Frequently Asked Questions

Application and Registration

What are the eligibility requirements?
  • Students must be at least 18 years of age at the start of the program to be eligible to apply
  • Students must be enrolled as an undergraduate student at their home institution outside of Canada
    • Please note that certain packages will accept graduate students at the discretion of the faculty, however undergraduate students will be prioritized
  • Students must be proficient in English and have a strong academic background
    • Please note that courses are taught at a second to third level university level thus students should be comfortable with listening, speaking, reading, and writing to be successful in the program
  • Some course packages have additional mandatory or preferred pre-requisites. Please refer to the chart below for details on which course packages have additional pre-requisites.

    Course Packages

    Additional Pre-Requisites

    CHBE B JULY

    Students must be at least 19 years of age by program start date

    Familiarity with basic calculus, chemistry, and physics is recommended

    All Civil Engineering course packages

    Preferred background in civil engineering or related field

    All Medicine course packages

    Students must be at least 19 years of age by program start date

    CHEM A JULY

    Completion of 1st year level university chemistry course

When are the application deadlines?
  • June Program: March 2, 2020.
  • July Program: March 30, 2020.
Are there scholarships or bursaries available for this program?

UBC does not offer any scholarships or bursaries to students participating in VSP, however students can inquire with their home university for funding and financial support.

How can I apply to the Vancouver Summer Program?

Applications for the 2020 Vancouver Summer Program open November 18, 2019 at 10:00AM Pacific Standard Time.

  1. Review program eligibility requirements and ensure that you meet these requirements, as well as meet any additional pre-requisites for the course package you would like to apply for.
  2. Obtain contact details of an authority figure at your school who can verify your student status, academic background, and proficiency in English. This person may be an administrator at your University's International office, a faculty adviser, or a professor, etc.  You will need their name, phone number, and email address in order to submit your application.
  3. Apply for the July program. Please fill out the application using Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox on a laptop or computer.
  4. Once you have submitted your application, you will be sent a confirmation receipt by email. Add @ubc.ca to your safe list.
I will be a minor (18 years old) at the start of the program, do I need to do anything extra?

You must obtain parental or guardian signatures for all waivers and have a designated Safety Contact who is a participating VSP student over 18 years of age or a chaperone from your university.

I am a chaperone, how do I apply?

Please email vsp.ubc@ubc.ca and let us know how we can assist you.

I have completed the online application form and it has been more than 10 business days, why have I not heard back?

Please ensure that you have successfully submitted your application and have filled in the contact details of an authority figure at your school. You will receive by email a confirmation receipt once you have submitted your application. If you have successfully submitted your application, we may be waiting for your contact person to verify your student status, academic background, and proficiency in English. Please reach out to your contact person and have them complete the verification form sent to them.

I am waiting for my visa but the FAR form deadline is coming up, what do I do?

If you are still waiting for your Visa and do not think you will be able to submit your FAR form in time, please email vsp.ubc@ubc.ca to let us know. Note that we cannot guarantee to place you in your preferred choices and you may need to pay extra fees for accommodation.

I am unable to receive my visa, what should I do next?
  • If your visa has been denied, you may re-apply if time is sufficient. Review the tutorial on how to apply for a Temporary Resident Visa from outside Canada. Should you still have questions, email Reach01@students.ubc.ca and include:
    • Your Vancouver Summer Program application number in the email subject line.
    • Your name.
    • Your citizenship(s).
    • If you are currently in Canada (YES or NO).
    • Which step in the tutorial you are stuck on.
    • Copies of applicable documents, such as a refusal letter, that relates to your specific question(s).
  • Should you wish to withdraw, please email vsp.ubc@ubc.ca with your reason for withdrawal and note our refund policy.

Payment 

What is included in the program fee?

The packaged fee per student for the 2020 program is $5,250 CAD. It includes:

  • Course materials and tuition for two courses.
  • Shared accommodation on UBC campus.
  • Medical insurance.
  • Transportation by shuttle bus to and from airport (during peak hours).
  • Vancouver city tour.
  • Orientation and farewell events.
  • Social activities (optional trips may require an additional fee).
How can I pay my fees?

Individuals can make payment through Western Union by following the step-by-step instructions on their website. If you cannot find your country on the list, please email vsp.ubc@ubc.ca. If you are part of a group, please contact your administrator to see if you will be making a group payment. If yes, please do not pay through Western Union. Note that payments take at least 15 business days to be processed.

Have you received my payment?

If you made your payment through Western Union, you can use your Reference ID to track your payment here.

Withdrawal and Refund

I can no longer participate in VSP, how do I withdraw from the program?

If you can no longer participate, please complete and submit the online Withdrawal Request Form.   

What happens when I submit my withdrawal form? 

