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Why Should Consider Taking an Extra Semester (or Year!)

1000 522 Tory Stoddart

When we choose to attend university at the end of high school, we’re taught that a Bachelor degree will take exactly four years. While this is true for many, we’re increasingly seeing students taking anywhere from an extra semester to an extra two years to graduate. You may hear people scoffing at the idea, but here are some reasons you should consider it.

Learn at YOUR Pace

We can’t all work a ten course a year pace, and there’s nothing wrong with that. In Ontario, Canada, full time is four classes per semester – not five. If you take four courses per semester, you’re only looking at adding on an extra year. While this may sound like a lot, time flies in university and you’ll be reaping the benefits of a reduced course load.

Enrich Your Experience

When you take a full course load, you may find that you’re struggling to find time for external activities – especially if you’re also working. One of the most rewarding parts of the student experience is getting involved around campus through clubs and student associations, as well as getting involved in your community. You also can connect more meaningfully with your professors and TAs when you have more time to spend on each class. This also gives you the opportunity to take more elective courses than you may be allowed, especially if you’re a student with advanced standing. Get the most out of your experience by slowing it down a little.

Study Abroad Without a Worry

In my opinion, there’s no better way to spend a semester or a year than abroad – I’m currently applying to go abroad next year! That being said, you may be worried about how it will affect your compulsory courses if they don’t directly correspond to courses at your host university. This is when you should consider penciling in some extra time for your studies. I personally am doing an extra semester to meet all my degree requirements because I have advanced standing, so I don’t have any electives to use up going abroad. Want to study abroad but don’t know how? Check out our blog on studying abroad here!

While it’s not for everyone, there are huge benefits to either slowing down the pace of your education by enrolling in a reduced course load or taking credits beyond your minimum degree requirements. Want to enjoy your university life to the fullest? Consider taking some extra time to do it.


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