Growing up in a European country and never witnessing what it's like to go to an American school, watching American high school comedies, to me, has always been a pretty surreal experience. I'm sure that most of you fellow non-Americans reading this article could relate to me on this.

There are so many things about American schools that have always seemed utterly fascinating to me. For instance, you get letter grades instead of number ones, schools have swimming pools inside them, there's a club for almost anything, you have to get a hall pass to go to the bathroom during class, and lunch meals are usually pretty bizarre. The list goes on. With that being said, Bored Panda invites you to look through this list of tweets from non-American Twitter users in which they share things that they find the strangest about American schools. Feel free to explain to us the things we don't understand or add your own in the comment section!

#1

American-Schools-Weird-Things-Non-Americans

scultator Report

GC
Community Member
7 months ago

I don’t ever know what A levels etc. are. One of these days I need to look it up.

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#2

American-Schools-Weird-Things-Non-Americans

morosexuaI Report

konnarw1
Community Member
7 months ago (edited)

mine starts at 8:00 till 3:00

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#3

American-Schools-Weird-Things-Non-Americans

bieberexhale Report

Ms.M.
Community Member
7 months ago

1. Usually 2. Usually

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#4

American-Schools-Weird-Things-Non-Americans

chromaticaution Report

Jamziee
Community Member
7 months ago

Yes, because if you're in the hall without one, then you MUST be commiting murder (Sarcasm lads)

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#5

American-Schools-Weird-Things-Non-Americans

hilaryagro Report

Ms.M.
Community Member
7 months ago

It didn't when I was a kid, but it does for my children. I hate it.

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#6

American-Schools-Weird-Things-Non-Americans

ShadyFennec Report

Michelle C
Community Member
7 months ago

Yep and we decorate them too!

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#7

American-Schools-Weird-Things-Non-Americans

TROUBLET0NES Report

Eva Bryson
Community Member
7 months ago

Yes, don't you?

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#8

American-Schools-Weird-Things-Non-Americans

Nonisbitch Report

Ms.M.
Community Member
7 months ago

That's always bugged me too.

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#9

American-Schools-Weird-Things-Non-Americans

kirstyclyne Report

GlassHalfWay
Community Member
7 months ago

Yep, even a snowboard & skiing club in the Midwest.

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#10

American-Schools-Weird-Things-Non-Americans

Iivingxproof Report

Juniper
Community Member
7 months ago

Wait, don't all schools have cafeterias? Where do you eat your lunch?

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#11

American-Schools-Weird-Things-Non-Americans

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Brett
Community Member
7 months ago

Yes sadly

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#12

American-Schools-Weird-Things-Non-Americans

argentdols Report

Aunt Messy
Community Member
7 months ago

Canadian here. They don't close schools in Canada unless it's been colder than -40C for three days in a row.

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#13

American-Schools-Weird-Things-Non-Americans

wintersfalcvn Report

Imtiredandiwannagotobed
Community Member
7 months ago

Because we put all our budget into our announcements and lockers

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#14

American-Schools-Weird-Things-Non-Americans

insatiate0 Report

GlassHalfWay
Community Member
7 months ago

Because a gallon would be too heavy on the lunch tray.

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#15

American-Schools-Weird-Things-Non-Americans

lisaislovesick Report

Jamziee
Community Member
7 months ago

They aren't cool it sucks

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#16

American-Schools-Weird-Things-Non-Americans

http_taehyungs Report

Brett
Community Member
7 months ago

I wish I had school lunch that good

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#17

American-Schools-Weird-Things-Non-Americans

balletquartet Report

SimplySarcastic40
Community Member
7 months ago

Yep. ours was awesome!

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#18

American-Schools-Weird-Things-Non-Americans

CryinInATaxi Report

Eva Bryson
Community Member
7 months ago

Yes, teachers want you in class to learn, not loitering in the bathroom.

