The Faculty of Education at the University of British Columbia, top-ranked in Canada and 9th in the world, has served the international education community through leadership in research, teaching, and service for over 50 years.

What you might expect/course format

The UBC Vancouver Summer Program in the Faculty of Education is a four-week program developed for international undergraduate students. The courses deliver academic rigour through pedagogies selected to optimize learning of students with diverse cultural and linguistic backgrounds. The program provides the opportunity for students to learn about a wide range of education topics in a Canadian context, while also exploring Canadian society and culture through engaging classes, field trips, and social activities. It is a truly holistic learning experience!

  • Each package consists of two courses (approximately 39 hours of class time per course)
  • Classes are interactive and often include discussions, group work, and field trips
  • Evaluation may include assignments, group projects, papers, and presentations
  • Out-of-the-classroom activities extend learning opportunities and help build international networks of colleagues and friends
  • Students’ home universities can receive detailed information about the courses and records of students’ achievement and may grant academic credit for the courses at their own discretion

July 2024 Course Packages

Applied Linguistics for Teachers

An introduction to additional language learning and teaching, from the perspective of applied linguistics, this course will assist teachers of English as an additional language in making linguistically informed decisions about their practice. The course design is grounded in the understanding that today’s language classrooms are diverse multilingual and multicultural places, presenting students and teachers with unique challenges. Therefore, successful language teachers need to understand more than just the structure and nature of the language(s) they teach: they also need to develop an understanding of the social, cultural, and ideological implications of language and language education.

Introduction to Teaching and Learning English

By focusing on the practice of English language teaching, this course aims to provide participants with a comprehensive view of fundamentals that guide instructional practices in a variety of contexts. This course design is grounded in the understanding that to be an effective language teacher, one needs to familiarize with a range of instructional models, teaching techniques, assessment strategies, and sociocultural concerns, as they pertain to teaching English in the globalized world. Specifically, this course gives participants an insight into innovative ways to promote communicative competence though integration of language skills and will prepare them for lesson and unit planning. Topics to be discussed include: overview of teaching methods, curriculum and planning for instruction, initiating and sustaining interaction in the classroom, classroom management, among others.

Prerequisites: No prerequisites

Minors (students aged under 19 at the start of the program)Not Accepted

Designing High Quality Curriculum in Early Childhood Settings

This course addresses the notion that children are natural learners. Students will learn about, discuss, and clarify important concepts and theories relative to early childhood education, including child development theory and the holistic nature of learning in the early years. The course highlights the idea that young children’s innate capacity to learn and teachers’ responses to children’s inquiries provide the foundation for the development of high-quality early learning experiences for young children and impacts the type of programming that is created. Students will learn about designing appropriate daily routines and implementing teaching strategies for integrating different areas of learning, such as literacy, math, science, and art through inquiry and project-based learning. The course will also include observations in local Early Childhood settings.

Creating Environments to Support Learning in Early Childhood Settings

This course introduces students to the significant role that designing stimulating and nurturing early childhood classroom environments plays in children’s learning and in supporting all aspects of their development and growth. Recognizing that early childhood education is constructed within historical, sociocultural, political, and theoretical contexts, this course examines the ways and means in which high-quality learning environments engage with all of these contexts. Additionally, it discusses the considerations that socio cultural contexts and socio-emotional relationships have on creating learning spaces by taking into account philosophies of childhood, play, and learning.

Prerequisites: No prerequisites

Minors (students aged under 19 at the start of the program)Not Accepted

Classroom Management

The central purpose of this course is to enable you to design a positive classroom climate where you and your students can engage in meaningful learning experiences together. In order to reach this goal, we will explore a range of research-supported strategies for individual, classroom and school wide behaviour support. The class will be highly interactive and experiential, providing opportunities for student discussion, skills practice and exploration of classroom management topics. Throughout the course, students will learn (a) important preventative strategies to avoid problem behaviour in the first place, (b) the basic functions of student behaviour, and (b) the skills to apply those principles to teaching, positive behaviour support, and the design of effective classrooms. The course is organized to prepare you to achieve success with most of your students and therefore increase the likelihood of your personal satisfaction as a teaching professional.

