Thompson Rivers University

Gap year, schmap year?

  Posted on: June 21, 2016

TRU alumni Seth Gehring during one of his Study Abroad terms in Morocco. His Study Abroad take-away: Gaining confidence, independence, the curiosity to explore new things.

There is a growing trend for students to take a year off between high school and university, electing instead for a gap year—but is there value in the gap year or are students better off jumping feet first into post-secondary education? 

Reasons why people take a gap year?

  • To work for a year and save money
  • A lack of clarity
  • Burn out—the need for a break from traditional education
  • A desire to travel the world
  • Not being accepted to a program of choice

For some, a gap year can be a beneficial endevour but at TRU we have all the essentials to help students find their path and uncover their “TRU” potential without having to miss out on what could be one of the most impactful and memorable years of their life.

6 ways to achieve your gap year goals at TRU

1. Financial Aid 

If you’re worried about finances, we have your back. We offer a comprehensive range of programs to both assist students in financing their educational and living costs and to recognize academic excellence. Financial support can be a combination of bursaries, scholarships, awards, work-study, loans and grants. Entrance scholarships are available to Canadian citizens or permanent residents who have not previously attended a college or university.

2. Flexible course offerings 

For those who lack clarity, TRU has some of the most diverse opportunities to learn and explore of any institution in Canada. We offer an outstanding range of programs, from trades to traditional academics, certificates to bachelor and graduate degrees in everything from health care to adventure tourism. Our faculties and schools provide academic and professional career paths, interdisciplinary options, and opportunities like co-op and undergraduate research to enrich learning. Our students have more ways to learn, with face-to-face, distance and online or blended learning options. A variety of services support students to achieve excellence.

3. Co-op and Work Study

If you’re looking to take a year-off to work and make money—not to fear, you can work while you study. Work StudyCo-operative Education, and working on campus are all ways to successfully work while attending school. Career Education offers a variety of services such as job postingsinterview and resume help, as well career mentorship.

4. Study Abroad

Considering travel in lieu of education? We have the perfect solution. At TRU, Study Abroad refers to all student opportunities in countries other than Canada, including exchanges, field schools, practica and internships. The Student Exchange program allows students to live and study in a different country for one or two semesters. There are over 40 countries to consider through TRU Bilateral Exchange and the International Student Exchange Program.

5. Open Admission

Didn’t get into your program of choice right out of the gates? You can get started at TRU through our open access policy. Our bachelor’s degree programs in Arts, Business Administration, Computing Science and Science are all open admission—if you lack prerequisites for these programs, you can still enrol in first year and begin your studies while simultaneously upgrading in TRU’s University Preparation courses. Starting out in a certificate or diploma program? You can apply your credits earned towards our bachelor’s degrees (“laddering”).

6. Services

Best of all, TRU offers all the resources necessary to help you find your path. Academic advising, counselling, wellness, disability services, Aboriginal services, supplemental learning, student success courses, writing centre, and career education. The services available are the perfect tool to guide students through what can be a confusing time by making it into a seemless transition to a successful future. 


The gap year may be growing in popularity but student success is our number one priority. We empower our students to reach their goals with flexible learning options, individualized student services, hands-on learning opportunities, and a diverse, inclusive environment.