Have you ever wondered what school life is for kids in France? Here are some things I learned about France when I used to live here. Please remember all schools are slightly different, but here are my experiences.
1. 2 hour lunch – Yes you read that correctly. Many children in France have between a 1.5 hour and a 2 hour lunch. During the time children can stay at school and eat in the canteen and play or they can go home and spend lunch with their family.
2. Canteen meals have several courses – The canteen meals are full of many courses and all fresh food. There is an appetizer course with yogurt, followed by a salad, a main course and ends with a dessert. Fresh bread is served throughout. When my children used to tell me what they ate at the school canteen I was amazed. I wanted to go with them and eat some of that good French food!
3. Wednesdays are half days – When my kids went to elementary school, Wednesday were days off; however, that has changed. Now Wednesdays are half days of school. It’s really nice because Wednesdays are the days where children take extra sports lessons like soccer, roller blading, circus school and more! It breaks up the week for young kids.
4. College is not university – College in France is actually grades 6th through 9th in France. I remember when a friend of mine introduced her daughter to me and told me she was in college. I was surprised as she was 14 years old. I quickly figured it out.
5. Grade level decrease instead of increase – 6th grade is 6th in France, but then instead of increasing to 7th, 8th, etc. it goes down to 5th, 4th, 3rd, 2nd, 1st and terminal for the final year.
To check out my This Kid’s Life: France country study, click here.