Assessment and Positive Behavioural Support in School and Community Settings

The purpose of this course is to introduce students to the philosophy and methods of behavioural assessment and positive behavioural support with persons who engage in challenging behaviour in school and community contexts. Specific objectives of the course include developing student knowledge and/or skill in: (a) basic principles of behaviour change, (b) the features and values of positive behavioural support, (c) person-centered assessment and functional assessment of persons with challenging behaviour, (d) the completion of summary hypothesis statements and competing behaviour pathway diagrams, (e) the design of multi-component behaviour support plans that are logically-linked to assessment results, and (f) the design of plans that are both technically sound and contextually-appropriate.

Prerequisites: No prerequisites

Minors (students aged under 19 at the start of the program)Not Accepted

Understanding the Social-Emotional Learning Needs of Diverse Learners in School, Family, and Community Contexts

School, family, and community systems have a particularly strong impact on overall development including social-emotional health and wellness as well as learning. In this course, the notion that children and youth live, learn, and play in multiple systems is addressed. All of these environments impact social and emotional health and wellness, and in turn learning. The students taking this course will be exposed to school, family, and community factors that impact social-emotional health/wellness and learning. The ways in which social-emotional health and wellness impact learning both directly and indirectly is critically examined. Given students in the course are learners from diverse international contexts, cross-cultural perspectives on these considerations are also explored.

Culturally Responsive Approaches to Creating Positive Learning Environments to Support Social-Emotional Health/Wellness

Addressing the social-emotional health and wellness of children and youth in society today is critical to academic learning. Knowing effective ways to address the social and emotional health and well-being of learners in the early through young adult years is a focus of this course. Students in the course will be exposed to a wide variety of programs to support the social and emotional health and well-being of students along with approaches that promote student learning. Programs that explore learner support in school, family, and community settings will be explored and critically reviewed by the students in the course. This will include the ways these programs are (or are not) culturally responsive to learner strengths and needs and why a culturally responsive approach is important is examined through project-based learning.

Prerequisites: No prerequisites

Minors (students aged under 19 at the start of the program)Not Accepted

April 26, 2024: This course package has been canceled for VSP 2024. If you have applied to this course package, you should have received an email with the instructions to proceed with your application. If you have any questions about the cancellation, please email

Designing What We Wear

Developing an understanding of the decisions that go into making and creating of clothing may provide a greater context of the clothing that we wear. This course provides a broad overview of different design and making considerations including Indigenous approaches to design. Students will have an opportunity to reflect on design decisions, and their own making processes, while developing critical thinking and collaborative work skills through class discussions and assignments. Course topics include: equity, diversity, and sustainability relating to fashion, what influences our decisions of what to wear, making processes, and exploring how many of these components are interlinked together. By the end of this course students will have participated in a range of activities including visits to design studios and head offices, hear from leading industry experts, and explore the process of making and creating.

Designing Fashion for Social and Sustainability Impact

Deciding what to wear is a daily decision we make. This decision is just one of a multitude of decisions that are made from the creation of a fabric, to production of a garment, marketing and the point of sale. These decisions occur in different cultural and geographic contexts and there is a growing awareness of the impact of fast fashion has both socially and ecologically. The aim of this course is to help students to develop an understanding about sustainable concepts within fashion. Topics considered in this course will introduce fashion design and production as a cyclic process rather than one that is linear and the impacts of fashion design both socially and environmentally. By the end of the course students will: be familiar with sustainability concepts; and be able to apply the learning to their everyday experiences with clothing. They will have experienced a range of locations where fashion is designed and purchased; maintained a journal that will allow students to think about how people make their fashion decisions and considered the implications of different ways of thinking about fashion design that have an impact at local and global levels.

Prerequisites: No prerequisites

Minors (students aged under 19 at the start of the program)Not Accepted

April 26, 2024: This course package has been canceled for VSP 2024. If you have applied to this course package, you should have received an email with the instructions to proceed with your application. If you have any questions about the cancellation, please email

Digital Media in Arts Education

In Digital Media in Arts Education students will explore education, curriculum and pedagogy from an arts-based technological perspective. Beginning with understanding the arts and media, generally, we will examine the multiple opportunities and challenges arising from using digital technologies to approach the creative arts in educational contexts. Using an up to date laboratory of computers, iPads, and synthesizers – students will work together in exploring digital music, video, photography and other creative arts applications and software used in educational settings. This course will help students build a foundation for critical thinking about education, digital media, and the arts in general. Participants will take an active role in their learning processes.

