Vancouver Summer Program

The Vancouver Summer Program (VSP) is a four-week academic program for international undergraduate students. The program provides the opportunity to take two academic courses while learning about Canadian practices and culture.

 

Click here to view the IRES VSP 2022 Program Brochure.

 

June Virtual Session

The Vancouver Summer Program package fee of $2500 CAD is all-encompassing and includes tuition for your course package, course materials, and social events.

The fee also includes a welcome event, virtual UBC tour and city tour of Vancouver, graduate studies information fair, sports day, and a farewell ceremony. Other included activities differ according to your chosen course package.

July In-person Session

The Vancouver Summer Program package fee of $5450 CAD is all-encompassing and includes tuition for your course package, accommodation, course materials, and medical insurance.

The fee also includes transport to and from the airport, a city tour of Vancouver, a welcome event, and a farewell lunch.

Other included activities differ according to your chosen course package. Some packages include socio-cultural activities, while other activities are partly subsidized or come at an additional cost. For example, students may be responsible for the cost of public transportation for all off-campus classes and field trips.

*Times Higher Education’s “World’s Most International Universities 2017” ranking

Note: Students are responsible for the cost of food and transportation around the city, as well as any other personal expenses they may incur.

June 6 to July 6, 2022 ONLINE

  • Package A - Climate Change and the Energy Transition (IRES A JUNE - online)
  • Package B - Sustainable Futures (IRES B JUNE - online)

July 16 to August 16, 2022

  • Package A - Climate Change and the Energy Transition (IRES A JULY)
  • Package B - Food for a Healthy and Sustainable Planet (IRES B July)

Schedules vary depending on the package selected. Typically, classes are held 5 days a week from Monday to Friday.

Example of a typical schedule:

9:00am – 12:00pm | Morning class

12:00pm – 1:00pm | Lunch break

1:00pm - 4:00pm | Afternoon class

Accommodation and residence details can be found on the UBC Vancouver Summer Program website.

Take a virtual tour of UBC!

The IRES VSP includes organized social and cultural activities, which are a great opportunity to make friends with other VSP students from around the world, as well as local UBC students! Additionally, these activities are opportunity to learn more about Vancouver and Canadian culture.

Example activities include:

  • Welcome event and Orientation
  • UBC campus tour
  • Vancouver city tour
  • Sports day
  • Pizza night
  • Board game night
  • Museums
  • Farewell event

Optional weekend trips to the following locations may also be organized:

*additional fees may be required

The IRES VSP includes approximately 39 hours of class time. Courses are directed by UBC faculty members and taught by researchers in our community. Classes are interactive and may include group discussions, guest lecturers, research projects, laboratory experimentation, and short fieldtrips.

Courses do not received UBC credit but course credit may be granted by the student’s home university (at its discretion).

Note: Many course packages have a minimum and maximum class size, so we encourage you to register your students early. Course packages that do not have the minimum number of students will not be offered, but students may transfer to other packages.

Package A: Climate Change and the Energy Transition (IRES A June - online)

Climate Change: Causes, Consequences and Adaptation

Climate change resulting from the use of fossil fuels in the global energy system is perhaps the single greatest collective challenge facing society in the 21st century. Acting on climate change will dramatically alter the global economy and job creation sectors. As a student you need to be prepared for employment opportunities associated with climate change. In this course, students will learn the science behind human induced climate change, and examine possible consequences and impacts across the world. You will study how experts make predictions of future climate change and its impacts, and how societies will need to re-organize their economies and institutions to adapt to new climate realities. This hands-on course includes presentations from industry guests, giving students the chance to communicate directly with experts working in the field.

Energy for Sustainable Development

Globally, large-scale innovation in energy systems are needed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Technological and business innovations have begun to transform the global energy system. You will learn from experts about the development of renewables such as solar and wind, the deployment of electric vehicles, and the diffusion of new ‘mundane’ technologies like improved cook stoves in the developing world. You will build your ability to communicate with professionals about what is driving these innovations, how might their promise be reached and their benefits be maximized, and what social and policy efforts are needed to sustain them. This hands-on course includes presentations from both governmental and non-governmental employees, giving students the chance to communicate directly with industry experts.

Package B: Sustainable Futures (IRES B June - online)

Analyzing Ecology, the Environment and You

Ecosystems and the benefits they provide to people lie at the heart of many sustainability issues such as food security, energy production, corporate environmental responsibility, and resource management. Often time, these are not reflected by management and policy approaches. Students in this course will gain expertise on human impacts on ecosystems, the processes by which ecosystems render benefits for people (ecosystem services), methods for analyzing impacts and benefits, and the ways that individuals and organizations incorporate such information into their decision-making. Through lectures and exposure to innovative organizations in the public and private sector, this course will consider the opportunity for innovative progress towards sustainability from stronger and deeper ecological grounding. Students will learn how they can support this type of progress in their careers and day-to-day lives.

Decision-making about Oceans in the 21st Century

In this course, simulations and workshops will help students consider the variety of stakeholders involved in decision-making related to ocean conservation. You will be trained to tackle our rapidly changing global environment and the often conflicting role of oceans in biodiversity conservation, food security, climate change, and ecosystem services to humans. This course provides an overview into ocean conservation issues and in-depth skill-building, as well as guest lectures from organizations that are innovating solutions to components of these challenges in a variety of ways. Content, discussion, and exposure to experts and research and strategies will equip and empower students to better understand and become more engaged in ocean issues, no matter how close they are to a coast.

