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
10 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
10 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
10 months ago

1. Usually 2. Usually

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#4

American-Schools-Weird-Things-Non-Americans

chromaticaution Report

Jamziee
Community Member
10 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
10 months ago

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

Sophia Graubart
Community Member
10 months ago

Oh trust me, we (students) hate it too

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Charlotte A.
Community Member
10 months ago

In Sweden it starts in august and ends in june. Nothing odd about it, to me.

Ally McGurk
Community Member
10 months ago

Same in Scotland. I grew up in Edinburgh where the summer holidays (vacation) starts on the first Monday in July, and we went back to school 7 weeks later, sometime in August. This was really annoying, as in those days the Edinburgh Festival used to start just after we went back to school, so there were tons of events we couldn't go to.

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Katrina B.
Community Member
10 months ago

It's based on farming! Most farming is done by the end of August. Before that kids are needed to help in the fields.

Sarcastic Panda
Community Member
10 months ago

we always start in September

Maja Lykkegaard
Community Member
10 months ago

In Denmark school starts in august as well

Bonnie Jarrett
Community Member
10 months ago

It depends on which part of the country you live in. For example, I was raised in the NW and we started school in September and out in June. Down here in the south/south-east, they start school in August and out in May.

Whawhawhatsis
Community Member
10 months ago

American schools used to start in September and get out in May so the kids could help with the farm work when the farm was at its busiest. My husband grew up in an agricultural area, and he didn't start school till the middle of September, got almost no vacations during the year, and the year ended in early May. Now, since most families don't have farms any more, schools begin August to account for: Thanksgiving holiday (3-5 days), long Christmas/New Years holiday (2 weeks), in some areas an extra midwinter week off in February (so people can go skiing), and then a week in April for spring break. Plus "teacher work days" at least once every month if not more, with half-days off for teacher stuff frequently, and on and on. It's not surprising our kids don't get much of an education any more unless they're really self-motivated!

Foxxy (The Original)
Community Member
10 months ago (edited)

Our school year starts end of January and ends in early December.

R L
Community Member
10 months ago

SA is the same. Sensible.

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Dave P
Community Member
10 months ago

Not all school districts start at the same time. Some in August and some after Labor Day in September. The ones who start earlier also end earlier in the year. Further start and end of school semesters are regional, usually based around factors that are cultural, such as some regions give off the first two weeks of hunting season for students to go hunting with their parents, so they start earlier. Some places start based on the harvest seasons because in olden days the kids worked at the family farm and no one changed it since then. And much more

Kayla J
Community Member
10 months ago

This is actually a pretty complex answer and obviously depends on where you live. -Goes back to agriculture times when kids needed to be available for harvesting -Gives teachers more time for Spring testing -more holidays and days off, etc, so you start early to get it all in -some sports start their seasons early. when I was in HS football, volleyball, and even the marching band all went to drills and such before school started to get ready. no kidding, I could keep going, but yeah. Quite a few reasons and you could spend quite a bit of time Googling something like that.

Aragorn II Elessar
Community Member
10 months ago

I live in Minnesota now and it starts right after Labor Day. But in Arizona, it started at the end of July and went to the end of May.

Who? Me?
Community Member
10 months ago

In my country, classes start in July and it's hellish hot

Elizabeth Tunney
Community Member
8 months ago

It starts in September in Ny. Sadly I moved to NC, so yeah I get the August.

Philly Bob Squires
Community Member
10 months ago

We used to start after labor day / 1 st week of September (US) but now they start like the 2nd week of August in some places. We'd be done the 2rd week of June. I think up here in the mountains they started early because they got more snow days so to allow for them, they'd start early otherwise to get the required time, the kids could be going into July.

Lynn Bradway
Community Member
10 months ago

Northeast US- ours usually starts first week of September.

Éva Nemes
Community Member
10 months ago

In German, Switzerland, Austria too ;) Vacation not from 14-15.06. - to 31.08. ;)

Celtic Pirate Queen
Community Member
10 months ago (edited)

When I was a kid (albeit a while ago) we started school the Tuesday after Labor Day and went until about the early/middle of June. I think "they're" actually trying to get us on a year-round system. Which would make a lot more sense for parents who have to pay for some amount of daycare!

Susan Mercurio
Community Member
10 months ago (edited)

In northern states, it's because the children might have to take a lot of days out of school for "snow days." In the southern states, it might be because they had extra days out because of a tornado or a hurricane.

Jan Prescott
Community Member
10 months ago

Ours start right after Labor Day, in September. Western NY.

Amanda Hunter
Community Member
10 months ago

Ghastly isn't it.

Doris Bennett
Community Member
10 months ago

Yes it is!

backatya
Community Member
10 months ago

Mine started in Sept but now it's different

Miranda Prince
Community Member
10 months ago

Yeah, the school where I teach starts in the middle of August. It sucks. The good part is that we finish at the end of May instead of having to go in June.

