Being 15 in France is stressful because of the workload associated with school, but also full of opportunity because of the trust and independence given by family members.
The amount of school work teens receive is atrocious. Teens in France go to school 6 days out of the week. They go for 8 hours 4 days per week, and 4 hours 2 days per week. They also are expected to complete several hours of homework each night ("Life in a French School"). It also causes them to hardly have time to do activities that aren't related to school.
Although teens hardly have time outside of school, they find plenty of time to travel and experience great things. Teens travel by train by themselves. They grow up using public transportation (Sabes). They aren't allowed to drive without a parent in the car until they are 18 (Sabes). The amount of trust teenagers receive at such a young age causes them to become very responsible adults.
Through this process, by making connections, I learned that the lives of teenagers in France and America have many similarities, but a multitude of differences.
In their foundation, teens in both America and France are similar. Image and fashion are very important to teens in both France and America (Kranz). Most teens in both countries smoke cigarettes (Beardsley) and it is the responsibility of the parents to teach teens to conform to the rules of society (Kranz).
Despite the similarities in the lives of teenagers in France and America, their are many more differences. For example, schools in France focus on debate, philosophy, and logic (Kranz), while schools in America focus on creativity and self expression through extra-curricular activities. Also, teens are not allowed to drive without a parent in the car until they 18 years old (Sabes), unlike in the U.S. where they can drive without a parent at 16 years old.
While the similarities between the two country's are to be expected, the differences are intriguing and peak my interest in the country.
Just a thought...
Schools in France focus on debate, philosophy, and logic which makes it difficult for students to express themselves creatively in school. I find this interesting because France is home to many famous artists and clothing designers.
Beardsley, Eleanor. “For French Teens, Smoking Still Has More Allure Than Stigma.” NPR, NPR, 15 Aug. 2016, www.npr.org/sections/parallels/2016/08/15/480128005/for-french-teens-smoking-still-has-more-allure-than-stigma.
Kranz, Nickie. Teens in France. Minneapolis, MN, Compass Point, 2008.
“Life in a French School.” Bbc.co.uk, BBC, www.bbc.co.uk/education/guides/zw849j6/revision.
Lunsford, Andrea A. et al. EasyWriter: a High School Reference. Boston, Bedford/St. Martin's, 2015.
Sabes, By Sylvia. “Negotiating à La Française: The Meaning of Non.” HiP Paris Blog, Sylvia Sabes, 8 July 2016, hipparis.com/tag/sylvia-sabes/.
Zimmermann, Kim Ann. “French Culture: Customs &Amp; Traditions.” LiveScience, Purch, 21 Jan. 2015, www.livescience.com/39149-french-culture.html.