Okanagan campus orientation: what you need to know

Okanagan campus orientation: what you need to know

As part of a longstanding tradition, the first day of classes at UBC is cancelled to make way for the new-student orientation. Leave your books and bags at home and join all of the Okanagan campus’s new-to-UBC students for Create, a day-long series of fun events designed to welcome you to the UBC community and connect you with new friends and experiences.

Your day at the Create orientation

Your day will begin with an introduction, where you’ll meet your Create orientation leader, peer mentor, and a small group of peers and classmates. Within this group, you’ll have the opportunity to participate in an array of activities, including:

  • attending the kick-off event to officially welcome the Class of 2021
  • meeting the dean and various staff in your faculty
  • exploring campus together on a tour
  • enjoying a free lunch
  • discovering helpful information and resources, and listening to live music at the campus showcase

Register now for the Create orientation online, and then check out the event day details for a full schedule, plus a helpful list of what you’ll need to bring to orientation day.

 

 

Vancouver campus orientation: what you need to know

Vancouver campus orientation: what you need to know

On the first day of classes in September, at Imagine UBC, more than 9,000 new-to-UBC students will come together with hundreds of faculty, student, and staff volunteers to celebrate the start of the academic year. Campus tours, workshops, a pep rally, and a campus showcase of nearly 400 resources, clubs, and organizations help to engage and orient new students to life as part of the UBC community.

The orientation program run by students for students

Imagine UBC, the main orientation program on UBC’s Vancouver campus, is one of the largest in Canada and is run by students for students. This campus-wide event is held every year on the Tuesday after Labour Day and replaces the first day of classes.

Get the most out of your time at UBC

All UBC students – new, returning, or transfer students – are welcome to attend Imagine UBC. The day is an incredible opportunity to make new friends, meet with student leaders and professors, get to know more about your faculty, and learn about the services UBC offers to support you, as well as the many ways you can get involved on campus. Best of all, Imagine UBC doesn’t end after just one day. Events and email newsletters will help to keep you engaged and informed throughout your first year at UBC.

 

Okanagan students: find your faculty on social media

go global, new zealand
Image: Irving K. Barber School of Arts and Sciences | Students in the Go Global program in New Zealand.

By now you’re probably burnt out on university research and you’re enjoying the relief and joy that came with your UBC acceptance letter. But before you melt into a summer daze, we have one last task for you.

Stalk your UBC faculty on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter so that you arrive informed this fall.

You’ll be privy to exciting new research, like the investigation by Cultural Studies students who showed the positive impact of “parklets” in the city. You could learn more about student experiences in your program – such as the Chemistry alumna who shared her story of joining and becoming president of the Chemistry Course Union. Or you could check out your future professors, such as the School of Engineering’s Jonathan Holzman, who was recently awarded the the Medal for Distinction in Engineering Education.

Find your faculty below and follow along!

Faculty Social channels
Faculty of Creative and Critical Studies UBC Creative and Critical Studies Facebook
UBC Creative and Critical Studies Twitter
Faculty of Health and Social Development UBC Health and Social Development Facebook
UBC Health and Social Development Twitter
Faculty of Management UBC Management Facebook
UBC Management Twitter
Irving K. Barber School of Arts and Sciences UBC School of Arts and Sciences Facebook
UBC School of Arts and Sciences Twitter
UBC School of Arts and Sciences Instagram
School of Engineering UBC School of Engineering Facebook

Vancouver students: Find your faculty on social media

ubc forestry
Image: Faculty of Forestry | Students use a mobile scavenger hunt game to find specific types of soil in the forest floor at UBC Farm.

By now – with your UBC acceptance letter in hand and your course plans for September taking shape – you’ve no doubt done your fair share of research on your program and faculty. Come September you’ll be diving into the deep end of university life, so now is a great time to test the waters by seeing what students and professors in your faculty are up to.

By stalking your new UBC community on Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter, you’ll arrive this fall already in the know. The cool new ATV that the UBC Baja engineering design team is building? Saw it on the UBC Engineering Facebook page. The UBC avian forensic morphologist solving bird mysteries? Saw the Faculty of Science’s tweet (no pun intended). The annual open house at the UBC Dairy Education and Research Centre? Saw the Instagram post by the Faculty of Land and Food Systems.

Find your faculty below and follow along this summer so that you arrive informed in the fall.

Faculty Social channels
Faculty of Applied Science (Engineering) UBC Engineering Facebook
UBC Engineering Twitter
UBC Engineering Instagram
Faculty of Arts UBC Arts Facebook
UBC Arts Twitter
UBC Arts Instagram
Faculty of Forestry UBC Forestry Facebook
UBC Forestry Twitter
UBC Forestry Instagram
Snapchat: ubcforestry
Faculty of Land and Food Systems UBC Land and Food Systems Facebook
UBC Land and Food Systems Twitter
UBC Land and Food Systems Instagram
Faculty of Science UBC Science Facebook
UBC Science Twitter
UBC Sauder School of Business UBC Sauder School of Business Facebook
UBC Sauder School of Business Twitter
UBC Sauder School of Business Instagram
Snapchat: ubcsauderschool
School of Kinesiology UBC School of Kinesiology Facebook
UBC School of Kinesiology Twitter
UBC School of Kinesiology Instagram
School of Music UBC School of Music Facebook
UBC School of Music Twitter
UBC Vantage College UBC Vantage College Facebook
UBC Vantage College Twitter
UBC Vantage College Instagram
Vancouver School of Economics at UBC Vancouver School of Economics Facebook
Vancouver School of Economics Twitter

