What is a gap year?

A gap year refers to a break taken between high school and post-secondary or between years of post-secondary. It isn’t just time off from school. The most effective gap year is an intentional time for personal growth that could include volunteerism, travel or work to discover who you are, what you want and what next steps will get you closer to your life goals.

Share your gap year story with us!

Talk to a Recruiter

For career exploration, program eligibility and academic planning, the best place to start is with one of our expert recruiters at [email protected].

Work and Internships

You can also learn about yourself through meaningful work.

These organizations specialize in supporting you with work or internship opportunities on your gap year.

Intern Abroad HQ

A-way to Work

International Youth Internship Program (IYIP)



A successful gap year can also include exploring a range of courses to discover what resonates most and to develop the learning skills you need to be successful.

LC Courses
Get a head start on your LC program by trying out a class through Open Studies.

Admission Requirements
Learn more about LC admission processes and connect with our admissions team.

Academic Upgrading

Missing some requirements? Our Academic Upgrading courses can get you there.

Explore other learning opportunities.


Travel and Adventure

Experiencing life in another country and culture is one way to discover what matters most to you.

Add some structure as you travel abroad by working with these organizations.

Outward Bound Canada

Government of Canada International Experience Canada


For Parents

We know talking with your teen or young adult about life after high school can be a challenge as you search for the sweet spot between being supportive and pushing too hard, between respecting your young adult’s independence and providing guidance for a bright future. You aren’t alone if you have some anxiety when the talk of a gap year comes up. It's a conversation worth having because you want them to be happy, to find something they love and to be fulfilled, and a gap year can help.

Consider these stats from the Canadian Gap Year Association:
• 33 per cent of 17,000 post-secondary students surveyed took at least one year off after graduating high school before going into higher education (Brainstorm Strategy Group for SEMM Forum 2021)
• 75 per cent of gap year alum reported that a gap year contributed to their academic motivation (Gap Year Association)

Think of the gap year for all it can be – intentional, focused and illuminating. It’s a chance for teens to take some time to figure out what they want for the future and plot a path toward their goals.

We understand gap years at Lethbridge College. We know the value they can provide to young adults. Here are some resources you may find helpful.

"Am I Too Late? A mother’s reflection on her son’s gap year and how it prepared him for an uncertain world" (2021) Cindy Funk and Jim Bellar on Amazon

"The Complete Guide to the Gap Year: The Best Things to Do Between High School and College Paperback" (2019) Kristin White RBC on Amazon

Travel Insurance for Gap Year

For Counsellors

We know that you are working hard to support students with one of the biggest decision of their lives: what to do after high school. We also know that more and more students are opting to take a gap year before pursuing further studies and you are working with them to plan productive gap years.  We want to support you with that. The resources below are here to help you and your students as they dream, design, and plan their futures.  Our Career & Academic Advisors are a great resource, for both you and your students.  Navigating the future is exciting and challenging.  Let us help guide the way.

International Experience Canada

Gap Year Association – start your gap year here

Three Cheers for the Gap Year (CERIC)

Dryda et al. (2017). The Gap Year Dilemma


Career & Academic Advising

Next Steps


Complete the LC Gap Year Planning Guide

Use this planning guide to structure your gap year and make some decisions on how you will get the most out of your time and experiences.

Financial Aid and Student Awards

An investment in your education is truly an investment in yourself. If you’re looking for some guidance as you plan your future here, we can provide you with plenty of sound financial advice.

Meet with an Advisor

Meet with one of our Career & Academic Advisors for support in structuring your Gap Year. Our Advisors are experts in all things LC and can show you how to make the most out of our support services.

College Events

There's always something going on at Lethbridge College. Check out our event calendar for Open House, sporting events and more!

View Events Calendar

Lethbridge College holds many events that can help you explore campus, programs and student life. Here are a few examples:

Open House: Held in fall and winter each year, this is a chance to talk with instructors to learn about programs and career opportunities. See our Events Calendar for details on how to register.

Parent Info Night: Held in spring and summer, this is a chance for family members to join you in exploring options at Lethbridge College. Look for a listing on our Events Calendar.

Kodiaks Athletics: Be ready to cheer on Kodiaks volleyball, basketball, soccer, futsal, cross country, indoor track and esports. Coming for game days is not only fun, it will help you stay connected to your future and meet new people.

Explore our programs

Choose from over 60 certificates, diplomas, applied degrees and apprenticeships, many of which are nationally recognized and nationally accredited.

Browse our Program List


Then create your custom viewbook! You can make it a perfect fit – with all the details on campus life, student services and academic programs that interest you.

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