Money matters

go global, greenery, roof top

Before you travel abroad, it’s wise to consider the financial realities of travelling abroad and to plan accordingly.

You will face a variety of “inflexible” costs while on exchange — tuition and program fees, flights, insurance, and cost of living among them. You may also want to have a little extra on hand to spend on things like sightseeing and exploring, dining out, or enjoying the local cultural scene.

To help ensure you have an enjoyable time abroad, learn how to successfully plan for the financial side of an exchange.

Registration and tuition payments

Exchange students pay their tuition directly to UBC. Before you leave for your exchange, you’ll need to ensure that you pay your tuition and associated fees.

You can make these payments directly on the Student Service Centre (SSC). If you need assistance, contact Student Services.

  • Set up direct deposit on your SSC account so you can receive any applicable awards electronically.
  • If someone is picking up a cheque or document on your behalf, you must first complete the Third Party Authorization for document pickup found in the SSC under “Personal Information”.  You will provide a password to the third party that will need to be verified upon pickup. The third party is also required to provide ID.

Budget

How much should I budget?

  • Students participating in an exchange pay their regular or comparable UBC tuition. Students on exchange are required to pay for 15 UBC credits for each semester on exchange.
  • Global Seminar Program fees vary and are listed on the program pages, but usually include meals, accommodations, and other expenses.
  • There are no additional fees beyond the Go Global fee if you are conducting self-directed research abroad.
  • Some research abroad programs have an additional fee, which is listed on the program page.

The amount of money required for an exchange varies greatly from country to country and from student to student.

Beyond program fees and tuition, only you can determine how much money you will need while you’re away.

Your financial requirements will vary depending on your individual goals, the cost of living in your host country, and your personal preferences.

Preparing a budget

The following are some steps you can take to prepare a budget for your international learning experience:

Download our estimated budget worksheet(xlsx)

Update it as your plans evolve with the information you source on actual costs for your Go Global experience.

Read student reports

Learn about other students personal accounts of costs and money-saving tips.

Search travel guides and the web

If you want to explore the region you’ll be in, will you prefer to travel by bus? By train? First class? Consider contacting a travel agent to help you determine some of your costs in advance.

Consider your ideal lifestyle while abroad

What are your spending habits at home? Will the same habits apply abroad? Can you adapt to spending less? Are there expenses you can do without?

Costs

Going global often doesn’t cost as much as you think.

The following costs are encountered by the average Go Global student per term:

Item Abroad At UBC’s Okanagan campus
Go Global fee $415.00 $0
Airfare $500 to 1,500 $0 to 1,500
Books and supplies $0 to $600 Up to $800
Room and board $4,000 – $8,000 $6000
Medical/health insurance $250 – $500 $250
Passport/visa $50 – $600 $0
Personal spending $3,500 $2,500
Potential total $13,500 (average) $11,500

Types of tuition

Exchange (UBC tuition-paying): 

The majority of our winter exchange partners offer spots to our students through exchange programs, which allow you to pay the same tuition as you already do to UBC. For students on exchange, they will be charged UBC tuition for 15 credits per term.

Some universities offer summer programs as an exchange, in which case you will pay UBC for the equivalent number of credits as you will bring back to your degree.

Study Abroad (Partner tuition-paying): 

Students studying abroad will pay tuition directly to their partner institutionamounts to be determined by that institution. Only a few of our partners for winter exchange offer this option, specifically in Spain and Denmark. You can determine this under the “Tuition, Fees, and Awards” tab on each of our partner pages.

Some universities charge fees for their summer programs. These fees are collected by the host institution will be identified on the host institution’s website.

Awards & Scholarships

Over $1 million in scholarships and awards will be awarded this year to UBC students participating in international learning programs through Go Global.

While you’re learning abroad, you remain a UBC student and are eligible for UBC awards, scholarships, and financial assistance. This includes student loans (exchange students only), affiliation scholarships, and faculty- or department-specific awards.

Internal awards

International learning awards can support your participation in a Go Global program. You will automatically be considered for some of these awards while others require an application.

Students who are eligible for awards (see specific criteria below) may receive one UBC or UBC-affiliated international learning award. Students are always offered the highest-value award that they are eligible for.

Awards values noted below are from the prior year; actual values are subject to change.

deadline:

Automatically considered with program application

Value:

Up to $1,000 per term

Eligibility:

All students nominated for exchange, research abroad, or group study programs will be considered for awards. A separate application is not required. If you meet the eligibility criteria, then you will be notified of your award after nomination to the program.

To be eligible for the award, you must have an average of at least 70% on your best 18 credits in the Winter Session before your exchange (with no failed or incomplete courses). For example, if you are going on exchange in the Winter 2021 session (in Term 1, Term 2, or for the full year), then your eligibility will be determined by your average and credits in the Winter 2020 session. If you were on a co-op work term, you must have at least 70% on your best nine credits in the other term.

Graduate students that are full-time and in good standing with their program are also eligible for the Go Global Award.

deadline: 

Automatically considered with program application

Value:

Up to $1,500 per term

Eligibility: 

All undergraduate students nominated for exchange or research abroad will be considered for awards. A separate application is not required. The scholarship will be given on a competitive basis to those with the highest averages (minimum 75%) on their best 27 credits in the Winter Session before the exchange (with no failed or incomplete courses).

For example, if you are going on exchange in the Winter 2021 session (in Term 1, Term 2, or for the full year), then your eligibility will be determined by your average and credits in the Winter 2020 session.