Susan Thomas
Community Member
10 months ago

Some don’t. In California we started after Labor Day which is first Monday in September.

Patti Renwick Parrish
Community Member
10 months ago

schools used to start after labor day but schools lost funding so they moved it to august to get more $$. Kids in class = $$.

IZama
Community Member
10 months ago

I think kids should go to school all year. Maybe a two week break during the summer. 10 weeks of a break is too long. They get lazy and its hard to get back in the groove after such a long break.

Faith Hurst
Community Member
10 months ago

Less time off in summer for learning loss. We have AC and kids have the same number of school days with longer breaks in fall, winter, and spring than I had. It's still a two month summer break.

Martha Higgins
Community Member
10 months ago

In Maine, most school starts in September, but some schools mostly in Aroostook County begin in August so the kids can have a break in late August/early to mid September so they can help with the potato harvest. It's becoming less common but was an important thing before the advent of mechanical harvesters and as a way for children to earn money for school clothes. Other schools in other parts of the country begin in August but they also get out in May whereas in Maine it's usually late June. Our weather is nicer from June to September and lots of kids work in the summer in tourist-related businesses. The tourism season these days is a lot longer than it used to be (traditionally July 4th to Labor Day) and stretches from April to November in many places so it's not so significant, but still nice to have those great months off from school.

elfin
Community Member
10 months ago

Why not? And why is one starting month madder than another?

Jane Alexander
Community Member
10 months ago

'Summer vacation' didn't start out as playtime. School was suspended for those three months because the kids were needed in the fields for harvest.

Klaus Hargreeves
Community Member
10 months ago

yeah it sucks

BG
Community Member
10 months ago

We get a fall break, winter break, spring break and summer break. I t doesn't mean that you break for the entire season.

Kimberly Herbert
Community Member
10 months ago

According to my Dad's family in Texas or at least our region, this started during the polio epidemics. There were spikes during August and it was thought that swimming in pools or the bayous was the vector. If the kids were in school they weren't swimming. SO they opened the schools so the kids were supervised. My students often didn't have AC in their apartments so the air-conditioned school was a relief.

Ivana
Community Member
10 months ago

School should be year round because the summer break drastically impacts retention and it causes a huge burden on working parents. The reason why we have summer break is because rich families would remove their children for their holiday season and they would demand the school close until their child returned.

MustardLemon
Community Member
10 months ago

We still start in September!

BananaJo
Community Member
10 months ago

I live in Bulgaria, and I'm english. I have a three month break. In England we have like one month. On of the very limiter things I like about this country

Goth Nurse
Community Member
10 months ago

Finnish schools start before mid August. Summer break starts on May 31st ish. Our summer is so short, that's why :)

Pheebs
Community Member
10 months ago

I live in FL. We start in August so kids are out of school for the hottest month (July). It depends on where you live as to when you start.

James Pointer
Community Member
10 months ago

Because adults need summer too

Doggo
Community Member
10 months ago

wait starting in august is weird?

Hollysmom
Community Member
10 months ago

When I was s kid the school year started in September and ended in June. We had a full three months off. It was great.

Emily Smith
Community Member
10 months ago

Kids and parents today want to know the same thing! lol

Don't Look
Community Member
10 months ago

The current reason seems to be weather. But there’s be a few reasons given. Used to be that children needed to be able to “work the fields” back in the 30s and 40s so they had to go to school for a longer year and then over the years teachers have complained that they need more days to teach the growing material... the silly list goes on and on...

Seth Linn
Community Member
10 months ago (edited)

Because schools here aren’t educational institutions, they are tax paid daycares.

Cal Capone
Community Member
10 months ago

It started in Sept when I was a kid. But then again could be because I'm in Canada.

Cal Capone
Community Member
10 months ago

It used to start in September when I was younger. Maybe that's cause I'm in Canada though

seahawks fan
Community Member
10 months ago

mine starts in september

Eric Lafleur
Community Member
10 months ago

Quebec, Canada; School starts last week of August and ends on last week of around June 20 ish, just before Saint-Jean-Baptiste Day, Quebec's national holiday.

Louloubelle
Community Member
10 months ago

I'm in Wisconsin. Our kids go back after Labor day. At least where I live.

JessG
Community Member
10 months ago

Again, some schools don’t. Doesn’t matter anyway, one way or another, still get 3 months off

Bacony Cakes
Community Member
10 months ago

Madness? This! Is! SPARTA!

80 Van
Community Member
10 months ago

That is very different for different reasons. In the Southeast, some districts start in August because the summer temperatures starts a lot earlier. In the Northwest, school tends to start after the first week of September because summer temperatures don’t start until around June.

Audrey the Frog
Community Member
10 months ago

Mine starts in September :)

Arctic Fox Lover
Community Member
10 months ago

Whaaat? That is such a terrible sin. Mine always started in September (of course, I'm still in middle school, so idk how it'll be for high school and college).

