The University of British Columbia is one of the largest universities in Canada and the oldest in the province. UBC admitted its first students in 1915 and moved to its present location in 1925. UBC has developed a worldwide reputation for academic excellence, and ground-breaking research in many areas.
Today UBC educates a student body of over 60,000 students and has more than 325,000 alumni in 140 countries. There are over 16,000 international and exchange students at UBC from 156 countries. More statistics can be found here.
UBC Point Grey Campus is located on the traditional, ancestral, unceded territory of the Musqueam people.
For more information on Musqueam & UBC please visit Musqueam & UBC.
Two of the residences which VSP students will be staying, q’ələcən House and həmcləsəmc House, were opened in 2011 in Totem Park. It was named by the Musqueum Nation in hən’q’əmin’əm’, the Musqueum ancestral language. q’ələcən sounds like ‘Cullehon’ and həmcləsəmc sounds like ‘Humlesum’.
UBC is a very large campus but it is possible to become oriented once you are familiar with a few of the major landmarks.
The main north-south streets have the word Mall in them: Lower Mall, West Mall, Main Mall, East Mall, and Wesbrook Mall.
The two main east-west streets are called Boulevards: University Boulevard and Thunderbird Boulevard. The secondary east-west streets are called Roads: Memorial Road, Agricultural Road, Agronomy Road, and Stadium Road. The following page has a map to help you orientate yourself with UBC.
The newly constructed UBC Bus Exchange is a good landmark, and it is just south of the Gage Residence past the Aquatic Centre. If you walk west from the Bus Exchange, you will reach the AMS Student Nest. The AMS Student Nest is the main campus meeting place with many shops and restaurants. There are many food shops, the Merit Travel office, the Pit Pub, and much more.
Walking south-east from the Bus Exchange will take you to the University Village where you can find banks, a convenience store, grocery stores, restaurants, an international cafeteria, and more. More shops and services can be found at Wesbrook Village, a 25 minute walk from the Student Nest or a short bus ride away via bus #41 or #49.
All VSP students will receive access to drop-in times at recreational facilities and discounts on fitness classes, programs, fitness equipment, and fitness memberships. Please see the various facilities below for more details.
The newest addition to UBC Recreations, the new UBC Aquatic Centre includes a competition pool, recreation pool, leisure pool and hot tub. Swimming is available for VSP students during drop-in hours. Fitness classes are also offered, check here for drop-in schedules and student prices.
Drop-in sports such as basketball, badminton, futsal and volleyball are available at the Student Recreation Centre (SRC). These are free for VSP Students. Sport and dates will vary, please check the current schedule here.
Located in the Student Recreation Centre (SRC), the BirdCoop fitness centre includes a wide variety of fitness training equipment as well as programs and services for everyone. The ARC is an 8,000 sq. ft. fitness centre located on the lower level of the UBC Student Life Building. Discounted rates on fitness memberships and personal training are available for VSP students. See Fitness and Classes here.
The Doug Mitchell Thunderbird Sports Centre is located at the corner of Wesbrook Mall and Thunderbird Blvd. VSP Students can skate for free during Public Skating hours (rental fee of skates is separate). Further details can be found here.
More information about the Fitness Centre or other recreational activities offered to VSP students through UBC REC is available online.
It can sometimes take more than 15 minutes to get from one end of the main campus to the other. For more information on hours and locations of places to eat at UBC, click on these links:
- UBC Food Services
- Guide to UBC Campus Eats
- Ultimate List of Best Cheap Eats Around UBC
- UBC's Top Food Spots
Students with dietary restrictions should give notice to the food vendor before ordering. UBC food services in residence cafeterias will generally have a halal/vegetarian option, and Vancouver is quite known for a variety of vegetarian and halal restaurants.
TIP: Tap water in your residence, around UBC, and all of British Columbia is safe to drink. Bring a reusable water bottle to take advantage of the free water!
The UBC Vancouver campus has many great places to study. There are multiple libraries all across campus, some of which have quiet study spaces:
- Irving K. Barber
- Silent Study Area (Room 455)
- Quiet Study Area (Level 4)
- The Ridington Reading Room (north end of the Music, Art & Architecture Library) is a silent study area
- Walter C. Koerner Library
- Silent Study area on Level 1
- Quiet study on all floors
- Law Library at Allard Hall
- David Lam Library has various study desks as well as an outside courtyard on each floor.
- AMS Student Nest
- Life Building
By obtaining a guest sign-in at the circulation desk, VSP Students can access UBC Library’s electronic collections through the public workstations in the various Library branches. They can also access the self-serve reserve and general print collections within the library branches. If VSP students wish to borrow from the collections (excluding reserve materials), they can purchase a Community Borrower Card ($40) which is valid for 4-months.
At the UBC Bookstore, one can find clothing, textbooks, stationery, lifestyle goods, technology gadgets, food, Compass cards, souvenirs, and more.
Located just beside the UBC Bookstore, the Corner Store offers a wide range of snacks, lunch, and drinks.
The AMS student Nest is the main campus meeting place with many shops and restaurants.
The I.D.A. is a pharmacy located in the UBC Village.
Located at the corner of Wesbrook Mall and University Boulevard, Shoppers Drug Mart is a good place to buy milk, bread, snacks, soaps, toiletries, medicine, bandages etc.
Granville Island Produce is a small grocery store located nearby in University Village with many Asian foods.
H-Mart Express is a grocery store located in University Village selling primarily Korean, Japanese and other Asian food selections.
Located at UBC Wesbrook Village, Save-On Foods is the closest major grocery store to campus, a 25 minute walk or a 6 minute ride on bus #R4, #41, #49, #25, #33, #70 or #480.