During my stay abroad I’ve come to realize that school systems are pretty much the same everywhere.

Portrait of little boy dressed as senior teacher in front of bla

When I arrived here I thought Ryerson was the best school: I get to choose my own courses, you leave whenever you want to …  but soon I discovered flaws. It’s like meeting new people. Or it’s actually the same with everything. At first you’re in a honeymoon phase, you like everything but soon you realize it isn’t that perfect at all.

My honeymoon got crushed that moment when I had to make an assignment but I couldn’t access it unless I was on campus. WTF. I can’t make my assignment unless I’m connected to the Ryerson wifi?? Dear god, in what century do we live.

The courses are honestly as boring as in Belgium. And teachers (sorry, if you’re a teacher) still suck at teaching across the sea. Of course, I realize it’s so much easier to criticize teachers and I can truly imagine that it’s hard to hold on to the attention of your students but how come some can do it? How come some teachers are truly the best and the others (most of them) suck? Isn’t there a school for teachers to learn them how to teach? After all, we have to reeducate ourselves each year, that’s what I’ve learned from my teachers when I left high school 😉 .

What surprises me most is how teachers say that education is so important but they stop educating themselves. You see, they stick to their ways/system of teaching. But that’s the thing about systems. It may have been a good system in the time context they started teaching but time hasn’t stopped so your system has to evolve with it.

family, children, money, investments and people concept - close

The other thing that I have to get off my heart is that schools no longer have the students’ best interest at heart. I see it here in Toronto and I see it in Ghent. No, instead they think about the money they receive. It has become a business just like all others. I would say that’s oke because they still have to gain something from it but it’s not oke when the student has to sacrifice something for it.

For example, imagine you’ve failed some courses. In Belgium they oblige you to study one year longer. Isn’t it a bit out of proportion if you only failed 2 courses out of 23? Is it really because you think the student isn’t capable of finishing his or her program within three years? Is it really necessary to prolong their education for 2 courses? Or do they prolong the student’s education because they gain something out of it when students study one year longer?

Insurance Benefits Protection Risk Security Service Concept

What shocked me when I arrived in Canada was that I had to pay an UHIP of 204 dollars. It’s a Health Insurance Plan which insured me ONLY on Ryerson campus. On the introduction day my exchange coordinator stressed how mandatory the UHIP was. If we didn’t pay the insurance we wouldn’t receive our credits at home (this is some sort of blackmail in my eyes). I was already fully insured by an insurance company in Belgium but I was obliged to pay another insurance?? Throughout Canada I was insured so of course I didn’t want to pay an additional insurance? I sent an email to the Health Insurance Plan of Ryerson explaining that I was already insured and that I didn’t see the purpose in getting another one. They said it was no problem and I didn’t had to pay the insurance.

It’s just upsetting because I’ve spoken to other exchange students about it and they paid the insurance even though they already had an insurance because they were afraid that they wouldn’t receive their credits when they’d go back home.

Ryerson has a huge building called the Student Learning Centre. It’s a building for Ryerson students of 7 floors. It’s a beautiful building. You have internet, millions of outlets, elevators, design chairs … There is even a starbucks in the building (because starbucks sponsored the building of course). But do students really need it? Honestly, students over here pay each year 7000 to 15000 dollars tuition. How I see it is that they actually ask students money so that they can build their students a building they don’t really need? Or at least they don’t really need such a luxurious building in my opinion.

I don’t mind, I didn’t have to pay the tuition but I still don’t get it. I thought education was about the human being and not about the money. Guess I’m just wrong.