HR Office know that you will be bringing a pet with you so that we can help you with these arrangements.