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Posted on March 23 2022

How to justify gap years in your education while writing a Statement of Purpose?

By  Editor
Updated March 23 2024

Highlights: Impact of a year gap in an application to a Canadian school!

  • Having a year gap in your studies is accepted by Canadian schools but applicants must take certain precautions while applying.
  • Designated Learning Institutions (DLIs), a school authorized to accept international students in Canada accept a certain length of study gap.
  • The length of study gap accepted by schools varies for different levels of study.
  • Some institutions in Canada allow longer gaps, provided that a good reason must be given to explain the gap.


*Looking to study in Canada? Y-Axis will guide you through the step-by-step process.


Designated Learning Institutions (DLIs)

To apply for a study permit in Canada, you need an acceptance letter from a designated learning institution (DLI). A DLI is a school that is approved by a provincial or territorial government to host international students.


*For Admission Assistance to Canadian universities, consult Y-Axis! 


Reasons accepted for a study gap

According to an international student consulting firm (IDP), some common reasons that are accepted for year gap by Canadian DLIs are listed below:

  • Gaining professional experience

Many students choose to pursue internships, full-time and part-time work in their gap years. This will give them experience within their field of choice, getting a professional certificate and a salary. These reasons can be accepted by Canadian schools if students provide proof, formal letters of employment, pay slips, and other related documents that support their experience.


  • Study gaps

Students might take a year gap between their studies to prepare for various entry exams that are required to apply for a study permit. Program-specific tests, and English or French proficiency tests can also include a study gap list. Documents that can help prove the reasons for a gap year include receipts of payment for the tests or preparatory courses and test results.


  • Medical and health-related reasons

Some students may have health complications that require them to take time off. This is another common reason that is accepted by Canadian schools. A few documents have to be submitted like a doctor’s note, any payment receipts of treatments, medications, etc.


  • Personal growth and development

Many students may take a year gap during their studies to pursue personal growth. This includes acquiring new skills, undertaking personal or professional development courses, and gaining valuable life experience by traveling. Documents here include personal statements on how the gap was spent, supporting media materials, and relevant photos.


What to do after receiving a letter of acceptance (LOA)

On January 22, 2024, new changes were implemented to the international student program. After obtaining an LOA from a DLI, students have an additional step to receive a Canadian study permit. Students must now receive a provincial letter of attestation (PAL) which will be administered from the province or territory where a student’s chosen DLI is located.


A PAL must also include a study permit applicant’s:

  • Full name
  • Date of birth
  • Address


*Planning for the Canada Immigration? Talk to Y-Axis, the world’s no. 1 overseas immigration company.

For more updates on Canada Immigration news, follow the Y-Axis Canada news page!



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