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#19

American-Schools-Weird-Things-Non-Americans

alienrat Report

SimplySarcastic40
Community Member
7 months ago

yep...at least in the suburbs because most of us start driving at 16

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#20

American-Schools-Weird-Things-Non-Americans

_smell_ya_later Report

Jamziee
Community Member
7 months ago

one word to answer this- ICE

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#21

American-Schools-Weird-Things-Non-Americans

sapphicnile Report

The Zooble
Community Member
7 months ago

To be very honest, I'm English and I usually do page count rather than word count

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#22

American-Schools-Weird-Things-Non-Americans

LazarusRags Report

konnarw1
Community Member
7 months ago

yeah i wondered this and are the woman stale or something lol

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#23

American-Schools-Weird-Things-Non-Americans

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angie but who cares
Community Member
7 months ago

my elementry did

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#24

American-Schools-Weird-Things-Non-Americans

livculture Report

Jamziee
Community Member
7 months ago

No they force students to do it

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#25

American-Schools-Weird-Things-Non-Americans

bollobas Report

Caitlin Davenport
Community Member
7 months ago

So we aren't "distracted". Even rooms with windows usually had the blinds closed.

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#26

American-Schools-Weird-Things-Non-Americans

unsaidalex Report

Caitlin Davenport
Community Member
7 months ago

Not really. We have nearby schools we compete against in sports, but any rivalry is very light-hearted.

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#27

American-Schools-Weird-Things-Non-Americans

prostrider Report

SimplySarcastic40
Community Member
7 months ago

we had an apple machine...for $0.20 you got an apple.

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#28

American-Schools-Weird-Things-Non-Americans

hemsbucky Report

Brett
Community Member
7 months ago

The high school I’m going to does

SeaShell
Community Member
7 months ago

Lucky

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Phoenix
Community Member
7 months ago

Some do

Erin Kavik
Community Member
7 months ago

Apparently, a few years after I left, my (British) secondary school buit a full sports centre, including an Olympic size pool.

Dilly Millandry
Community Member
7 months ago

My UK schools both had simming pools. The one at my primary school was built by the parents when I went there.

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The Zooble
Community Member
7 months ago

Some English schools have them as well

SimplySarcastic40
Community Member
7 months ago

Yep. for swim team and water polo!

II️ovecatsandogs
Community Member
7 months ago

Haha I wish

n i k o
Community Member
7 months ago

No, but my middle school has a tennis court that they rent out. Not a playground since middle schoolers are, "too old for that" so during recess you literally just walk laps. For an hour. They also were building a park nearby so after school you weren't allowed to go on it since if you were too loud the neighbors would complain to the school.

I'm a makeup addict
Community Member
7 months ago

Not mine, but a school nearby does

Hermione Granger
Community Member
7 months ago

not mine...

YosemiteCat
Community Member
7 months ago

Not many middle or elementary but high schools yes mine has a swimming movie night one weekend in a while

PodgyPigeon
Community Member
7 months ago

my first school did

Flare
Community Member
7 months ago

Not my school!

Bendy Rainbow
Community Member
7 months ago

um sorry no... but I live in a town/rural setting so maybe it's elsewhere that this happens.

Imtiredandiwannagotobed
Community Member
7 months ago

Most public schools, no, some do, but not most

Caitlin Davenport
Community Member
7 months ago

Only high schools, for the swim team.

CincyReds
Community Member
7 months ago

Some do...They also have diving teams and swimming team....I don't see what is so strange aobut that

Caffeine72
Community Member
7 months ago

My grade school did. We all had to take lifeguarding classes.

Mishka Katira
Community Member
7 months ago

nope not mine.

Rad Dot
Community Member
7 months ago

Some do.

DONNA L HENSON BOHLEN
Community Member
7 months ago

nah, it is across the street to the left (not being sarcastic, it really is)

Lynn Bradway
Community Member
7 months ago

Not very many of them.

Jan De Boey
Community Member
7 months ago

Is not typically American... I'm Belgian and my school had one too. Neighbouring schools came to our location for swimming lessons;

Susan Egan
Community Member
7 months ago

Some. Our town is small but we have an agreement with the college to let the little kids have classes there part of the year so they learn to swim.

Ann McNeil
Community Member
7 months ago

We had to go to a nearby motel to use their pool.

Amanda Hunter
Community Member
7 months ago

Of course.

Doris Bennett
Community Member
7 months ago

Great for exercise.

backatya
Community Member
7 months ago

some do. The rich kids will complain

Suzanne Haigh
Community Member
7 months ago

Many large high schools do in England (or they used to)

Miranda Prince
Community Member
7 months ago

My middle school had a soda machine, but it was only open for use after school.

Susan Thomas
Community Member
7 months ago

For swim team. But many schools in cold climates do not.

