Indeed it is! the later you can stay is 7pm in high school and 6pm in middle school and don't even get me started with college, lol. And in some schools you even have to go there on saturdays people don't have any mercy
Well for instance, English. If I didn't try to learn it on my own and only counted on school to teach me, I wouldn't even be able to talk to you right now... or maybe I would be able to, but with google translator. And the time at school is too long: don't tell me that staying there from 8am to 5pm (even longer sometimes) is normal
You've got some guts because French is a really hard language to learn! I always wanted to learn Polish and Russian... And you will find out soon enough that the school system here is really not that great... at all.