At the age of 12, students in the Luxembourg public system go to high school to receive secondary education.
This public secondary school offers several types of education lasting 6 or 7 years: classical, international, British, European or general (e.g. technical) education.
Here we detail the different secondary school systems, as well as the enrollment procedures in Luxembourg’s public high schools.
Secondary education in Luxembourg high schools
Pupils join secondary education at the end of the last year of basic education, at the age of 12. The choice of secondary school is made jointly by parents and teachers, depending on the student’s performance and abilities.
37 public high schools and 5 private high schools offer the programs of the Luxembourg public secondary education.
High school curriculum and final exam
In the Luxembourg system, the school curriculum is 7 years in the classical stream and 6 or 7 years in the general stream.
At the end of secondary school, students take an exam to obtain a diploma, the “bac”. They can then go on to higher education . The final grade is calculated as 1/3 continuous assessment of the results obtained during the year and 2/3 of the exam grade. the oral exam counts for one quarter of the exam grade.
The exam is held in June and all students are required to take it. If the student fails the first exam and can retake it in September, provided that he/she has been diligent throughout the year and has a sufficient average.
Classical secondary education ESC
High school studies in a classical high school last 7 years, from 7th grade to 1st grade. This orientation is offered to students with a good knowledge of mathematics, French and German.
Classical secondary studies are sanctioned by a classical secondary school diploma . They open the possibility of accessing higher education at a university in Luxembourg or abroad.
The high schools offer the common classical education taught in German or French depending on the subject. Students are taught literature, mathematics, natural sciences, and social sciences.
Classical high schools offer lower-division specials (grades 7 ESC to 5 ESC):
- “German as a foreign language” or ALLET classes for French-speaking students with difficulties in German,
- “French Plus” for non-French speaking students,
- French language classes.
Beginning in the first year of high school (7th grade), students can choose language options in Chinese (Lycée Athénée), English or Latin. The teaching of English is compulsory from the 5th grade on.
The specialization cycles offered in the upper division (3rd, 2nd and 1st grades) differ from one high school to another. We can find modern languages, mathematics and computer science, natural sciences and mathematics, economics and mathematics, plastic arts, musical sciences, humanities and social sciences.
The high school graduation exam in the classical stream covers 6 subjects, with 6 written tests and 2 oral tests. The student chooses his or her examination subjects from among languages and mathematics, general education and specializations studied.
Public international secondary education
Some high schools also offer the possibility of preparing for the International Baccalaureate . The last two years (2nd and 1st) are devoted to studying the International Baccalaureate program.
This course is reserved for students who are able to follow a classical secondary education. It is particularly aimed at foreign students who have recently arrived in Luxembourg, or who wish to continue their studies abroad.
The International Baccalaureate is a diploma that is recognized in more than 140 countries around the world, including Luxembourg.
This course is offered at the Lycée technique du Centre for the French International Baccalaureate and at the Athénée and Lycée de Garçons d’Esch-sur-Alzette for the English International Baccalaureate.
If you want your child to continue the school curriculum in your country of origin, he or she can attend one of the international, European, French or English schools in Luxembourg.
British public secondary education
In high schools that offer this option, students will follow a curriculum that allows them to achieve A-Levels recognized in over 125 countries around the world. Courses are offered in English. French and German are chosen as 2nd and/or 3rd languages.
The International School Michel Lucius prepares students for internationally recognized British secondary school qualifications such as the IGSCE – International General Certificate of Secondary Education, Advanced Subsidiary Levels (AS-levels) and Advanced Levels (A-levels).
These courses are recognized by Cambridge University PA and are designed for English-speaking students who are likely to follow a higher international curriculum.
European public secondary education
Based on the same model as the European schools, some Luxembourg establishments offer a European secondary education, leading to an internationally recognized European baccalaureate .
These public schools are open to all students and offer free education. These are the following high schools:
- International School of Differdange and Esch-sur-Alzette (EIDE) ;
- International school in Junglinster, Lënster Lycée International School (LLIS)
- Edward Steichen International School in Clervaux (LESC)
- International school in Mondorf-les-Bains (EIMLB)
- Anne Beffort International School in Mersch (EIMAB).
European education is offered over 7 years, in the French, German and English sections.
General secondary education GSE (formerly technical)
General secondary education is offered as an alternative to students who do not enter the classical public system in Luxembourg. There are several ways to do this:
- a course of study with a general secondary school diploma allowing access to higher education and university studies
- more professional orientation, offered according to the student’s wishes and profile. Different diplomas can be obtained at the end of the course:
- Diploma of technician for access to Higher Technical Studies with obtaining of Brevets de Techniciens Supérieurs
- diploma of professional competence
- certificate of professional competence via a preparation route.
Here too, special classes will be offered to newly arrived foreign students.
