Education styles – Part 2 – My take on the Canadian Education

Updated: Mar 31

January 20th, 2021

Nikolas Zetouni


If you haven’t read my first article, I suggest you click here and read it.

After getting my education from K to BSc in Brazil, I worked 8 years as a biology teacher and had the pleasure to found and run my own high school from 2009 to 2012. At that time, I felt I hit a dead end in my career and decided to pursue more education in another field I am very passionate about – medical sciences. My quest was to go abroad, and Canada welcomed me with open arms and a whole new world of learning.

Understanding the Individualistic Culture

While in Canada, I took a MSc, a college degree and worked in private and public schools through Coded Minds. My educational expectations here were high, after all, North America education is considered top notch from where I came from. My MSc lab used the latest technology, the college was well structured and schools around pretty impressive! But… my research group was too clustered, college peers were very distant and education on schools too tailored. That is when it hit me. The culture in Canada is Individualistic. Meaning, the good of the person is more important than the group. From my experience, being different and focusing in your own things is totally fine here, and that was an amazing learning experience for me. What have I learned from the Formal and Social education in Canada? Keep reading to find out.

Formal education

Credits! Oh how I loved these during my education in Canada. For the first time in my life, I was able to select what I wanted to study. If I didn’t liked it, I could drop the class and try something else next term. The duration of the credits… not my favorite. 2-3 months to learn something is not optimal for me. Back home, I would learn different aspects of a big subject for a whole year. The credit system and short learning time created one of the biggest problems for me in Canadian education: time spent with your classmates. I had to run to 4 different buildings in one day to watch my classes. That means little time to stay around, talk to my classmates, get to know them better and what not.

My take on the system is… the price of individualized studies was the lack of social contact. Furthermore, if students are not exposed to social situations, they might not get better at them (read my previous article for better understanding). Bright side though, here in Canada, students have an amazing opportunity at shaping their future through education. Much better than Brazil.