Your September 2021 classes and COVID-19

Your September 2021 classes and COVID-19

This blog post will be updated as new information becomes available.

Last updated: March 9, 2021


We understand that there has been a lot of uncertainty for you this past year due to COVID-19. As the world begins to move toward life after the pandemic, you’ve likely been wondering what your UBC classes will look like in September 2021.

The province of British Columbia has been working very hard to make in-person gatherings safe again. Based on the strong and effective safety plans put in place by the government, as well as BC’s vaccination schedule, UBC is preparing for increased on-campus activities. This means that you should begin preparing to be on campus for your studies in September!

Your health and wellbeing has always been UBC’s top priority, and you can be confident that we will continue to put your safety first. UBC staff are currently making plans in collaboration with public health authorities to make sure on-campus activities are safe and successful. This includes planning for transit to UBC, organizing quarantine arrangements for international students (if this continues to be required), creating options for on-site immunization, and managing the availability of study spaces.

We understand that you might have a lot of questions about coming to UBC in September. Because the situation continues to evolve, it’s important to keep checking this blog post to find out the latest information. The date at the top of the post will let you know when it was last updated.

For more information on how UBC is working with provincial health authorities, you can read BC Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry’s letter to university presidents on March 8, 2021.


Save the date for Destination UBC

Save the date for Destination UBC

Congratulations to all Canadian students who’ve received an offer of admission to UBC. Now that you’ve been admitted, you’re ready for Destination UBC!


What is Destination UBC?

If you’ve received an offer from more than one university, it can be tough to decide where you want to study in September – especially with the global pandemic halting in-person campus visits. To help you discover whether UBC is the right home for you, we invite you to join us for Destination UBC!

Destination UBC is a two-week virtual event to help you explore what makes UBC such a vibrant place to live, play, and study. You’ll connect with other newly admitted students, current UBC students, and UBC staff members and faculty. Join us online for as many exciting and informative sessions as you’d like, which will help you to make your decision and prepare you for university life.


Destination UBC sessions

There are more than 70 sessions in total for Destination UBC – but don’t worry; you’re not expected to go to all of them! You can create your own timetable from the range of sessions on offer, and make a schedule that suits you. You can look forward to:


  • Kickoff session: In this 30-minute welcome, meet your fellow students for the first time as you celebrate your offers together and discover more about the Destination UBC event. Join in to win prizes!


  • Indigenous sessions: Find out more about what it’s like to be an Indigenous student at UBC, and start building your community. Take part in fun activities with our Indigenous student ambassadors, meet your new classmates, and learn about what it’s like to be an Indigenous student at UBC.


  • Faculty sessions: Be welcomed by your new faculty members, discover how to register for your courses, and find out about your first steps. Best of all, you’ll get to meet other new students in your degree program. If your Faculty has any updates about COVID-19, they’ll share them with you here.


  • Social events: Start building your community at UBC early. Meet current students and ask them what life is like at UBC, and begin making your first connections with your fellow incoming class.


  • Info sessions: Choose from four different sessions to discover more about what to expect in the months ahead, and when you arrive at UBC. You can learn about finances, housing, mental health and wellbeing, and what you can do with your degree after you graduate.


  • Campus tours: During these 75-minute Zoom sessions, you’ll learn more about UBC, see photos from some of our favourite spots around your new campus, and hear from current UBC students about their experiences in class, residence, and beyond. 


Save the date 

Join us online between April 24 and May 7 for Destination UBC.

Mark your calendars – registration will open on March 8.



Tips from UBC students for after you’ve been admitted

Tips from UBC students for after you’ve been admitted

All of your hard work has paid off, and you’ve been admitted to UBC! The road ahead is filled with crucial tasks to ensure that you’re ready for your first year of university – including planning your finances, registering for courses, and getting mentally prepared for life at UBC.

Take a look at these tips from four current UBC students and one UBC advisor on how to make the upcoming months simple and stress-free.

