American kids, French public school

ecole en france

Last post, I mentioned that we got our girls into a local public school in France. I’ve had a lot of friends ask me “So, how does that work? I mean, you’re not French. Will they just take your kids for a few months?”

The short answer is – yes, some public French schools will accept temporary foreign students.  You must live in the geographic area, and it’s important to call the school prior to confirming your rental property. Veronique Dussud, the Director of our girls’ school here in the U.S. (FISW), says that crowded schools in bigger cities are less likely to accept temporary foreign students.  That prompted us to focus our search on a small village outside of bigger city.

In the village of Puyloubier, the school is relatively small and has room for us. Also, the village is remote enough that foreign students are somewhat of a novelty.  They even suggested that we exchange emails/photos prior to our arrival!

I don’t underestimate how important it was to have Veronique call the school for us. She’s an articulate, professional French woman who has made a career of founding and running French Immersion schools here in the United States. I’m grateful to her for calling on our behalf!

Even though our girls speak French, I’m sure we’ll all experience some culture shock. But for now, we’re focusing on the positive. Here’s what the girls are most excited about:

  • Wednesdays off – This is typical for many French public schools. They don’t go to school on Saturday or Sunday either – but the other four days are long (8:30am – 4:30pm).
  • Fancy French lunches – I love this. Kids in the preschool and primary school are served a 3-course lunch each day. The food is served family style and the kids learn table manners. How great is that? I bet you they don’t serve Dino-nuggets.