Adapting to School

Authored by:
Skyler F.

To say the least, school is very different in Germany. I had six classes every day in the United States for fifty minutes. This completely differs from the system in my school in Germany. I have three to four classes each day, and although each period is forty-five minutes, you may have a class for two 45-minute periods or just one. There are also breaks throughout the day, it varies from school to school, but for me every two periods there is a twenty-five-minute break. Many people use this to talk or let some energy out, almost like recess. 

There is also a great difference in how homework is done. It more relies on the student to be able to understand the material in the homework, rather than asking the teacher questions about understanding the material. This mostly means, reading a textbook, finding online videos, asking other students, or any other means of learning on your own. You are able to ask your teacher about the material, although it is usually seen only as a last resort. I have also been given projects in school and we had to learn the material on our own, coming up with our own resources to be able to teach the rest of our class. 

Subjects are also taught at a slower pace than that in American schools, especially math. I took Calculus in my 10th-grade year in America, the same grade I am in here in Germany, compared to learning about probability and statistics along with raising numbers to the power of something. This is similar to my science classes, as it is material I had learned before, but all in a year and they learn about subjects, such as Physics, Biology, and Chemistry. It is different here as they take Physics, Biology, and Chemistry from fifth grade to tenth grade, learning at a slower pace due to having only 90 minutes of class instruction a week. 

Although this has been my experience in the 10th grade, this can change a lot going into 11th grade due to the fact that you end up with a specific schedule for classes you would like to focus on. This results in the switching of classes and possibly having full periods without a class. Many schools can also differ from each other in Germany, mainly in how schedules are made, so everyone's experience at their school is a bit different.

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