Learning Technologies and Creativity in the Digital Age

This course offers students a space to create and a community to explore ideas about integrating learning technologies in primary and secondary classrooms. Students will take on roles as instructional designers working in teams to create digital learning activities, artifacts, lessons, and resources that are personally and/or pedagogically meaningful. Learning involves problem posing, problem solving, exercising ingenuity, questioning assumptions, collaborating, prototyping, and experimenting with diverse ideas, materials, and perspectives. The main purpose of this course is for students to build understanding and experiences of project-based learning empowered by technology (theories, methods, and practices). No programming knowledge or technical expertise is required to participate. Students will benefit from creative instructional strategies, interactive lessons, and a variety of technology-supported learning activities.

Prerequisites: No prerequisites

Minors (students aged under 19 at the start of the program)Not Accepted

May 9, 2024: This course package has been canceled for VSP 2024. If you have applied to this course package, you should have received an email with the instructions to proceed with your application. If you have any questions about the cancellation, please email

Diversifying Integrated Artificial Intelligence and Learning Technologies and Systems

Designed to provide future educators, with the necessary knowledge, skills, competencies, and explicit experience in keeping up and in fact of the generative Artificial Intelligence tools and trends and implementing educational technologies and learning technologies into a pedagogically sound learning environment, the course emphasizes the critical evaluation and pedagogical design aspects of integrating artificial intelligence tools and learning technologies in dynamic modern environments. Further, it takes a hands-on and minds-on approach to identifying and evaluating the impacts of AI, the uses of AI, and the appropriate uses for AI and technologies to support design, teaching, and learning in any educational context. Through this course, students will be introduced to Generative AI tools and their uses beyond ChatGPT and other empirically supported educational technologies. They will learn to plan lessons, develop activities and instructional strategies, and design assessments utilizing AI and educational technology tools that are meaningfully and purposefully utilized in order to recognize the potential to accelerate and enhance student learning. Ultimately, this course seeks to prepare learners to become modern, reflective educators who can design research-supported, best-practice, and high-quality programs that are current, adaptive, responsive, representable, and relevant to the needs of all learners in varying contexts.

Learning Technologies through Design-based Thinking: Creating Inclusive Makerspaces

Grounded in social learning theories, educational technology, multiliteracies and multimodalities theories, inquiry-based learning, design-based thinking, and 21st century pedagogies, participants of this course will learn to merge theory with practice as makers and creators. Through research, design, experimentation, building, and inventing, participants will explore the educational, cultural, and social value of makerspaces. They will delve into the importance of cultivating creative and growth mindsets through maker mentality and entrepreneurial mindsets to build the knowledge, confidence, and skills to effectively infuse, implement, and assess makerspaces into classrooms. This course explores constructivist and cultural theories in education and digital engagement and their significance in designing dynamic learner-focused environments that support 21st century modes of making. Learners will learn how to design using no-tech, low-tech, and high-tech tools and resources and learn to implement Artificial Intelligence through the planning, building, and implementing stages of design. In this course, learners will engage in physical and virtual environments and learn through the “high-tech” teachings how to create virtual and augmented reality environments for all learners to access.

Prerequisites: No prerequisites

Minors (students aged under 19 at the start of the program)Not Accepted

For more information

For VSP Education-specific questions, email Fang Wang, Director of International Initiatives, at

Student testimonials

“It has truly been a transformative learning experience for me. As a student teacher, I learned so many practical teaching skills and classroom management strategies here. These four weeks broadened my understanding of teaching and learning.”

– Liyan, VSP Education Student

“I truly enjoyed studying at UBC to learn about teaching and learning, and exploring Vancouver after class. The city itself is a large classroom to learn culture, history, different ways of being, and it all inspires me to reflect on how to be a better educator.”

– Pablo, VSP Education Student