Going through the Canadian education system is much better than being beaten with a stick.
It’s also better than mandatory military service.
Those are two of the many reasons Lake Cowichan Secondary School student Daniel Kim, 19, is happy to have gone through the Canadian high school system.
Three years ago, though, he didn’t want to make the move to Canada from his native Korea.
“I really didn’t want to move here because I didn’t want to lose my Korean friends,” he said.
It was his parents’ decision for him to receive a high school education in Canada, he said; mainly so that he could learn English.
Upon arriving in Canada three years ago, taking residence with the local Crosby family, Kim quickly became happy with his parents’ decision.
“The Korean education system is much stricter,” he said. “I got hit three times a day.”
Describing the daily beating by teachers, Kim said that they used a stick; a practice that has since discontinued.
“I was used to it,” he said.
Another major difference between the two educational systems is the variety in Canadian course work.
“There’s a lot of choices compared to Korea,” he said. “Here, you can actually choose what classes to take.”
In Korea, he said, students stay in the same classroom all day, with teachers moving between classes to teach different subjects. Therefore, all students learn the same things every day.
In addition to receiving a less strict, more varied education, going through high school in Canada has also meant that Kim was able to avoid a mandatory military service.
Overall, Kim said that Lake Cowichan, specifically, has been a great place to live.
“Almost everyone is my friend,” he said.
It has been quite an adjustment from living near Seoul; one of the largest cities in the world.
Despite the small population, Kim said, “there’s a lot of things to do.”
“There are not too many people, so you can get close to one another.”
As for learning English, Kim said that he’s managed to pick it up fairly well, thanks to his dedicated teachers.
“I can’t really write, but I can speak it better,” he said.
Kim is now planning his post-high school graduate life, as he’s graduating from Lake Cowichan Secondary School this summer.
His future plans include either moving back to Korea for a couple of years, or going to college somewhere in Canada for course upgrading, and then university to learn computer drafting and programming.