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Archive for the ‘gap year’


inauguration day/ come back home


I completed my first year at UTM in the 2015-16 school year, in good academic standing. I had to move at the end of my first year to the U.S., and so transferred to an American University. Turns out I may be returning around Fall 2017, though! So, my question is, would my one year off just count as a gap year? Would I be able to transfer my American credits back to UTM? I checked transfer explorer, and it doesn’t even recognize my American Uni’s name, lol, so I don’t have much context for my courses.

I hope you can maybe provide some insight here? Has this happened before?

Any light you can shed on the situation would be greatly helpful!



An unintentional and unwilling exchange student who regrets moving




welcome back, maybe!

there isn’t really an official term that designates a ‘gap year’ at UTM, but basically if you’ve been gone for 12 consecutive months, you’ll have to reactivate your student record.

you can do that by going online at this link if you’ve been away for 12 consecutive months. once you reactivate, you need to make sure you pay tuition with 12 months or else your reactivation will expire.

in terms of your transfer credits, i’m not exactly sure why your university doesn’t show up, but you’ll be applying for a slightly different kind of transfer credit: a post-admission transfer credit.

a combination of these two actions should get you back on the right track, however, it would be best to contact your registrar at UTM to make sure you’ve done everything correctly and to confirm that you have indeed reactivated your student record.

hope this works, and hey, you’ve picked a good time to move back to canada!

peace and love and hope for america,



we got ourselves a catherine keener

Hi, i graduated high school in June 2016 and I decided to take a gap year before I attend university. Hence,I will be applying to utsc for entry into September 2017. If I do get admitted into my program will I be able to at least take my electives during summer 2017? I’d really like to get a head start since i did take time off from school due to unforeseen circumstances.
Thank you for your times and hope to hear from you soon!



first of all, i totally understand your desire to get a head start. the sooner you’re done with school, the better. (at least that’s how i’ve always felt)

unfortunately, first year intake at U of T is always in september. to my understanding, starting first year during the summer has only been granted in very unique circumstances, but is highly discouraged and “rarely entertained”.

one of the main reasons for this is that transitioning from high school to first year is a big jump and getting settled into university is such an important aspect of the whole university experience. the university will have orientation events (not just frosh week) in september to help you adjust along with your peers. you’ll definitely understand what i mean once you start in september.

furthermore, i imagine the whole process of petitioning for early intake would be extremely arduous and just not worth it. summer courses also generally move at a faster pace and it would be an even bigger jump to go from high school straight into university summer courses. since i’m saying all of this, it might seem like summer intake is actually an option, but it really isn’t.

trust me on this one, september intake is the way to go. you’ll find a lot more support from both campus resources as well as friends you meet during frosh.

just make sure you apply by january 13th and if all goes well, you’ll be set to start in september!

^this is an amazing song, by the way.

i hope this cleared up some of your questions! best of luck with your application!




i read something somewhere about it


I finished my first year at UTSG and I’m thinking of taking a gap year. During the gap year, I’m thinking of attending a language school to improve my French skills. But I think I read somewhere that attending an institution while taking a year off is prohibited. I’m not sure if this policy only applies to post-secondary institutions or any institution at all. I would really appreciate some information on this.

Thanks 🙂


hey there,

i’m not sure what the rule is when it comes to “post-secondary institutions.” i only have incredibly specific and non-transferable knowledge about uoft that is probably taking up too much space in my head. lucky me.

anyway, the only time this would be true is if you are away from school because of a suspension. students are not allowed to receive transfer credits from another college or university while on suspension. obviously, uoft bodyguards aren’t going to burst in on your first day of class at ryerson or centennial and strong-arm you out of the lecture hall. you can still take courses elsewhere, if you want to. they even kind of encourage it, since it may “help improve your academic skill level before you return to university studies in the Faculty of Arts & Science.” it’s just that you can’t use those credits towards your uoft degree.

if you’re actually just taking a gap year and you’re still in good standing, however, you can totally take courses elsewhere, AND you could potentially (emphasis on the “potentially” – take a look at transfer explorer to see how the courses at the other institution might transfer over to uoft) even get transfer credits for your degree, if that was something you wanted to do.

so go ahead! allons-y, as they say, nous allons avoir un aventure.




