School Around the World – ESL Worksheet

By | November 24, 2013
Read the article below about school in three countries. Then answer the comprehension questions and IELTS practice essay question at the bottom of the page.

cartoon image of diverse students

School Around the World

How much time do you spend in school? People around the world go to school at different times. Yet most people feel that they spend too much time in school. Here are three students from three different countries. Their schools are different. Yet the students want to spend less time at school and more time on fun!

United States

John goes to a public school in the United States, so it is free. Most people in America go to public school. There are no uniforms in public school. John starts school at 7:45 a.m. and finishes at 3:30 p.m. He has a lunch break at 1:00 p.m. After school, John stays for an hour for club work. He has a different club every day. John has theatre on Monday and Wednesday, and he plays football the rest of the week. John often gets home at 5:00 p.m. He has football practice on the weekend. John also goes to a religious school on Sunday morning. He does not get homework at Sunday School.

Saudi Arabia

Reem is from Saudi Arabia. She starts school at 6:30 a.m. School lasts until 1:00 p.m. Reem gets home around 1:30 p.m. Reem does not go to any clubs at school, but she goes to a religious school two days a week. She has homework for both schools.  Reem also studies with a tutor most days of the week. She has many exams and subjects to study for. Schools in Saudi Arabia have two terms. Reem wears a uniform at school. Like many people in Saudi Arabia, Reem goes to a private school. Her parents pay for her school, and Reem brings her own lunch.


Yoko goes to school in Japan. She attends school six days a week. Yoko goes to a public school, but her parents pay for it. Public schools cost less than private school. Yoko has a long day at school. When she gets to school, she takes off her shoes and puts on slippers. Slippers help to keep the school clean.  Yoko has a lunch period.  She talks quietly with her friends during lunch. After lunch, students clean up the cafeteria. Yoko stays in her classroom most of the day. She and her classmates clean their classroom at the end of each day. Most days after school, Yoko goes to a club. She tutors other students during math club. Yoko gets home around 5:30 p.m. After dinner, Yoko goes to a cram school for more lessons. She finishes around 8:00 p.m.


  1. Do most students enjoy long school days?
  2. What kind of school does John go to?
  3. Does John pay for his school?
  4. Are all public schools free?
  5. How many hours does Reem stay at school?
  6. Does Reem wear what she likes to school?
  7. Why does Yoko take off her shoes at school?
  8. What do students in Japan do besides studying?
  9. What do students do at cram school?
  10. Which student stays in school the longest? Which student stays the shortest time?


You should spend about 40 minutes on this task.
Write about the following topic:
Education is important. Everyone needs education for a better life and a better country. To what extent do you agree or disagree with this statement?
Write at least 250 words.

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