Depending on the orientation chosen, secondary studies in vocational schools also last 7 years, from “7th GSS” to “1st GSS”. Students acquire skills not yet acquired at the end of basic school. They obtain a final diploma and can enter higher education, higher technical education via preparatory courses, or directly into employment.
The final exam in the general stream covers six subjects chosen by the student according to the priorities of his or her section.
Enrolment in Luxembourg high schools
The orientation towards one or the other type of education is decided in the last year (cycle 4.2) of the basic elementary school.
Enrolment in Luxembourg high schools is subject to the availability of places at the first chosen school. If the child is not accepted in this school, he/she will have to apply to another one in the second round, depending on the available places.
You don’t find your way around the Luxembourg secondary school system? You can ask for help from CASNA (Cellule d’accueil scolaire pour élèves nouveaux arrivants). CASNA helps foreign students eligible for secondary education and newcomers to Luxembourg to orient themselves and integrate into the Luxembourg secondary school system. The office is located in the Maison de l’Orientation in Luxembourg.
Choice of secondary schools
The choice of Luxembourg high schools, classical, general, European or international, is very wide. There are more than forty private and public high schools in the Luxembourg system.
Selections are made without any geographic assignment based on residence.
To guide you in your choice according to the options chosen, consult the site
You will have a vision on the school map and the specificities of each school system and each high school.
Check the Open House calendar on the Department of Education website and attend with your child as early as Cycle 4.1.
Classical High School Athénée de Luxembourg
Founded in 1817, the Lycée Athénée de Luxembourg is a highly regarded public school in Luxembourg. It offers a classical secondary education in Luxembourg and the possibility, since 2010, to prepare an International Baccalaureate (IB) for English bilingual students. The Athenaeum is also an IB World School certified school.
In great demand, it offers all classes from 7th to 1st grade and all sections.
To study at the Lycée Athénée, knowledge of the Luxembourg language is mandatory in order to facilitate the student’s integration. For admission, applications are made in January but are accepted until September. Each request is treated individually.
Admission to the international section is based on excellent English language skills and the passing of admission tests in languages and mathematics. Different tests are required depending on age and class of entry. All subjects are taught in English with the exception of French and Luxembourgish. Please refer to the website of the Athénée school in Luxembourg for further information.
The Lycée Athénée is very involved in humanitarian and European projects. The Athenaeum is one of the European Parliament’s Ambassador Schools.
Many personalities such as Jean Asselborn, Minister, Joseph Barthel, Olympic champion and Minister, Robert Schuman, founding member of the EEC, are former students of the Lycée Athénée.
Students at the Athenaeum go on to higher education in the fields of law, medicine, ….
Michel Lucius International & General High School
The Michel Lucius high school (free public high school) in Luxembourg is a general high school (formerly technical). It now offers the possibility to follow a school curriculum in English. The end of the studies is sanctioned by a diploma A level GCE/ equivalent to the Certificate of success of the middle cycle of the Secondary education (3rd ES) under certain conditions.
Michel Lucius also welcomes since the beginning of the 2017 school year, children in the basic English school curriculum. This teaching of the Luxembourg curriculum is offered as an alternative to the Luxembourg basic school for native English speakers.
English primary and secondary school
As an international school, Michel Lucius offers a curriculum in English from primary to secondary level in all subjects. French and German are taught as foreign languages.
Luxembourgish, as a language of integration, is mandatory. The teaching of languages is flexible and adapts to the level of the student and his/her age.
The diploma obtained in secondary school is a GSCE General Certificate of Secondary Education and an A-level.
Admission is based on an oral and written English language test as well as a math test. Once admitted to the school, further tests will be requested in relation to the subjects chosen by the student.
Hours: School is open from 8:15 a.m. to 3:55 p.m.; classes end at 3 p.m. Tutoring sessions are held from 3:00 to 4:00 pm.
Luxembourg general secondary school
For the secondary school curriculum, Michel Lucius High School offers students technical secondary education classes from 7th to 13th grade, either general or oriented towards natural sciences, administrative and commercial or oriented towards health and social professions.
By 2025, the Lycée Michel Lucius will move to a new campus to be built on Boulevard Pierre Frieden behind the Auchan Shopping Center in Luxembourg-Kirchberg.
Central Technical High School
With more than 3,600 students and trainees in more than 250 classes, the Luxembourg public high school “Lycée Technique du Centre” is one of the largest secondary schools in the country. It offers a Luxembourg and international secondary education.
LTC offers preparation for the International Baccalaureate and is an IB World School. The IB International Diploma is recognized by all major universities in the world.
In addition to all the secondary technical sections, it is also possible to follow technician training in the fields of chemistry (the flagship of the LTC), automobile mechanics and administrative and commercial functions.
insertion classes are also offered to students who do not master the languages used in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg in order to follow the school curriculum corresponding to their age group and to quickly learn the languages of the country (Luxembourgish, German, French). See tutoring for foreign children.
The LTC is also open to adult education in the framework of initial training and preparation for the master’s degree.
