About International Student Development

Have questions about life as an international student? International Student Development is here to help you. International Student Development is located at International House (or I. House, as it's commonly known). I. House welcomes Canadian and international students alike and offers self-access computers, a lounge, meeting spaces, and a study corner. 

International Student Development is a hub where all students on campus can pursue their globally-focused passions and connect with like-minded people.

If you’re interested in building your international network on campus and improving your intercultural fluency, International Student Development can connect you to leadership and volunteer opportunities that will help you do just that. If you’re passionate about global issues, check out the Dr. Simon K Y Lee Global Lounge. This space is open to you to stage events, collaborate with like-minded students and access staff support. Through the Global Fund, there’s also funding available to help you pursue your globally-focused endeavors.

Have questions about life as an international student? Come to International House to talk to one of our highly knowledgeable advisors.

Talk to an advisor

International Student Advisors (ISAs) and Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultants (RCICs) are your best source for information on:

  • immigration
  • health insurance
  • working in Canada
  • adjusting to life in Canada
Finding an Authorized Immigration Representative

At UBC, International Student Advisors (RCIC) offer a limited range of immigration advice to UBC international students and their immediate family members at no cost. Use this tutorial for guidance on how to hire a private authorized immigration representative if needed.

Join the international community on campus

The International Community Update is how you can receive important updates and connect with other international students on campus

Sign up to the International Community Update

Whether you want to receive important updates or are looking to connect with other international students on campus, sign up to the International House Community Update to receive all that and more every Friday. Information captured in the Community Update may include:

  • Events annoucements
  • Information about international opportunities, job postings, grants and scholarships
  • Announcements about events hosted by internationally-oriented clubs and organizations at UBC
  • Updates on information specifically relevant to international students regarding immigration, medical insurance, etc.
  • Requests for volunteers and other student involvement opportunities
Sign up for Community Update

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Submit content to the Community Update

If you have a message you want to get out to international students on campus, submit it online by completing this form. We will contact you if we have any questions.  

About International House

History of International House

1924

Harry Edmonds founds the first International House in New York City as a place where international students can go to feel welcome. John D. Rockefeller, Jr. provides the funding and support.

The success of I. House New York prompts Edmonds and Rockefeller to extend the idea to the rest of the United States.

1949

Having visited the New York I. House, Frena Ginwali from East Africa starts the International Students Club in a hut on the UBC campus.

The newly established BC chapter of the International House Association works toward creating an I. House on or near the UBC campus.

The Vancouver Rotary Club invites Dr. Herrick B. Young, then Executive Director of the New York I. House, to speak about the work done by I. Houses around the world.

1954

The Vancouver Rotary Club and UBC partner up to build an I. House on campus.

1954–1958

The Vancouver Rotary Club spends four years raising the necessary capital funds, and it inspires other organizations and individuals to contribute: the Zonta Club, Marpole Rotary Club, I. House Association, International Students Club, and Consular Corps are just a few.

UBC provides the land and covers the cost of landscaping, ongoing maintenance, and staff salaries.

Professor Frederic Lasserre, Director of the School of Architecture, donates his time to design the building and agrees to oversee its construction.

1957

On November 20, President Reg Rose of the Vancouver Rotary Club presents a cheque for $150,000 to UBC President Norman Mackenzie.

The first sod for the new building is turned.

1959

On March 4, the UBC I. House is officially opened by Mrs. Eleanor Roosevelt.

Dr. Margaret Mead leads a lecture and discussion symposium called "Can Brotherhood Prevail in the Space Age?" and student members put on a concert. There is also a banquet and candle-lighting ceremony, in which students pledge their determination to bring I. House fellowship to the world.

2003

On May 1, the Rotary International Plaza, located in front of I. House, is dedicated by the Honourable Bhichai Rattakul, President of Rotary International, in a ceremony attended by students, staff, and Rotary members.

UBC formally recognizes the longstanding connection between Rotarians and UBC with the unveiling of a monument at the Rotary International Plaza on December 1.

2008

International House celebrates its 50th anniversary with a series of alumni events and a panel presentation including UBC President Stephen J. Toope.

International House is honoured with a Lifetime Achievement Award from the UBC Alumni Association.

Today

I. House continues to be a meeting place for Canadian students, international students, and scholars, faculty, staff, and community members, offering a programs, activities, and services that promote international and intercultural learning.

There are International Houses around the world, helping international students feel welcomed wherever they venture.