Top five tips for choosing your university

Top five tips for choosing your university

Choosing which universities to apply to isn’t easy. Your friends might be set on one school, your parents might be insisting on another, but something about a different university really caught your eye. How do you know which one is right for you? Here are a few tips to help you get started.


Consider how the school stacks up

A university education is a big investment, and the school you choose sends a signal to the world. At a top-ranked school, you’ll enjoy one of the best educations in the world and join the workforce with a wealth of options. Graduating with a degree from a top 40 research university like UBC says something about you, and can open doors around the globe when you’re looking to begin your career.


Check out your academic options

If you have a program in mind, check out what and where you’ll learn. If you’re still not sure what to study, look for a school and degree that will give you lots of options down the road. Some universities provide the opportunity for combined programs, or let you select from a range of different electives across multiple subjects while still fulfilling the requirements for your degree. At UBC, you can choose from among 42 undergraduate degrees and hundreds of opportunities for specialization.


Choose a place you want to live

It’s important that the campus you choose has the right vibe for you. Universities can be rural or urban, in a major metropolis, or form a mini-city of its own. Some schools place more of an emphasis on academics, while others have a tradition of excellence in sports or the arts. UBC’s Okanagan and Vancouver campuses both have inclusive, well-rounded communities that will welcome and support you in whatever you’re passionate about, and each one offers a distinctive experience and unique path to a UBC degree.


Picture yourself on campus

Schools have started re-opening their campuses for tours, and many also offer online events for you to get to know the campuses you’re considering. At UBC, our in-person campus tours are back, and you’re invited to check out the facilities in person. If you’re unable to make it to Vancouver or the Okanagan, you can take advantage of a live virtual campus tour from home or check us out on Instagram. You’ll get a sense of where you could be going to lectures and studying for exams, eating lunch, and hanging out with friends between classes.


Crunch the numbers

Going to university is an investment in your future, and the costs can add up. Tuition varies across schools, as do the living costs, financial assistance, and awards available to you. You can usually find out all you need to know about planning your finances from a university’s website. For UBC, you can easily do the math with our cost calculator.



Why we love the Okanagan campus

Why we love the Okanagan campus

With UBC’s application deadline coming up next month – January 15, at 11:59 pm (PST) – you’re probably excited to select the university experience that will be the best fit for you. So before you apply, make sure you check out UBC’s Okanagan campus in Kelowna, BC.

UBC is consistently ranked among the top 40 research universities in the world, and UBC Okanagan is a great place to be challenged, to thrive, and to develop into a global citizen. For 10,459 undergraduate students from 105 countries, the campus provides an unparalleled mix of academics, community, and recreation.


11 reasons why we love UBC Okanagan

  1. There are treadmills in the Serwa reading room in the library so you can exercise while you study.
  2. The Okanagan is one of North America’s top grape-growing regions. You can study wine chemistry in a campus that is in the heart of 180+ wineries.
  3. Christine Schreyer, who teaches linguistic anthropology at UBC Okanagan, developed the Kryptonian language for the Superman: Man of Steel
  4. You can take part in the BARK program, which brings cute, friendly dogs to campus to help you de-stress.
  5. The campus is heated and cooled by geothermal energy, helping with its carbon footprint and sustainability.
  6. There’s a beach volleyball court on campus.
  7. As well as more traditional courses, you could choose to take classes on the popular culture surrounding Harry Potter, vampires, and superheroes.
  8. The brand-new Nechako residence offers an all-you-can-eat buffet every day, so you’ll never go hungry.
  9. There’s plenty of modern student housing, complete with air conditioning, and with no shared bedrooms. After class, you can take in the views by relaxing on the rooftop patio of the Purcell residence.
  10. You can study several majors exclusive to UBC Okanagan, including sustainabilitydata sciencefreshwater sciencezoology, and health promotion.
  11. UBC’s Okanagan campus has the unique distinction of being founded in partnership with local Indigenous peoples, the Syilx Okanagan Nation. You can study the Nsyilxcn Language Fluency program created to sustain and revitalize language traditions, restore language competence, and protect the knowledge of Indigenous communities.