Flavia Slag
Community Member
7 months ago

High school.

Patti Renwick Parrish
Community Member
7 months ago

we did and think it's great! some kids would never have learned to swim otherwise

Ronnie Beaton
Community Member
7 months ago

UK person here. I went to secondary school (high school) in the early 80s and my school had a pool. Fair enough it was a very *small* pool - affectionately nicknamed "The Puddle" - but a pool nonetheless.

Heather Hayllar
Community Member
7 months ago

My all girls High school in Australia did and has a pool

Faith Hurst
Community Member
7 months ago

Some high schools. Swim teams and water polo teams kind of need them.

Martha Higgins
Community Member
7 months ago

Some, certainly not many.

Jane Alexander
Community Member
7 months ago

The lucky ones might. There again, there's all kinds here.

Michele Clarke
Community Member
7 months ago

YES, ours was Huge!!

Anna Repp
Community Member
7 months ago

Some rich ones have two.

Arenite
Community Member
7 months ago

Most of them don’t. Just schools in wealthy neighborhoods. I think swim class is required in Japan.

Kimberly Herbert
Community Member
7 months ago

More likely, a district has 1 pool for all the High Schools to use for swim teams. It can also operate as a community pool. Both the district I grew up in, and the one I taught in had mandatory swim lessons for either 4th or 5th grade. Because of segregation, the grandparents/great grandparents of POC kids in school today may have never learned to swim. There can still be racist barriers. We have a horrific rate of kids drowning in pools, bayous, creeks, retention ponds, and teaching kids to swim is vital to ending that. The district I taught in had yearly swim lessons for severely disabled kids and PT/OT that used the pool. It is hard to find a regular swim class that can work correctly with these medically fragile kids, so doing it through the schools means the instructors have the additional training needed. Both places have very low cost passes for community swim in the summer.

Pauline Guien
Community Member
7 months ago

This comment has been deleted.

Pauline Guien
Community Member
7 months ago

I left my comprehensive English school in 1973, we had an indoor swimming pool.

Ben Barsotti
Community Member
7 months ago

no way in heck

Emily Smith
Community Member
7 months ago

Some of the nicer or newer high schools do. Elementary schools usually don't.

Monica A. M.
Community Member
7 months ago

My high school did and we had to take swimming as a PE class. It was in SW Florida, so it was like 100 degrees out. I got a nice tan that semester.

TheDemonUnderYourBed
Community Member
7 months ago

Yes! Brand new one, too!

Kristin Bernet
Community Member
7 months ago

I went to a private, Quker school in Philadelphia; my highschool had a pool in the basement and an AstroTurf roof for field hockey and soccer

Lynn Cai
Community Member
7 months ago

Not always. Though at my high school we liked to joke that there's a swimming pool on the roof thanks to a ceiling ladder on the top floor.

Hamilton Lover
Community Member
7 months ago

I wish- we just go to the closest facility

Helen Slape
Community Member
7 months ago

I live in Australia, my son's high school has a pool and my mother-in-law's primary school has a pool (she used to teach there). The pools aren't huge, but are used for swimming lessons and swimming carnivals. A private school near where I used to live had a huge sports complex and would have lessons in swimming, dance, basketball, gymnastics etc for the public at their complex. A nice way of getting kids into sports at the school and raising funds for the school at the same time.

Lord Mysticlaw
Community Member
7 months ago

Some schools in SA have swimming pools. the really fancy expensive schools.

Don't Look
Community Member
7 months ago

The school board has to decide on that sort of amenity and someone has to choose how to spend that tax money.

Citizen Josie
Community Member
7 months ago

And it is awesome. Swimming lessons and club for free paid by the school. Who doesn't want that? All schools should have sports, art and music

NWB
Community Member
7 months ago

In NZ they do too, Oz they don't sadly, more kids need swimming lessons! Thats what governments need to help parents fund.

Seth Linn
Community Member
7 months ago

Private schools? Probably. Public schools? If you live in the more wealthy areas, probably.

CatWoman312
Community Member
7 months ago (edited)

When I was in high school the way the seniors pranked the freshmen is by telling them that their class was on the third floor by the swimming pool. There was no swimming pool or 3rd floor.

JessG
Community Member
7 months ago

Believe it or not, some Non-American schools do too.

housea
Community Member
7 months ago

My middle school in the suburbs did! My own middle schooler was sadly disappointed that hers doesn’t.

