Despite being very nervous, my first day at Jean-Paul II Institution was very enjoyable. Everyone that I have met, whether they are students or teachers, are friendly and outgoing. The students, which I believe I can now say are my friends, were, and still are interested in the Australian culture. They asked numerous questions, not only about the people and society, but about the weather, geography and schooling system. I was also kindly welcomed by the teachers in Jean-Paul II Institution. They were all very friendly, and accepting of my lack, rather, my near non-existence of French, but encouraged me to embrace the language.
One of the biggest changes I discovered upon arrival to Jean-Paul II, was the length of the school days, and the amount of work that is completed. I found the classes to be efficient and effective, and it appeared to me that almost all students were attentive and focused on the work that had been handed to them. Coming from a school consisting of four 10-minute lessons, and two 40 minute lunches, with the school day beginning at 8:45 am, and finishing at 3pm, I found these school days to be very long. However, I have noticed that students seem to remain focused throughout the long day.
Personally, I believe that « etude » is a good idea and very beneficial. In Australia, homework completion is not consistent with the majority of students, because they are expected to complete all homework and study at home. We are not provided with a mandatory study time, but I believe that students of Jean-Paul II Institution are benefiting from this program.
Overall, and three days into school, I find the French education system to be thorough, efficient, and successfully producing attentive, determined students, learned in various academic areas, into society. Jean-Paul II Institution also features friendly, passionate and admirable teachers to educate students. My only thought of improvement, would be to include subjects such as music and sport, that are generally found to be enjoyable and beneficial. So students would have classes or school days which they can look forward to, or find particularly enjoyable.
Karri Thomas, Correspondante australienne de Kim Hemerick, 2nde 3