In my first week of school, I found a few tips that will help you- if you’re like me- fit in more and make friends at school in France.

  1. On your first week of school, put more effort than usual into your appearance. Even though “it’s what’s on the inside that counts”, people still judge you on what you look like. Lay out your clothes for the first day of school the night before, maybe take a shower, just do something to make you look nice.
  2. Do NOT get to school late on your first day. Again, first day means first impressions, and if teachers see that you are late to their class on your first day of school, they will probably think you don’t care enough to come to class and you aren’t worried about grades or the future. In short, the teachers won’t like you and you’ll be miserable for the rest of the time you’re there.
  3. Talk! Other kids won’t talk to you if you won’t talk to them. Make sure you also smile at the other kids and listen to them. But make sure you don’t talk too much… If you talk too much people will either get flustered or annoyed at you for talking so much.
  4. Tell people where you are from! From my experiences, other kids are interested in American people. America is far away, and it’s a pretty awesome place… Hollywood, broadway, pop stars, and history. An added bonus is that most French kids know at least a few words of English and like excercicing the words that they know, where as if you were, say, Cantonese, they wouldn’t be as inclined.
  5. After the first day of school, look at the schoolwork you will be doing in the next week. After you finish your homework, spend 10-15 minutes reading through the next few pages in your schoolbook. If you do that you’ll be more prepared in the next few days, and you’ll understand it better and work through it faster. 10 or 15 minutes of your time will save you from being stumped and stressed.