“They wanted people who migrated to teach these programmes because migration is never easy and it’s always full of nuances,” Strørup explains.
The Cai is a free, optional programme for non-Luxembourg nationals, comprised of citizenship workshops, an orientation day and subsidised classes in any of the country’s three national languages.
Strørup’s six-hour sessions, usually hosted on a Saturday, offer participants the chance to learn about their rights and responsibilities, as well as get to grips with the history and politics of the country. He says his sessions are the opposite of “death by Powerpoint” and he makes a point of ensuring there is plenty of group work and interaction between participants.
“I spend the first session talking about the people in the room and their backgrounds,” he says, explaining that it’s important for foreign nationals to take pride in their origins and understand that they add to the country’s richness. He then encourages participants to “stay curious”.
“I don’t always point people in the same direction. I point them to curiosity and to take a look at what’s interesting in Luxembourg,” he says. “I encourage the curiosity and try to give them the tools to continue that themselves.”
Strørup might signpost participants to some of the scores of fun activities, or stunning locations that can be found in the country. His favourite homework is sending people off on the Wenzel Walk self-guided tour, explaining 1,000 years of the country’s history in 100 minutes. The one thing he recommends to everyone, however, is to meet Luxembourgers. “A lot of the feedback to that is ‘where do we find Luxembourgers?’ You find them in lots of places, if you look.”
A good starting point, he says, is at the sausage and beer street parties hosted in most communes. But they can also be found volunteering at the scores of not-for-profits operating in Luxembourg.
And sharing information is not just a one-way process, of course. Strørup acknowledges he also gets a lot out of the experience. As a student of social sciences who now works in finance, he finds teaching the course incredibly rewarding. And he’s learned a lot as participants share their tips on anything from where to find the best burger to the country’s most multicultural football tournament.