A French student in Galway

Being French and wanting to learn English I decided to come in Ireland for the summer. I arrived in Galway on June 11.

For this first week in Galway, I was pleasantly surprised with the warm welcome of the Irish, the atmosphere in the streets of the city where there is always the sound of music. And I have noticed several differences between the France and Ireland — the first is how we approach schooling.

In France, there are five different levels which make up the school cycle. The first level call “maternelle” school for children of three to six years old. Here children learn to write and the life in the community.

The next level is for children of six to 10 years old who go to the “primaire” school and learn mathematics, French, history of France, geography etc. In Ireland, these two levels are combined into the single primary school.

The next stage is what we call “collège” — here the children of 10 to 14 years old further study a full range of subjects that they started in the “primaire” level. Then onto “lycée” for three years where year one, they revise the basics of all study materials and then for the next two years prepare the baccalaureate. These three levels combined would be the equivalent to the secondary school here in Ireland.

After you pass the baccalaureate, you then have the same choices as here in Ireland — either to go at the university, specialize in an apprenticeship or move into the workforce.

There school days are a lot longer in France, from the age of three years school starts a from 8.30am to 4.30pm; and 8.00am to 5.00pm from once you start “collège”

But the education system is not the only difference i have seen between life in Ireland and France. So far I have noticed that:

The time for the meal in france usually you have two hours for lunch

The electricity sockets

The weather which can change in five minutes

The way of saying hello in Ireland ° we can say “hi” at nearly everybody and the Irish ask, “how are you?” but do not wait for answer.

In Ireland, we drive at left the opposite of France

The pedestrians are not priority

There is a greater range of clothing styles in Ireland

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