Imagine UBC orientation on the Vancouver campus

Imagine UBC orientation on the Vancouver campus

On September 6, join thousands of new-to-UBC students and hundreds of volunteers for Imagine UBC, your orientation event that celebrates the start of the academic year. For most students, Imagine UBC replaces the first day of classes.

By early September, you’ll receive an email with your personalized Imagine UBC schedule, where students will be invited to attend a variety of events throughout the day.

What to expect: new students

If you’re a first year or transfer student Imagine UBC is an incredible opportunity to:

  • Make new friends
  • Meet student leaders, professors, and the Dean of your faculty
  • Find out about services and resources
  • Learn all the ways to get involved at UBC

Over the course of the day you’ll connect with a small group of other new students from your Faculty, check out hundreds of booths hosted by current students for UBC’s clubs and organizations, and start to find your place at UBC. New students will receive an email by early September with their personalized Imagine BC schedule.

What to expect: returning students

Learn more about your department or program, stop by the Main Event to explore hundreds of UBC clubs and resources, and feel the energy that comes with the start of a new academic year! Returning students will receive an email by early September with their personalized UBC schedule.

 

No matter who you are and what you are interested in, there is something for you at Imagine UBC.

– Indra Hayre, Arts student

 

Questions?

If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to orientations.info@ubc.ca.

 


Heading to UBC’s Okanagan campus? Check out the details for your Create orientation!

 

 

 

10 things you never knew about UBC

10 things you never knew about UBC

Did you know UBC has been named the most sustainable university in Canada, or that there’s an outdoor echo chamber in the middle of UBC’s Vancouver campus? UBC’s hallowed halls have produced some of the world’s best thinkers and leaders, as well as some exceptional curiosities, in its 100+ year history. Read on to learn more fun trivia about the university.

 

1. The Beaty Biodiversity Museum houses Canada’s largest blue whale skeleton. It’s one of the few places in the world where you can get close to the biggest creature that has ever lived on Earth.

 

2. UBC has a quidditch team. Members compete at major events in North America, representing UBC and the city of Vancouver. Past players have also participated on the quidditch world stage as part of Team Canada in the World Cup.

 

3. UBC’s Vancouver campus is home to a number of apple trees that are direct descendants of those that inspired Newton to compose his theory of gravity in 1661. The trees are planted near UBC’s TRIUMF lab, which houses the largest particle accelerator cyclotron in the world.

 

4. UBC alumni include eight Nobel Prize winners, plus three Canadian prime ministers, 71 Rhodes Scholars, and 226 Royal Society of Canada fellows. Our varsity athletes have won a combined total of 58 Olympic medals.

 

5. All the street signs on both UBC campuses are bilingual. At UBC Okanagan, the signs feature both English and Nsyilxcen, the traditional language spoken by the Okanagan’s original people. At UBC Vancouver, which is built on the unceded territory of the Musqueam people, you’ll navigate by signs in English as well as the hən̓q̓əmin̓əm̓ language.

6. The buildings on UBC’s Okanagan campus are heated and cooled using energy from the groundwater under the campus. At UBC Vancouver, the pools in the Aquatic Centre are replenished from rainwater that lands on the roof.

 

7. The Kryptonian language in the Superman movie Man of Steel was developed by Christine Schreyer, an associate professor of anthropology on UBC’s Okanagan campus.

 

8. UBC’s Vancouver campus is the ninth most popular filming location on earth. It’s served as the setting for many films and TV shows, including The Butterfly Effect, Smallville, three X-Men movies, The X-Files, Legion, Supernatural, 50 Shades of Grey, and more.

 

9. UBC’s Okanagan campus hosted the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (Will and Kate!) in fall 2016 during the pair’s royal tour of Canada. The couple dedicated a new Aboriginal art installation commemorating UBC’s centennial and the 10th anniversary of the Okanagan campus, and joined 1,500 UBC students in watching an inter-squad volleyball game.

