Lara Fourie is an American TikToker and social media influencer who moved from Texas to Melbourne in 2017. The teen has been attending an Aussie school there since, but the whole experience was like nothing she was used to back in the States.

So she made a series of TikTok videos that have since gone viral, describing the exact culture shocks about the Australian school system. From everyone being totally fine with swearing to being able to go outside during the break, these are some of the differences that shed light on how these two big cultures deviate in profound ways.

Scroll down to see what Lara has discovered there below and to all our beloved Aussie pandas, hit us in the comments with some more cultural differences you have in mind!

#1

Culture-Shocks-Of-Attending-An-Aussie-School

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Eslamala
Community Member
4 months ago

Most countries do not have metal dectors/cops in schools, though...

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Bored Panda reached out to Lara, the TikToker and RMIT University student in advertising who’s behind this viral video, who said she moved to Australia four years ago with her family. “My dad was an engineer and his company moved us all around the world. We’ve lived in Texas, New York, and Singapore as well,” she added.

“The culture shock was definitely the hardest thing to become accustomed to. People are simply different in other countries, not good or bad, just different,” Lara recalled and added that “the concept of change for me overall was the hardest.”

When asked what American things she misses the most, Lara said it’s “Chick-Fil-A, a fast food restaurant with the best food in Texas that you can’t find in Australia.”

#2

Culture-Shocks-Of-Attending-An-Aussie-School

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Hans
Community Member
4 months ago

Where else to have a break?

WilvanderHeijden
Community Member
4 months ago

In some confined very poorly ventilated space without windows...

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Eslamala
Community Member
4 months ago

Wait, americans don't do this??

Queen Jackson.
Community Member
4 months ago

Not after middle school for me. Just a lunch break and (maybe) study hall.

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Aroha
Community Member
4 months ago

When I was in school, we had 15 mins break for every 45 minutes of teaching. And yes we could, and kind of had to go outside. It's good for the brain :).

James Pointer
Community Member
4 months ago

Had this in Wales, 45 minute lessons, hour lunch and if I recall correctly, two 15 minute breaks. We weren't allowed out the school grounds but you could go outside... My other school was same in England, but hour lessons so minus a lesson per day.

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RiverStyxJix
Community Member
4 months ago

Do y'all... not go outside at all?

Luna Lovegood
Community Member
4 months ago

Not after elementary school, which typically ends when you're 11.

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Stephanie Did It
Community Member
4 months ago

No way. Recess is a standard part of American school days, up to grade 9 st least.

Jen Gregory
Community Member
4 months ago

Thank you! 100% truth!

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Rick
Community Member
4 months ago

I’m confused...wasn’t there an American 90s cartoon called Recess which was literally about Recess?

Clearly sunny
Community Member
4 months ago

Loved that show.

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Natalie Kudryashova
Community Member
4 months ago

When I went to school in America 20 years ago we had recess and went outside for it. Is that now gone?

Jen Gregory
Community Member
4 months ago

No it is not gone. This thread is annoying... lies. Recess still very much exists in America... at least until 9th grade. After 9th, you may not have a class devoted to physical activity but you still get to go outside between classes if you wish. Anyone saying otherwise is full of 💩

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aleksandra
Community Member
4 months ago

in Europe, classes are 45 min long, and you get breaks after each of them. USA sucks a lot

Billy Bob the 4th
Community Member
4 months ago

I had 2 recesses and a lunch hour, the afternoon recess was shorter though, like 15 min, but the morning one was 30 min. It never even occurred to me that people didn't have recess...

A weird cat
Community Member
4 months ago

I'm confused I live in America and the middle school here has recess

Hollysmom
Community Member
4 months ago

They have recess in the US but, it's normally for elementary schools

Vicky Zar
Community Member
4 months ago

We have breaks after every class (classes are 45 mins in elementary school and sometimes 90 mins in higher schools)

Lillukka79
Community Member
4 months ago (edited)

Same in Finland. And we had to go out unless it was below -20C.

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Heather Atwood
Community Member
4 months ago

Um, where in Texas did you go to school that the didn't have recess or let you go outside?

Aaricia
Community Member
4 months ago

We have 3 breaks. We have a break around 11 that lasts 15 to 20 min. Half an hour of lunch around 12 or 1 (depends on school and what year you're in) and another 15 to 20 min break around 3.

Lillian Fay
Community Member
4 months ago

I had recess in my grammar school.