OSAP, we need some time apart

I’ve done very poorly this school year and I’m a first year student. My academic standing was not accessed because I attempted less than 4.0 credits. I received a letter from the national student loans service center telling me I have to repay my loans already, thing is I know I’ve done really bad. I want to resume school and avoid probation/suspension; but I have to pay my loans first before enrolling. Can I take time off of school and repay my loans first, and then return to school where they access my academic standing. Or is it not possible to take time off, or else it affects my GPA further?


hey there,

so, what i’m guessing happened is that you weren’t able to complete any credits this year. the NSLSC treated that as if you had been away from school for a year, and is now saying that you need to repay the loans, because according to them, you’ve been “out of school.”

if that is the case, i would speak with a financial advisor at utm to see what you can do about the situation. it may be possible to communicate to the NSLSC that you want to continue in school next year, and explain what your plans are to improve your academic standing. in that case, you could come back to school on OSAP, and not be required to start paying it back immediately. but speak with the advisor to be sure, because they are experts in this stuff, where aska is what you might call an amateur advisor.

what i’m saying is coming back to school on OSAP may not be possible in your case, so speak with the experts to find out the best next steps.

if you do indeed need to take time off to repay your loan before continuing at school, that’s a-okay. you are free to take as much time off school as you need to; all you have to do is not sign up for courses! it won’t affect your GPA. your academic record will stay the same until you return. GPA’s don’t have a half-life; they don’t deteriorate while you’re away from school.

whatever happens with your OSAP repayment, taking time off may even be a good choice, academically. time off from school gives you – well, time – to reflect on whether uoft is the best path for you, what your goals are, and, if you’d like to return, what changes you can make to ensure that you’re successful. sometimes time is the best decision-maker. if the time comes when you feel ready to come back, re-registration is a very simple process.

good luck!



the break you’ve always wanted

Hi! I was wondering if I can take a gap year while I’m on academic probation? I’m pretty sure I’ll fail my course or the exam I’m taking tomorrow which will put me into academic probation for sure (my other marks aren’t outstanding). I know I sound all breezy and relaxed but I’m really struggling internally. I’m just not motivated for uni at all. It’s not that I don’t want to try or succeed, I really do but I can’t focus and I think a need a year off to find what I really want to do and study


hey there,

in fact, this is a GREAT time to take a break. everything you mentioned are all valid and important signs that maybe it is time to slow down. and you know what, it looks (and feels) much better to take a year off of your own volition than to be forced to take a year off once you’re put on suspension.

you don’t have to do anything if you want to take a year off. just don’t sign up for courses and your fees will be cancelled. when you come back, whenever that is, you would return on probation and have the duration of that term to get your marks CGPA above a 1.5 in order to return to good standing.

you can always talk this kind of thing over with an advisor at your college registrar’s office if you want some more feedback, but if you think this is the right thing to do, then go for it!




you take as looooong as you need

i just finished a gap year, and while i do plan to go back i’ve decided i want to take another gap year. can i pull off a grand total of two gap years in a row or am i in trouble? there doesn’t seem to be too much info on this, it seems like people come back after a gap year or don’t but i do want to go back just in another year. help?


hey there,

don’t worry – once you’re in the university, you can take as long as you need to complete their degree. people sometimes come back decades later wanting to finish their degree.

all you have to do when you come back is go to your college/faculty registrar’s office, fill out a re-registration form, pay 25 bucks, and then you’re eligible to enrol in courses again!

have fun pretending like austen and fractals are relevant to the real world again!



P.S. keep in mind that if your “gap year” is the result of a deferral of admission, then you only have one year off. so that would be the only case where you could take ONLY one year off.


i’m off!

Hello, I’ve started my first year of uni at utm but I’m thinking of taking a gap year after I’m done, before starting my second year. Is this possible? Who would I have to contact to sort this out? Thanks.


hey there,

it’s totally possible! and you don’t have to do anything. as long as you don’t enrol in courses when the time rolls around, your fees will be cancelled (see page 30 of this booklet).

then, after a year of finding yourself or trying to work so you have money to live or supporting your family or whatever CRAZY SHENANIGANS kids these days get up to, you can just come back! re-registration of your student record will cost $25 (see page 35), and you can go to your registrar’s office for that.

sometimes – even at uoft – things can be that simple. it’s a christmas miracle.





life after graduation


Could you tell me some of my options besides grad school after graduating? Currently I do not have a competitive enough Gpa to apply. Are there any other ways to further my education, specifically ones that do not require a high Gpa? If so, what are the requirements? Also, is there anything I can do besides obtaining another undergraduate degree with a higher Gpa that can help with my chances of getting into grad school in the future?

Thank you, I truly appreciate your help! 🙂


Hey hey

Things you can do other than go to grad school that aren’t entirely educational, may raise your GPA, and will possibly even raise your spirits:

1. Go back to UofT.

Requirement(s): a touch of masochism, money, desperation.

Note(s): You can always come back to raise your CGPA if you’re so set on grad school. Basically, this is the only real way of raising that bad boy sooooooo.

2. Get a job.

Requirement(s): resume, positive attitude, knowing people.

Note(s): It’s quite doable — the whole getting a job with just your bachelor’s degree thing. People actually do it. My friend loves to lament over the fact that her brother dicked around through university and just sent out a whole bunch of resumes/cover letters after graduation. Now he’s been promoted to something that is going to flying him to China multiple times a year on the company’s dime. Mmmmm good food.