 

10. The Seed Lending Library on UBC’s Vancouver campus has a mission to conserve precious seed varieties by allowing members of the public to sign out seeds in order to grow, harvest, and pass them on to other gardeners.

 

 

Create orientation on the Okanagan campus

Create orientation on the Okanagan campus

Before you hit the books on your first day at UBC Okanagan, join other new-to-UBC students on campus for Create on September 5! Create is a day-long orientation event designed to welcome new students like you to the close-knit UBC community.

 

What to expect

You’ll get to know your learning community, a small group of other UBC students from your degree or faculty. Together, you’ll:

  • Meet your fellow students: Join with your Orientation Leader and a small group of fellow first-year students from your faculty, and take part in social events to have fun and make new friends.
  • Enjoy an official welcome: Hear from UBCO leadership in a welcome ceremony, and have a chance to show your UBC Okanagan school spirit!
  • Join workshops and information sessions: Hear from campus experts about their services and personal experiences to help shape your UBCO journey.
  • Tour the campus: Take a guided tour of campus and locate all the essentials.

 

Who can attend

All new first-year UBC Okanagan students are encouraged to attend Create.

 

How to register

Register for Create – the first day of class will be here before you know it.

 


Are you a student at UBC Vancouver? Check out the details for your orientation, Imagine UBC.

 

 

UBC Collegia on the Vancouver campus: A home away from home for commuters

UBC Collegia on the Vancouver campus: A home away from home for commuters

If you’ll be commuting to campus, you’re part of the majority: more than 75% of students on UBC’s Vancouver campus bike, drive, or take transit to campus. As you begin to think about your first year at UBC, you may be wondering where you’ll be able to warm up your lunch, relax between classes, or meet people.

UBC Collegia on the Vancouver campus provide all of this and more. Each 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 activities designed to connect you with new friends, on-campus services, and peer support.

 

 

What you’ll find in your Collegia

In your first-year Collegia, you can expect:

  • Bright, open space with floor-to-ceiling windows
  • Kitchen facilities with an oven, microwaves, refrigerators, small appliances, dishes, and cutlery
  • Study spaces with desks, lamps, and shelves
  • Comfortable lounge chairs, sofas, and fireplace
  • End-of-trip facilities including showers and lockers
  • Secure Wifi and plenty of outlets to charge your devices
  • A social area with board games, cards, and activities

 

Vancouver Indigenous Students’ Collegia

The Vancouver Indigenous Students’ Collegia is a community for self-identifying Indigenous students of all years, both undergraduate and graduate, to meet one another, connect over their experiences at UBC, and learn from upper-year peer leaders and faculty members.

First-year Indigenous students will have access to both a first-year Collegia community as well as the Vancouver Indigenous Students’ Collegia community.

 

What students are saying

“I always feel welcome when I visit Collegia, which is almost every day. It is an amazing place just to take a break from a hectic school day or to just visit and socialize.”

– Collegia member, first-year Arts, Vancouver campus


“UBC Collegia was a space where I could catch up with friends during the day and study in the evenings. I got a good head start on getting involved, learning about the resources on campus, and getting myself to delve out of my comfort zone. Overall, I definitely feel more equipped to venture off to second year with the start UBC Collegia provided.”

– Collegia member, first-year Science, Vancouver campus

 

How to get involved

If you’re a first-year commuter student on UBC’s Vancouver campus and you’re interested in Collegia, register now to secure your spot. Registration closes on August 31, 2022.

If you are an Indigenous student who has self-identified on the SSC, then you will be automatically granted access to the Vancouver Indigenous Students’ Collegium in the fall!

Health insurance at UBC

Health insurance at UBC

Medical insurance and health coverage are important topics for all new students – whether you’re coming from another province or territory, or from across the globe. As a UBC student, you must have both basic and extended health insurance coverage. Here’s a quick look at what steps you need to take.

 

How do I get basic health insurance?

