American teen shares her biggest ‘culture shocks’ from attending an Australian high school: ‘I can’t get over [it]’

·3 min read

An American teenager is going viral after sharing the biggest culture shocks she faced in the Australian high school system.

Lara Fourie, 18, first moved from the U.S. to Australia in 2017, according to BuzzFeed. Since then, she’s joined the long tradition of TikTokers explaining the cultural differences they’ve noticed while getting used to a new place.

In the past, users have shared their insights on being an American teacher in Denmark, a British college student in the U.S. and a Korean high schooler in America. Now, Fourie is detailing her own experience — in a series of viral videos. 

One series in particular breaks down the “biggest differences” the TikToker noticed between American schools and her new Australian high school. For one, the teen was surprised to find that, in Australia, she got an hour-long lunch, plus a 20-minute “recess” break. That compared to just 45 minutes for her lunch in America. 

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Also, the students at Fourie’s new school typically eat outside, while she said her American lunches were always indoors. Meanwhile, she found the food options to be a lot better in Australia. 

“In Australia, we have a canteen,” Fourie explained. “They have so many more options [than in the U.S.] and the food is way better overall.”

Related: Here's why TikTokers are obsessed with Kmart Australia

Some of Fourie’s differences were smaller — like the fact that Australians call math class “maths class,” or that they say “toilet” instead of “restroom.” Some, however, were much more significant. In one clip, she showed the stark difference between her old and new gym class uniforms.

The teen explained that, in her Australian school, students wear their “P.E. uniform” all day when they have gym class. Also, the outfits look very different. 

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TikTokers from both countries have flooded to the comments of Fourie’s clips. Many users called the changes big “culture shocks” and expressed their surprise over the alleged differences.  

“I can’t get over the fact that you don’t go outside during break,” one user, seemingly from Australia, wrote. 

“Bruh why do y’all have to be so different?” another user added

However, some Australian TiKTokers were quick to fact-check Fourie. Many said that their high school experiences weren’t similar at all.  

“What kind of Australian school did you go to?” one commenter asked

“She must have gone to a private school,” another added

Ultimately, schools across both countries have vastly different policies, so there’s really no full way to compare them. That said, I think we can all agree that a one-hour lunch outside is more than a little jealousy-inducing. 

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