Get a jump start on life at UBC

Get a jump start on life at UBC

Transitioning to university is often challenging – especially when you are coming from a different city, country, community, or culture. The UBC Jump Start program on both the Vancouver and Okanagan campuses will help you ease into university life with academic, social, and logistical components that will set you up for success.

UBC’s Vancouver campus, August 20–30

On the Vancouver campus, Jump Start is an 11-day immersion program. The following new-to-UBC students are strongly encouraged to register:

10 reasons to register

Our past participants agree that Jump Start is the best way to start life at UBC. In their own words, here’s why:

  1. “You can build up your social network before the first term starts. That will improve your university life a lot.”
  2. “Being involved in a Learning Community your first year makes you feel a sense of belonging. It’s calming to be a part of a group like this.”
  3. “The student leaders are a meaningful resource and you can discuss anything and everything with them.”
  4. “You’ll know how to move around campus and Vancouver.”
  5. “You will meet people from all over the world.”
  6. “It will give you an early start in the academic portion of the university experience.”
  7. “The memories I made at Jump Start are some of the fondest of my time at UBC.”
  8. “The orientation leaders provide the benefits of experience and are able to understand your concerns as a first-year student.”
  9. “You’ll get to know the people in your program as well as some of your professors.”
  10. “There’ll be time to adjust to campus and university life and you’ll feel very prepared for the school year.”

Learn more about Jump Start Vancouver and register by July 4.


UBC’s Okanagan campus, August 27–September 1

On the Okanagan campus, Jumpstart is a one-week, pre-orientation experience for all new-to-UBCO students (domestic and international). Programming runs from August 27 to September 1, and students begin arriving on campus on August 26. All international students entering their first year at UBC are expected to register.

Jumpstart student highlights

Here is what three past participants – now current Jumpstart Program leaders – have said about their experiences:

“You get to experience all that the Okanagan Valley and surrounding communities have to offer, from the local ski resorts like Big White, to Okanagan Lake, and excursions out into the local area including parks and other outdoor activities. It was a great way to start the school year and get to know where you will be living for the next four years.”

“From the first few hours after getting off of the plane I felt like I was already part of a community. Everyone was so welcoming, from the leaders to the student service departments and the professors in our faculty during the faculty breakout sessions. The week of Jumpstart helped me set myself up for a solid start to my university career.”

“The leaders help incoming students feel well-supported in our new home away from home by using their knowledge of on-campus resources. This truly helps students become integrated in various campus communities.”

Learn more about Jumpstart Okanagan and register by July 31.

Financial planning and student loans

Financial planning and student loans

University is a costly endeavour, there’s no doubt about that. There’s tuition, books, residence fees or rent, food, monthly bills, clothing, entertainment – the list goes on. Coming up with a financial plan to manage these costs is an important first step, and UBC can help you with that.

Student loans

Sometimes, you need a little bit of extra help. If you’re a Canadian citizen or permanent resident, you may want to consider a student loan. The benefit to this program is that the government will pay the interest on your loan as long as you’re a full-time student. You will not be required to begin repaying it until six months after graduating (or ceasing to be a full-time student).

BC students can now apply for a loan for the 2017/18 academic year online through StudentAidBC. Students coming from another province can apply through your provincial lender. If you’re a US citizen, you’re eligible to apply for a Direct Loan. It usually takes a while for loan applications to be processed, which is why we recommend that you apply at least six weeks before the term starts to ensure your funding is available for the start of term.

Applying for a student loan is also part of the process of applying for a UBC bursary. This program is meant to help cover any unmet need if your student loan wasn’t enough. Please keep in mind that your student loan must be confirmed by September 15, so we recommend that apply for your loan by July 15.

Contact UBC for help planning your finances

There’s a lot of detail here, so if you have any questions about some of the financial aid opportunities available, please contact an Enrolment Services Professional (ESP) on the Vancouver campus. On the Okanagan campus, please email Student Services and Financial Support or call 250.807.9100.

Pay fees in the currency of your choice

Pay fees in the currency of your choice

Once you’ve accepted your offer of admission, you can pay your deposit, student fees, residence fees, and meal plan fees in the currency of your choice using international funds transfer. Through our partnership with Western Union Business Solutions, you can quickly and easily pay your education costs online, in your own currency.

