French Schools vs. American Schools

French and American culture is very different. There are similarities and differences between the two countries that set them apart, especially in the education aspect. Students are taught in different ways with different systems with a common goal of preparing the student for life after school. To begin with, students in France start school at three years old, sometimes even two (Smith 3). Students in America begin schooling most commonly when they turn five. After they start school, french students are graded differently than american students.

Whereas here it is normal to see letters for grades, in France they use numbers. Instead of receiving an A in a math class, students have the opportunity to earn a 20. Assuming the student does earn the 20 and passes the Bac with flying colors. He or she will then be admitted into the university of their choice and end up paying around 500$ a semester.

In contrast, Americans that receive good grades do not have a Baccalaureate test to take; they just have to apply to the college of their choice and take an ACT in some cases.

Once accepted, we end up paying thousands of dollars for our post secondary education. Not everything is different about schooling in France, however. For example, neither country has school on weekends. Some french schools give wednesday off as well, but all of them give a break on the weekend. Both education systems have similar hours as well. According to the website article, “French Schools vs. American Schools” by Nakyla Kelly,

Moyer 2american schools are usually about 8 to 4 and french schools are about 9 to 5; so they are very similar (para 3).

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A big similarity between their systems that is not commonly known is that they split their grade levels into three subcategories that match up to the american ones. Elementary school is école élémentaire, middle school is collège, and high school is lycée. They even have a university equivalent which is université.These similarities match up because that is the most efficient way of teaching students how to live in the world after school. A big difference in what each country expects from students is brought up frequently when chiding the U.S. Apparently, french schools prepare the students more than american ones do. According to the article, “Education U. S. vs. France”, “United States requires strict adherence to standards, linked to performance on standardized tests. In France, each student is expected to become a contributor to the culture and economy of France” (Arnold 1).

Basically, France wants their students to eventually contribute to their country while America prioritizes the standardized tests and useless material.The United States may be known for our strict policies and guidelines, but we also value character and personal connections in our teaching. The french schools do not do this as much and this is caused by vocabulary, interestingly enough. According to another writes, “The English language does not have such a differentiation between addressing a respected member or someone of the same standing” (Stevens 8). The french do have a distinction between the respected elder or a friend and this is through their words ‘tu’ and ‘vous’. When speaking to a teacher, students in France are supposed to show respect and use the formal form, ‘vous’. This adds the respect that the teacher needs to control their class and it takes away any chance of forming bonds with the students as in America.

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French Schools vs. American Schools. (2021, Dec 14). Retrieved from

French Schools vs. American Schools
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