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CANADA - ISEP Thompson Rivers University

Thompson Rivers University is located in the heart of the western Canadian mountains, and as such, provides a robust choice of outdoor activities - hiking, golfing, biking, skiing, snow boarding, and so on are at our doorstep. The campus is also highly internationalized. The international department (called TRU World) employs over 50 people full time, creating a host of international activities and opportunities for the campus. As well, TRU hosts in excess of 1600 international students from more than 90 countries.

TRU has approximately 10,000 full-time students and more than 1600 international students in Kamloops. The campus is situated on a plateau overlooking the city and the North and South Thompson Rivers and is designed to be easily walked from one part of the campus to another. It is serviced by the Kamloops bus system and has superb sporting facilities including a track, sporting fields, Olympic sized pool, and gymnasium.


To be eligible to participate in this program, students must meet the following requirements:

  • Good academic and judicial standing during time of application AND time of participation in program
  • Undergraduates must have completed at least two semesters of study at Lake Forest College AND have second-semester sophomore status or higher before participation. 
  • At least 18 years of age by the program’s departure date. 
  • Be able to stay at the host program for the duration of the semester, including through the exam and travel periods
  • Minimum GPA of 2.75.  

The main TRU campus is in Kamloops, a city of over 85,000 at the center of the southern interior of the province of British Columbia. Kamloops is approximately four hours drive north-east of Vancouver and is serviced by multiple daily flights to and from Vancouver and Calgary. 

Superb summers, four dramatic seasons, sports and outdoor recreation, including world class downhill skiing, and a diversity of cultural activities that few small cities can match are among the attractions of Kamloops.

Students are within minutes from spectacular natural landscapes with the chance for hiking, fishing, and biking among many outdoor activities. Kamloops is situated on the main rail and high way routes to the Canadian Rockies. Banff and Jasper National Parks are less than a day’s drive away.


The Canadian education system is marked by progressive evaluation. That means that your final grade is not based solely on one major exam or paper at the end of the semester but on an accumulation of grades for periodic (usually smaller) assignments given throughout the semester in combination with one or two larger assignments given halfway through the semester or at the very end. This system also allows you to track your own academic progress throughout the semester. However, you must complete all the assignments (not just the final exam) to achieve a high grade in the end. Consult your course syllabus, which your professor will provide on the first day of class, to determine what percentage of each assignment is worth.

Professors present core material during class in the format of lectures or discussions and attendance is mandatory. All students should be present and punctual for class, as their attendance record may actually affect their final grade. Furthermore, Canadian students are expected to take an active role in their own learning: this includes taking notes on the lecture material, joining in the discussion or asking questions during class, making appointments to meet with professors outside class if additional help is needed for any of the material, etc. Your level of participation in class shows evidence you have done the outside reading or assignments, and may therefore also affect your final grade.

Strong fields include business administration, geography, modern languages, natural resource science, social work and tourism management. Unusual fields include Canadian studies, fine arts, and theatre studies. For undergraduate program options, visit TRU’s website for international student programs. 

Due to the specific practicum requirements of the nursing program, it may not be possible for every applicant to be admitted on an exchange basis. Adventure tourism (different from tourism management) and applied technology programs (respiratory therapy, animal health technology) are closed to ISEP participants. Classes within the Faculty of Law are currently not open to exchange students.

How to search for Academic Courses at TRU: Go to University Home Page Click on “Current students” then, click on “Find the latest course schedules.” Students can select either Course Schedules for Fall or Winter. Search by Term. Select Fall 2013 (Sep-Dec) or Winter 2014 (Jan-Apr) click “submit” – NOTE: course offerings will be updated prior to arrival. Once your application has been received by the Study Abroad Office, students will be invited to communicate with a Program Advisor within the faculty they are studying. Students can then search the program specific courses available within the program area and scroll down to bottom and click class search. Course title, code, credit value, contact hours are in full view. To see learning outcomes click on “View Catalog Entry” to see pre-requisites and description. 

PLEASE NOTE: Exchange students are only admitted into undergraduate courses. If they see a number 1 after the final course code (IE: BBUS 3811) - this represents an online course. All face-to-face classes end with a zero (IE: BBUS 3810). Review information on Pick Your Courses Page carefully. Visit the informative page on How To Read The Course Schedule.

Academic Environment and Teaching Style

Please understand that the academic system is quite different. Classes are usually lecture-based, instead of discussion or group work. Classes are often much larger than those found at Lake Forest College. Grades are based heavily, at times almost entirely, on one end-of-term exam, though some courses will also offer a midterm.  Professors are often more formal than those in the United States.

All courses/modules may have prerequisites.  Some departments may have limitations on numbers of courses that can be taken within or outside it.  Be aware of these limitations.

Please review the ISEP country handbook for more information on the education system, grades, class hours, and classroom etiquette.

Student Life

ISEP students will take part in two orientations. The week before the official start of the semester is the international student orientation and the first week of the semester is the university-wide orientation program. Both include general and specific orientation to life in Canada and Kamloops and also include opportunities for fun and friendship building.

Please review the Campus Life website to see what life is on campus and how you can get involved!

Housing and Meals

TRU has a very robust homestay program involving several hundred homes near the campus. All homes have been inspected by TRU staff. Normally, homestays are located within a 15-minute bus ride to the campus. Meals are included in the homestay program. Normally students prepare breakfast and make a packed lunch for themselves. The evening meal is usually taken with the homestay members.

Financial Information

For all approved programs for guaranteed financial aid transferability, students pay their Lake Forest College tuition plus a program fee. The program fee for a semester with the ISEP Exchange to Thompson Rivers University includes orientation, on-site director, college fees, housing, and the equivalent of 19/meals per week. 

Here is an estimated budget for the Fall 2018/Spring 2019 programs:

Budget Item


Lake Forest College Tuition


Program fee (estimated)

Note: Spring may have added cost


Total Expected Billed by Lake Forest College


ISEP Fee due on Stage 2 Application


ISEP-required health and repatriation insurance (estimated, $90/mo)

Note: Some countries require national insurance. Check ISEP


Additional Meals


Estimated Airfare

*Students placed on ISEP Exchange may be eligible for up to $750 airfare award


Estimated Personal Expenses (passport, visas, immunizations, textbooks, supplies, personal expenses, additional national insurance if required, travel insurance, additional travel etc.)


Total Expected Out-of-Pocket Expenses




Tuition rates and program fees are subject to change each year, but this information was up-to-date as of February 2018. We will notify applicants, and update this page if the program fee or other estimates change.

You can discuss with Financial Aid your specific aid package and your expected family contribution.

Keep in mind that you may spend more or less in certain areas like personal expenses, travel, meals, or airfare, depending on exchange rates and your own spending habits. Classroom or lab fees are not included in this estimate and will depend on your course registration choices.  

Don’t forget to apply for scholarships! A great listing can be found here.  

  • Contact:

    For Questions About the Initial Application Process:

    Alexandra Olson
    Coordinator of the Global Engagement Office