Meet the students

UBC Okanagan student An Goto

An Goto | Bali, Indonesia

Chemistry (Honours), Mathematics (Minor)

“I chose UBC because I thought that the learning environment offered at the Okanagan campus exactly met the criteria that I had for an ideal university.”


UBC student Abdullah Khair

Abdullah Khair | Amman, Jordan

Chemical Engineering

“The student-centred environment at the university stood out to me and made me realize that there are endless ways to grow and discover myself on this campus.”


UBC student Thao Atkinson

Thao Atkinson | Métis, Midway, Canada


“I loved the values UBC had and the high level of support UBC has for Aboriginal students. I felt it was important for me to be in a community where I could exceed academically, but also have a sense of community.”


UBC student Moozhan Ahmadzadegan

Moozhan Ahmadzadegan | Lake Country, Canada

Visual Arts (Major), Art History (Minor)

“UBC is one of the best universities in the world, plus, I was born and raised in the Okanagan. It seemed only natural that I attend university in the place I call home.”


Enrolment Services Professional Claudia

Claudia | UBC advisor

As a UBC staff member dedicated to helping students, Claudia has many useful tips for you: “As a UBC advisor, I wear many hats. I specialize in financial advising, but I can also answer questions about undergraduate admissions, fees, tuition, registration, financial support, exams, graduation, transcripts, and so much more. If you have a question I can’t answer, I likely know the person or department who can.”



Accepting your offer


“My Peer Mentor helped with the transition into university by letting me know about events and other opportunities for students on campus.” – Moozhan

“My UBC advisor was extremely helpful to me, and especially at the beginning of my university career as I was still figuring out the very little details about being a student at UBC. This included things like how to pay my tuition, registering for courses, and transferring over some of my high school credits.” – Abdullah



Applying for a study permit


UBC’s International Student Guide is your go-to online resource for information on immigration, health insurance, taxes, and more. There’s even a study permit tutorial.” – Claudia, UBC Advisor



Planning your finances

“My UBC advisor helped me make sure how I knew how to handle money and how to budget for the year. He’s awesome!” – Thao

“Look for external awards and opportunities through banks, companies, and Internet-based databases like Scholarships Canada and yconic.” – Claudia, UBC Advisor



Finding a place to live

“If you live in residence, you have to vacate your room at the end of each academic year. Keep your belongings as compact as possible for smooth moving.” – An

“My residence room must-haves are a comfy pillow, snacks, and an alarm clock.” – Thao

“I always kept some late-night study snacks as you don’t really get access to a kitchen or hot food past a certain hour in university residence.” – Abdullah

While we are continuing to monitor the situation in conjunction with the provincial health authorities, we hope to be able to offer on-campus housing as usual in September 2021. Please keep checking the admissions blog for the latest information.


Exploring your academic options

“The best part of being a Chemistry major is about the opportunity to be able to meet with professors who not only shaped me towards being a well-rounded chemist, but also a more independent individual.” – An

“When I picked my program, I was intrigued by the programs that the Sauder School of Business offered. This included co-op opportunities, global exchanges, and the various clubs offered by UBC.” – Thao

“I picked Engineering as I was interested in different sciences and mathematics. The best part about my degree at UBC is that they provide a general engineering program during first year and then you get to choose which specialty you’d like to be enrolled in.” – Abdullah

“My Visual Arts Course Union offers different opportunities to plan or volunteer at. It really creates a community within a program and is a great way to make connections and gain valuable experiences. It’s also a great chance to be involved and learn new things outside the classroom.” – Moozhan



Registering for courses

“Throughout my journey at UBC, I planned my courses by referencing the degree requirements for my Chemistry and Mathematics degrees, which were located in UBC’s Academic Calendar.” – An

“I had to register for some extra electives, and found that the Degree Navigator tool in the Student Services Centre was extremely useful in laying out what courses satisfy the elective requirements I had.” – Abdullah

“There is a lot to choose from, and it can be a challenge to narrow down your interests. Most of my courses were required, so that helped. My advice for first-timers: pick something you think will sustain your interest over the semester.” – Moozhan

“If your faculty does not have a standard timetable, reach out to older students who can help you with the process! UBC’s welcome events were a great way to meet upper year students who love to support and help incoming students.” – Thao



Getting ready for life at UBC!

