Students who prefer to follow the British educational curriculum can study for the International GCSE and A-level at Michel Lucius International School in the heart of the city. There are currently more than 400 students in the school representing 59 different nationalities bringing a cultural richness to the student population. The publicly run school is preparing to open up a new English-language primary section for children aged 6 to 12, offering the full English international curriculum.
"We have recognised in Luxembourg that we must open up more towards communities speaking other languages and that we need to provide more free public school places with tuition in different languages", explains Gerard Zens, Head of the Differdange International School and formerly Head of Education at the Ministry of Education.
"The government is making significant efforts in that direction and is significantly expanding the English offering at the Michel Lucius International School and the Athénée de Luxembourg, but if parents are looking for a multi-lingual education, then the Differdange International School could be a good option." says Zens.
The school is free of charge, and provides a curriculum based on the programme of European schools, enabling students to work towards the European Baccalaureate which is accepted by universities across the globe. The School offers three language sections: English, French and German. All pupils are taught a second language, which may be English, French or German, and a third language in secondary school. Spoken Luxembourgish classes are also made available to all pupils at primary level and in the lower classes of the high school, which allows the children to integrate locally.
"We want to be an innovative school, so we value cultural differences and talents because every child is different."
Zens continues: "At the moment we have 150 children in primary and secondary, representing 31 nationalities, so it is very international here, but from September, we will expand to all year groups, and we are welcoming all applications."
Children can enter the school in any year group in the lower school without knowledge of a second language. "We offer integration classes for new pupils from Year 2, lasting one year, and in this year we try to deliver a second language and bring them up to the required level. From 11 years on it is more difficult to integrate a child in our system, so we would encourage the parents to consider the Michel Lucius International School or the IB programme offered by the Athénée de Luxembourg."
Construction work is underway to build two new school campuses to accommodate the growing student population. Although the school is located in the south of Luxembourg, it is only a twenty-minute drive from the city centre. The after school club is subsidised by the government and parents, pay a maximum of 6 EURO an hour, a tiny proportion of what you might pay in any other European capital.