LEAP can bring students together through cheap activities

leap

LEAP at the Back-to-School BBQ (TRUSU)

This semester, the Leisure Explore Activity Program (previously the International Student Activity Program) is back in action with a renewed focus on creating connections between international and domestic students. The program offers an affordable way for students to explore the area through group events at a fraction of the regular price, without the hassle of arranging transport.

The name was changed to be more inclusive, as the ISAP acronym suggested that the events were open only to international students. While funded by international students’ recreation fees, up to 30 per cent of tickets are available to domestic students, however that number rarely exceeded 10 per cent under the ISAP acronym.

“Whether you are a foreign or domestic student, you get a chance to network and socialize with students you may not have talked to otherwise,” said former student Adin Scott.

Students from all corners of the world come to Thompson Rivers University, not only for an education but also to delve into a foreign culture and venture into unknown territory. For LEAP coordinator Jillian Folk, studying at TRU is “about being a whole person, not just [academics].”

Folk’s goal is to give students an opportunity to experience the Canadian culture and landscape, while building the relationships that stem from shared experiences. Event supervisor Ezimara Msiska also sees the program as a way to get off campus and see a different side of Kamloops. She added that it gives students “something to do in the semester without spending too much money or worrying about travel.”

From rock climbing to shopping excursions, the diverse lineup of upcoming LEAP events includes something for everybody. Some, such as the annual Halloween Bash, take place right on campus, whereas others give students the chance to travel farther afield, like the Okanagan wine tour.

Both Msiska and Scott are most excited about the winter Caravan Farm Theatre visit, where guests can take in live outdoor performances while gliding from set to set in a horse-drawn sleigh.

Available seats usually range from 56 to 168 per event (limited by bus availability), and prices range from free to $20, but the demand is often higher than the supply.

Tickets may be purchased at the LEAP desk located in the International Building, Tuesday through Thursday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Msiska recommends showing up on Tuesday before opening to avoid missing out, since she says most tickets disappear quickly.