TTorrest Author
Community Member
4 months ago

New Jersey, USA, here. We had recess in elementary and middle school, but not high school. Strange that this girl wouldn't even know what recess is? Do they not have it in Texas?

Paul Davis
Community Member
4 months ago

I'm from the U.S. -- when I was young every school at every grade had recesses which were known to make the overall learning process more effective. A certain corrupt political party has long been trying to make school more brutal and less effective in order to prove that it all needs to be put into the hands of private business who by the way is bribing them to do this very thing. At the very same time, they've been making the people who have most of the country's money less and less accountable for paying taxes. Corporations and the very rich became almost exempt from taxes, so the tax base has been shredded. So every minute the kids are in school is costing money and the districts have to pinch every penny. Thus public schools being turned into miserable gulags over time.

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

Many schools also do crunch and sip as well. Which is eating fruit and drinking water during class time. And in primary school there is a no hat, no play policy during the warmer months. If you don't have a hat then you have to sit in the shade or library.

JD Lee
Community Member
4 months ago

There is recess in the US. Acting like she doesn’t know what recess is is a bit of a reach.

Jen Gregory
Community Member
4 months ago

That's total BS. Of course Americans get to go outside during school hours. What kind of nonsense is this girl spreading? It is school... not prison. I've lived in America my whole life and NEVER heard of students not going outside during the school day. Complete BS

Just Your Regular Avocado
Community Member
4 months ago

You guys don't... you don't go outside?

Vesna
Community Member
4 months ago

Hmmm, in US high school we would always hangout outside of the weather permitted. Eat out lunch and catch up on homework, etc.

Vicky Zar
Community Member
4 months ago

I never knew you don't get outside during the school day.

QUINCY—PLUTO
Community Member
4 months ago

Wait- I know about recess-

Bella, Your Kitty-Loving Queen
Community Member
4 months ago

I would have recess in elementary school, but my school district doesn’t have it for middle and high school.

Marlowe Fitzpatrik
Community Member
4 months ago

Do you know why? Because I find this so confusing.

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Eva Schmutz
Community Member
4 months ago

I wish I was able to get recess middle school is so boring

QuotedPrawn7490
Community Member
4 months ago

Wait I literally go to school in the USA and I have had 2 breaks my whole life? Maybe it has to do that I am not in a public school???

backatya
Community Member
4 months ago

Recess was for younger children no this teen

Thomas
Community Member
4 months ago

Here were I live school "hours" are in fact 50 minute long, so we can accomodate TWO recesses during the morning without delaying lunchtime too much.

Riikka Alatalo
Community Member
4 months ago

In Finland we get a 15 minute break after every 45 minute class. Unless you have a double class, and in that case the teacher might skip the break between those 2 classes.

Inkblot Butterfly
Community Member
4 months ago

Wait yall dont have recess??

Brandi VanSteenwyk
Community Member
4 months ago

Once again... Still exists in the US.

RoseTheMad
Community Member
4 months ago

Same in the UK too, you get 2 breaks during the day. It's split into a double lesson (more common in years 10 & 11) or 2 single lessons before the first break, and then before dinner, and then before home time. :)

Mario Gonzalez
Community Member
4 months ago

Wow... What elementary school in the US doesn't have recess? I don't know of any high school that doesn't allow their students to go outside on breaks between classes and for lunch.

QUINCY—PLUTO
Community Member
4 months ago

But still how does she not get recess and still NOT GO OUTSIDE??

Tarryn Louise
Community Member
4 months ago

Get to?... we are forced to go out side!!!!!! hahaha

Sa Ruuu
Community Member
4 months ago

What freaking public school did this girl go to?? My American high school had no metal detectors and a morning break. She should really have a disclaimer that not ALL American high schools are like hers

lara
Community Member
4 months ago

Yeah, we do that in elementary school, in high school we have PE.

El Dee
Community Member
4 months ago

Wow! American kids aren't given a morning or afternoon break? This is awful!

Roxy Eastland
Community Member
4 months ago

What???? American schools don't have at least one 'play time' during the day where they go outside for a short spell to let off steam? When I was growing up we had one mid-morning and one mid-afternoon, as well as lunch time.

sonofabass
Community Member
4 months ago

Yes, we do. Until High school when kids don't play during breaks. Not sure what OP is talking about.

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Mart Sermus
Community Member
4 months ago

Usa kids can't go outside during school day?

