Getting Familiar with My New School and Schedule in France

high school in france

by Ella Russell, Greenheart Travel high school student in France

One of the first things I noticed about studying abroad in a French school was the difference in scheduling. On my first day of school, I had one class, and that was it. After a surprisingly good cafeteria lunch, I went home.  Every day, you have different classes beginning at different times, and generally lasting for either one or two hours. Also, the first class starts at varying times each day, so sometimes I can sleep in, and sometimes I have to wake up fairly early.

Another difference is that there are often free periods in the schedule, and you can potentially have more. Since there are no substitutes, when teachers have absent days, you just have another free period. I experienced that on Thursday, giving me five hours of free time. However, probably because of these free periods, there is school on Saturday as well. I didn’t mind; it was only during the morning, but all the teachers that day assured me that the students did not like Saturday school.

Looking at this school from google maps, I thought the school seemed fairly ordinary looking, but when I went inside, I saw that the structure of the school was actually rather interesting. There is a large atrium in the center of the main building of the school. Three floors of classes are on either side of it, connected by bridges, as in this photo.

inside french school

The lower room numbers are on one side, and the higher ones on the other side, so I found it easy to figure out where my classes were.

On Tuesday, after going to school to choose my subjects, my host mom took me to a nearby bookstore to get a French-English dictionary. The windows were filled with books, but also several paintings and decorative masks. It is definitely a place I want to visit again, if just to admire the decorations. There are plenty of other places to visit as well.

french book store

Yesterday, I went to the cinema with my host father to watch Star Wars in French. I couldn’t understand all the French, but it helped that I had already seen the movie. It was interesting to see that just like in the U.S., several advertisements and trailers appeared beforehand.


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