Learning outside the classroom

Theresa Wong
Theresa Wong

“Travel. Period. It does not matter whether you go across the city or across the ocean but you need to expose yourself to new environments, circumstances and cultures.”

— Nathaniel Andre-Peirano

Note: This year, many work and international opportunities have been disrupted due to COVID-19. As of August, Go Global has cancelled all programs until the end of 2020, some co-op departments are mandating that students complete their placements within Canada, the Arts Internship Program is not taking applications and some Work Learn placements have moved online. Be sure to check with each program for specifics on COVID-19.

Co-op

Co-op placements are an opportunity for you to get work experience in your field before graduating, and even get a head-start on your resume. Placements can sometimes lead to post-graduation job offers from a company you worked for. But just what you’ll get out of co-op is a bit of a mixed bag. The program can extend your degree for up to a year, and like everything else at UBC, it’s pretty costly. Each faculty has their own co-op program with its own application requirements, and your experiences can vary depending on your area of study and where you’re able to land a position. However, companies often have co-op specific positions so you have less competition when applying, and it’s even possible to get international placements.

Go Global

Go Global is UBC’s international experience program. It offers experiences that fit a variety of interests, budgets and graduation timelines. For example, you could do a global seminar without worrying about transfer credits, do research abroad or take a summer semester at a partner university. However, if you do decide to study abroad, start planning early. Applications begin closing the beginning of December for programs taking place the following summer.

UBC Tandem Language Learning Program

This program is a free initiative for folks interested in practicing another language. You’re partnered with a fluent or native speaker of the language you want to gain conversational fluency in, while your partner is interested in learning a language you’re fluent in. Pairs are expected to meet for an hour and a half once a week, for nine weeks each semester.

Volunteering

There are many opportunities for volunteering on campus. You can join a club as an event coordinator or VP External and contribute to an area you’re passionate about. You can volunteer for the Student Leadership Conference that happens in January or become an Orientation Leader with your faculty and help first years find community on campus. You could even join UBC REC and plan UBC traditions like Storm the Wall and Day of the Longboat.

Work Learn

Work Learn facilitates paid work experience offered by UBC that still enables you to study full time. There are a variety of positions available within faculties, libraries, UBC IT and more. Positions are usually paid above minimum wage, require a skill set relevant to your area of interest and are capped at 10 hours per week during the winter session.

“Travel. Period. It does not matter whether you go across the city or across the ocean but you need to expose yourself to new environments, circumstances and cultures.”

— Nathaniel Andre-Peirano
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