Logic and Reason
Community Member
4 months ago

Yeah, we could/can.

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...
Community Member
4 months ago

a bit old to be preoccupied with recess aren't we? What are you like 8?

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#3

Culture-Shocks-Of-Attending-An-Aussie-School

In Australia, students can pretty much get away with swearing in class, swearing in front of teachers, that kinda stuff, in America, that was not tolerated at all and it was straight-up detention.

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Mohsie Supposie
Community Member
4 months ago

I would be with America on this one.

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In many schools across the US, metal detectors are something teens and school staff go through every day. They were first used in a Detroit High School during the 1989-1990 school year, so they’re not an entirely new concept as many would like to believe.

However, recently, more and more schools are implementing the use of metal detectors on their sites due to the rise of school shootings. They serve as ugly reminders of the problem of violence in the US, and how sadly, the leaders have failed to ensure safety of their young generation without such extreme measures.

#4

Culture-Shocks-Of-Attending-An-Aussie-School

So in America, I woke up at 6 am every morning so I would be picked up by the bus at 6:30 for a 7 am start at school. Whereas in Australia, I start high school at 8:30 in the morning

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Aroha
Community Member
4 months ago

7 am start?!? In Finland my high school started at 8, 9 or 10am depending on which classes I chose...

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#5

Culture-Shocks-Of-Attending-An-Aussie-School

Buying lunch at a cafeteria is a lot different to Australia as well. The cafeteria usually only makes a meal of the day and they only have a few snack options that are usually are all processed. We also have vending machines at school and a lot of them have soda, whereas in Australia, they have a canteen. They have so many more options and the food is way better overall.

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RiverStyxJix
Community Member
4 months ago

You have vending machines?! Why don't we have that!

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#6

Culture-Shocks-Of-Attending-An-Aussie-School

This is the most generic Texas school outfit. And this is pretty much every Australian school outfit for girls

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CalicoKitty
Community Member
4 months ago

The check dress isn't super common past primary? A lot of secondary schools, especially the private ones, are either blouse and skirt or a generically tailored dress.

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At the same time, there isn’t a lot of research about the positive or negative safety or social effects of metal detectors in schools. A study published in the journal of the American School Health Association detected mixed results as one study found that less students carry weapons to schools with metal detectors than the ones without them, though it’s not entirely clear how and if that translated into less violence in those schools.

Moreover, some experts claim that in more severe and lethal cases of mass shootings, metal detectors will do little if any good. Some believe that students in line for the detectors and the operators would likely be the very first victims.

#7

Culture-Shocks-Of-Attending-An-Aussie-School

In America it's mandatory to take a second language, a sport, and an art subject. But in Australia you don't have to.

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ADHORTATOR
Community Member
4 months ago

this second language thing is good!

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#8

Culture-Shocks-Of-Attending-An-Aussie-School

So in American high schools, you have 7 classes a day that are 45-minute periods. At the beginning of the day, in first period, we would say the pledge of allegiance. The whole entire school would do this during morning announcements, we would turn to the flag that was in every classroom and we would go like this: "I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and to the republic for which it stands, one nation, under God, individual [sic], with..." blah blah blah blah blah. I can't even remember anymore. So yeah, the whole entire school would do that at the exact same time, and then we would take a moment of silence for one minute where the whole entire school would be dead silent for a whole minute. Whereas in Australia, it's a bit different. In Australia, you have 4 periods a day that are an hour and a half, and at the beginning of the day, we have something called home room. We have houses like in Harry Potter, and pretty much every student from all different grades gets put into a certain home room

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Eslamala
Community Member
4 months ago

The pledge of allegiance and a moment of silence. In a free country. Oh, the irony!

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#9

Culture-Shocks-Of-Attending-An-Aussie-School

In Australia we have a 20-minute recess and an hour-long lunch, both of which you spend outside, whereas in America, we only got a 45-minute lunch and we spent it in a cafeteria

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CalicoKitty
Community Member
4 months ago

It's not always 20/60. My first highschool was 15/45, and my second flailed around from 15/30 to 30/60 depending on the day.

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Another problematic aspect of metal detectors at schools is that they destroy trust between school officials and students. Often, the students are the only ones being screened, which may suggest they are being treated as potential threats.

Also, it’s well known that metal detectors are not foolproof. In September of 2008, in Milwaukee, a 15-year-old female student was stabbed several times in a restroom on the same day a $50,000 metal detector debuted at the school. Even though it’s not entirely clear whether the stabbing suspects had or had not been screened, the question of whether such a deliberate monitoring measure is effective remains open.