Explore UBC Okanagan 

Start by checking out the list of programs offered at UBC Okanagan, and read up on what it’s like to live in the Okanagan Valley. Would you rather live in residence or live off campus? Take a look at this video about one student’s move-in day to get a sense of how it might be for you.

The best way to get a feel for the Okanagan campus is to join us for a campus tour. Because of COVID-19 we’ve suspended our in-person tours until early 2022, but our student ambassadors would love to show you around and answer your questions as part of a live virtual tour. Keep checking back to find out when our in-person tours will resume.

Ready to apply? Coming to UBC’s Okanagan campus could be the best decision you’ve ever made. To learn more about Kelowna and the Okanagan campus, email, or call 1.888.807.8521.


Early application deadline for post-secondary transfer students

Early application deadline for post-secondary transfer students

There’s more than one way to become a UBC undergraduate. The majority of our students are admitted directly, but UBC also has a number of places available to those who have started their studies at a different post-secondary institution.

If you are a Canadian post-secondary student and you hope to transfer to UBC next year, read on to learn more about the application process.


Application deadline and process

UBC has an early application deadline for those transferring from a Canadian post-secondary institution.

First, you’ll need to apply by December 1, 2021, and then submit all your post-secondary transcripts that show all completed courses and all in-progress courses (and other required documents) by January 31, 2022. If you complete these two steps, your application will receive an early assessment on these transcripts. If there are specific deadlines associated with your degree of choice, you will be notified once you have submitted your application.

If you attend a new institution that wasn’t included on your application, it’s important to contact us right away.


What if you’re placed on the waitlist?

If you are placed on the waitlist based on this early assessment, there is no need to reapply. Your application will remain in our system and you will be notified of a final decision by June.

Remember, applying early doesn’t increase your chances of gaining admission, but it can mean your application will be considered earlier, and you’ll receive an update about your admission status sooner – most likely between February and April.


What happens if you miss the December 1 deadline?

If you apply between December 2, 2021 and January 15, 2022, we will notify you about which documents we need in order to complete your application for review, and how we would like you to submit those documents.


Learn more about application deadlines for post-secondary students, or contact us to ask your questions. Good luck!



Preparing for your personal profile

Preparing for your personal profile

It’s fantastic that so many of you are currently working on your online application to UBC. Starting early means you’ll have time to reflect on your answers to the personal profile section: an important part of UBC’s admissions decision.

The personal profile asks you six or seven questions about challenges you have overcome, significant achievements in your life, your academic pursuits, and what you have learned from these experiences. The questions differ depending on the degree program you are applying for, and you’ll find out what you’ll be asked when you begin your application.


Does everyone have to submit a personal profile?

Not all applicants are required to submit a personal profile, and others will have additional requirements, such as portfolios or auditions. To find out if your degree requires a personal profile, start the online application process and follow the instructions.


How do we assess your profile?

When we evaluate your application, two trained UBC readers will look for four qualities in your personal profile: engagement and accomplishment, leadership, substance, and voice. This is a chance for us to find out more about you and your experiences beyond academics. We want to hear about your life and achievements – what have you learned, and how have these moments allowed you to grow?

We are not looking for a particular experience, and there are no right or wrong answers. Be authentic, and focus on what you want to say about yourself and how you want to say it, rather than writing what you think we want to hear.


Do you need to record a video interview?

If you are applying to the UBC Sauder School of Business’s Bachelor of Commerce degree, you will be asked to provide video responses to interview questions in addition to your personal profile. You will be prompted to create your video responses within your application, including detailed instructions on how to include the video interview in the personal profile section of your application. Read our tips and watch a video about creating your video interview.

If you have not started working on your application yet, we encourage you to begin as soon as possible to make sure you have everything you need to submit your application on time.


Your personal profile and COVID-19

We know that, like all students around the world, you are adjusting to ongoing changes meant to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and keep everyone safe. We understand that there may currently be limited or no access to extracurricular activities at school or in your community.