Western Union Business Solutions will secure your exchange rate in advance and transfer your funds locally, so you don’t have to worry about currency fluctuations or international wire fees. Once you send your funds from your local bank, they will be credited to your UBC Student Service Centre (SSC) account in Canadian dollars within two to five business days. As you prepare to pay fees for the upcoming Winter Session, we recommend you consider paying by International Funds Transfer to take advantage of:

  • A locked-in exchange rate for 72 hours
  • No additional transaction charges from Western Union Business Solutions or UBC (though you may be charged a transaction fee by your bank)
  • Paying UBC fees in your own currency from a foreign bank account which will then be converted to Canadian dollars

Pay your deposit by international funds transfer

  1. Log into to your SSC account and select Financial Summary.
  2. Select the fees you want to pay.
  3. Select the international funds transfer payment method (by selecting the small Western Union icon).
  4. Western Union Business Solutions will contact you and provide you with a quote with an exchange rate valid for 72 hours.
  5. Follow the instructions provided directly to you by Western Union Business Solutions to make your payment before the quoted rate expires.
  6. Allow at least three business days for the funds to transfer into your SSC account before your fee payment deadline.

Pay your deposit with Interac or credit card

You may pay your acceptance deposit with Interac or credit card. Please keep in mind that UBC no longer accepts credit card payments for international tuition, housing, or meal plans, so you will need to plan ahead to make alternate arrangements for these fees.

Pay with Higher Ed Points

HigherEdPoints allow you to apply TD and Aeroplan reward points toward your tuition and fees. Sign up with HigherEdPoints and follow the steps for your loyalty program. You can find detailed information and instructions at

For more information

For general tuition inquiries, please contact an Enrolment Services Professional (ESP) on the Vancouver campus. On the Okanagan campus, please email Student Services and Financial Support at or call 250.807.9100. For questions about International Funds Transfer, please contact Western Union Business Solutions directly at or toll free at 1.877.218.8829.

Accept your offer of admission

If you have received an offer of admission, you must formally accept it by June 1.


Post-secondary transfer applications

Post-secondary transfer applications

Did you know that UBC receives more than 8,000 transfer applications from students who have already begun their studies at another post-secondary institution in Canada or around the world?

If you are a transfer applicant, the first thing we review is your interim transcript that we received in February/March. If you have received an early offer of admission, you need to send us your final transcript so we can confirm your offer and assign transfer credit (if you are eligible). You can check your transfer credit at the UBC Student Service Centre under Grades & Records.

The majority of transfer applications are reviewed again when we receive your final college/university transcripts. These transcripts have been arriving throughout the month of May. We will review your application carefully and will notify you with your decision through May and into late June. Continue to check the UBC Student Service Centre Applicant Status for the most up-to-date information. If you have questions, please contact us.

Important dates for new students

Important dates for new students

Summer is just around the corner, and your high school career is coming to a close. But before you go on a brain vacation, mark these important dates and deadlines in your calendar so you’ll be ready for classes at UBC in September.

July 4

July 15

July 21

  • Deadline to apply for early arrival housing for the Vancouver campus. (No application needed by Jump Start participants.)

July 31

August 1

August 20

August 27

September 2

September 3

September 4

September 5

September 6

September 15

Accepting an offer of admission to UBC

Accepting an offer of admission to UBC

By now, many of you will have received an offer of admission to UBC. Congratulations on all of your hard work to reach this tremendous accomplishment! Now you must formally accept your offer before the deadline and pay the acceptance deposit to confirm your spot at UBC.

The deadline for you to accept depends on when your offer was made and to which program you’ve been accepted. For example, if you were offered admission to the Bachelor of Commerce degree in April, your accept date was May 1. For the majority of programs where decisions were made in April/May, your accept date is June 1.

Where do I find my accept date?

• On your offer of admission letter (page 2).
• On the UBC Student Service Centre following the Accept or Decline My Offer link.

How do I formally accept my offer?

To accept your offer, visit the Student Service Centre and follow Accept My Offer. It’s also essential to pay the acceptance deposit at the same time: CAD $500 for Canadian citizens and permanent residents, and CAD $1,000 for international students. This deposit will be credited to your first term’s tuition.