#10

Culture-Shocks-Of-Attending-An-Aussie-School

One of the biggest differences is the size of the school. Just for a bit of context, I lived in Texas, so our schools were huge. This was our football stadium/makeshift track. This is one of our three gyms. Our water tank. One of the pools. The district football stadium. And part of our performing arts center. Because you can get your license at 16, most of the students drove to school, and because we had around 5000, there was also a 3-tier parking lot. Also a band hall, orchestra hall, and two auditoriums. We also had a softball and a baseball field, and multiple soccer fields as well. We also had a separate cafeteria for every grade. Whereas Australian schools tend to be a lot more open. In America you spend the whole entire day inside, whereas in Australia you get a lot of time outside

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A panda-gineer
Community Member
4 months ago

I'm getting the sense that when she says "in Australia", she means "at this particular Australian school". In the US, my kids go to an open concept school.

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#11

Culture-Shocks-Of-Attending-An-Aussie-School

In America, this is what the lockers look like. They're either halfway or full length. We also had the option to bring our backpacks to and from class if we wanted to. Whereas in Australia, at least the high school I went to, this is kind of what the lockers look like. They're a lot smaller

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Guinny
Community Member
4 months ago

also depends on school, my school's locker won't fit my school bag, but my friend's look like the left

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#12

Culture-Shocks-Of-Attending-An-Aussie-School

In America we have 7 subjects that we take and we have 7 40-minute periods every day, whereas in Australia, I only take 5 subjects and we have 4 periods every day that are an hour and a half

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Eslamala
Community Member
4 months ago (edited)

Where I live, a "class hour" is 45 minutes long, but they're usually in blocks of two, so you get 1.5 hour periods, but after the first 45 minutes you get a 5-10 minute break.

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#13

Culture-Shocks-Of-Attending-An-Aussie-School

So in Texas high school, we have homecoming. Homecoming is the start of the football season and we celebrate by having a homecoming dance. These things right here, they're called mums. Basically, if you've been asked to homecoming by a guy, they will give you a mum and you will wear it on the day of homecoming. It looks ridiculous seeing everybody walk around school with these giant things on. And yes, I did wear one on homecoming, and yes, it's still in my closet. We also have prom and Sadie's dance. Sadie's is my favorite because it's the Valentine's Day one and the girl asks the guy out. Whereas in Australia, at least at my school, we have a year 10 formal and a year 12 formal and it's usually organized by the students outside of the school. In America, there are so many options for electives. We have everything from orchestra to flower arrangements

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Aunt Messy
Community Member
4 months ago

She means a Sadie Hawkins dance.... Americans don't even know their own traditions any more.

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#14

Culture-Shocks-Of-Attending-An-Aussie-School

In Australia, we don't actually have hallways, so in America, to get from class to class, you go through the school, through your hallways, whereas in Australia, everything's outside other than your classrooms. Lunch, recess, we also have recess, but it's all outside.

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Hayley Futter
Community Member
4 months ago

Same in New Zealand, which actually sucks during winter... Luckily in my later years at high school our tutor teacher would let us stay in our home room during the breaks cause we were part of the academic classes. (Basically talented students)

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#15

Culture-Shocks-Of-Attending-An-Aussie-School

Everyone knows that American public high schools don't have a uniform, but we do have a dress code. Pretty much, you couldn't wear tops that were less than three finger lengths for the sleeves, and your shorts had to be below finger length. When we had gym or sports, we had a separate uniform that we were given, and we would get changed in the locker rooms before class. Whereas in Australia, the typical uniform looks something like this. We called this formal uniform, and on the days we had gym, we wore our PE uniform, that looked something like this. I've also heard a lot of schools in Australia have a "no hat, no play" policy, but I wouldn't know, because I didn't go to elementary school in Australia

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CalicoKitty
Community Member
4 months ago

Yeah if you let the kids out without hats they catch fire and spontaneously grow extra limbs. The sun hates you, it is Not Your Friend

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#16

Culture-Shocks-Of-Attending-An-Aussie-School

So in America, we have water fountains and that's the equivalent to these, which in Australia, they call them drink taps, and they look like that.

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CalicoKitty
Community Member
4 months ago

Bubblers!

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@llarafourie

Culture shocks I had when moving to Melbourne! #australia #america

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