April 15, 2008 – Thompson Rivers University is leading the way in student exchange opportunities with a unique international double degree program with the University of Gävle in Sweden in the fields of geography and geomatics.
The geography-geomatics degree program, or dubbelexamen programmet in Swedish, is believed to be the first of its kind in Canada and is one of a few international double degree programs in the country.
TRU students have the option to earn a double diploma, which entails an associate of arts degree, two years at TRU, and a geomatics technician diploma, one year at the University of Gävle.
Or they can get a double degree, taking their bachelor of science and majoring in geography, at TRU, then transferring to Sweden for another year, focusing on geomatics.
Ross Nelson, academic director for the faculty of arts, recently spent a year as a visiting researcher at the University of Gävle, which is pronounced Yev-le and is about two hours north of the capital city of Stockholm.
He said the program is an optimal way for local students to study and experience Europe as well as have the Swedish students come to Kamloops and study at TRU.
“It’s taking a good program in geography… and adding a few options to it,” Nelson said. “We’re doing it in a way where [students] are going to get a lot of benefit and a lot of excitement out of it.”
Both programs are practical, hands-on and will help students enter the job market with skills that employers are looking for.
Graduates can find jobs as planners, land managers, location analysts, surveyors, cartographers, GIS technicians and database managers.
The two universities are roughly the size, have a similar length of history and the cities are also about the same size.