When you submit your Withdrawal Request Form online, you will receive an email confirming receipt of your form.  If you do not receive this confirmation, please go back to the form and try again from a laptop or desktop computer.  

Refund requests will be reviewed and acknowledged by an email to your registered email address with further instructions. 

I have paid the program fee but can no longer participate, will I receive a refund?

To receive a refund on your program fee, you must withdraw on or before the deadline dates below in order to receive the corresponding refund amount. Please complete and submit the online Withdrawal Request Form.

June 6 – July 6 session

July 11 – August 11 session

 

Withdrawal by:

Withdrawal by:

Refund

Monday, April 27, 2020

Monday, May 25, 2020

Payment less $250

Monday, May 4, 2020

Monday, June 8, 2020

Payment less $500

Monday, May 25, 2020  

Monday, June 29, 2020

Payment less $750

Monday, June 8, 2020

Monday, July 13, 2020

Payment less $2625

 

  • Refunds after the start of the program will be assessed on a case by case basis. 
  • As the VSP is a package program, no refund will be given on individual components of the program that are not utilized. 
  • Where a course package is cancelled, students may choose to transfer to a different package or request to withdraw with a full refund.
Will I need to provide any further information or documents? 

We may request additional information or verification of your banking details.  Copies of your original payment remittance or visa rejection letter (if applicable) may also be required.

In situations where the refund transaction needs to comply with rules governing international transfers, this can add more than six weeks to the refund process.  The student and or their bank will be contacted by WUBS and/or by their affiliates for further information and documents. 

How will my refund be returned?

All refunds will be returned using the same payment method as the original payment; at no time will a refund be made with cash.

Where a refund cannot be processed using the original payment method or through Western Union Business Solutions (WUBS), refunds will be returned using a wire transfer.

What currency will my refund be in?

All refunds are sent in Canadian dollars. Costs to convert to the local currency as well as any receiving costs assessed by the receiving financial institutions to accept the refund transaction is the responsibility of the student.

Conversion costs to the local currency will differ according to the prevailing exchange rates and any service fees charged by intermediary banks. Please be aware, just as there may be several other financial institutions involved in sending your payment, there can be several other institutions involved before the receiving institution receives the funds. 

How long does it take for my refund to reach my account? 

The time it takes for a refund to be received varies.  How payment was initially made, who is to receive the refund, what additional information may be required to comply with regulatory bodies, and whether intermediary banks are involved can increase the processing time. 

If inaccurate information is provided, the refund process resumes only when the errors are corrected. 

In general, most refunds are cleared within two months.  Please note refunds may take longer than this should there be compliance issues.  Compliance issues can only be resolved by Western Union Business Solutions (WUBS), the student, and the receiving bank. 

Grades Letters

I had previously participated in VSP, can I receive an official transcript from UBC?

As students are not awarded credits when they attend the Vancouver Summer Program, we do not send transcripts. Only grades letters are sent out. We can certainly send an electronic or physical copy of the grades letter to the university. Please note that a cost incurs (see table below) for us to mail a physical copy of the grades letter. If you wish, you could ask the university whether an electronic copy will suffice. We can send electronic copies of your Grades Letter at no cost.
 

Destination

Cost

Within Canada

$30.40

United States

$35.50

International locations

$40.60


Please email us at vsp.ubc@ubc.ca for an electronic or physical copy of your grades letter to be sent to the university.

Program and Course Information

Can I choose my courses?

Students are not able to choose courses from different packages. Each package offers two courses and students will be enrolled in the two courses under their package of selection.

Can I change my program package?

You may change your program package given that you meet the prerequisites (if any) and that there is still space in your program package of choice. Only one program package change or sessional change will be allowed and further changes will not be permitted. All changes are subject to the approval of the faculty. After arrival, changes between faculties are not permitted.

What is the number of class time hours?

There are two courses in each package. Each course is approximately 39 hours of class time per course. Actual course times are dictated by instructors and the faculty. 

What time do classes start/end?

The schedule for each package will differ by package. A sample class and activity schedule for 2020 June and July is available for reference.

Can I participate in VSP if I am arriving after the program start date?

Students may still be able to participate if they arrive after the program start date. Please email your faculty coordinator and vsp.ubc@ubc.ca for approval. Not all packages allow for late arrivals.

Where can I get information about the course content?

For questions regarding course content, please email vsp.ubc@ubc.ca or UBC Faculty Coordinator. A course syllabus will be sent to you by your instructor at the start of the program. Please see here to find your Faculty Coordinator’s contact information.

How will I be evaluated?

Your evaluation may be based on assignments, group projects, papers, exams and participation. For specific evaluation criteria, please see your course syllabus for details.

Will I be studying with UBC/local students?

While VSP students will not be studying alongside UBC students, VSP students will have a chance to engage with UBC student leaders while studying with international students from all over the world. 

