Do you have any advice or thoughts about culture shock you would like to share?
The best advice is don't be afraid to laugh at yourself, it eases all sorts of tension and helps to lighten a conversation or awkward situation! Be willing to arrive with a mindset to be flexible and willing (within reason) to change yourself and not expect the culture to change for you. Last but not least and what just about everyone else will share too is to learn at least some of the language. Even reasonable, blundering efforts will be appreciated and you will be surprised how willing someone will be to "rescue" you with needed words to complete a thought. You might even find that they speak English but they won't volunteer it until after you've made an effort. Make the most of your time to experience the culture around you don't just live here or be a tourist on a long visit. Sit and watch taking it all in, listen and just let it encompass all your senses. It will enrich your life and those around you. It is an amazing adventure and with a little effort, you really enjoy it! Vill Gleck op Letzebuerg! (Continue)
Describe how you "dreamed" expat life would be before you moved overseas. Please provide as much detail as possible.
We had dreamed our daily life would be a lot simpler and more compact than what we had in CO. We had become accustomed to driving at least 25 minutes to do anything. We dreamed of long walks, quiet parks, cafe's along the street, people watching and generally having more time to connect with each other and new friends; relationship building. We dreamed of being able to slow down, enjoy lingering meals, travel and learn to "smell the roses" in life. We longed for fresh produce in local markets, wineries, getting to know the butcher and having a favorite bakery. We had dreams of being able to learn more of the language with immersion. (Continue)
How would you describe the facilities at this school? What extra-curricular activities are available?
The school is on a campus environment and shares a pool with the Conservetoire. There is a good sized gym with 3 basketball courts. The school is modern and is undergoing an expansion. There was a temporary lower school that was built and opened last fall. (Temporary is an interesting term, I think it looks like any school you'd see in the States!) The upper school will soon be undergoing an addition as they recently accepted more students. There are 4 temporary trailer-like buildings this year, outside, that houses the math/science class for the older students. The auditorium is adequate and is used for drama classes. There is lots of space where the kids are allowed to hang out between classes. They are given about 15 minutes between classes to exchange books etc. I have 2 high schoolers. They are also allowed to go across campus to the Forum to buy lunch. It is a cafeteria for the Luxembourgish high school next door, but is in a separate building. The school offers lots of different activities and both my kids took advantage of them (much to my surprise!). For example, kids are allowed to participate in band. The band plays at the school plays. It is a small school so there are a limited amount of activities and sports, but my kids have both adjusted well and enjoy it! My son was very diappointed that there was no baseball, but a new family came in last summer and started a club team. They compteted at local Army Bases. It is certainly not as competitive as the US, but they got to play and had fun! My daughter is taking art and was able to travel to Florence for a field trip to paint last year. They are going to England in 2 weeks and she participated in an arts festival in Slovenia. Wonderful opportunities! (Continue)