When I started at UBC, I had no idea what a university experience was going to look like.
I knew a little bit about what I wanted—to major in English, to make friends from different places, to go on exchange—but I didn’t know how I would achieve those things in this new place. Like most people being thrown into a new situation, I needed to ask questions and get support.
Thankfully, UBC has tons of resources to ensure every student is able to have a positive, fulfilling, safe, and wide-ranging experience here. No matter what you need right now, there is someone at this university who’s ready and equipped to help you.
If you want to get organized
Head to your faculty’s academic advising office for help with degree planning, program requirements, and other issues related to your courses. They’ll help you complete your degree at the pace you want, without too many clashes or confusing detours along the way.
When you visit Chapman, you can get all kinds of academic help. They can give you advice on citations, set up appointments for tutoring or writing help, and give you tips for developing study skills. They also provide equipment rentals, so visit them if you forget your charger at home or need an adapter for a presentation.
Enrolment Services (ES) Advisors can answer questions about transcripts, enrolment letters, registration troubleshooting, tuition, financial support options, and financial concerns. And did you know that every undergraduate student has their very own ES Advisor? You can find out how to contact yours in the Student Service Centre under Personal Info > UBC Contacts.
If you want to connect with your community
4. Centre for Community Engaged Learning (CCEL)
Want to learn more about community issues and volunteer in Vancouver and beyond? Head over to CCEL to find out how! They can show you the many ways you can make an impact. Their staff can connect you with organizations in your areas of interest, help you find courses that include community outreach, and show you how to best engage with members of our local and global community.
Profs are people, too! This program gives you a chance to interact with UBC professors on an informal basis, through planned activities or simple general office hours. Profs hang out in a variety of spaces—UBC residences, Collegia, and the Chapman Learning Commons—and make themselves available to answer questions, offer advice, or just have a fun time.
The First Nations Longhouse is the go-to place to learn about programming and services available to Aboriginal students across campus. The Longhouse itself offers study and social spaces, as well as counselling and referral services. Right next door, you’ll find the Xwi7xwa Library, the only university library in Canada dedicated to Indigenous content! It’s also home to the First Nations House of Learning (FNHL), where you can learn more about Aboriginal student services, events, and initiatives.
If you’re facing challenges and need support
Accessibility Advisors can help if you have a disability or ongoing medical condition (including physical and neurological disabilities, chronic health issues, and mental health conditions) that you think will impact your academics. They can answer your accessibility questions and help with academic accommodations for an exam, a term, or longer. Some potential accommodations can including hiring a student note-taker, assistive technology, and academic concessions such as exam deferrals.
If you have any questions at all about your health, the Wellness Centre is the place to go. You’ll be able to speak with a Wellness Peer, a.k.a. a student (just like you!), who has been specially trained to talk with you, understand your needs, and share resources. Ask them about any concerns you have, from relationships to stress to sleep or attend a workshop on any of those topics. They also offer safer sex products for purchase!
This is your on-campus health resource and medical clinic. They can give you individual medical care or advice ranging from wound treatment to STI testing and contraception. All appointments are completely confidential. You can make an appointment with them online, call, or talk to the front desk in person.
The Wellness Advisors at Counselling Services can help if you’ve been feeling persistently sad or anxious to the point where you’re overwhelmed, or if you’re facing ongoing mental health challenges that interfere with your daily life. Drop in to book a same-day assessment appointment and get connected with resources like self-directed online tools, workshops, life coaching, group programs, and therapy.
If you need immediate assistance, you can also call Empower Me, a 24/7 phone support service, for help with any concern at any time.
SVPRO is a safe place on campus for those who have experienced sexual violence or harassment recently or in the past. They can help with safety planning; accompaniment to the hospital, court, or police; arranging academic concession; and discussing reporting options. They also provide support for those who want to talk or aren’t sure about if what they have experienced is sexual violence/harassment.
12. Campus Security
UBC is a very safe place and Campus Security helps maintain that environment. If you do ever feel at all unsafe—or just need general assistance (like directions)—find one of their handy Blue Phones to be connected immediately to a Security Dispatcher at any time. You can also call them to escort you back to your residence after 2:00 am or help you find any items you may have lost on campus.