Though diminutive in size, with most maps of Europe not even fitting the name in the space, The Grand Duchy of Luxembourg has plenty to offer in terms of outstanding natural beauty, green landscapes, rivers, and charming, fairytale villages. In a central position in Europe it is handy for France, Germany, the UK and the Netherlands.
The language is Luxembourgish, which is a close relative of German; however, English is fairly widely spoken - particularly amongst young people. With a population under half a million, you shouldn’t find yourself crowded out.
There isn’t necessarily a wealth of teaching opportunities, and there is only a handful of language institutes. Telephone tuition exists, but it is run through an office in Brussels.
Anyone wishing to teach in a state or private school is expected to have a degree, though this isn’t always a must, and a TESOL qualification. As with most teaching opportunities in Luxembourg, two years’ language teaching experience is a requisite.
With language institutes you can, in the main, expect to find yourself teaching business people. Enthusiasm for English amongst the general population is not as high, for example, as it is in Germany or Holland, meaning both the market is not as broad, and the motivation of those being taught is not quite as great.
In the main you will find yourself teaching students who have many years experience of English. Hence, expect intermediate, upper intermediate and advanced students. Whilst it is exhilarating and rewarding to teach such students, it is important to prepare your classes well and make sure you are clear about the areas you are teaching - particularly with grammar. You don’t want to find yourself being corrected about tenses by your students!
Visas and Regulations
Most state schools are not prepared to go through the difficult process of hiring native English-speaking teachers from outside of Europe. However, in some cases it is easier to place teachers from the US than from other countries, such as Australia and New Zealand. Non-EU citizens should check with the Belgian consulate in their native country to look for language exchange programs, etc. Americans may wish to contact Interexchange (www.interexchange.org), of New York, who run an exchange programme.
There is a reciprocal social security system that exists within the EU. High schools are required to register their staff for a social security card and also pay part of their contributions, which means that they may not generally be willing to take on anybody who is ineligible.
Most individuals working for institutes are self-employed, or ‘freelance’. Therefore, they are responsible for paying their own tax and social security. New arrivals are required to register with the police, organise a bank account into which their wages will be paid, and get a tax number from their local tax office.
Luxembourg, the city, is the capital of Luxembourg the country, and is the only big city in this country.
Getting a Job
When trying to get work in advance it is useful to contact the British Council who keep details of any exchange programs. They keep a list of language schools, both private and state. In addition to that the on-line Yellow Pages details the few English language institutes in Luxembourg. The British-Luxembourg Society promotes British culture and language in Luxembourg.
New arrivals would do well to consult the English language newspaper, Luxembourg News. Luxembourg Accueil Information, 10 Bisserwee, L1238, is a centre for new arrivals and temporary residents. Also placing ads in newsagents, etc, is not a bad way of offering conversation services.