I was recently at a home-stay in Slovakia where I met 4 French women.
All of them well educated, spoke pretty good English, and we got comfortable to look at the stars and exchange culture stories.
I’ll get right down to it: they asked me about education.
It started with “what languages are you required to take?”
This question is always embarrassing because we are “required” to attend classes (depending on the school/district) and are only given a handful of options. (In my school it was Spanish, French, Latin…. Stupid me, I took 3 years of Latin. See how useful that was???)
They are require to take English and another language of their choice. For 8 years. EIGHT!
Then they asked about college/university.
How did it work? How expensive was it? How many people go? Do you get any assistance?
I frowned and told them the semi-sad state of education in America. Feeling like my country does this on purpose so people in other countries don’t feel like their system is so bad.
“Do people work and go to school?”
Oh, yes! Absolutely! They have to! Holding down a job while taking classes is really common. Sometimes people are even juggling kids and family while they do that.
They realized it was a Miscommunication. “No. I mean, does your boss pay for your school?”
“Oh……..” I thought……. “I can name 5 Facebook friends of mine that I know who have done that. 3 are from my dad’s company- but my mom doesn’t think they should do that anymore because people get the degree and then leave.”
“There isn’t a tax break/incentive for companies to do that? Do the people get less pay?”
“No tax breaks as far as I know. It’s called a benefit. Sometimes they are required to stay for 3 years- or whatever the company decides…. But I don’t think the person gets paid less.”
Apparently this program (an internship, basically, is really common in France. It gives the students real world experience while they get a little money and go to school. They do this for bachelors and master programs. While their public school is (basically) free (400€ a year) their private school “can be quite expensive” (at 8,000€ a year) so they have a job that they work 1 week, then 3 weeks in school. The boss pays for the tuition and, sometimes, even gives a meager salary (1000€ a month).
“But it’s something! It’s good. You get experience that is better than school. School makes sense with hands.”
I love half translations.
I also love this idea.