Will I receive credits after completion?

VSP courses do not award UBC credit but credit may be granted by the student’s home university (at its discretion). To receive home university credits, students must ensure that they make the appropriate arrangements with their home university prior to the program start. After completion, VSP students will receive an electronic grades letter and certificate.

Coming to Vancouver

How can I apply for a travel document?

Visit http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/visit/visas.asp.  to find out what travel document – visa or electronic travel authorization (eTA) you will need in order to enter Canada to participate in VSP. A step-by-step tutorial is available here for those requiring a Temporary Resident Visa to come to Canada. Before applying, check with your home institution to see if you are required to follow special instructions to apply as a group of students.

What do I need to bring to Vancouver?

Prior to traveling to Vancouver, you will need to bring:

  • Passport or travel documents (valid for at least 6 months beyond your last travel date).
  • Entry visa (if required by your country of citizenship).
  • iMED card (medical insurance card). 
  • Copy of your Letter of Acceptance (LoA) and program schedule.
  • Copy of the Parental Consent Form (required for minors, students 18 years of age).
Is there airport pick-up/drop-off service?

UBC provides complimentary pick-up and drop-off service by shuttle bus to and from the airport (during peak hours). Further details will be provided closer to the start of the program. Students arriving and/or departing outside of the pick-up schedule are responsible for arranging their own transportation.

I am arriving/departing outside of the shuttle pick-up schedule, how do I get to UBC/the airport?

Students can take a taxi or public transportation to UBC/the airport. If taking a taxi from the airport, have the address of the residence assigned and the map ready for the driver. Taxis from the airport to Vancouver use a zone fare system and will cost $37* per trip. If you need a taxi from somewhere outside the airport, you can order one by phone at 604-681-1111 (Yellow Cab Vancouver). Tipping is customary with any services. Gratuities (typically 10% to 15%) are not included. For more information, click here.

Public transportation from the airport to UBC (or UBC to the airport) costs approximately $7-10 per person and will take around an hour. Refer to this google map or the TransLink Trip Planner to plan your trip.

*Fare as of November 2019

What are the costs of living in Vancouver?

Cost of living depends a lot on the situation of the individual participant.  However, these general guidelines will give you a sense of what to plan for. Some participants may spend above or below these estimates. A reminder that your accommodation and insurance are included in the program fee. Additional information about life in Vancouver can be found here

Estimated minimum living costs for single person (outside of the program costs)

 

Food

$300-800

Groceries, meal vouchers, restaurants. Note: some traditional style accommodations may come with complimentary breakfast or dinner

Personal & Household Expenses

$100-200

Personal care, laundry, etc

Entertainment

$100-500

Tours that not covered by program, shopping, concerts, city attractions. Having a bit of fun!

Phone & Internet

$40-$100

Cell phone plans, internet outside campus

Transportation

$105-300

Transit pass, taxis, Uber, Lyft, etc.

Food (restaurants and groceries on and off campus)

Students can choose from a variety of restaurants located on campus or off campus. See UBC Food Services, Guide to UBC Campus Eats, Ultimate List of Best Cheap Eats Around UBC, and UBC’s Top Food Spots for the hours and locations of UBC eateries. Off the main campus are several restaurants, businesses, cafés and grocery stores located in Wesbrook Village and University Village.

Accommodation

What time is check in/check out?

Students can check in to their assigned residence any time after 3:00pm on the program start date. Participants must check out by 11:00am on the program end date. Students arriving earlier or staying later than the program dates can book a room on campus at VSP rate of $50.00CAD per night, subject to availability.

What are the types of accommodation available?

Students enrolled in the June Program will be primarily assigned the Walter Gage Residence, a six bedrooms suite (each bedroom has a single bed) and shared washroom, lounge, and fully-equipped kitchen. Students enrolled in the July Program will be assigned to one of the Walter Gage ResidenceTotem Park Residence (Semi-private rooms), Ritsumeikan HouseOrchard Commons, or Totem Park Residence (Traditional Dormitory Style) . Full details can be found in the housing guides.

Can I choose my style of accommodation?

You may request your preference, however, you are not guaranteed to get your preferred choice. 

Can I choose my roommates(s)?

On the Flight, Accommodation and Roommate (FAR) Form, students may indicate one preferred roommate of the same gender in which they want to be in the same unit with. All efforts to keep students with their preferred roommates will be made, however we may not be able to fulfill all requests.

Can I request more than one roommate?

We cannot guarantee that we will be able to accommodate this request but we will try our best. In the housing section of the FAR form, please input your most preferred roommate. Then please note the other students you would like to room with in the special requirements section of the form.

I have received my accommodation assignment, can I change to a different room?

