By Whitney Sharp

Fashion-Marketing_Tabitha_Swanson_09Tabitha Swanson had already completed studies in graphic design in Winnipeg before making the move (literally) to Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU).

“KPU has a well-respected fashion marketing diploma and it lets your bridge into a marketing degree—I had an interest in taking both programs so that was perfect.”

Several of KPU’s programs feature a bridging option, where students can complete their credential, and continue their education at the university in a relevant discipline at a higher level.

Within the Chip and Shannon Wilson School of design, there are several unique certificate, diploma, and degree programs, all based out of the university’s Richmond campus. The Wilson School of Design’s small class sizes allows for ongoing collaboration and continued opportunities for students to work directly with faculty members.

“You’ll get more hands-on training than you would at another, larger school” Swanson says. “The small class sizes are really a key selling feature.”

But her educational goals didn’t just take her to Metro Vancouver. As a marketing student in KPU School of Business, one of the largest undergraduate business schools in Canada, Swanson was accepted to an international field school in Switzerland.

“It was interesting to see things from so many different perspectives” she says, adding, “It was truly a wonderful experience.”

In addition to field school in Switzerland, KPU’s international department offers opportunities to go on exchanges, participate in field schools, and study abroad in places like Germany, Scotland, Denmark, Japan, Thailand, Cuba, the Amazon, and more.

Swanson’s advice for students with post-secondary pursuits? Get engaged.

“There’s opportunities to do so much” she says. And her involvement at KPU speaks for itself. As a student, Swanson wrote for KPU’s student newspaper, The Runner, worked for the Kwantlen Student Association, and served a term on Senate.

But that’s not all that KPU has to offer. With over 30 student services there’s something for all learners. Get active with sports and recreation activities like fitness classes and personal training, or try joining a club on campus. Can’t find what you’re looking for? Start something new and create your own student club!

KPU has over 47,000 alumni connections around the world and has opened the door to success for more than 200,000 students. To learn more about the university, its programs, and the applications process, visit and don’t forget to save the date—the annual KPU Surrey open house is happening on Saturday, March 5 from 11am-3pm at the Surrey campus, 12666 72 Avenue. The event is free and open to the public.