Do not miss your acceptance deadline!

Be sure to accept your offer on or before the stipulated deadline. Because of the extremely high demand for spaces at UBC, if you miss the deadline, your offer is likely to be withdrawn and made to another student.

Choosing your first-year courses

Choosing your first-year courses

As soon as you’ve been admitted to UBC, you can begin exploring the courses you’ll be taking in your first year. Most students are able to take one or two courses outside program requirements, with a wide range to choose from.

Familiarize yourself with all the possibilities and you’ll have a head start in preparing a course timetable. Registration for first-year programs on the Vancouver campus and registration for first-year programs on the Okanagan campus both take place in June.

Exploring courses

A good first step is learning how to read course descriptions. This explains how program requirements are listed, which is necessary in order to understand your requirements and options.

Required courses

It’s important to be aware of your program’s specific course requirements – that is, the courses that must be completed in order to graduate with a chosen degree.

Important additional requirements

In addition to core courses for your specific program of study, first-year undergraduate programs at UBC include an English, Writing, or Communications requirement as an important element of academic instruction. This applies to all students, regardless of first language or citizenship, so make sure to note what your program requirements are.

First-year English

In particular, if you’re required (or choose) to take a first-year English course (i.e., ENGL 100-level) on the Vancouver campus, you will have to pass the Language Proficiency Index (LPI) test before you can begin the course, unless you fall into one of the categories for exemption from LPI. There are important LPI deadlines in July, so if you have to take an ENGL 100-level course, be sure to check the LPI deadline information to see what applies to you. You can also check First-year English frequently asked questions.

Entry requirements for first-year English in Okanagan programs are slightly different, with several pre-requisite options.

Elective courses

In addition to required courses, students in most faculties are able to take elective courses in which to pursue themes of personal interest. Taking courses outside your own faculty is greatly encouraged – so open up the Academic Calendar and let your imagination soar!

Frequently asked questions from Canadian applicants

Frequently asked questions from Canadian applicants

This year, approximately 18,000 students in Canada submitted applications for admission to one of our 7,000 first-year places. When you consider that every applicant to UBC gets two choices on their application, that’s almost 36,000 applications for 7,000 first-year spaces.

We’ve posted first-choice decisions for all of our Canadian applicants on the Student Service Centre. If you were offered admission, congratulations! If you were not offered admission, we want to thank you for submitting an application and giving us the opportunity to get to know you better through your academic successes and your Personal Profiles. We appreciate the effort everyone has put into their UBC application. We wish we could admit all qualified applicants, but with more applications than spaces, this is not possible. Learn more about how UBC makes admissions decisions.

Here are some common questions students are asking:

What if I have been placed on a wait-list? When will I be notified of my final decision? What should I do?

If your application has been wait-listed, we have indicated on your application status the date by which we will notify you of a final – yes or no – decision. For the majority of programs at UBC, the acceptance deadline is June 1. After this time, we will know how many students are accepting our offers of admission. If we need to make a few more offers of admission (because fewer students accepted their offers than we expected), we will make offers to wait-listed applicants. If enough students accept their offer, we will notify students on the wait-list that we will not be making additional offers.

Our best advice is that you move forward with other post-secondary plans in case we don’t make additional offers in June. If we do make more offers in June, we hope they will be considered but we understand if students have made plans to study elsewhere.

What about my second choice?

Our goal is to have all second-choice decisions to students by June 1. If you received a positive decision to your first choice, we stop there (assuming this is the choice you prefer). If your first-choice application is wait-listed, we will continue to evaluate your second choice and we will notify you in mid-June about your first-choice program.

If I accept my second choice but I am wait-listed for my first choice, will you still evaluate my first choice?

Yes, we will always evaluate first choices (whether you accept or decline your second choice). All wait-listed applicants will receive a final decision in mid-June.

I have been admitted to my first choice, but now I would prefer my second choice. Will you still evaluate my second choice?

We will only evaluate your second choice if you request us to do so by contacting us. We always assume that your first choice is what you prefer.

We will evaluate second choices (for applicants who have been successful with their first choice) if space is still available in the second-choice program.

The best source of information on the status of your application is the Student Service Centre. Here you will see the status of each one of your choices.