July 04, 2003

The French School System...
The system is slightly different from the one in Canada. Firstly, there's «école maternelle», which is like our preschool and kindergarten. Then, there's «école primaire», which is like our elementary school, and is for kids from 7 to 11 years old, or grades 1 through 5. Next comes «collège». No, they're not all geniuses over there, that's just what it's called. Collège is like middle school or junior high, and is for 12 to 15 year olds (grades 6 through 9). The «lycée» is the next step, and it's broken up into three sections, «seconde», «première», and «terminale». Each is one year long, and the three combined include grades 10, 11, and 12. The last year (terminale) is when the students prepare for their BAC (baccalauréat), which they can take in the sciences, arts, or literature. It's sort of like the SAT's in the US, because you need to do well on them to get into a good university. Another interesting thing is that in France, they start at grade 11 when they start elementary school, and they count down to grade 1 the year before they prepare for the baccalauréat exam.
You can check out this site which compares the French, Québec, and American school systems.
As of yet, I don't know which type of school I'll be placed in.

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