Package A: Climate Change and the Energy Transition (IRES A July)

Climate Change: Causes, Consequences and Adaptation

Climate change resulting from the use of fossil fuels in the global energy system is perhaps the single greatest collective challenge facing society in the 21st century. Acting on climate change will dramatically alter the global economy and job creation sectors. As a student you need to be prepared for employment opportunities associated with climate change. In this course, students will learn the science behind human induced climate change, and examine possible consequences and impacts across the world. You will study how experts make predictions of future climate change and its impacts, and how societies will need to re-organize their economies and institutions to adapt to new climate realities. This hands-on course includes field trips and presentations from industry guests, giving students the chance to communicate directly with experts working in the field.

Energy for Sustainable Development

Globally, large-scale innovation in energy systems are needed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Technological and business innovations have begun to transform the global energy system. You will learn from experts about the development of renewables such as solar and wind, the deployment of electric vehicles, and the diffusion of new ‘mundane’ technologies like improved cook stoves in the developing world. You will build your ability to communicate with professionals about what is driving these innovations, how might their promise be reached and their benefits be maximized, and what social and policy efforts are needed to sustain them. This hands-on course includes field trips and presentations from both governmental and non-governmental employees, giving students the chance to communicate directly with industry experts.

Package B: Food for a Healthy and Sustainable Planet (IRES B July)

Sustainable Food and Farming Systems

In this course, lectures and assignments will incorporate data science allowing students to understand how experts use quantitative techniques in sustainable farming solutions. Our food and farming systems are one of the greatest causes of global environmental problems. Agriculture is responsible for continued deforestation, biodiversity loss, greenhouse gas emissions, depletion of freshwater resources, and water pollution. You will be given an overview of global agriculture (spatial distribution of crops and livestock, irrigation and fertilizer use), its historical evolution, environmental consequences, socio-economic dimensions (who/where are farmers, land tenure, labour, food sovereignty, right to food, access to food), and some proposed solutions for addressing these challenges. Students will uncover stories on what the data tells us about sustainable intensification, organic farming, agroecology, genetically modified foods, smallholder systems, and supply chains.

Sustainable Diets and Nutrition

This course emphasizes analytic and communications skills that will enable students to participate in contemporary sustainability debates. Nearly 1 in 7 people today remain undernourished, while 2 billion are malnourished. Students interested in public health, global health, medicine and health systems management will learn why a nutritious diet is critical to raising the quality of life of a large section of the world’s population. Students will learn the fundamentals of health education and communication, regarding concepts such as calorie calculation versus nutrition, dietary diversity, macro vs micro nutrients, vegetarian/vegan diets, food safety, and the relationship between diets, human health, and planetary health. Students will also become familiar with systemic strategies and policy issues, such as the role of dietary shifts as a critical pathway toward meeting the United Nations Sustainable Development goals.

General requirements
To apply for the Vancouver Summer Program, you must be an undergraduate student* at a post-secondary institution outside of Canada and at least 18** years of age on the first day of the program.

*All course packages, with the exception of Medicine and Chemistry packages, will accept applications from undergraduate students who complete their degree between December 2021 and the program start date.

**Some course packages have a minimum age requirement that requires students to be 19, please see course package details.

English language requirements
To qualify for the Vancouver Summer Program, you must be fully proficient in English and be able to engage in an academic setting. Language requirements are self-assessed—we do not require TOEFL or IELTS results.

Package-specific requirements
In addition to all of the above, some packages have additional mandatory or preferred requirements. Please check our course packages to determine the individual prerequisites for the package you would like to take.

Please click here to see full eligibility requirements.

Click here to apply!

Program costs

June Virtual Session

The Vancouver Summer Program package fee of $2500 CAD is all-encompassing and includes tuition for your course package, course materials, and social events.

The fee also includes a welcome event, virtual UBC tour and city tour of Vancouver, graduate studies information fair, sports day, and a farewell ceremony. Other included activities differ according to your chosen course package.

July In-person Session

The Vancouver Summer Program package fee of $5450 CAD is all-encompassing and includes tuition for your course package, accommodation, course materials, and medical insurance.

The fee also includes transport to and from the airport, a city tour of Vancouver, a welcome event, and a farewell lunch.

Other included activities differ according to your chosen course package. Some packages include socio-cultural activities, while other activities are partly subsidized or come at an additional cost. For example, students may be responsible for the cost of public transportation for all off-campus classes and field trips.

Payment deadline

To qualify for the 2022 Vancouver Summer program, you must receive your Letter of Acceptance and make payment by the following dates:

June Session: April 8, 2022
July Session: April 29, 2022

Scholarships and bursaries

Unfortunately, the University of British Columbia is unable to provide scholarships or bursaries for the Vancouver Summer Program.

Check with your educational institution or local government to find out if you’re eligible for financial support.

Other Costs

Your airfare, meals, personal trips and personal expenses are not covered in the program fee unless noted otherwise.

For a sample budget, and further information on registration and payment, please see the UBC Vancouver Summer Program website.

Click here to apply!

Nivretta Thatra
IRES Special Projects Coordinator
Email: communications@ires.ubc.ca