“UBC offers a variety of support, courses and clubs that will undoubtedly pique your interest. If you’re thinking about coming to UBC, go to the orientations they provide, ask other students your questions, and research the things that you value!” – Thao

“Make sure university is what you want – it’s a commitment and can be a really great experience. UBC is an exceptional university and having the opportunity to attend a place of inclusion and acceptance is definitely a good incentive.” – Moozhan

“Finding community may seem a little overwhelming. However, with time and as you settle in, you will slowly find yourself immersed in many smaller groups at UBC. Whether that’s through your faculty, classes, or clubs, the smaller communities will make UBC feel like a bigger home to you.” – Abdullah



Four healthy habits for first year

Four healthy habits for first year

University is more demanding than high school, and the transition can be challenging. As you prepare and adjust to life at UBC, it’s important to take care of yourself academically, physically, socially, and emotionally. The good habits you establish in first year will serve you well throughout your degree.


Be smart about your studies

Set clear academic goals for yourself, learn how to manage your time effectively, and strengthen your study skills. If you need a hand getting started, Learning Supports for UBC Okanagan students and the Learning Commons for UBC Vancouver students are great resources.

To make sure you’re set up for virtual classes in your first term, take the time to read up on UBC’s tips for online learning.


Take care of your body

Choose your food wisely and make time for exercise, especially when you’re taking online classes. Check out the virtual recreational facilities, fitness classes, and events available at UBC Okanagan and UBC Vancouver, and discover what you can look forward to when the health authorities say it’s safe to return to campus.

If you have health concerns at any time, be sure to seek medical attention. Remember, the Health and Wellness Centre at UBC Okanagan and Student Health Service at UBC Vancouver offer digital resources and on-campus medical clinics that are free for all students.


Connect with others

The best way to meet people at UBC is to find something you’re interested in – a club, a sport, an activity, or an event – and get involved. There’s no shortage of opportunities on the Okanagan and Vancouver campuses, with many of them operating virtually while classes are online. Not only will you get to do something you love, but you’ll make new friends in the process.


Keep your stress in check

If you find yourself feeling worried, anxious, or stressed, talk to someone. As a UBC student, you have access to one-on-one counselling services and a variety of mental health resources at UBC Okanagan and UBC Vancouver.



Imagine UBC orientation on the Vancouver campus

Imagine UBC orientation on the Vancouver campus

On the first day of classes (September 8), join thousands of new-to-UBC students and hundreds of volunteers online for Imagine UBC, a virtual orientation event that celebrates the start of the academic year wherever you are in the world.


What to expect

Imagine UBC is an incredible opportunity to:

  • Make new friends
  • Meet student leaders, professors, and the dean of your Faculty
  • Show off your school spirit
  • Find out about services and resources
  • Learn all the ways to get involved during your time at UBC

Over the course of the day you’ll connect with a small group of other new students from your Faculty, join the entire UBC community for a virtual pep rally, check out hundreds of virtual booths hosted by current students for UBC’s clubs and organizations, and start to find your place at UBC.


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

– Indra Hayre, Arts student


Who can attend

All UBC students – including new, returning, and transfer students – are welcome to attend. Look for an email in late August with your personalized Imagine UBC schedule.


Heading to UBC’s Okanagan campus? Check out Monday’s post for details about Create orientation on the Okanagan campus.




Create orientation on the Okanagan campus

Create orientation on the Okanagan campus

You won’t need to hit the books on your first day of classes at UBC Okanagan. Instead, you’ll join other new-to-UBC students online for Create on September 8, a day-long virtual orientation event designed to welcome new students like you to the close-knit UBC community.


What to expect

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

  • Attend Kick-Off, a ceremony designed to officially welcoming the incoming class of 2020
  • Meet your Faculty’s dean and important staff members
  • Get to know fellow first-year students and returning students
  • Explore your new campus virtually
  • Learn more about the resources available to you
  • Find out about opportunities to get involved


Who can attend

All new UBC Okanagan students – especially first-year, mature, and transfer students – are encouraged to attend.


