American High School and Swedish Upper Secondary
School – a Comparison
Hi, the American high school can be hard to understand for someone who is not from USA.
So in this text I will try to clarify and present the American high school and the Swedish
upper secondary school. Secondly I will also show the differences as well as the similarities
between them. Thirdly I want to say my opinion about them. Finally I hope you get a better
understanding and like the time here in Houston.
American high school
You start the high school in the ninth grade when you are 14-15 years old. The high school
is four years long and each year is divided in two or three semesters. Each semester is six
or nine weeks long. This four years will be very educational and consists of lots thrilled
moments with your friends. Of course it will be times when it feels like the worst that could
happen to you. Regardless of which, this is the time you will change, flourish and become
Every day you will have four main subjects(math, English, history and science) and your
three electives. The electives do you choose from a range of subject your school has. In
each class you get a grade between A and C or if you fail you get an F. Between each class
you have a small break too go to the toilet and get you books, you have also a 30 minutes
long lunch break. You have to buy food in the cafeteria or take with you food from home.
When the school day has ended you go to your training, music lesson, be with your friends
or go home in the famous yellow buses. The sport is a huge part of the school here and the
most popular sport is football and basket. Before the matches the teams supporters often
have a pep rally lead by the school’s cheerleaders and occasionally with the school band.
The pep rally is too raise the school spirit, get everyone excited for the game and of course
pep the team.
The dances is a very fun part of the high school and for many the prom and homecoming is
the best part of high school. Homecoming is a party with a football game and dance were
the old students(alumni) are invited.
Swedish senior secondary school
In Sweden the senior secondary school starts after the nine years long compulsory school,
when you normally is 15-16. The senior secondary is divided in three school years by two
summer breaks which is around ten weeks long. The Christmas holiday is about three
weeks long and divides the school year in two semesters. In the senior secondary school
you get new friends, start partying and starts deciding which path you want to go in life.
Every class has their own timetable and start/end the day differently. In Sweden the
compulsory subject is, English, history, physical educational and health, mathematics,
science, religion and social studies. Then they have different programs that you can choose
from. Depending which program you choose you have different curses. You also get one
elective in the second grade. In the end of each curse you get a diploma where you can get a
grade between A(the best) to E, if you get an F you have failed the curse. It is relatively
hard to get an A since you need all knowledge requirements on A level or you will get an B.
Similarly with C if you do not get all knowledge requirements on C level you get an D.
A full day is from about 8 am and ends around 3:30 pm but the start and end of the day
differ, as I said before between each program. The length of the recess differ deepening on
the timetable. On the recess you can go tho the cafeteria and take a “fika” which is a social
time when you eat a snack or sandwich and talk with your friends. If you have a long recess
you can go to the local store and buy a snack or energy drink, which is often cheaper than
in the cafeteria. The lunches is free and is at least 30 minutes long. Sometimes you have a
recess with your lunch so you get a free period then you can go and eat on restaurant. After
the school the students go home or be with friends.
The last semesters is very hectic with, master thesis, school dances and the graduation. The
graduation day, when the students run out from the school and throw their hats in the air,
is a very special day for most of the students. Some students travel, start working or start
studying at university after the graduation. So this three years will go very fast.
To begin with you start at the same grade. However the high school is four years long
compared to three years in Sweden and start one year earlier. In senior secondary school
the timetable differ a lot more from class to class than high school. High school dose not
have any free lunches, and the lunch recess is often shorter. Senior secondary the lunch is
free and you always has 30 minutes to eat but often you have another recess merged with
that time, therefore you sometimes get a very long recess.
Senior secondary school has programs instead of the three electives in high school. The
programs give you a more type of specialization in senior secondary due to the multiple
program specific subjects. Whereas in high school you only have three electives. This make
the it easier for classes to be with each other, due to the small differences in the timetable.
The high school have a much larger sports spirit than senior secondary school. Although
many students participating in various sports, but the interest of watching school sport live
is not so entertaining. Finally both systems have one big similarity, this is the time when
you grow up and become an adult.
To sum up the different school systems vary but have also many similarities. I think the
Swedish senior secondary biggest advantage is the different programs, because you get a
better education for further studies or wor...
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Källor för arbetet
"What is Upper Secondary School in Sweden?" and "American High School" by Sarah Otto.
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KällhänvisningJesper Svensson [2017-11-10] American vs Swedish Schoolsystem
Mimers Brunn [Online]. http://mimersbrunn.se/article?id=60185 [2018-08-16]
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