Adventure Learning: VIU’s Gap Year Experience

A gap year is traditionally defined as a semester or year between high school graduation and enrollment in post-secondary studies where students can explore personal interests, engage in experiential learning and clarify academic and future career goals.

VIU’s four-month gap year experience provides a safe, structured environment for participation in active adventure, community engagement, introduction to university life-long learning and exposure to pathways that can provide direction to your career aspirations.

The program is designed to transition secondary graduate students into discovering the right program of study for their university education.

Our Core Values

  • Community - Gap Year students will be placed in different cohorts and will be given opportunities to engage in community projects that in turn will build relevant skills including collaboration and team-work.
  • New Learning Opportunities – The Gap Year students are encouraged to engage in campus life, co-curricular activity and join on campus leadership organizations to build their own network and learn about the opportunities within the community at large.
  • Mentorship –  Each student will be assigned a Gap Year Experience Coach whom of which will guide the student to discover the next steps in their new direction. Coaches will set goals, advise on core objectives, provide feedback and conduct a measure of self-reflection for career development. Gap Year Coaches will meet their respective students on a weekly basis.
  • Reflection - On a weekly basis, Gap Year students will be tasked to create a personal blog or video blog to capture their learning and to identify their next steps for personal growth and development. Gap Year cohorts will regularly meet in circles to perform group reflections.
  • Career Exploration - The Gap Year students will partake in a preparation course which will prepare students to pursue a university path if the right fit has been identified. Students will deepen their understanding of essential transferable skills and will gain competencies to prepare for a related work or study experience.