 

What to do before you arrive on campus

What to do before you arrive on campus

It’s only a matter of weeks until you’ll step foot on campus as a first-year UBC student. You’ll be greeted with tons of new experiences and you’ll meet loads of new people, which can be both exciting and overwhelming. To ensure a smooth arrival and a stress-free first week, you’ll want to take care of some important things before you get here.

Here are eight easy tasks that you can complete now to make your arrival a breeze.

  1. Get ready for your orientation

On your first day, you’ll forgo normal class for a fun-filled, day-long series of welcome-to-UBC events. On the Vancouver campus, at the Imagine UBC orientation, you will be joined by the entire class of 2021 for a formal welcome, pep rally, lunch, and more. On the Okanagan campus, register for the Create orientation to join all new-to-UBC students for a day of events, including food, prizes, and more.

  1. Find back-to-school events and programs

The UBC student societies – the AMS on the Vancouver campus and the UBCSUO on the Okanagan campus – host events and programs for first-year students like you.

  1. Read the UBCfyi blog

Now that you’re an official UBC student, read the UBCfyi blog for campus updates and resources, plus info on events, health and well-being, money management, and more.

  1. Update your email address

Make sure your email address is correct in the Student Service Centre and remember to check your messages regularly.

  1. Learn about your student health plan

Visit the student health insurance website to learn more about your plan and coverage, or to opt out if you already have a health insurance plan.

  1. Sort out your financials

Ensure that you have a financial plan in place for the upcoming academic year, and learn about the financial resources available to you on UBC’s Vancouver campus and Okanagan campus.

  1. Pay your tuition online

Avoid lineups by paying your tuition online now.

  1. Get access to public transit

UBC students on the Okanagan campus can get a U-PASS sticker that provides unlimited access to BC Transit in Kelowna and the surrounding area. Just bring your student ID card to the Student Union Office (UNC133) to get your sticker.

UBC students on the Vancouver campus can load their U-Pass onto a Compass Card for unlimited transit services within Metro Vancouver. Obtain your Compass Card from the UBC Bookstore – or any SkyTrain Station or TransLink Fare Dealer – and then link it to your U-Pass online at upassbc.translink.ca. Apply online at least 48 hours before you intend to travel, and visit planning.ubc.ca for more information.

 

UBC Collegia: find your community on campus

UBC Collegia: find your community on campus

Whether you’re facing a long commute or a taking a quick bus ride to UBC, feeling like part of the university community can be challenging if you don’t have a dedicated space on campus. To help you build your home away from home, the UBC Collegia program – on both the Vancouver and Okanagan campuses – provides residence-like spaces where you can fully experience UBC student life. 

UBC Collegia on the Vancouver campus

ubc collegia, vancouver collegia, vancouver campus
UBC Collegia on the Vancouver campus offer plenty of space for you to kick back and relax.

If you’ll be commuting to UBC, you’re part of the majority: more than 75% of students at UBC’s Vancouver campus bike, drive, or take transit to campus.

One of commuter students’ main concerns is whether they’re missing out by not being a part of residence life in first year. Luckily, UBC has on-campus spaces – called “collegia” – to help make UBC as much of a home for commuter students as it is for those who live on campus.

Each UBC Collegia space has a kitchen, comfy couches, and friendly advisors who are happy to chat and help you settle into life at UBC. There are also lots of programs and activities designed to connect commuter students with on-campus services, faculty members, and peer support. Express your interest in joining UBC Collegia as soon as possible.

“UBC Collegia really grounded me from the loneliness and isolation that comes from being on such a large campus. The commute is tiring, but UBC Collegia are comforting.”
– Ava Maleki, Land and Food Systems, Vancouver campus Collegia member

Learn more and fill out the application to express your interest

The Collegia Program on the Okanagan campus

ubc okanagan collegia, ubc collegia, okanagan campus
The Global Collegium on UBC’s Okanagan campus.

The three distinct Collegia on UBC’s Okanagan campus offer commuter students a relaxing and welcoming place to hang out, eat lunch, spend time with classmates, and do school work. Each collegium is outfitted with comfortable furniture, workspaces, and kitchen facilities.

First- and Second-Year Collegium

This space, also known as the “junior” collegium, is the perfect venue for new-to-UBC students to socialize while meeting new people and making connections on campus.

Upper-Levels Collegium

The “senior” collegium is traditionally a quieter space where students can study, work on group projects, or unwind. Come here to enjoy a peaceful coffee break or catch up on your latest Netflix series.

Global Collegium

This collegium is not just for international students – the motto here is “No passport required.” One goal of the Global Collegium is to create connections among students and offer opportunities to share and explore new cultures.

