For most VIU students, formal education ends with walking across the stage at the Port Theatre to collect their diploma—and thus the career life begins. For others, completing a degree isn’t enough and the classroom calls them back.

Luckily for students who yearn for the classroom, there are cost effective ways to continue formal education if receiving course credits isn’t a concern. VIU allows members of the community to audit courses, provided there is class space not taken up by degree students, for a minimal fee. It is up to the person to contact the instructor to ask permission to do the audit.

Audit students do the readings, attend lectures, and participate in class discussions, but are not required to complete homework assigned to the rest of the class. It’s also a way for students to attend lectures for courses that they don’t have the prerequisites for, but are in subject areas that they would like to explore out of personal interest.

Rebecca Raynor graduated from VIU with an English degree in Jan. 2013 and chose to audit an evening English course for fun—English 378: eighteenth-century literature. She says that being able to audit this one last course allows for some closure on this period of her life. Often the last semester is a rush for students, and by auditing Raynor gets to sit back and enjoy what she came to VIU for, and study without the pressure of producing papers and writing exams.

“I can really just dig into the readings,” Raynor says. The option for auditing students to work on assignments and submit them to professors may be available depending on the professor. Sometimes professors will be willing to provide feedback, just without adding a mark to the end of the paper.

“Everyone should take advantage of auditing a course, if they can,” Raynor says, “in a field completely unknown to them.”

The cost to audit is $99 per course plus a student activity fee of $44.24. An application fee of $36.40 may apply.

Students can also audit some study abroad trips. The Liberal Studies department offers a trip to Florence, Italy every May and includes spaces for members of the community or students who would like to take the trip and learn about the architecture and art, but without the added work of taking nine credits worth of courses.

The advantage of taking these kinds of trips through the University is that they provide structure through the tours so that you don’t have to plan as many of the logistics yourself—including accomodation—and you get the educational benefit without the intense schedule of studying and assignments.

Participation in lecture portions of trips, and some course-related activities, depends on the trip and instructors. Auditing students pay lower fees than students taking for credit; these fees exclude the cost of books and tuition.

For more information on auditing courses, visit <>.