Lsai Aeon
Community Member
7 months ago

Only the rich schools

Dippin Dot
Community Member
7 months ago

Yes. Where I grew up it was at the middle school (I was a lifeguard there) and where I live now they are at both the middle and high schools.

Eric Lafleur
Community Member
7 months ago (edited)

Quebec, Canada here. We had one and we also had a hockey arena, football/soccer field, a gymnasuim big enough to fit four gym classes and a track field. I guess We had it good, for a public high school.

Jill Bussey
Community Member
7 months ago

They do in the UK too.

Horror Hero13
Community Member
7 months ago

Not Most Of them.

Stack o' Pancakes
Community Member
7 months ago

my middle school had one that had a freakin WATERSLIDE

David Dwyer
Community Member
7 months ago

Mine doesn't

Navy Blue Bandana
Community Member
7 months ago

no

regi stra
Community Member
7 months ago

also my highschool in Italy does

PearlsNotSecretRapCareer
Community Member
7 months ago

Mine doesn't. My elementary had a small waterpark!

StrawBerry Turtle
Community Member
7 months ago

none of the schools i went to/will have it

Calypso poet
Community Member
7 months ago

My high school did. We took swimming classes there in elementary school. They also offered swimming lessons to the public. Needless to say I am a very strong swimmer. All my friends from school are.

Eric Law
Community Member
7 months ago

Some do, others don't.

Ryan-James O'Driscoll
Community Member
7 months ago

My British school had a swimming pool

Blackheart
Community Member
7 months ago

Most do not

Bunzilla
Community Member
7 months ago

oh yeees. A slight upside since school is virtual this year because otherwise I was going to have to do gym and i would have to swim in the pooool

Ms.GB
Community Member
7 months ago

Yes...ours got filled with jello as a senior prank

Sportsgal
Community Member
7 months ago

Not back in 90s...also, only foreign languages you could learn were Spanish and French

Ms.GB
Community Member
7 months ago

Mine did in the 90s...we also had Latin

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Dave P
Community Member
7 months ago

Some, most dont

Collin Petrucci
Community Member
7 months ago

Mine does and everyone can swim in it

Whawhawhatsis
Community Member
7 months ago

If the school district has enough money. The district had a single pool when my son was in elementary and the kids would get a couple of weeks of swimming (for drown-proofing, to make sure everybody can learn basic swimming) but we moved and later when my daughter was in high school in a different city her school had its own pool. She loved it.

Emily Ashyn
Community Member
7 months ago

the fancy ones do lol

ResidentLesbian
Community Member
7 months ago

In AZ some do like Peoria it has a mini kiddie area too

Chik Nuggs
Community Member
7 months ago

mine does

Robin Childers
Community Member
7 months ago

Varies from school to school.

Auli Riot
Community Member
7 months ago

I went to a shite high school in Glasgow and we had a swimming pool. F**k using it though, thing was manky

sylvantic
Community Member
7 months ago

only the newer ones do. mine does, but it was built like 14 years ago.

Erin D
Community Member
7 months ago

Mine did but it was abandoned and filled with archery arrows lol (in the ceiling as well)

Angela Jester
Community Member
7 months ago

Some do

Alexis draskinis
Community Member
7 months ago

Ours all do. But we also have a system for most of the public schools were the middle school (6th to 8th gr) is semi attached to its high school. At least in my city anyway, but not all of them in my state. So for example, most kids that i went to ms with filtered into our hs, unless they went to a private one. Our 2 buildings were separate, except for a connecting hallway here or there, and the 2 schools shared a gym & pool. We had separate fields for things like baseball & soccer if I remember correctly. I imagine this way can save a decent chunk of movie without sacrificing activities. 1 pool for 2 schools is better than not having a swim team in 1 vs the other...

The Pansexual MELONLORD
Community Member
7 months ago

I wish

lara
Community Member
7 months ago

Yes, and many schools, especially in California have competitive swim teams.

Sarcastic Panda
Community Member
7 months ago

in private schools in the UK they do

Little Ms. Quirky
Community Member
7 months ago

in the school in HK I currently am in there's a swimming pool (smells gross tho)

JustAWeirdoGirlChild
Community Member
7 months ago

i wish!!!