Remember that when we assess your personal profile we take into account all of the activities you’ve done across multiple years, not just the ones you hoped to complete in Grade 11 or 12. Your examples can come from any aspect of your life, including within your family or smaller community, or the challenges you may have faced while handling disruptions from COVID-19. There are no right or wrong answers – we’re not looking for certain activities or a long list of achievements, but rather your reflections on what you’ve experienced.


Good luck! We’re looking forward to learning more about you.


Should I work with an agent to apply to UBC?

Should I work with an agent to apply to UBC?

Have you considered working with an education consultancy, or agent, to apply to university? Researching and applying to overseas universities can be overwhelming, and an agent can sometimes simplify the process.

Before engaging with an agent, it’s important to know what your options are.


Do I need to work with an agent to apply to UBC?

No. Students are encouraged to apply directly to UBC and use the information provided in our Applying to UBC section. If you’re stuck or have a question about the application process, there are several ways you can connect with us:


What questions should I ask an agency?

Professional agencies follow standards of good practice, but not every agency is equal. If you work with an agency, you’re hiring them to perform a service for you and you should be free to ask some basic questions before committing:

  • Do you charge service fees to your clients, or do you have commission-based agreements with universities? If you charge service fees, what are they, and when should they be expected?
  • Are you certified by the American International Recruitment Council (AIRC) or other organizations or associations? Which ones? (Note that AIRC has one of the strictest certification processes for agencies to become members.)
  • Ask the advisor you are working with about their experience. They should be knowledgeable about the institutions they are promoting:
    • How many years have they been advising students about universities abroad?
    • Have they have visited UBC or the institution you are considering, or even your country of choice?
    • Have they taken any training, such as the Canada Course for Education Agents?
  • If an agent claims to have an agreement with UBC or another institution, ask to see a copy of their active agreement (not the certificate of representation on the wall, but the actual agreement).
  • Do you have the qualifications to advise on Canadian visas and study permits?


Important tips

  • When applying to UBC with the help of an agency, you should not have to complete any paper-based forms. The entire UBC admissions process occurs online.
  • Agents are not involved in any of UBC’s scholarships – these are adjudicated by UBC alone. Students are automatically considered for entrance awards, while International Scholars Awards require a nomination from your high school.
  • Please do not allow an agent to complete your UBC application on your behalf. This may jeopardize your application if UBC Admissions determines that your application is not an authentic submission.
  • You – not the agent – are responsible for submitting your application to UBC on time, paying your fees, and ensuring you meet the requirements. You are also responsible for completing all the other necessary steps to be considered for admission.


What an agent cannot do for you

  • Working with an agency does not increase your chances of admission or of obtaining a scholarship at UBC. All students are assessed on the merit of their grades and overall application.
  • An agent cannot write or assist in writing your Personal Profile or any part of your application.
  • An agent cannot submit false records or documents.
  • Agencies cannot access your UBC records without your consent. You must have completed a Third Party Authorization in order for your agent to have access to your UBC information from your Student Service Centre (SSC) account.
  • An agent cannot submit payments for any UBC-related fees on your behalf.

And remember – we’re here to help. If you’re having difficulty with the application process, need to know more about UBC, or have any further questions about working with an agent, please contact us.


Tips for creating your BCom application video interview


If you’re applying to UBC Sauder School of Business’s Bachelor of Commerce (BCom) program, your Personal Profile will include a video interview section. You’ll be asked to provide on-camera responses to two pre-recorded questions. We’ve created these tips to help you prepare for, and create, a strong video. Read on for more information!


Why is the video interview important?

In the BCom program, collaboration, in-class discussion, and public speaking are daily activities. Your ability to listen to others and to communicate your thoughts and ideas clearly are essential to your success, and, in many cases, the success of your team during group work.

If you’re intimidated by the thought of speaking on-camera, don’t worry. The questions will relate to your personal experiences and opinions, so there are no wrong answers. In fact, the video interview is a great opportunity for you to showcase how you can think critically, perform under pressure, and stand out from other applicants.


