By Samantha Long
The only gap year program in Ontario shut down by the college last year will be re-opening in the fall of 2014.
Algonquin’s global studies gap year program provides students the opportunity to take an intermittent year off from a specific program while still attending college classes and engaging in international travel, all while earning a college certificate.
Initially the gap year ran for about $6,500 per semester which is almost double the average cost of most programs at the college.
However, in coming fall semester the college has changed the community service the trip from Kenya to Arizona, shaving nearly $2,000 off the tuition price.
Although the airfare and living expenses are included in the tuition cost, the college is hoping the cheaper tuition will attract more people to the program.
“This program could be for anyone of any age really or anyone who doesn’t know what they want to do,” said Gabrielle Killeen, a second-year museum studies student and former gap year graduate.
“It was just a lot of fun, a chance to relax for a year instead of work, work, work.”
The college is also restructuring the courses to eliminate the unrelated courses they had initially required.
Killeen agreed the program needed restructuring due to the fact she was had to take a six-week Spanish class which had no benefit to her community mission trip in Kenya.
Initially the college had planned to send students to South America for travel as part of the program although when the changed the class trip to Kenya, they failed to remove the Spanish course.
One of the highlights of Killeen’s trip to Kenya was building a library for a local school and being able to play with the children they were helping with for two hours a day.
With the re-launch of the program in the fall of 2014 global studies coordinator, Lorie Hadley expresses the advantages of the program..
“You’re learning about all the resources available to students and you’re learning how to utilize them,” said Hadley.
“It’s really just a starting step to that educational pathway.”