Comparing American and European schools
By Margherita Nelumbio, Reporter
Nowadays, many American students think that high schools in other countries are better, especially in Europe. But is it really better than attending a school here? If you ask me, the answer is no.
First of all, there are no sports teams in Europe connected to the schools. If you want to play a sport, you have to join a local team or apply for an amateur team. Club teams cost anywhere from 20 to 100 euros per month whereas U.S. sports are connected to the school. This system, which allows students to prioritize academics, also encourages regular attendance at practices and good grades.
As for academics, there are different types of schools in Europe that are specialized in disciplines such as STEM and the arts. However, once you choose, it is hard to change, and the area of study chosen in high school will nearly always be the one that is pursued after graduating.
The class where the students are placed will be the same for all years of high school unless they request to change it, which is a very difficult and long process. Each year, a group of students is assigned to a classroom, and the teacher will move from one room to another to teach. On average, European students study the same subjects all throughout the year, and the amount of subjects studied during the year is higher—about 12 different subjects.
If you are wondering if schools in Europe last just four year as in the United States, the answer is no—it lasts five years. Additionally, the grading system ranges from three to ten. Ten is the highest grade with anything under six determined to be insufficient. If you have more than three insufficient subjects at the end of the year, you will have to repeat the year.
Since I have been in America, the last major difference I have noticed is the relationship students have with their teachers. Between the students and the teachers, there is a relationship that feels more equal than the simple, professional relationship between an adult and student. Typically, there is a lack of understanding between teachers and students in the latter kind of relationship, and it is often the case in European schools.
Overall, the European high school is a more systematic school based solely on study; on the other hand, the American highschool will give you more freedom, more time for yourself and your hobbies, as well as giving you a great amount of knowledge.