Aero: Gabrielle Johnson – France 2014 – Life at School


Aero: Gabrielle Johnson – France 2014 – Life at School
Creative Commons Image via The LEAF Project

Aero: Gabrielle Johnson – France 2014 – Life at School


Gabrielle Johnson

The school I attended in Vitré was very similar to an American high school. However, it also included a BTS in the same building. A BTS is most similar to a community college that only has courses in a specific field of interest. It is a bit more complicated than that, but it would take another essay to thoroughly explain it. Since, my host sister attended school at the BTS; on our first day of classes we attended a business marketing class. The way in which the class was organized was very similar to our classes in the states. The only dissimilarity of course, was the language being spoken. It was a very immersive experience.  The professor spoke only in French, which was a bit of a challenge. However, he gave the class handouts, which allowed us to follow along with the class. For me personally, it is easier to read French than speak it; so the handouts were very helpful. Afterwards, we attend an English class, which allowed us to ask questions about the school system of France. I found out that there are a lot of parallels and only a few differences between the US and Frances’ school systems.

One of the largest differences; being the price of attending public school, or lack thereof. In France, the nation is determined to make education one of its main priorities. In order to maintain their believe in the importance of education, France has made it compulsory for all children from ages 6 to 16  years old to attend school. This education is not only required but it is also State funded (completely free of charge) from grade one all the way to college. This information was so amazing to me. I remember my mother working extra hours just to make sure I was able to attend private schools; in order to secure an ideal education for myself and my siblings. However, an ironic contrast between the two nations is that is the price of acquiring a drivers license in France is a lot higher than the cost we pay here in the USA.  It’s amazing the differences of what is a nations need versus what is a luxury. I learned that a great perk that French student may not realize they have; is the requirement  from elementary school to take three different language courses, which gives them a great advantage in the global job market.This is something the US should take note of and consider adopting into our educational make-up.

ML@FLCC France 2014 Flickr Gallery

ML@FLCC France 2014 Flickr Gallery

After attending school for only a week in France, I feel that if I were to stay for an entire semester in France that I would be able to improved my language skills in a much faster manner than I have, by just taking a few school courses in the USA. After leaving France and returning home to the USA,  I was left with an overwhelming drive and excitement within myself to continue my study of the French language; as well as, the desire to return to France and become fully immersed in the culture for an extended period of time. I would personally recommend to anyone interested in a studying abroad programs to Just Go! I know it may seem a bit scary at first but the reward of the experience is one so great that no amount of words can truly give the experience justice. This program gave me a true glimpse into the culture and everyday lives of the French and I know it will do the same for many future students..

Learn More: Study abroad with Modern Languages @ FLCC

– Gabrielle Johnson

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