It is much more general problem Gauss law is nothing exceptional among other laws - students (majority) are lost always if they must apply physics to real world. The way how they are taught in schools is so abstract, that they are unable to find relations between physical laws and reality. Do you remember Feynman's story about Brasilian students and polarisation of light reflected from water surface?
In some countries it is a bit better, in some a bit worse, but all over the world educational problem is the same: kids are taught to memorize formulae, then apply them to "realistic" scenarios of school excercises, which often contradict common experience.
So they learn: physics apply to excercises, the real world is ruled by common sense experience, those two have little (if any) in common.