ArtistinResidence
Community Member
7 months ago

Some do. It’s always a problem though if the budget for the schools don’t pass the first thing they look at is closing the pool. Most of our students take one of their PE quarters learning to swim which since we live near a Lake, it’s probably a good idea since we haven’t had a drowning in a long time. I will say the students hate it because you have to get totally wet and then try and get your hair dry before your next class and it’s really difficult.

Gwenda Christenson
Community Member
7 months ago

Not a lot of them. The larger schools might -- small school (400 kids in kindergarten through 12th grade) usually don't. it is all based on the amount of money a school has (which is paid for by local property taxes. Wealthy areas get the good stuff -- rural and poor areas get crap

Betsy Knox
Community Member
7 months ago

Hah! My high school was located in an old mansion. We were bummed to find out that in order to give us a library they boarded up the swimming pool and built a library over it.

Roadkill The Brave
Community Member
7 months ago

Not all of them. There might be some but I never went to a school with one.

Helen Haley
Community Member
7 months ago

Some, not all high schools.

Sue Knerl
Community Member
7 months ago

Yes.

jewel cat
Community Member
7 months ago

I dont but i know that some do. i go to a really small school

WhatEvenIsLife
Community Member
7 months ago

Not in small town Texas. Any money the district has goes straight to football. Even if it's really crappy football.

CR Harvey
Community Member
7 months ago

Mine didn't.

Hannah M
Community Member
7 months ago

In New Zealand most schools have a pool as well, but they're pretty small. Also, because of the shape and isolation of NZ everyone NEEDS to be able to swim

jonnotheGOAT
Community Member
7 months ago

they don't

Ms.M.
Community Member
7 months ago

There was one in my high school. In elementary school, all students were required to take swimming lessons and we were bussed to the high school. It was fun :)

AIDAN SIVITS
Community Member
7 months ago

Mine does

Ana Vaquer Perez
Community Member
7 months ago

High schools do

Addie
Community Member
7 months ago

my school does

M O'Connell
Community Member
7 months ago

No school I ever attended did.

Soph the Loaf
Community Member
7 months ago

Some of them do, but a lot of the time the community uses the pool too, not just students.

Sophie McGregor
Community Member
7 months ago

Our school in forfar, Scotland has a community pool attached to is

Who? Me?
Community Member
7 months ago

My school does too. I'm not an American

PjandBolt
Community Member
7 months ago

The swimming unit in p.e. sucks

Biana Vacker
Community Member
7 months ago

maybe some private schools? at least not where I live

Lillian Jimenez
Community Member
7 months ago

No

Sarah
Community Member
7 months ago

Mostly only the suburb schools or high schools do.

Luther von Wolfen
Community Member
7 months ago

Only the ones in rich neighborhoods, which are the ones you see on TV.

Hailey Scullen-Miller
Community Member
7 months ago

some reason theres a rumor here that theres an actual pool under thhe gym but how would you get to it then????

rgr8
Community Member
7 months ago

All of my schools apparently have had one on the roof.

Aiyana Menrige
Community Member
7 months ago

Where did you put your pools then?

Dilly Millandry
Community Member
7 months ago

The schools that don't have pools use the local sports centre.

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Aiyana Menrige
Community Member
7 months ago

I thought he ment like ELEMENTARY or something. My elementary school didn't have one.

angie but who cares
Community Member
7 months ago

yeah

Squirrelflightisawesome
Community Member
7 months ago

Some do.

TTCA Gravity
Community Member
7 months ago

It's a tradition at mine to trick the first years into looking for the "hidden pool."

Girl_In_Red
Community Member
7 months ago

WAIT THATS A THING?!

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#29

American-Schools-Weird-Things-Non-Americans

aidansarson7 Report

Caitlin Davenport
Community Member
7 months ago

We don't, dances are usually 4 times a year.

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#30

American-Schools-Weird-Things-Non-Americans

UnamusedSnorlax Report

Caitlin Davenport
Community Member
7 months ago

Yes

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#31

American-Schools-Weird-Things-Non-Americans

00lisa0 Report

konnarw1
Community Member
7 months ago

yeah sorry but you should move to america.(JK)

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#32

American-Schools-Weird-Things-Non-Americans

ThaumPenguin Report

Caitlin Davenport
Community Member
7 months ago

Candy was usually a very tiny part, if it was there at all. But it was the most exciting part!

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