Moving to Luxembourg
Last updated on Dec 02, 2021
Summary: Moving to Luxembourg: Expats, retirees and digital nomads talk about everything you need to know before moving to Luxembourg.
What do I need to know before moving to Luxembourg?
When we asked people what advice they would give someone preparing to move to Luxembourg, they said:
"We were fortunate that we had a professional transition specialist who spoke many languages. I still call her to order oil or to help out when I have trouble. Try to learn a little French before you come. The Luxembourgers are very polite. Always say merci, au revoir when you leave any place, including the grocery store. Say bon jour or bon soir whenever entering an establishment and make eye contact. A little of that and some apologetic English and everyone will try to help you out! Most of the expats I know are all at the same level as my husband. We all have access to these transition people which makes life easier all around. They are helpful when moving in and especially when we need to update our Visas and when paperwork has to be filed at the commune. I can't read the forms, nevermind fill them in. Ensure you ask for a neighborhood or at least town where more expats or school attendees go. The school can tell you where most of the students come from. I have 2 high schoolers so being local to their friends is key," said another expat in Bertrange.
How do I find a place to live in Luxembourg?
We asked expats how they chose their neighborhood and found a place to live. They answered:
"We have been here nearly 2 years. When my husband got the job offer to come over here, it was late August. The company flew us over in early September to look at housing. There was only one house in this town. After looking at houses that were 30 minutes from the school, we chose the first one. It's all about location, location, location. Our town has many expat families, so the carpooling opportunities are numerous. Besides, it is not our house, it is someone elses. Our time here is temporary. You don't want to spend weekends (Saturdays only as Sundays you can't use any power equipment!) worrying about the house. It's closer to school and a bit older, but conveniently located and serves the purpose," remarked another expat who made the move to Bertrange.
What is a typical expat home or apartment like in Luxembourg?
"We live in a single family 4 bedroom 2.5 bath brick house painted white. The whole neighborhood has painted white brick single family homes. It is European looking from the outside, but modern design on the inside. Most expats that I know in this small country live in similiar homes. Most of the homes here are duplexes with one mutual wall. In the city there are apartments of various sizes and row house style homes," added another expat who made the move to Bertrange.
What is the average cost of housing in Luxembourg?
If you are thinking about moving to Luxembourg, cost of living in probably a key consideration. Expats commented about the cost of housing:
"Our rental is higher than our mortgage. The euro is about 1.5 times the dollar. The average similiar sized home rents for between 3500 and 4200 euro per month. We get paid in US dollars with a subsidy to equalize the cost of living here. Our home is rented in the US, so we contribute to our rent payment here. Then get an adjustment to cover the increased cost of fuel, electricity, food etc," remarked another expat who made the move to Bertrange.
What should I pack when moving to Luxembourg?
We asked people living in Luxembourg to list three things they wish they had brought and three they wish they had left behind. They responded:
"Wish I brought a snow shovel, gardening stuff- (rakes, edger, lawn mower) and more plug adapters. Wish I left behind all the winter boots, gloves and clothes we haven't used," added another expat who made the move to Bertrange.
What cultural faux pas should I try to avoid making in Luxembourg?If you live in Luxembourg, newcomers to Luxembourg would love to hear your answer to this question.
We asked people in Luxembourg if they could share any humorous cultural blunders they commited. For new expats, keep in mind that these incidents are an inevitable part of expat life. Learning to laugh about them is the key!:
"I think the most humorous blunders for the whole family have been because of translation and mispronunciations issues. With 4 languages it can get quite confusing. We've had a few conversations where we thought we were talking about air and hair and the function of our radiator when it turned out to really be horses but the English mispronunciation back to us was "whores". Between the 4 languages, air, hair, horse and whores can all sound very similar and when ever so slightly used incorrectly can erupt a room into laughter. We can hardly talk about hair and horses anymore without busting up with laughter every time. On a recent visit to Germany I wanted to practice a couple phrases I learned, to order our favorite lunch. I got to the counter and successfully made the order but at the end one of my kids changed their minds but I hadn't practiced the new choice. I must have looked so lost because the lady spoke up, in English, and asked if she had heard my child correctly and this would be the final order. I was shocked, assuming she didn't know English and confirmed the order. When I asked about her English she said, "oh yes I speak a lot of English but I thought you wanted to practice your German so I just let you"!! *blush*," remarked another expat in Luxembourg City, Luxembourg.
How are healthcare services Luxembourg?
When we asked expats and global nomads about the quality of medical care in Luxembourg, they replied:
"Purchase supplemental health insurance. You need your CNS card to do it and that usually takes a few weeks to arrive. As soon as it does, you can purchase the insurance which covers things like private rooms, whatever CNS doesn't cover and travel abroad. Go directly to the insurance company (there are many to choose from) and ask for a quote. Going to an independent agent can be much more expensive. I came from the US where we had international insurance until January when we went "local" and went onto Luxembourg's health insurance system (CNS) . I broke a tooth in February and we didn't have our CNS cards yet. But I mailed in all my expenses after the tooth extraction, stiches and post implanted (this was 2200 euro) . They paid zero. I have resubmitted my request after the implant was completed for an additional 1500 euro and still have not received anything from CNS. Also I find it very difficult with CNS because of the language barrier on my end. In the meantime we applied for supplemental insurance and was told I had to wait 8 months for dental coverage. I also travel to the US to see our children. I have a separate policy for that at a cost of 119 euro a year + 43 euros a month if I stay over 3 months. My daughter is employed, but we also had to purchase independent insurance for my college aged son at a cost of $1700/year. The supplemental insurance for my husband and me costs about 225 euro/month. If you don't go to the US for more than 4 weeks, you are set, but if you do, you may want to look into costs of coverage. CNS will only pay what they would pay in Luxembourg for coverage so you really do need something," said another expat.
About the Author
Joshua Wood, LPC joined Expat Exchange in 2000 and serves as one of its Co-Presidents. He is also one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. Prior to Expat Exchange, Joshua worked for NBC Cable (MSNBC and CNBC Primetime). Joshua has a BA from Syracuse and a Master's in Clinical and Counseling Psychology from Fairleigh Dickinson University. Mr. Wood is also a licensed counselor and psychotherapist.