BC students

If you’re a resident of BC and currently covered by MSP, no action is required on your part.

Out-of-province students

If you’re a Canadian student with a health plan in another province or territory, you do not need to switch to BC MSP. You’ll be covered by the health plan in your home province or territory as long as you remain a student. If you choose to switch to MSP, you’ll need to apply.

Canadian students coming from abroad

If you’re a Canadian citizen or permanent resident of Canada coming to Canada after living abroad, you may already have health coverage in BC or another Canadian province or territory. If you don’t, you’ll need to apply for MSP and make arrangements to join the Global Campus Health Plan or another private temporary insurance plan for the first three-month period before your MSP coverage takes effect.

International students

Canada has a public healthcare system. Everyone living in BC for longer than six months is required to join MSP, a basic health insurance policy for the province’s residents. If you’re an international student, you’ll need to apply for MSP as soon as you arrive in BC. During the first three-month period before your MSP coverage takes effect, you’ll automatically be enrolled in a temporary health insurance plan called iMED after you register for courses if you are a new UBC student. Your iMED coverage will begin on August 1 and will be valid until October 31, or the full duration of your program of studies if you are a one-term exchange student or Visiting International Research Student.

A couple of tips:

  • If you arrive in BC before August 1, purchase advanced iMED coverage.
  • If you arrive after August 31, submit a date change form so that your iMED dates match your MSP waiting period.
  • If you already have MSP, or you will be covered by another provincial health plan for the waiting period, or you already have required health insurance through a third party organization who is funding your studies, be sure to opt-out of iMED by the deadline.

Visit the health insurance for international students page to learn more about the differences between iMED, MSP and the AMS/GSS Health and Dental plan (Vancouver campus) or Studentcare (Okanagan Campus). If you have questions about healthcare or coverage in Canada, please contact an International Student Advisor on the Okanagan or Vancouver campus.

If you are an international student who previously studied at UBC, you will not be covered under iMED. In this case, you should make arrangements to join the Global Campus Health Plan or another private temporary insurance plan for the three-month period before your MSP coverage takes effect.

 

How do I get extended health insurance?

Extended health and dental plans are designed to take care of expenses not covered by basic health insurance plans. As a UBC student, you will be automatically enrolled in the extended health and dental plan offered by the UBC Students’ Union Okanagan (UBCSUO) on the Okanagan campus or the Alma Mater Society/Graduate Student Society (AMS/GSS) on the Vancouver campus when you register for courses. Certain exceptions may apply, so make sure you check your Student Service Centre (SSC) account to confirm that you’ve been enrolled and charged the appropriate fee.

For details on your coverage, or how to opt out if you already have equivalent coverage, please visit the Studentcare website.

 

What if I have a pre-existing medical condition?

If you’re being treated for a medical condition, consult your healthcare 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.

Find out if the treatment you need is available at UBC or nearby, how much it costs, and whether it will be covered under your basic and/or extended health insurance. The Health and Wellness Centre on the Okanagan campus and Student Health Service on the Vancouver campus offer on-campus medical clinics. You can also meet with an International Student Advisor on the Okanagan or Vancouver campus to get help.

 

What if I have a documented disability?

If you have a documented disability and require disability-related accommodation or academic support, please make an appointment to discuss your eligibility with the Disability Resource Centre on the Okanagan campus or Centre for Accessibility on the Vancouver campus.

 

 

First-year writing, communication, or English requirements

First-year writing, communication, or English requirements

As a UBC student, you’ll need to have reading, writing, and speaking skills in English, regardless of your first language or citizenship. To ensure you develop those skills, all UBC undergraduate students are required to earn between three and six credits of writing, communication, or English.

 

Is this the same thing as the English Language Admission Standard?

No, they’re two different things. The English Language Admission Standard (ELAS) is an admissions requirement that you had to meet before being admitted to UBC. Your Faculty’s first-year writing, communication, or English requirements are something you need to meet now that you’re a UBC student.