All of the Okanagan collegia are staffed by senior students who welcome you, answer your questions, refer you to campus resources, and plan programs and events. No registration or membership is required – all students can access any and all of the Okanagan campus collegia.

“Working in a collegium allowed me to meet so many students and make friends that I may not have had the opportunity to meet otherwise. It’s a great resource for students to feel like part of a community.”
–Michele Gabourie, Biology, Okanagan campus Collegia Assistant

Learn more about the Collegia Program on the Okanagan campus

 

International Baccalaureate and Advanced Placement: what you need to do next

International Baccalaureate and Advanced Placement: what you need to do next

One question we hear often this time of year is, “What should I do if I have AP or IB credit, and how will that affect which courses I register for?”

Send us your scores

Well, the answer is quite simple: send us your scores. You’ll need to arrange for your scores to be sent from CollegeBoard or the IBO to UBC in order for us to evaluate your transfer credit. We know that these scores typically aren’t available until early July, so in the meantime, you should plan on enrolling in first-year courses. Once UBC has received your scores and updated your academic history, you can then log into the Student Service Centre and drop your first-year course(s), and then register in the corresponding second-year course(s). That’s it!

Minimum scores needed to receive transfer credit

For information about minimum scores required to receive transfer credit, please refer to our guides for Advanced Placement first-year credit and International Baccalaureate first-year credit. In the meantime, if you have questions about degree planning, you should contact an academic advisor in your program on the Vancouver campus or the Okanagan campus.

Student health matters: medical insurance and well-being

Student health matters: medical insurance and well-being

Medical insurance and health care are important topics for all new students – whether you’re coming to UBC from Canada or from across the globe. You should plan for medical insurance well in advance of arriving at UBC.

How does medical insurance work?

Canada has a public health care system. Everyone living in British Columbia for more than six months is required to join the BC Medical Services Plan (MSP).

Students from BC

If you are a resident of BC and currently covered by MSP, you will be automatically enrolled in an extended health plan, administered by your Vancouver or Okanagan student society. Your health plan fees will be calculated in with your tuition and student fees.

International or out-of-province students

If you’re an international student coming to BC, you’ll need to complete an MSP application form. When your MSP begins, all necessary services will be provided if you encounter insured health problems.

If you are a Canadian student coming from another province, you do not need to switch to MSP, as you will remain covered by your home province’s plan (as long as you remain a student). If you decide to switch to MSP, you will need to enrol and pay premiums.

Three-month waiting period for MSP

There is a three-month waiting period before MSP coverage can start.

  • International students: During this three-month period, you’ll be covered through iMED, the UBC basic medical insurance program. Fees will be calculated in with your tuition and student fees. If you have questions about health coverage, or about health care in Canada, contact an International Student Advisor: Vancouver campus | Okanagan campus.
  • Canadian citizens or permanent residents coming from abroad: During this three-month period, you may already have health coverage in BC or another Canadian province. If you don’t, you should make arrangements to join a temporary insurance plan, available through David Cummings Insurance Services or another provider of your choice.

Read more about health care and health insurance while you’re a student at UBC.

What if I have a pre-existing medical condition?

If you’re currently being treated for a health issue, consult your health professional to make sure you’re well enough to take on the challenge of university. If you’re well enough to attend UBC, you’ll need to plan for treatment during your studies. This may not be covered under your health insurance, so find out if your treatment is available at UBC, or in the surrounding community, and what the costs are.

If you’re not under current treatment, take any health issues into consideration ahead of academic decisions and commitments. If a health problem isn’t being treated, the added challenge might pose a risk to your academic success.

What if I have a documented disability?

If you have a documented disability and require disability-related accommodation or academic support, it’s important to contact an advisor to discuss your eligibility:

Access & Diversity (Vancouver campus) | Disability Resource Centre (Okanagan campus)

Maintaining your well-being at UBC

Embarking on a major academic program is demanding and means significant changes for most new students. While you adjust, take care of yourself. UBC has many resources to support you.

  • Physically: Get proper exercise, eat wisely, and if you have any health concerns, seek medical attention without delay. Make the most of the recreation facilities on campus. Vancouver campus UBC Recreation | Okanagan Campus Recreation
  • Socially: Make friends at UBC by getting involved on campus – it’s fun, and everyone’s looking to make new friends! Learn about involvement opportunities on the Vancouver and Okanagan campuses, and don’t forget to stay in touch with friends and family at home.
  • Emotionally: Watch for feelings of stress or persistent worries. There’s always counselling help when you need it:  Vancouver campus | Okanagan campus
  • Academically: Identify your academic and personal goals, learn to manage your time, and strengthen your study skills. The Learning Commons (Vancouver campus) and the Academic Supports (Okanagan campus) are great places to start.

On-campus health and wellness resources

Support for international students

If you’re an international student, the changes you experience will be particularly significant. To support you through your transition, we strongly encourage you to register for Jump Start before classes start to get to know your community, to get tips on studying and skill development, and to access resources and support services.
Register for Jump Start Vancouver | Register for Jumpstart Okanagan