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Being a Golden Hawk means more than just cheering on our (really good) varsity teams – it means being a student who cares about your community, who works hard in the classroom, and who takes advantage of all the learning opportunities that can happen outside the classroom, too.


Wilfrid Laurier University has designed a Gap Year Advantage program for students who have finished high school, but would like to take a year before they apply to university. The program will bring like-minded students together for an enriched experience that will inspire them to discover more about themselves and what they want to do with their future.

The program consists of three central components:

  1. University preparation: Laurier is a national leader in student success and preparation. The course, seminar and supplemental assistance elements of the program will focus on areas such as time management, study skills, financial literacy, and how to apply to and choose a university. The program will also cover intercultural competence and academic preparation through Laurier’s Centre for Student Success.
  2. University credit: As part of the program, students will enrol in Spanish 101 in preparation for the international experience component, and will receive an academic course credit.
  3. International experience: After completing pre-departure training, students will participate in a three-month immersion and volunteer experience in Ecuador from April to June. While in Ecuador, students will reside with host families on the coast and then travel to the Andes to live in an Indigenous community. Throughout the three-month experience, students will volunteer in various community-development projects.

The program schedule is flexible enough for students who are upgrading high school courses or who are working part time.

Classes for Laurier’s Gap Year Advantage program will commence in September 2016 at Laurier’s Waterloo campus as well as in Milton, Ontario.

Program tuition: $9,995 + HST. Round-trip flight to Ecuador is additional. Cost includes all internal travel, meals, accommodation, language and cultural training in Ecuador, as well as all Laurier courses, both for-credit and non-credit. A discounted rate for January registrants may be available.

Registration is limited; Laurier will only accept 30 students to this program each term.

For more information on the program, email gapyear@wlu.ca.


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