How to create your video interview

Within your Personal Profile, you’ll be directed to a separate online video-interview platform. Be sure to:

  1. Read all instructions thoroughly.
  2. Allow yourself ample time to test your recording equipment.
  3. Try a practice question before recording responses to two set interview questions.

Please keep in mind that you’ll only have one attempt to respond to each question. Once you’ve started to view a question, you won’t be able to pause or replay it. You’ll be given 30 seconds to think about your answer, and up to 90 seconds to record it.


Tips for creating your video interview

  • Take time to reflect. Think about past challenges, achievements, strengths, and beliefs.
  • Create the best recording space possible. Close all other browser windows and programs on your device. Make sure there’s good lighting in front of you. Silence all audible alarms and alerts. Eliminate loud background noises, and make sure you are free from other distractions.
  • Be confident. Maintain good posture, smile, and present yourself professionally. You’ll find these simple actions will put you in the right mindset to deliver a natural response. Do not read from prepared statements or notes.
  • Don’t dwell on mistakes. Natural speech isn’t always perfect – the occasional “umm” or mispronounced word is commonplace and to be expected. If you misspeak during your response, take a moment, breathe, and keep going. Remember, you’ll have just one attempt to answer each question – there are no do-overs.
  • Be authentic. One of the reasons we’ve incorporated the video interview into your application is to get to know you better. Don’t tell us what you think we want to hear; tell us what you want us to know about you.

We’re looking forward to learning more about you. Good luck!



Personal profile tips

Personal profile tips

Every aspiring high school student applying to UBC (and some transfer applicants too) must submit a personal profile as part of their online application. It’s a chance for you to tell the university about your life and accomplishments: What have they taught you about yourself and the world around you?


Preparing for the personal profile

Each of the personal profile questions requires short essay responses (50 to 200 words), so you’ll want to think about your answers before you start your online application. Here are three tips to keep in mind:

  • Take time to reflect. Instead of simply listing your accomplishments and experiences, tell us what you’ve learned from them.
  • Be specific. Use details to provide context and elaborate on your answers.
  • Be true to who you are. Don’t focus on what you think we want to hear. Use your unique voice to tell us what you want to say.

We’ve compiled helpful information for writing your personal profile, and we want all UBC applicants to have the benefits of reading these tips. Visit our personal profile page to learn more about what to consider before writing your profile, and how UBC will evaluate it.


Your personal profile and COVID-19

We know that, like all students around the world, you are adjusting to ongoing changes meant to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and keep everyone safe. We understand that there may currently be limited or no access to extracurricular activities at school or in your community.

Remember that when we assess your personal profile we take into account all of the activities you’ve done across multiple years, not just the ones you hoped to complete in Grade 11 or 12. Your examples can come from any aspect of your life, including within your family or smaller community, or the challenges you may have faced while handling disruptions from COVID-19. There are no right or wrong answers – we’re not looking for certain activities or a long list of achievements, but rather your reflections on what you’ve experienced.


Still have questions?

If you require any further assistance with putting together your application or need help with the personal profile in particular, please contact the UBC Undergraduate Admissions Office.

UBC’s online application is open

UBC’s online application is open

Now the new school year has begun, it’s time to shift your focus to what comes next for you academically. If your sights are set on a future at UBC, now’s the time to start thinking about applying.


Important deadlines

UBC’s online application for the 2022/23 academic year is now open.

Admission to UBC is not granted on a first-come, first-served basis, so you can take time to think about your application. The deadline to apply is 11:59pm PST on January 15, 2022.

Your application deadline will be earlier if you’re a Canadian citizen or permanent resident of Canada and you’d like to be considered for a Presidential Scholars Award, or you’re an international student who’d like to apply for the International Scholars Program awards. For be eligible for each, you must apply to UBC by at 11:59pm PST on December 1, 2021.


Before you begin

You’ll need to make sure that you fulfil all the admission requirements before you apply to your degree. Have a look at our worksheets (PDF download) to help you plan ahead.

Review the key steps on how to apply to get a sense of the process. When you’re ready to get started, click Apply to UBC.


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