Cactuar Jon
Community Member
10 months ago

Here in UK they start in September

JennyLaRue
Community Member
10 months ago

In Scotland School terms usually start in August

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Samantha Lomb
Community Member
10 months ago

Maryland passed a law that school starts after labor day. So very end of August/ beginning of September. So its a state by state decision

Katchen
Community Member
10 months ago (edited)

American here: I started in September as a kid and my kids start in August, but they get more time off during the year than I did: a full week at Thanksgiving and an extra week in February.

Emily Ashyn
Community Member
10 months ago

mine starts in September

Kim
Community Member
10 months ago

I’m Sweden school starts in August. I’ve always hated it because of the fact that it’s the best summer month.

sylvantic
Community Member
10 months ago

august 18 for LAUSD. but we have week long Thanksgiving and Spring breaks, as well as 3 week winter breaks. still sucks tho.

Roxy Eastland
Community Member
10 months ago

Scottish schools go back in August

lara
Community Member
10 months ago

It's because of all the "teacher training stuff." Also to "save" for weather outages.

Karin Gibson
Community Member
10 months ago

When my kids went to a Maryland school they started back after Labor Day September and the year went on until the end of May with 12 weeks off.

Rae the lemon
Community Member
10 months ago

I want to move to Europe 😔

Kim
Community Member
10 months ago

You do know that each country in Europe has their own 'rules' when schools go out and start again? They range anywhere from 6 weeks (my country) to 15 weeks.

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Kitty Berkenbile
Community Member
10 months ago

I too question this

Gwenda Christenson
Community Member
10 months ago

so that we have enough time to get the required amount of days or hours completed before mid-June. In Iowa we are required to have 180 days of school. Every state has its own rules about the amount of time students need for an academic year (this applies to colleges and universities as well)

ArtistinResidence
Community Member
10 months ago (edited)

It depends on the state. In New York State because there is a regents testing system we run from September till He 3rd week in June. However not all students are there the last two weeks because they are testing. You don’t have a test, you don’t come in. It also depends which state and in what area of the country as August can be either really hot for some states or cool for others. Many schools do not have air conditioning. Most schools run from September to June in the US. There’s plenty of vacation time in the school year and time off.

Demetri
Community Member
10 months ago

They began the first week of September when I was 17 and younger (in the 1960's and 70's) but there may be differences now. Once in college, students were given an option to get registered for all classes and pay your bills in August to avoid the madness that would happen in September. College/university is A LOT bigger and more demanding than high school.

Meami
Community Member
10 months ago

They didn't used to but it's probably because of all the holidays and in-service days for teachers.

Kwj
Community Member
10 months ago

In Denmark schools have always started in the first or second week of August and ends in late June. Nothing weird about that? :)

Kwj
Community Member
10 months ago

It has always started in the first or second week of august in Denmark. It starts in late June.

Covid Pan Demic
Community Member
10 months ago

For me it doesn't, where do you guys live? I live in washington and it starts in the begenning of september for me.

Kimberly Reetz
Community Member
10 months ago

Because of the Hispanic population. We used to get 2 weeks off for Christmas break. When the Hispanics started staying away for a month, they would have too many absences and couldn’t meet the required 180 days. Schools gave in and let everyone take a month off, but they had to make up the time somehow.

Horror Hero13
Community Member
10 months ago

Torture. Plain and simple.

Rosanna Jackson
Community Member
10 months ago

Gross. That's just gross. I'm thrilled we are not in school in August. August is for outside.

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#6

American-Schools-Weird-Things-Non-Americans

ShadyFennec Report

Michelle C
Community Member
10 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
10 months ago

Yes, don't you?

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#8

American-Schools-Weird-Things-Non-Americans

Nonisbitch Report

Ms.M.
Community Member
10 months ago

That's always bugged me too.

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#9

American-Schools-Weird-Things-Non-Americans

kirstyclyne Report

GlassHalfWay
Community Member
10 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
10 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

bettesbich Report

Brett
Community Member
10 months ago

Yes sadly

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#12

American-Schools-Weird-Things-Non-Americans

argentdols Report

Aunt Messy
Community Member
10 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
10 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
10 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
10 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
10 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
10 months ago

Yep. ours was awesome!

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#18

American-Schools-Weird-Things-Non-Americans

CryinInATaxi Report

Eva Bryson
Community Member
10 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
10 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
10 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
10 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
10 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

ERODAVOL6 Report

angie but who cares
Community Member
10 months ago

my elementry did

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#24

American-Schools-Weird-Things-Non-Americans

livculture Report

Jamziee
Community Member
10 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
10 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
10 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
10 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
10 months ago

The high school I’m going to does

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#29

American-Schools-Weird-Things-Non-Americans

aidansarson7 Report

Caitlin Davenport
Community Member
10 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
10 months ago

Yes

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#31

American-Schools-Weird-Things-Non-Americans

00lisa0 Report

konnarw1
Community Member
10 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
10 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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