Last week, a group of Danish students from Copenhagen came to spend two weeks here in Béziers. Their school has a partnership with ours, so they came here to work on a global warming project with our STI2D students. Some of TL students met them and exchanged about French and Danish school systems.

We asked them some questions about the impression they had of the French school and about the differences with their school. They thought that our school is very strict and disciplined, whereas theirs is freer, they are more autonomous and responsible of their work. They have a different mentality about the education in general, they are free to go to school or not, but then they have to be responsible of their actions. In Denmark, the students are more autonomous than us. Some of them go to school to please their parents.

For example, if they want to go drink water or go to the toilet, they just stand up and go, without asking permission. They also have a lighter schedule: they never finish later than 4pm and have breaks between each period. Moreover, their school is smaller than ours, they are 500 students in the high school, so it’s easier to make connections and friends with everyone. Moreover, they have a different relationship than us; they call their teachers by first name and they are friends with them.

They said that their school is cleaner than ours, they are more respectful of the environment. It’s something natural to them, it’s something obvious to be clean and not to spoil their school, their homes… Their school system made them more autonomous, so they mature before us; they are more responsible than us about their school work, and in their life in general.

The Danish in the Kitchen, and other anecdotes

A week later, we visited them again, this time to ask them about how they found France, because they had to go back home. They also told us about the experience they had with the restauration students (cooking and service).

They were divided in two groups, one group that went with the cook students and the other group went with the service students. The students told us different anecdotes about their activity in the kitchen. So they said that the chef was very strict with them, they said that one student had to remake the dough three times because it wasn’t good enough. Then, the service students showed them how to make cocktails; they liked it, but some of them couldn’t drink it because it contained alchool, and their religious beliefs were against drinink alchool, and also because they were minors. They liked the experience, however they regretted that not everyone could speak English so it was hard for them to communicate with the students.

After that, we asked them about other anecdotes they had. One of them said that during their stay, he went to Paris alone for two days, and then he came back as if nothing happened. Also, one time they went all together to Marseille without their teacher, they took the bus and the train, but they got the wrong ones so they went to the opposite direction. They had to go back to the bus station to take the right one to come back to Béziers. They all said that this was their best experience.

The Danish students liked their stay in France, even if they couldn’t really talk to people, they said that they wished to come back some day, not to Béziers though, they like more the big cities like Paris and Marseille.

Les élèves de Mme Canezi