Your UBC adventure starts here

As a visiting student at UBC, you’ll join a diverse academic community at a world-class university in an inspiring setting. Are you ready to take your place alongside top students from across Canada and around the world? Let’s get started.

Top 0
research universities in the world
0
distinctive BC campus experiences
# 0
most international university in North America

Step 1: Submit or update your preferred courses

If you’ve yet to submit a list of preferred courses, please complete your Visiting Student Course List as soon as possible. For instructions on how to complete the list, read our step-by-step guide.

If you’ve already submitted your list of preferred courses, you may need to update it depending on when you sent us your initial Visiting Student Course List, as course schedules are released in the spring for the Winter Session (September to April) and in the winter for the Summer Session (May to August).  

Step 2: Apply for a study permit or visa

Depending on your country of nationality and length of stay, you may require a study permit or visa to attend UBC.

Canadian citizens and permanent residents

If you are a Canadian citizen or permanent resident of Canada, you do not require a study permit or visa.

International students studying for less than six months

Depending on your country of nationality, you will need either a Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) or an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA).

Temporary Resident Visas

Electronic Travel Authorizations

Further travel restrictions may apply during the global COVID-19 pandemic. Find out more >>

International students studying for more than six months

You will need to obtain a valid study permit before beginning your studies at UBC.

Study permits

You may be affected by travel restrictions during the global COVID-19 pandemic. Find out more >>

Step 3: Plan your finances

UBC tuition is calculated on a per-credit basis (most courses are three credits each) and student fees are calculated according to your status (full-time or part-time), session, and study level.

To pay your tuition and fees, you are encouraged to use UBC’s Western Union international funds transfer. This method lets you pay in your home currency, secure a competitive exchange rate for up to 72 hours, and avoid additional transaction fees. No Canadian banking account is required.

Okanagan campus

Tuition fees

Student fees

Vancouver campus

Tuition fees

Student fees

 

If you are a sponsored student or are applying for government grants and require additional documentation for your sponsoring body or government, please let us know as soon as possible by emailing recruit.intl@ubc.ca. 

UBC admissions blog

All the ways you can pay your UBC fees

Step 4: Find a place to live

Where you live will shape your UBC experience – from who you meet to what you eat. On-campus housing options are limited on UBC’s Vancouver and Okanagan campuses, so most visiting students live off campus in Vancouver or Kelowna.

Housing in Kelowna

Housing in Vancouver

In some cases, on-campus housing may be available. If you are interested, please feel free to visit UBC student housing forum and Incoming Exchange Student Facebook group to look for availability.

Step 5: Course registration

Course registration for visiting students and non-classified students opens in mid-July. Once registration opens, UBC will complete an initial course registration for you based on your Visiting Student Course List. After that, you’ll receive an email on how to add or drop courses on your own, should you wish to do so. Course registration will continue throughout the summer and into the first two weeks of classes in September (Term 1) and January (Term 2), so please keep in mind that it is normal that your course registration may not be complete until that time.

Step 6: Review your medical coverage

As a UBC student, you will have access to a wide range of health and wellness support services should you need medical attention.

Students in BC for less than six months

You will automatically be enrolled in two plans when you register for courses at UBC:

  • a mandatory temporary basic health insurance plan called iMED, which will cover you for three months
  • an extended health and dental plan offered by the UBC Students’ Union Okanagan (UBCSUO) or the Alma Mater Society/Graduate Student Society (AMS/GSS), which will cover you for eight or 12 months (depending on when your studies begin)

If you plan to stay in BC for more than three months (e.g., for a four-month term), you will need to extend your iMED coverage.

 

Temporary health insurance (iMED)

Extended health and dental plan

Extending your iMED coverage

Students in BC for more than six months

You must enrol in the BC Medical Services Plan (MSP), a basic health insurance policy that is legally required for anyone who is planning to live in BC for longer than six months and not already covered by another provincial health plan.

In addition, you will automatically be enrolled in two plans when you register for courses at UBC:

  • a mandatory temporary basic health insurance plan called iMED, which will cover you for the three-month period before your MSP coverage takes effect
  • an extended health and dental plan offered by the UBC Students’ Union Okanagan (UBCSUO) or the Alma Mater Society/Graduate Student Society (AMS/GSS), which will cover you for eight or 12 months (depending on when your studies begin)

 

BC Medical Services Plan (MSP)

Temporary health insurance (iMED)

Extended health and dental plan

Step 7: Get ready for orientation

Whether you’re from Germany or Mexico, studying for one term or two, UBC is ready to welcome you on campus. Keep an eye on your email for pre-arrival information, updates, and invitations to participate in social media networking groups and orientation events. Once you arrive on campus we’ll introduce you to UBC and the surrounding area.

Contact us

If you have questions about preparing for life at UBC, we can help. Be sure to include your UBC student number in the subject line of your email and identify yourself as a visiting student through the International Student Initiative.

Okanagan students

Vancouver students