The Faculty of Medicine’s Vancouver Summer Program (VSP) is a four-week academic program, offering international students a unique opportunity to experience Canadian health and life sciences at its best.

What you might expect/course format

The program consists of a package of two courses, each course comprising approximately 39 hours of class time. Students will learn from experienced faculty, clinicians, investigators and scientists. Classes are highly interactive and may include group discussions, guest lecturers, workshops, research projects, laboratory experiments, and field trips.

As the Faculty of Medicine takes a distributed approach to education, some students can expect to travel to different hospitals or clinical sites for classes or experiential learning, such as an ultrasound biopsy simulation workshop. Students may be responsible for the cost of public transit when attending classes off-UBC campus and participating in field trips.


  • Medicine VSP course packages are for international students studying medicine or related sciences (typically in their first 2-3 years of undergraduate studies).
  • Students must be at least 19 years of age on the starting date of the program (June 7, 2024).
  • Some course packages have prerequisites, please click on each course package below to view this information. If a student does not meet the pre-requisites but is interested in the course package, they can email to confirm their eligibility to participate.

COVID-19 Vaccination Requirements

By Order of the Provincial Health Officer in British Columbia, all students accessing care locations or community care settings must follow the COVID-19 preventative measures order. Per the Provincial Health Order, students whose course packages will be held in a care location or community care setting will need to provide proof of fully vaccinated status (which means 7 days have passed after your second dose of vaccine) prior to the program start date. If your course package will be held in a care location or community care setting, UBC Faculty of Medicine will reach out to you.

June 2024 Course Packages

Introduction to Scientific Research in the Hospital Setting

During this first 2-week course, students will learn the foundations of scientific clinical research, especially in biology, pharmacology and disciplines of medicine, and explore research methods to learn clinical (hospital and clinic) study designs. Senior doctors, investigators and scientists will teach in lectures and workshops how to discover better treatments for acute and chronic illnesses, provide examples of studies they conducted, and how patients can benefit from new scientific knowledge in acute emergencies, or long-term chronic illnesses.

Highly experienced medical educators will discuss the ethical conduct of research in adults, children and neonates, will provide tips for practical and successful conduct of research that is published in the medical literature, and how to disseminate research into clinical care of patients worldwide. This course offers students to work together as a group on an innovative, scientifically sound research idea, to write a novel research “protocol” that will be presented in the end of the course in front of the entire student body and a jugging panel of physicians.

Introduction to Clinical Medicine in the Hospital Setting

In this popular offering, VSP Medicine students will visit a large University and an affiliated hospital and learn from physicians in several specialties as they share their knowledge, tips and career advice they’ve gained in diagnosing and treating patients. Explore a unique hands-on experience with dedicated physician-facilitators in a workshop setting, and practice clinical-medicine skills such as history taking and physical examination. Spend time visiting various active areas of the hospital such as the Emergency Room, to see the inner works of medicine in North America. Studies include a resuscitation course and skills usually learned late in medical school or in residency.

Students conclude the two-week clinical medicine section with two days of an exciting hands-on activity in advanced medical-simulation environment in order to learn and practice skills such as manage airways, intubation, inserting an intravenous catheter, evaluating an electrocardiogram and reading x-rays. The VSP promises an enriching and transformative experience for those eager to explore the multifaceted realm of medical practice in a large hospital.

Prerequisites: No prerequisites

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

Proof of COVID-19 Vaccination: Required

April 5, 2024: This course package has been canceled for VSP 2024 June Session. 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

Everyday Life with Disabilities – Part I

This course offers students opportunities to discuss, reflect and experience life in Vancouver through the lens of people with disabilities. It will focus on the individual, what they want or need to do, and the environments in which they live. Students will gain a broader appreciation of people’s lived experiences and how that affects their health. Students will enhance their understanding of how health conditions, personal characteristics, and environmental considerations influence everyday life activities.

Students will explore hi-tech (e.g., computer adaptations, splinting) and lo-tech (e.g., eating or dressing aids) adaptations and rehabilitation strategies that enable daily living, paid or unpaid work, play or leisure activities, while also thinking about cultural influences.

Everyday Life with Disabilities – Part II

Building on Everyday Life with Disabilities – Part I , students will further experience and develop their understanding of adaptations and rehabilitation strategies that enable daily living, paid or unpaid work, play or leisure activities within a variety of everyday life settings. Case scenarios will range from early childhood to older adults. At the completion of this course students will have an appreciation of the many ways that people living with disabilities engage in everyday life.

Prerequisites: No prerequisites

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

Proof of COVID-19 Vaccination: Required

For more information

Learn about Lucas Ng’s and Miscah Katawera’s VSP experience here.

Please note that the Course Package content is subject to change.

For VSP Medicine-specific questions, please email the Faculty of Medicine, Project Coordinator at

Student testimonials

“If you want to have a good experience, study and visit a beautiful place, you should definitely participate in the VSP!”  

– Luis Felipe Sanz, VSP Medicine Student, 2019

Meet Luis and learn about his VSP experience here