What Are French Schools Like?

French high schools have many similarities and differences from American high schools. Teenagers attend both schools, so many social elements appear similar. French high school students hang out with their friends and enjoy lunch with them, just like their American counterparts. Even French high school classrooms appear similar to those in the United States.
Like many American schools, French schools use a modular class scheduling system. They may have certain subjects two or three days per week and others once per week.

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Likewise, classes vary from one hour to two hours in length. A notable difference is that French schools start the day at 8:00 AM and end between 4:00 PM and 6:00 PM, so their school day is one to three hours longer than is typical in the U.S.
Another clear difference is that French school cafeterias are superior to those in the U.S. Whereas French meals include foods worthy of being served in a restaurant, few high school cafeterias in the U.S. can make that claim. Taking the time to relax and enjoy a meal is an essential element of French culture. In contrast, Americans more commonly follow a fast-food approach, which applies to the food served and the approach taken in American high school cafeterias. So, while French and American schools have similarities, there are cultural differences.


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