Sticking to the whole school thing isn’t totally necessary. 😉

3. Go to college. Or anywhere that offers a post graduate certificate > MA/PhD.

Requirement(s): for the most part, just a degree.

Note(s): These sorts of programs are cheaper and in the long run, probably much more useful. Realistically, sticking around in university is for the would be scholar or researcher, so if you want something more hands on, go for a program that’ll require you to eventually hit up some sort of internship or co-op. Experience is always key!

4. Travel.

Requirement(s): money, sense of adventure, good shoes.

Note(s): Just drop everything and travel. Have over protective parents? Just book the ticket and tell them you’re leaving when you’re at the door. Got a boyfriend/girlfriend? Ehhh they can wait a little. Have friends you’re going to miss? Whatever invest in social media apps to keep in touch.

Like seriously just travel, education be damned.

5. Teach English abroad.

Requirement(s): TEFL/TESL/TESOL/whatever.

Note(s): I suppose we can call this little part 4b but seriously… you’ve been at UofT for four years. Spice things up. Flee. Wander. And make some money while you’re at it.

6. Gather alllllll the knowledge.

Requirement(s): books, Discovery Channel, access to Wikipedia.

Note(s): Learn everything. Read a book. Watch a documentary. I literally sat through a half hour of my friend talking to me about platypuses because he listened to a podcast about them. You don’t need school to learn something new.

7. Start a blog.

Requirement(s): internet, wit.

Note(s): Misery loves company and what’s more entertaining than the plight of the graduated millennial who can’t find a job and discusses his/her failures in blog form? Just go for it.

Now not all of these are going to bump up your CGPA (only one of them will technically) but they’ll certainly raise your spirits.

Lol #cheesy.




Here is to Grandfather U of T

Hi askastudent

I took a break from uoft for 3 years due to poor health. Recently, my doctors informed me that my health has improved and I am able to return to school or work. I am aware that academic policies and program requirements change frequently. I have left school for so long, I don’t know if I am able to return and pick up where I have left.

Thank you for your time.




Hey Sue,

High Five <hand slap> to your health improving! The program requirements that were in place when you enroled in the subject POSt originally are the ones that you can go by when you return! Good ol’ grandfather system. You just have to go to your registrars, fork over 24 bucks and they can re-register you and you will be good to go.

forever and always,



time to pull a Julia Roberts and go to Bali

Dear Ask a Student,

Now I know that it is not really called a “Gap Year” if it is taken right in the middle during one’s undergrad studies, but I’m almost through my second half of my university life at U of T and I’m not getting anywhere. It’s true I’m not putting my all of my body and mind into it, and what you get is what you give, but I’m dying for a change. I’m not going to hide it, by GPA is very shameful and disturbing, but I know I’m better than just a number. I really need to find my passion for knowledge, the same passion that drove me to U of T in the first place! So I have two questions:

1) What is the protocol for taking a year off? Do I just quit or do I still retain my credits? Can I start from where I left off? What is the link to more information on this subject?
2) What are the chances getting accepted into St. George Arts&Sci from UTSC with a less than acceptable GPA?

Thank you for your help, it is very much appreciated!

Dazed & Confused


Whaddup Randall Floyd,

I kind of feel like you’re testing me on this one. Is the Riddler your father? So if your almost done your second half of your undergrad does that not mean you are in your 3rd or 4th year? Annnd how do put your body into an academic study… like running in circles when you study?

Quite a few people need to take time for themselves, whether to travel the world or spend a few months meditating and ‘finding ones self’ but in general, yah you can do it. When you decide to come back you will have to pay a re-enrollment fee before you can enroll in classes, but you will start off right where you left. If this is something you are seriously considering, I would suggest knocking on the sliding door of your registrars office and see what the process is for your situation.

Here’s the schools site on transferring and this is what it says about your specific situation:

You are an internal student if you previously registered at the University of Toronto in a degree, diploma, certificate, pre-university program or as either a non-degree or visiting student.

  • Admission consideration is based on your CGPA and most recent annual GPA.
  • Program prerequisites must be met at either the senior high school or university level. Applicants to limited enrolment programs must present the required first year university courses.

And here is the application deadlines and forms.

Trust me … it will be easiest if you just shoot a line of your academic counselor. They can explain all this online bizzzness in five minutes. Then go run free and figure yourself out. This is the time to do it.

forever and always,


can i have more of these?

If I were to dropout to take some time off, would returning to U of T be as simple as re-registering and paying the fee. Or would I have to go through another admission process.



let’s dance!

Hey askastudent,

i’m a first year in general humanities and i’ve been seriously considering taking a gap year to pursue dance. Could you guys tell me the pros and cons? What is the appropriate endless paper-work filled process that i’m inevitably in for? and are there any short cuts?




get out of my country!

studying abroad...with animals!

whats the deal with studying abroad (through woodsworth college)?

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