The Difference Between Chinese and American Schools

My Middle School in China

I am an emigrant student from China. I attended schools in China until last year. Schools there are very different from the schools in America.

Chinese high schools last for three years while American ones last for four years. Also, Chinese high school students must lodge on their high school campus on the weekdays, but are allowed to go home on the weekends.

My Chinese middle school started at 7:20 and ended at 5:20 while Kearny starts at 8:40 and ends at 3:30. My classes there, for each period, lasted for 45 minutes while here they last for 90 minutes. The break between classes lasts for ten minutes there. Students in middle school China don’t stay at school during lunch; they go home, eat, and take a nap, then go back to school in the afternoon.

In China, students mostly have all their subjects in the same classroom with the same classmates. However, instead of having same daily scheduled subjects, the same classes every day, they have different schedules for different subjects Monday through Friday.

I still remember the classes I took in eighth grade: Chinese, math, English, physics, political science, geography, biology, PE, computer science, music, and art.

As I reminisce about student life, I see differences in teenage lives.  There are lots of things that Chinese students are not allowed to do until they graduate from high schools. For example, they are not allowed to wear any makeup or jewelry; they are not allowed to wear high heels; they are not allowed to dye or perm their hair, and boys are not allowed to have long hair. In my Chinese middle school, girls were not even allowed to put their hair down.

Also, dating is strongly discouraged among young adults. Generally, teachers and guardians in China think that dating is bad for teens because dating distracts teens from studying, and they are afraid of teens doing something that they can’t take responsibility for.

Anyway, people were so nice and friendly in my Chinese schools, and I cherish the memory of the days there.