Luxembourg City, Luxembourg Report of what it's like to live there - 04/11/10

Personal Experiences from Luxembourg City, Luxembourg

Luxembourg City, Luxembourg 04/11/10

Background:

1. Was this post your first expatriate experience? If not, what other cities have you lived in as an expat?

No - Iraq, Burkino Faso, Abu Dhabi, Mongolia.

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2. What is your home city/country? How long is the trip to post from there, with what connections? How easy/difficult is it to travel to this city/country?

Wash DC - about 11 hours. I would avoid Paris and travel through Amsterdam or Frankfurt.

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3. How long have you lived here?

9 months.

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4. What brought you to this city (e.g. diplomatic mission, business, NGO, teaching, retirement, etc.)?

Government.

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Housing, Groceries & Food:

1. What is your housing like? What are typical housing sizes, locations, and commute times for expatriates?

Apartments and some townhouses. 20 - 30 minutes even during rush hour.

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2. How would you describe the availability and cost of groceries and household supplies relative to your home country?

Very expensive if purchased locally. US Military bases are located about 1 hour from Luxembourg - prices are very reasonable.

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3. What household or grocery items do you wish you had shipped to post?

None

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4. What typical restaurants, food delivery services, and/or takeout options are popular among expatriates?

Subway, McDonald's and Pizza Hut are available but expensive.

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5. Are there any unusual problems with insects or other infestations in housing?

None.

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Daily Life:

1. How do you send and receive your letters and package mail? Are local postal facilities adequate?

US Military APO is available for sending and receiving packages and letters.

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2. What is the availability and cost of household help, and what types of help are typically employed by expatriates?

Unknown, but I assume very expensive.

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3. What kinds of gyms or other sports/workout facilities are available? Are they expensive?

Yes.

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4. Are credit cards widely accepted and safe to use locally? Are ATMs common and do you recommend using them? Are they safe to use?

Safe and very common, but beware of hidden banking charges.

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5. What English-language religious services are available locally?

Yes, English catholic services are available on Saturday evening and Sunday morning.

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6. English-language newspapers and TV available? Cost?

Yes, the Embassy supplies AFN decoders. Cable tv is available at about 100 USD per month.

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7. How much of the local language do you need for daily living? Are local language classes/tutors available and affordable?

Minimal French is required.

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8. Would someone with physical disabilities have difficulties living in this city?

Unknown, but Luxembourg is similar to any big American city.

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Transportation:

1. Are local buses, trams, trains or taxis safe and affordable?

Yes, buses and trains are very common and cheap. Taxis are very expensive. City buses provide excellent, frequent and reliable transport.

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2. What kind of car do you recommend bringing to post, given the terrain, availability of parts, burglary/carjacking risks, etc.? What kind of car do you advise not to bring?

No restrictions on cars. Parts for most cars are availble.

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Phone & Internet:

1. Is high-speed home Internet access available? How long does it typically take to install it after arrival?

Yes. 75 USD per month.

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2. Do you have any recommendations regarding mobile phones? Did you keep your home-country plan or use a local provider?

Obtain local the cell phone service.

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Pets:

1. Are qualified veterinarians and/or good kennel services available? Do animals need to be quarantined upon entry to the country? Are there other considerations regarding pets that are particular to this country?

No.

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2. Quality pet care available (vets & kennels)?

Good. Kennels are available, but it costs about 25.00 USD per night to board a pet.

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Employment & Volunteer Opportunities:

1. What types of jobs do most expatriate spouses/partners have? Locally based or telecommuting? Full-time or part-time? Can you comment on local salary scales?

noNo.

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2. What is the typical dress code at work and in public places? Is formal dress ever required?

Coat, shirt and tie.

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Health & Safety:

1. Are there personal security concerns to be aware of at this post? Please describe.

No.

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2. Are there any particular health concerns? What is the quality of available medical care? What medical conditions typically require medical evacuation?

None - good health care is readily available.

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3. What is the air quality like at post (good/moderate/bad)? Are there seasonal air quality issues? Does the air quality have an impact on health?

Good.

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4. What is the overall climate: is it extremely hot or cold, wet or dry, at any time of year, for example?

Rainy winters, warm summers. It does snow but it usually melts after a few days.

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Schools & Children:

1. What is the availability of international schools? What has been your general experience with them, if any?

Obtaining adequate schooling for children is a very serious problem in Luxembourg. International School of Luxembourg is full most of the time. Waiting lists are very common. Diplomat kids receive no priority for admission. No adequate alternative is available except for maybe St Georges International School.

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2. What accommodations do schools make for special-needs kids?

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3. Are preschools available? Day care? Are these expensive? What has been your experience with them, if any? Do the schools provide before- and/or after-school care?

Yes - numerous, high-quality preschools are available but very expensive

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4. Are local sports classes and/or activities available for kids?

Yes - ISL has after-school activities. Luxembourg communities have numerous sports programs and activities available for kids.

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Expat Life:

1. What is the relative size of the expatriate community? How would you describe overall morale among expatriates?

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2. Morale among expats:

It's Luxembourg - what problems could there be?

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3. What are some typical ways to socialize, either with local people or with other expatriates? Are there groups or clubs that you can recommend?

Not much.

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4. Is this a good city for single people? For couples? For families? Why or why not?

It is better for families but ok for all.

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5. Is this a good city for LGBT expatriates? Why or why not?

Okay.

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6. Are there problems with ethnic, race/racial minorities or religious prejudices? Gender equality?

No.

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7. What have been the highlights of your time in this country? Best trips or experiences?

Traveling to neighboring counties - nothing special about Luxembourg. The downtown farmer's market held on Wednesday and Saturday mornings is interesting.

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8. What are some interesting/fun things to do in the area? Can you recommend any “hidden gems"?

Travel to neighboring counties, visit the wine/Mosel River region.

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9. Is this a "shopping post"? Are there interesting handicrafts, artwork, antiques, or other items that people typically buy there?

There is nothing unique about Luxembourg.

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10. What are the particular advantages of living in this city?

Touring Europe from Luxdembourg is great. You cannot save money living in Luxembourg.

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11. Can you save money?

NO!

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Words of Wisdom:

1. Knowing what you know now, would you still move to this city?

No - maybe in about 3 years post will be ok.

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2. If you move here, you can leave behind your:

plans to save for your children's college education.

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3. But don't forget your:

umbrellas.

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4. Do you recommend any books or movies about this city/country for those who are interested in learning more?

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5. Recommended movies/DVDs related to this city:

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6. Do you have any other comments?

Currently, I would not recommend this post for anyone, at least for the next 3 years.

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