 

What are my first-year writing, communication, or English requirements?

To check how many credits you must complete and which courses will fulfill your degree requirements, please refer to the undergraduate degree requirements for your Faculty at UBC Okanagan or UBC Vancouver.

 

What is the first-year English course entry requirement?

UBC Okanagan

To stay enrolled in your first-year English courses, you must meet the first-year English course prerequisites for UBC Okanagan.

UBC Vancouver

First-year English courses for UBC Vancouver do not have any prerequisites.

 

 

IB, AP, and A-Levels: Course registration and first-year credit

IB, AP, and A-Levels: Course registration and first-year credit

UBC offers International Baccalaureate (IB), Advanced Placement (AP) credit and A-Level (British-patterned education) credit to new first-year students who are eligible. If you think you’re eligible for first-year credit based on your IB, AP, or A-Level courses and grades, you’ll need to follow these steps.

Step 1: Send us your scores

Arrange for your scores to be sent from the International Baccalaureate, College Board, or your Advanced Level Examination Board to UBC so we can evaluate your eligibility for first-year credit. For more information about which IB, AP, and A-Level courses are eligible for credit, and the minimum scores required, check out our online guide for first-year credit.

If you are waiting for credits to appear on your record, please be patient. You will likely see your credits start to appear on your Student Service Centre account from the final week of July until late August. To view your credits, log in to the Student Service Centre and click “Grades & Records,” followed by “Transfer Credit.”

Please don’t contact us if you don’t see all of your first-year credits applied all at once. We evaluate credits subject by subject, so you might see credit posted on different dates.

Step 2: Register for your new courses

Make sure that you’ve already registered for all your classes. If you have any questions or concerns about what courses you need to register for – for example, whether you should be registering in first- or second-year courses – please contact your faculty or academic advisor at UBC Okanagan or UBC Vancouver for assistance.

Questions?

If you have questions about degree planning and course selection, an academic advisor from your faculty at UBC Okanagan or UBC Vancouver will be happy to help.

Financial planning and student loans

Financial planning and student loans

Going to university is an investment in your future. The cost of tuition, books, residence fees or rent, food, monthly bills, clothing, and entertainment can add up quickly, so having a plan for financing your education is essential. To help you offset your costs, student loans and bursaries are two options you may want to consider.

Student loans

For Canadian citizens or permanent residents

If you’re a Canadian citizen or permanent resident of Canada, you may be eligible for a student loan if you’re studying at UBC Okanagan or UBC Vancouver. Student loans offer two big advantages. First, the government will pay the interest on your loan as long as you’re a full-time student at UBC Okanagan or UBC Vancouver. Second, you’re not required to begin repaying your loan until six months after you graduate (or you cease to become a full-time student). If you’re a BC student, apply for a loan online through StudentAidBC. If you’re coming from another province or territory, apply through your provincial or territorial lender.

For US citizens or dual US-Canadian citizens

If you’re a US citizen, or a dual citizen of the United States and Canada, you’re eligible to apply for a Direct Loan (Direct Subsidized Loan, Direct Unsubsidized Loan, and/or Direct PLUS Loan). It can take a while for loan applications to be processed, so we recommend applying at least six weeks before the term starts to ensure funding is available in time.

Bursaries

If you’re a Canadian citizen, permanent resident of Canada, or refugee, and you have unmet financial need even after receiving a student loan, you may be eligible for a UBC bursary from UBC Okanagan or UBC Vancouver. If you’re interested in a bursary, we recommend submitting a student loan application by July 31 to ensure that your student loan is confirmed by the bursary application deadline of September 15.

Questions?

If you have questions about financial planning or financial aid opportunities, UBC can help:

UBC Okanagan: Contact Student Services and Financial Support at sis.ubco@ubc.ca or +1.250.807.9100

UBC Vancouver: Contact your Enrolment Services Advisor.