Today the LTC operates on two campuses: the main campus at Limpertsberg on the site of a former Dominican nunnery and a branch campus with 450 students of about 50 different nationalities at Kirchberg.
The Lycée Technique du Centre should move by 2025 to a new site in Gasperich, near the new Vauban campus.
International School of Differdange and Esch-sur-Alzette EIDE
The International School of Differdange and Esch-sur-Alzette EIDE is a public school in the South Pole of the country. It prepares students for the European Baccalaureate according to European education regulations. Open to all, admission to the EIDE is based on an application (no test is required). Proximity to home and school is one of the main criteria for admission.
The school offers 5 years of European primary education, 7 years of European secondary education and 3 preparatory and reception classes.
The school is characterized by:
- Anglophone section from primary school to the European Baccalaureate, and as of the start of the 2018-2019 school year, French and German-speaking sections in addition,
- The teaching of Lëtzebuergësch as an integration language is compulsory for all pupils in elementary school and for pupils in the lower grades of secondary school. Reception classes for newcomer students
- Exchange with national and European schools.
EIDE is a multilingual school.
- At the primary school level, 2 sections are planned, a French section and an English section where all classes are held in that language, except of course for language classes. Students may choose a primary language from among French, German, English and Portuguese and a secondary language from among French, German and English.
- At the secondary school level, students choose a third language from among French, German, English and Portuguese and a fourth European language of their choice.
Hours: The school is open Monday to Friday from 7:00 am to 6:00 pm. Classes end at 3:45pm maximum.
Elementary school site Differdange: 2, rue de la Montagne L-4630 Differdange
Secondary school site Differdange: Campus de l’EIDE L-4573 Differdange
Primary and secondary school site Esch s/Alzette: 91, rue Victor Hugo L-4141 Esch s/Alzette
Lycée Lenster - European and Luxembourgish School
Since the start of the 2018/2019 school year, the Lycée Lenster in Junglinster, a Luxembourg public educational institution, offers two European sections, German and English, for its pupils from primary school onwards (6 years old).
The international sections are open to all, as this is a public institution, with tuition fees reduced to a minimum.
Enrollment is open to primary classes from age 6 to 11 (5 years of primary education), secondary classes from age 12 for 7 years of secondary education.
The European Baccalaureate awarded at the end of the 7 years of European secondary education benefits from the accreditation of all the members of the European Union in the same way as the other European schools.
Lycée Lenster students who hold the European Baccalaureate diploma will be able to enroll in any European university of their choice.
Edward Steichen School in Clervaux
The Edward Steichen European School in Clervaux offers several international sections since the start of the 2020 school year:
- French-, English- and German-speaking section of secondary education
- English primary section
International School of Mondorf-les-Bains
The International School of Mondorf-les-Bains offers several international school sections:
- English and French sections at the primary level.
- English, French and German sections at the secondary level (first 2 years S1 and S2).
Gaston Thorn School Luxembourg
This new school will be established in Luxembourg from the beginning of the school year 2022 and will enrich the offer ofEuropean public schools in Luxembourg. It will welcome 300 students divided between the sites of Cessange for the primary and Merl for the secondary on the Geesseknäppchen campus in the first instance.
The school will later move to the site of the former Lycée Vauban in Limpertsberg. Secondary school students will attend part of their classes in the facilities of the Lycée Michel-Lucius and the Lycée Technique du Centre after its move to Kirchberg.
The school will offer a reinforced language learning with Luxembourgish, German, French, English and Portuguese.
Gaston Thorn emphasizes above all a strong anchoring of the students in the 21st century. The teaching will be developed around digital skills and the digital environment, music and democracy.
School of business and management
Located at Luxembourg-Merl , the School of Business and Management offers several courses at secondary level: 4th and 3rd year in the administrative and commercial field with specialization in management or communication for the 2nd and 1st years.
Fieldgen Private School
The Fieldgen private school can also be a complementary option to the public high school offer. Located in the Gare sector, the school offers a classical, general and preparatory education. A boarding school is also available for girls.
Our Lady Saint Sophia Primary and Secondary School
Located in the Luxembourg-Weimershof, the private multicultural school Sainte Sophie in Luxembourg welcomes children from 4 to 19 years old, of all nationalities and confessions. It offers 2 parallel school systems, French and Luxembourgish.
Sainte-Sophie School offers a basic Luxembourgish education during the 6 primary years from class 2.1 to class 4.2.
Thereafter, students can continue their Luxembourg secondary education in the lycée, from the class de 7ème générale (7G) to 1ère générale (1G).
There are 300 students in the Luxembourg system.
These lessons are done in total adequacy with the Luxembourgish programs under the supervision of the Ministry of National Education.
Students from both school systems benefit from cross-curricular exchanges and extracurricular activities and vacation supervision are offered to the students of Saint Sophia School.
A chaplaincy is also present, allowing students to participate in Christian events and holidays.
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