How to register

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


Are you a student at UBC Vancouver? Check back later this week for details on the Imagine UBC orientation.



What you need to do before your first day at UBC

What you need to do before your first day at UBC

Your first day at UBC is right around the corner, and we’ve prepared lots of online resources and events to make sure you’re ready. Whether you’re an international student or are based in Canada, find out about the final pieces of administration you’ll want to complete in order to hit the ground running next month.


UBC Okanagan

September 8 is coming up fast, and you’ll have to tick a few things off your list to prepare. Discover all the resources you need to stack your student toolkit on UBC Okanagan’s New to UBC page.

Here, you’ll discover everything about:

  • Attending UBC Okanagan’s virtual orientations, including Create and UBC 101
  • Learning about your first week’s welcome activities
  • Choosing to have a peer mentor
  • Understanding the dates and deadlines for classes and fees
  • Joining clubs with the UBC Students’ Union Okanagan (UBCSUO)
  • Making sure your health and dental coverage is in place


UBC Vancouver

There are also a few things you’ll need to do to be ready for your studies at UBC Vancouver. The campus’s New to UBC page is your go-to resource to make sure you know how to navigate your first term online.

On the page, you’ll find out more information about:

  • Attending UBC Vancouver’s virtual orientations
  • Ensuring you’ve applied for the essentials like your digital UBCcard
  • Navigating your academic studies online and where to find your classes
  • Budgeting and managing your money
  • Building your social life with clubs and societies
  • Setting up your health and dental coverage


We can’t wait to meet you in September!


Register now for Virtual UBC Collegia and Indigenous Students’ Collegium

Register now for Virtual UBC Collegia and Indigenous Students’ Collegium

Even though your classes might be online for your first term, it’s important to make friends and connect with your new UBC community. UBC Vancouver’s two online Collegia – Virtual UBC Collegia and the Indigenous Students’ Collegium – are designed for you to meet other students, ask questions to your peers and upper-year students, access resources, and enjoy social events together.


What to expect

Virtual UBC Collegia

  • Join regular, small group gatherings with other first-year students from your Faculty to help build your friendships. As part of Virtual UBC Collegia, you’ll take part in social activities organized by upper-year leaders throughout your first term.
  • Connect with faculty members who can offer guidance. You’ll be able to ask about topics like how to approach a project, where to find writing resources for a paper, how best to engage in an online class, or how to study for an upcoming midterm.
  • Discover resources and opportunities. Through conversations, programming, events, and resources, you can find out how to explore your interests and learn more about what UBC has to offer.


Virtual Indigenous Students’ Collegium

  • Meet other Indigenous students, and make your first friends. All Indigenous students are invited to participate in the community, so you’ll be able to ask questions and share experiences with people at different points in their UBC programs.
  • Enjoy organized social activities. Upper-year Indigenous student leaders will set up online events you can take part in for your first few months at UBC.
  • Receive guidance from staff and faculty members trained to support Indigenous students. Your peer leaders are connected to support staff across campus to make sure you have access to services to help you succeed at UBC. Find out how to follow a passion, sharpen your academic skills, or find the resources you need.

More information about the Indigenous Students’ Collegia will be shared directly with Indigenous students by email in mid-August.


Who can join

If you’ve accepted your offer of admission to UBC Vancouver, and you’re a first-year student entering your first term this fall, you’re able to register for Virtual UBC Collegia.

First-year Indigenous students can join the Virtual Indigenous Students’ Collegia community as well as their Virtual UBC Collegia group.


How to register

To register for either Collegia, visit the website to find the right online form. Registration closes on August 30, 2020.

Please note that Jump Start participants are automatically granted membership to Virtual UBC Collegia, and do not need to complete the form.

After you’ve registered, you can expect to receive a membership offer by email in early September. If you haven’t received a message, make sure you’ve added to your inbox safe list.