Going Back to School – A Global View

From retailer advertising campaigns to water cooler conversations at work, it’s clear that back-to-school season is in full swing. As I drove in to work, I heard a radio segment on the topic, with a focus on rethinking education in the US. The experts discussed the use of tech in and out of the classroom, and looked at other countries for ideas on improving education.

At Smartling, we also decided to take a closer look at schools around the world, to see how back-to-school experiences in different countries compare.

Both culture and geography account for key differences in education systems. Of the 13 countries in our eBook, only six have back-to-school seasons in August or September. Countries in the southern hemisphere start school as late as March. Length of the school day and curriculums differ from country to country. School lunches can also vary widely, as you may have guessed. But did you know that in some school systems, there are no cafeterias, and that in some countries, kids go home for lunch and then return to school in the afternoon?

Most school systems appreciate the value of learning a second language and make it a requirement for their students. Another requirement for most school kids in our research: school uniforms.

In Australia, kids have a “no hat, no play” policy for sun protection. French school children often have field trips on Wednesdays, visiting museums and cultural events. In South Korea and Japan, kids pitch in to keep classrooms clean and tidy.

To find out more fun facts about school systems in different countries, read our Back to School Around the World eBook.

No matter where they are in the world, back-to-school is a time of transition, anxiety, and excitement, for parents and kids alike. For those of you getting ready to send your little ones back to school in the Northern Hemisphere, best wishes for a great fall semester.