Aero: Kelsey Hamilton – France 2014 – Life at School


Aero: Kelsey Hamilton – France 2014 – Life at School
Creative Commons Image via The LEAF Project

Aero: Kelsey Hamilton – France 2014 – Life at School


Kelsey Hamilton

As I prepared myself for school my first day, I wasn’t sure what to expect. My thoughts brought me to some movies I had watched before. With a European school being very formal, and uptight; and it made me think to myself that I was going to stick out like a sore thumb walking into the classroom. But after getting there and seeing it all, it was not quite as I expected. 

The first day I expected to maybe be introduced, people to introduce themselves, want to talk to me about where I was from. What I found though is that they really were not too interested in who I was at all.  The teacher just went on teaching, and the students listening. Which I really shouldn’t say they were listening at all, it came to my attention that talking while the teacher is talking, or teaching isn’t really frowned upon in the French classroom. It took me a day to realize why this was. Then after learning about how they do not have to pay for school, and that school is more of an optional chore than a job to get done like for us at home. It gave me an understanding on why these students acted the way they did, towards their work and teachers. It wasn’t that they had bad attitudes, to me it was a lack of respect I saw, but I don’t believe to their culture it is seen as that. 

Here in the united States we pay for our education, from the schooling payed by tax payers, and paying for college with student loans  and out of our own pockets. Paying for education seems right seems like something we have to do in order to get the job and career we wish to pursue. Now after spending time in a European education system, it makes me question weather I have to good here or they have it better. Spending time with the students gave me an insight on their lifestyles, what thy wanted to be what they wanted to do. What it came down to though, was they are always waiting to be told what to do next; kind of unconcerned about their futures and what they may hold. The United States since the first settlers has driven it’s people to become what you want to be, have the “American Dream” and follow it till you’re finally satisfied; now traveling and experiencing a different cultures education system I’d have to say we’re lucky to be given opportunities like that. 

ML@FLCC France 2014 Flickr Gallery

ML@FLCC France 2014 Flickr Gallery

Both the systems have their ups and downs, ours with the money and theirs lacking the push, and drive to become something bigger than what they know. But one thing I did see was how they had adjusted their school and classrooms with the growth of technology, in a way that kept students learning and unable to become distracted by social media. This was something that the United States should pick up on, having sites blocked and unable to access to keep the students concentrating on schoolwork. Not only was that keeping the students concentrated but the lack of distraction on the walls. At home from preschool to high school there was always a wall in every classroom that had color, posters with sayings, all supporting an educational purpose. Weather it had affected us in bettering our education or not I do not know, but in these French classrooms, there was very little. All the walls the same color, no posters, not even lights in the hall or windows in the doors. In a way their schools, we’re not promoting freedom of creativity, or speech. It promoted a come listen to the teacher; do as you are told vibe, almost like a jail to us here at home. Which again brings me back to United states students, having that opportunity to achieve their “American dream”, and the French culture have very little room to change your career path.

Education systems change through out the world, I never realized this until this opportunity came to me and I got to experience one. From spending time in another school, learning in a different way and understanding the different path taken to a career, I came to the conclusion that I may pay a lot to become the professional I seek to be, but it’s well worth the penny because I have the opportunity to follow a dream, and pursue a career without a glass ceiling. 

Learn More: Study abroad with Modern Languages @ FLCC

– Kelsey Hamilton

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