Go Global student FAQ during COVID-19

Frequently Asked Questions

Inbound students

Visiting International Research Students (VIRS)

Outbound Students

Last updated on Aug 31, 2021 at 1:55 pm PDT


If UBC cancels Term 2 exchange (January – April 2021), can I defer my exchange to another term?

Unfortunately, you cannot defer your exchange to another term. If you would like to study at UBC on exchange in our next academic year (September 2021 – April 2022), please inquire with your home university exchange office. They will need to nominate you again and you will need to re-apply.


If UBC cancels Term 2 exchange (January – April 2022), can I study virtually?

If term-based exchange gets cancelled, students will not be able to study virtually through the exchange program. However, students coming through other visiting student pathways (e.g., non-degree, Tec-UBC Joint Academic Program) can study virtually.


When will UBC make the call to cancel programs?

UBC has made the difficult decision to cancel Term 2 (January - April 2021) exchange programs.


If UBC cancels Term 2 (January – April 2022) in-person exchange and I have already paid my student fees (iMED health insurance and U-Pass), am I eligible for a refund?

Yes, once you are withdrawn from the UBC exchange program, your student fees for iMED health insurance and U-Pass will be refunded to the credit card you used to pay them. The refund may take up to 2 weeks to process.


When will the VIRS program re-open for new applications?

Go Global re-opened the VIRS program for new applications in December 2020.  You can apply directly on our website.


What if I was accepted to the VIRS program before the program was cancelled, can I still attend UBC?

The government of Canada has travel restrictions for students entering Canada please refer to the International Student Advising website for ‘Travelling to Canada during COVID-19 Guide’ and the FAQs for International Students in response to COVID-19 and contact go.global@ubc.ca to discuss your specific case.

If you do have a valid study permit, please make sure you consult with Go Global and your UBC Supervisor to ensure they are still able to host students at this time. Alternatively, your supervisor may agree to allow you to conduct your research remotely from your home institution.


Can I defer my VIRS experience?

Yes, you can defer your VIRS experience to a later date as long as this is agreed upon by your UBC and home supervisor. Please email Go Global of your intention to defer your research start date so that your record with Go Global can be updated.


If I cancel my VIRS experience, will I get a refund for the VIRS fee? What about the iMED fee?

Yes, the VIRS fee can be refunded if you have never been able to start your scheduled research activity due to COVID- 19. As for the iMED fee, if you have no claims to your iMED and have not arrived in Canada, Go Globalcan request a refund from the insurance provider, David Cummings Insurance Services (DCIS). With DCIS’ approval, Go Global will arrange the refund. The iMED fee will be refunded to the credit card you used to pay the fee. The refund may take up to 2 weeks to process. 


What happens if my Go Global experience gets cancelled due to COVID-19?

Should your Go Global program be cancelled due to the pandemic, you will be notified in time to make alternate arrangements. You will be offered a refund on the Go Global fee that you paid. If you would like to consider a future Go Global program, applications for 2021/2022 programs begin in October 2020.


When will UBC make the call to cancel programs? 

UBC understands the value and impact international programs can have on a students’ academic experience. The university also acknowledges the unpredictable nature of planning international programs during a global pandemic.

The decision to cancel programs doesn’t follow a strict timeline, but relies on ongoing monitoring of the possibility of travel while considering the impact of a cancellation on students’ academic plans. 

If a cancellation is required, Go Global will share information and options with students as early as possible to allow time for making alternate plans.


How does UBC make decisions around cancelling programs?

The health and safety of UBC students is at the core of any decision made to cancel student travel internationally. The decision to cancel international travel for students is guided by procedures outlined in the Student Safety Abroad Policy. This policy ensures UBC has a set of guidelines that facilitate safe international travel for students. 

UBC does not authorize student travel for university purposes to any destination that has a Global Affairs Canada risk advisory directing travellers to either “avoid non-essential travel” or “avoid all travel”. In addition to the guidance offered by Global Affairs Canada, UBC considers reliable sources like the BC CDC, International SOS and the World Health Organization. These sources offer information about international border closures and travel recommendations associated with preventing the spread of COVID-19. 

The decision to cancel outbound international travel for students is approved by the Office of the Provost and Vice President Academic based on recommendations offered by the Vice Provost International Office. Go Global follows all decisions approved by UBC and contacts affected students as soon as information is available.


Can I defer my experience to another program year?

 Deferrals are not being offered for Go Global programs. If your program is cancelled by UBC, you will be offered a full refund on the Go Global fee you have paid for your program, referred to resources to support your next steps, and invited to apply for alternate Go Global programs where available. 


Who should I contact if I have questions about my academic plans, financial support, housing, wellbeing?

Navigating student life can be challenging, especially during a global pandemic. If you’ve been affected by a program cancellation and have questions about your academic plans or financial support, see what student support and resources are available to help with your transition. 

Last updated on Aug 31, 2021 at 1:55 pm PDT

If you have questions

You can contact Go Global by email, phone, in-person or virtually through Zoom.

Booking a virtual advising appointment

If you need to book an advising appointment, please complete the online request form. Appointments will be held through Zoom or by phone, and can be scheduled between 8:30 am and 4:30 pm PT from Monday to Friday. 

If you require an appointment outside of these hours, contact Go Global and they will do their best to accommodate. Appointments outside of regular hours can only be accommodated virtually.

In-person drop-in advising hours

Starting Tuesday, Sep 7, Go Global will offer in-person drop-in advising at the UBC Life Building during the times below:

  • Tuesday: 1:00 - 3:00 pm
  • Wednesday: 1:00 - 3:00 pm

Go Global 101: Virtual group advising sessions on Fridays

Sign up to attend a Friday group advising session online and learn more about the programs, talk to an advisor, or meet other students interested in Go Global programs.

Related COVID-19 resources