Unfortunately, changes to rooms and roommates are not allowed after they have been assigned. Please contact us if you have further inquiries.

I will be staying with a friend/family, can I opt out of accommodation?

The program fee is a set fee and students are not able to opt out of accommodation. We encourage students to stay in residence as it adds to the overall experience of the program. It gives them the opportunity to participate in faculty activities, meet other VSP students, and easier to get to and from classes.

Are meal packages available?

Meal packages are available and valid at Totem Park and Place Vanier’s Dining Room. To guarantee seating for breakfast, lunch or dinner, students who intend to eat at the Dining Rooms on a regular basis are requested to reserve and prepay for a (5) five-day package of the same meals (Breakfast, Lunch or Dinner), to be used within a one week period. See page 4 of the Totem Park Housing Guide for full details. 

Breakfast Plan for Orchard & Totem Park Semi-Private Units:

VSP Students with a PURPLE key card staying in Orchard and Totem Park həm’ləsəm’ and q’ələxən residence receive breakfast at ORCHARD OPEN KITCHEN Dining Hall from Monday - Friday only. Breakfast is available from 6:30am - 9:00am, starting July 13, Monday - August 11, Tuesday.

Dinner Plan for Totem Park Traditional Dormitory Style Rooms:

VSP Students with a GREEN key card staying in Totem Park Traditional Rooms receive DINNER at Totem Park Dining Hall from Monday - Thursday only. Dinner is available from 5:00pm - 7:00pm, starting July 14, Tuesday - August 10, Monday.

Where can I take my laundry for cleaning?

Washing machines and dryers are available and located in each of the residences. A laundry card must be purchased from the Coinamatic machine (each card cost $5.00CAD) and can be loaded by cash, credit or debit card. The laundry card and balance is non-refundable. 

Are there safety deposit boxes available? 

There are safety deposit boxes available at the residence Front Desk (except Orchard). Access to the boxes is only available during regular hours. Please check with the Front Desk upon arrival for availability. We strongly encourage you to not bring too much money or valuable items.

Housekeeping 

Bed is made upon arrival, a bath towel and face cloth are provided. There is shared washroom is cleaned WEEKLY (Toilet paper is replenished as necessary). Guests are responsible for additional supplies needed. Students are responsible for cleaning their own bedrooms, garbage removal, washing dishes, cleaning their own bed linens and towels.

You will be responsible for paying a labour charge for all extraordinary clean­ing services that are required in relation to the cleaning of your guest room and common areas. Such labour charges will be charged to you directly at $40/hour per UBC employee for a minimum of 1 hour.

Housekeeping staff tidy common areas (i.e. Floor Lounge, House Lounge), but only the basics. You and your neigh­bours are all responsible for keeping these areas clean and tidy. Leaving a large mess may result in your floor being charged for the cleanup.

Safety and Housing Tips

Always remember to lock your doors and windows when you leave your room and ensure your key is with you at all times. When you are away from your room, ensure your luggage is locked and secured. Do not let strangers in. For more housing tips, please see the June Housing Guides or July Housing Guides. Should you require assistance, such as reporting a theft or replacing a lost/misplaced key, please see the Front Desk. With the exception of Ritsumeikan, each residence has a 24 hour Front Desk. Students staying in Ritsumeikan will need to go to the Front Desk located in Orchard for assistance. 

 Medical Insurance 

What is iMED?

Medical insurance (iMED) is provided by David Cummings Insurance to VSP participants. iMED health insurance covers hospitalization and medical services for emergencies due to sickness or injury. Full coverage details (including benefits, conditions, limits, and exclusions) are in the policy wording available at the iMED website on the Coverage page. See Claims for steps to making successful medical claims. Students arriving earlier or staying later than the program dates are responsible for and must purchase additional medical coverage for the days beyond the program dates. Contact David Cummings Insurance Services for any questions about your insurance coverage.  

I have submitted my Flight, Accommodation and Roommate (FAR) Form but have not received my iMED card.

iMED cards are sent directly from David Cummings Insurance Services, please check your junk/spam folders. If you have not received your iMED card two weeks prior to the program start date, please email vsp.ubc@ubc.ca

Social Activities/Tours

What social activities will be organized for students? 

All VSP students will participate in a welcome event, campus orientation, Vancouver city tour, and farewell event. In addition, each faculty organizes a number of social and cultural activities for students. UBC student leaders will also participate in many of the social activities.

Are there any tours available? 

There are optional tours available through Merit Travel. They offers tours to Victoria (1-day), Whistler (1-day), Tofino (3-days), and Rocky Mountain (4-days), exclusive for students in VSP. Bookings can be made online  or in-person at Merit Travel office located in the UBC AMS Nest. Trips are 100% non-refundable and no exchanges are permitted once booked. Do not book any trips until you have secured your travel visa.