The Faculty of Land and Food Systems (LFS) at UBC is where science meets society’s urgent needs.

What you might expect/course format

Our courses provide the opportunity for undergraduate students from international institutions to learn about Food, Nutrition and Health and Agribusiness management issues in Canada. The Summer Program is an intensive four-week program that gives participants the opportunity to experience Canadian culture and gain an understanding of Food, Nutrition and Health and Agribusiness practices in Canada. The courses are very interactive; Beside lectures students will be exposed to hands-on practical experience and field visits.

Introduction to Food Science

An introduction to key concepts related to the science of food: the Canadian food system, chemical and physical properties of foods, government regulations, food additives, food preservation techniques, food safety, and trends in foods for nutrition and health. You will learn to arrive at an informed position about controversial issues relating to the food that you will encounter as consumers in the marketplace, and that you hear about in the media. Come and explore activities of entomophagy (eating insects), molecular gastronomy, and 3-D food printing.

The Science of Sensory Evaluation

Sensory evaluation is used to evoke, measure, analyse, and interpret human responses to food products as perceived through the senses of sight, smell, touch, taste, and hearing. Food processing and manufacturing companies globally need to know the principles and practices of sensory evaluation to produce food products that meet quality control standards and consumer needs. The sensory characteristics of a food are critical in the development of new food products and determine their success in the marketplace. There are special challenges in sensory evaluation because people are subject to various environmental, psychological and culture biases, and pose ethical considerations. In this hands-on course, you will explore techniques used to generate and analyze sensory data. You will apply the sensory evaluation theory that you learn, by participating in evaluations as both panelist and sensory analyst. Field trips and laboratory activities will demonstrate and reinforce theory presented in the courses.

No prerequisites.

Food and Agribusiness Enterprise Management

This course is designed to introduce the principles of financial and business management that are most relevant to agri-food and related firms. The content of the course will provide students with the insights and skills necessary to develop, evaluate and implement financial and management strategies. This will be accomplished through the presentation of management fundamentals, financial principles, decision and project planning frameworks, completion of cases and current article reviews, class discussions and final enterprise management presentation. Emphasis will be placed on the unique considerations of management within the agriculture, food and agribusiness sectors.

Food and Agribusiness Marketing Management

This course is designed to introduce the principles of marketing management and assessment that are most relevant to agri-food and related firms. The content of the course will focus on the macro and micro aspects of marketing management. Specific topics include basic principles and types of marketing such as production, selling and social marketing; marketing frameworks to assess industry and competitive landscape; identification of the ideal customer; market research survey development and assessment, use of excel for market survey and data analysis and secondary research methods and the sources.

No prerequisites.

Essentials of Nutrition

In this introduction to nutrition course, students will learn about nutrients: what they are, why they are important to health, recommended intakes, and common Canadian food sources. Controversial topics in nutrition are explored. Key concepts are emphasized through field trips to local food production and retail outlets and are an integral component of students’ learning experiences. Upon completion of the course, students will be better equipped to sort out fact from fiction by applying their knowledge of nutrition to everyday scenarios and to their personal dietary choices.

Healthy Cooking and Eating in Canada’s Multicultural Context

This course will focus on applying the nutrition concepts learned from Essentials of Nutrition. You will be enriched with hands-on cooking experience, tasting and discussions about food choices. You will learn fundamental cooking skills and how to modify recipes for better health. Students will work in small groups to prepare a wide variety of foods from the many cultures making up Canada’s cultural mosaic. The instructor, a Registered Dietitian and Chef, will guide students in their cooking, help them explore the nuances of tasty foods they have prepared and lead discussions on how to ensure food is both delicious and healthy. Upon completion of the course, students should be able to demonstrate an understanding of fundamental knowledge and skills of food safety, the practical outcomes of recipe modification, an understanding of the role and interactions of ingredients in food preparation, and a variety of preparation techniques and their nutritional attributes.

No prerequisites.

For VSP LFS-specific questions, email Roxana Quinde at quinde@mail.ubc.ca

Student testimonials

“We enjoyed the whole VSP programme and learnt a lots. From the lectures, the practical experience in the lab, cultural and social events. All exceeded our expectation. A life experience we will not forget.”

– Wendy and Grace, VSP LFS Students

“[VSP] has been one of the most important and exciting experiences of my life. The student life at campus is amazing due to the fact that we, the students, can do several activities while knowing and exploring new places. The Principals, the staff and the teachers in charge of teaching the courses are excellent and they always supported and pushed us to do our best. One of the best things about embarking my self in this adventure was meeting people from other countries with whom I became great friends and learned about their traditions and customs.”

– Karen Gutierrez Rubio, VSP LFS Student