Go Global

Go Global

Being a UBC student doesn’t mean that you need to stay in British Columbia. Through Go Global, UBC offers a variety of ways for you to explore the world while earning credits towards your degree.

Whether you want to live in Scotland for a year, spend a summer semester in Costa Rica or complete a global health practicum in Ghana and Zambia, there are plenty of international study options through Go Global.

Go Global programs give you an opportunity to immerse yourself in a new culture, experience international issues and ideas in the real world, and connect meaningfully with people in a host country as a student — not just as a tourist. It also allows you to gain confidence, take courses not offered at UBC, and pay UBC fees in an international setting.

The following are the programs that Go Global offers.




With Go Global’s Exchange program, you can travel and study in another country for a term or more while earning credits towards your degree. For example, you can explore pre-med or pre-law at Scotland’s University of Aberdeen or choose to go to Monash University at one of its campuses in Melbourne or Kuala Lumpur.

Find an Exchange experience (Okanagan)

Find an Exchange experience (Vancouver)


Summer Abroad 


In the Summer Abroad program, you can spend the summer studying in another country—like France, India or Costa Rica—have fun, and experience a new culture without interrupting your winter semester course load. You can also add a summer term before you begin your winter Exchange program.

Find a Summer Abroad experience (Okanagan)

Find a Summer Abroad experience (Vancouver)


Research Abroad


As a UBC student, you are eligible to conduct research at many of UBC’s 150 partner universities. You can get hands-on research experience at a university abroad and build non-credit work experience over the summer.

You can visit Switzerland’s École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne and conduct research in a laboratory on the shores of Lake Geneva and at the foot of the Alps. Or you can build research experience at the University of Tokyo while taking part in Japanese cultural activities.

Find a Research Abroad program (Okanagan)

Find a Research Abroad program (Vancouver)


Global Seminars


Global Seminars offer you the chance to take UBC credit courses taught by UBC faculty members with a group of other students in an international location. Global Seminars are unique UBC courses involving engagement with partners in another part of the world. They run in the summer and are each unique in terms of location, course content, length and cost. For example, you can study geographical migration patterns in Spain and Morocco or learn about sustainable food systems in Italy.

Find key dates and previous global seminars (Okanagan)

Find key dates and previous global seminars (Vancouver)



International Conferences and Special Programs


Through partnerships and memberships with international learning organizations, Go Global occasionally offers a range of international programs beyond Exchange, Summer Abroad, Research Abroad, and Global Seminars.

Find an International Conference or Special Program


Find more information and talk to a Go Global Advisor:


Go Global UBC Okanagan



Go Global UBC Vancouver



Imagine UBC orientation on the Vancouver campus

Imagine UBC orientation on the Vancouver campus

On September 5, 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 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



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!




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 4! 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.



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. If you are a one-term exchange student or Visiting International Research Student, you have different coverage dates. If you are an international student who previously studied at UBC, you will not be covered under iMED and should make arrangements to join the Global Campus Health Plan or another private temporary insurance plan for the three-month MSP wait period.

A couple of tips:

  • If you arrive in BC before August 1, purchase advance 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 SUO Health and Dental Plan (Okanagan Campus). If you have questions about healthcare or coverage in Canada, please contact an International Student Advisor on the Okanagan or Vancouver campus.


How do I get extended health insurance?

Extended health and dental plans are designed to take care of some 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 Student Health Clinic on the Okanagan campus and Student Health Service on the Vancouver campus offer on-campus medical clinics. If you are an international student you can also connect with International Student Advising on the Okanagan or Vancouver campus for guidance.


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.



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


šxʷta:təχʷəm Collegium

šxʷta:təχʷəm Collegium 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 šxʷta:təχʷəm Collegium 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, 2023.

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

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: Plan to register for your UBC courses

Make sure that you’re ready to register for your classes. Read up on tips for registration, find your Okanagan registration date or your Vancouver registration date, build your draft worklists and review any first-year credits in your Student Service Centre (SSC).

Please note that it is only when your first year credits are updated, that you can consider making changes to your schedule and course registrations by the course change dates (also known as the add/drop deadlines).

If you have 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 and recommendations.

Other questions?

If you have other questions about degree planning and course selection, an academic advisor from your faculty at UBC Okanagan or UBC Vancouver will be the best resource.

Register now for Academic Essentials

Register now for Academic Essentials

If you’ve accepted your offer to UBC Vancouver, you can start sharpening the skills you’ll need to succeed in your first term by taking part in Academic Essentials. These free online courses will help you develop strategies and techniques to successfully transition to university learning – all at your own pace.

Why Academic Essentials?

The Academic Essentials courses are designed to make sure you have a strong grasp of fundamental concepts, and the academic skills and mindset to succeed in a university setting, all so that you can hit the ground running in September.

All of the courses are offered for free and none of them are for credit (so they won’t appear on your transcript), meaning you can engage with them at your own pace and on your own schedule. As part of the curriculum, you’ll be able to access a library of online materials and resources, and you’ll to study on your own time. You’ll also have the opportunity to interact with your course facilitators, who are all current UBC students and who will be happy to share their own tips and academic experiences with you.

All Academic Essentials courses run from July 4 to August 11, 2023.

What you’ll learn

Academic Essentials courses are self-paced and self-directed, with new content released every week. For each course, you’ll enjoy two-to-three hours of engagement with the material each week, and take part in assignments to help you get the most out of the content. You can register for as many courses as you like. Choose from:

Academic Essentials: Reading and Writing at University

  • Learn strategies for active listening and critical reading for your UBC classes.
  • Become familiar with the UBC library system and the structures of academic articles.
  • Begin to develop your own writing voice, and explore different areas of research.
  • Interact with course facilitators through discussions and short writing exercises.

Academic Essentials: Readiness for University Mathematics

  • Discover the habits and strategies you’ll need to be successful in your math classes at UBC.
  • Learn how to approach and solve new problems, and when to ask for help.
  • Practice fundamentals like algebra, functions, graphs, and geometry.
  • Self-assess the prerequisite skills and concepts needed for UBC calculus classes.

Academic Essentials: Live Well to Learn Well

  • Get tips on how to transition from high school to university.
  • Develop a personalized action plan to excel in your time at UBC.
  • Develop study strategies and self-assessment skills that will ensure success in your studies.
  • Find out how to access academic and wellness resources at UBC.

How to register

Click the links below to enrol in the course(s) of your choice. You can choose from one, two, or all three courses, and you’ll need to register for each individually. You’ll need your CWL from your UBC admission package to sign up.

Register for Reading and Writing at University

Register for Readiness for University Mathematics

Register for Live Well to Learn Well

What students are saying

“[Academic Essentials] was a great way to get a taste of university life and explore different aspects of academic work. I was able to see how the same content taught to me can be approached and understood in different ways. The feedback and support from the peers and mentors in the program helped me feel more confident in what I knew, while allowing me to learn and grow.”Rajalakshmi N., Bachelor of Applied Science