section européenne Lycée VINCI à AMBOISE

section européenne Lycée VINCI à AMBOISE

Studying abroad thanks to the Rotary club

Here is an artcle from Marien , one of our former European section student,who

 is now living and studying  in Ipswich(  Massachssets) thanks to the Rotary club  :

  an organization that is  involved  in Amboise  community but also worldwide.


My new life in the US


Hey guys !

My name is Marien Côme. Just like you, I attended the European section during my Seconde, Première and Terminale. I graduated from High School last year and I am currently spending a gap year in Ipswich, Massachusets. Our beloved teacher Mrs Derouet asked me to share my experience with you by writting an article, and believe or not, I am glad to do it.

There are plenty of stuff I can talk regarding my experience, but I have chosen to describe you the educational system in the US because it is one of the topic which, to my mind, is the most surprising and interesting for high schoolers.


First of all, you should know that a lot of things such as the number of classes or the lenght of the school day differs in most of the different states. Here in the Massachusetts, a day of school begins every day at 7:45am and ends at 2:20pm every day except Thursday, when we finish at 1:15pm. In most of the country, the afternoon is dedicated to extracurricular activities like sports, clubs, arts or jobs. In Massachusetts, a school day is divided in 4 periods of approximately 1h30.

The year is divided in 2 semesters, which are themselves divided in 2 quarters. In the US, there is not whole weeks of vacation but only several holidays, on Thanksgiving or Christmas for example. However, American students have two months long summer vacation after the end of the scholar year, in June.

There are 4 grades in an American High School : the 9th (3ème), the 10th (2nde), the 11th (1ere) and the 12th (terminale). The students in each grade have a name. The 9th graders are the Freshmen, 10th graders are Sophmores, 11th are Juniors and 12th are Seniors. The 9th and 10th grades not that different from that we know in France. Indeed, every student has the same classes and spend the year with the same group of students, just like us.

But in 11th and 12th grades, every student has the possibility to choose the subjects he wants to study. Of course there are rules, for example every student must study English at least for one quarter and pick a science subject for one semester during 11th or 12th grade. But mostly, the upperclassmen (11th and 12th graders) are free ! There are « classic » subjects such as Statistics, Physics, Algebra, French, Spanish, but also really weird ones like Ceramics, Printmaking, Anatomy... Besides, my High School has a huge music program, so a lot of the kids spend one period, during the whole year, doing chorus, orchestra or band.

More generally, I can feel that, at least in my State, school is not just about learning theoretical stuff all the day, but also opening his mind thanks to arts.


But I cannot talk about American high school without mentioning sports. Indeed, in the United States, sport teams are linked to the schools and not to the towns. My high school allows the student to play almost every sports : football, soccer, baseball, basketball, gymnastics, tennis, cross-country, lacrosse... Sports have a HUGE influence in the lifestyle of a high schooler. If you belong to a team, you must train everyday during the whole season, which last 2 or 3 months. Some students, like me, do 3 sports every year and spend a lot more time practicing than studying.


Now that we are done with the High School system, let's talk about the College, also called University. To my mind, this is one the most significant difference between the US and France. Here, to graduate College with a Master obtained after 4 years, a student must pay AT LEAST 50,000$, which is more that 35,000 euros. When I say that in France, College is free, people do not believe in the first place. This huge prize to have the possibility to study impacts the whole society. Indeed, to afford the College fee, most of the american students have an annual job as soon as they are 16. That explains the short days of school. However, working in a restaurant for 2 years is often not enough to afford College. That's why a lot of Americans are in debt at 20 years old.


I will conclude this article by a piece of n advice. Nowadays, you must speak English. During these 3 months,

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