If you were on a co-op work term, then you must have at least 12 credits in the other term.

deadline: 

Automatically considered with program application

Value:

Up to $500 per experience

Eligibility: 

Awards of up to $500 each have been made available annually for undergraduate and graduate domestic and international UBC students participating in a virtual international program through Go Global. The awards are offered to help offset the additional program costs of attending a virtual international program. The awards are made on the recommendation of Go Global. (First award available for the 2020/2021 winter session), and will be considered automatically.

This award was created by the BC Scholarship Society to expand educational opportunities for students at post-secondary institutions across BC.

Deadline: 

Applications are currently closed for this scholarship. Applications normally open in mid-March and the deadline to apply for this scholarship is usually in mid-May.

Value:

$2,000 – $5,000

Eligibility:

To be considered for this scholarship, you must have been nominated to participate in a Go Global study exchange in the Winter Session.

To be eligible:

  • You must achieve at least 75% on 24 credits (with no failed or missing marks) in the Winter Session prior to your exchange (or 12 credits if you were participating in co-op for one of the terms).
  • You must be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident and have been a resident of BC for at least the past 12 months.
  • You must be participating in a Go Global exchange outside of Canada and the US and not in a country from which you immigrated in the past 5years.
  • You must meet the criteria identified on the One World International Scholarship application.
  • Find the Required form on the website to apply

You should submit the One World application package to UBC via the link below.

Upload One World Application

This award was created by the BC Scholarship Society to expand educational opportunities for students at post-secondary institutions across BC. These prestigious Scholarships will be granted to students who demonstrate exceptional academic achievement and community service.

Deadline: 

Applications are currently closed for this scholarship. Applications normally open in mid-March and the deadline to apply for this scholarship is usually in mid-May.

Value:

$8,000 – $12,000

Eligibility:

To be considered for this scholarship, you must have been nominated to participate in a Go Global study exchange in the Winter Session.

To be eligible:

  • You must achieve at least 76% on 24 credits (with no failed or missing marks) in the Winter Session prior to your exchange (or 12 credits if you were participating in co-op for one of the terms).
  • You must be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident and have been a resident of BC for at least the past 12 months.
  • You must be participating in a Go Global exchange outside of Canada and the US and not in a country from which you immigrated in the past 5years.
  • You must meet the criteria identified on the One World International Scholarship application.
  • Find the Application Form on the website to apply

You should submit the Premier’s application directly to the IKB Scholarship Society office.

Deadline:

Applications are currently closed for this award. Applications normally open in mid-March and the deadline to apply for this award is usually in mid-May.

To submit your application:

  • Click the Apply Now button to sign onto Gateway
  • Click on the “Search Scholarships” tab on the top
  • In ‘Keywords’, type in “Choquette Family”
  • Press “Apply Search”
  • Click “Apply Now”

As part of your application you will be required to submit a reference letter. Submit your reference form online

Value:

$5,000 (One Semester) or $10,000 (Full Year)

The Choquette Family Foundation offers awards totaling $50,000 for undergraduate and graduate UBC students participating in a Go Global program. The intention of these awards is to support academically strong students who are interested in participating in an international experience but could not do so without financial assistance.

Eligibility:

  • Participate in a Term (at least 4 months in length) or Full-year (at least 8 months in length) exchange or research abroad programs outside of Canada (excluding Quebec) and the USA.
  • The international program must be at least four months in duration.
  • Available only to students with demonstrated financial need. You must be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident.
  • You must have an average of at least 70% on your best 24 credits in the Winter Session before your exchange (with no failed or incomplete courses). If you were on a co-op work term, you must have at least 70% on your best 12 credits in the other term.
  • Required form: Choquette Personal Reference Form
Apply on Gateway Submit Reference Form

About:

Through the Global Pathfinder Award, established in 2019, UBC will award $100,000 in total funding to students who face barriers to participation in Go Global programming.

Deadline: 

Applications are CLOSED for this award. The deadline to apply for the Global Pathfinder Award was November 10, 2023 at 4:00 pm for Summer 2024, and 2024/25 winter term experiences.

Please note that this award is for programs taking place during the 2024/25 academic year (summer 2024 & 2024-25 winter terms).

Value:

$5000 for Winter term-based experiences and $2000 for Summer and Research experiences

Award recipients will be notified of funding before the Go Global application deadline

Eligibility: 

Criteria for this award is broad in scope to recognize that all students have unique circumstances, that may impact their ability to participate in international learning. Below is a list of suggested criteria that the selection committee may use.

  • Have not participated in a Go Global program in the past
  • Have unmet financial needs that hinder participation
  • Are eligible to participate in a Go Global program, and are in good standing in their faculty
  • Commitments and experience outside of school will be considered including:
    • family commitments
    • job commitments
    • community/faith commitments
  • Students that belong to under-represented or marginalized groups

All applications will be considered.

How to apply:

  1. Check the complete eligibility requirements for exchange
  2. Log on to Gateway
  3. Click on the “Search Experiences” tab
  4. Search “Pathfinder” in the Keywords section. This will bring up the application
  5. Select the term you wish to be abroad and complete your application

You can use the Global Pathfinder Budget Template (Excel spreadsheet) to plan your budget.

About:

The Gary & Consuelo Corbett Canada-U.S. Fellowships Program provides well-funded opportunities for UBC students to go to the University of Washington for Exchange! The University of Washington is one of the oldest state-supported institutions of higher education on the West Coast, founded in 1861, with over 31,000 undergraduate students. You can experience a semester abroad at a US university with little financial impact and become part of an elite group of scholars.

Deadline:

Applications are closed for this award. The deadline to apply for this award was December 13, 2023 at 11:59 pm for a 2024/25 winter term experience at the University of Washington. Applications for 2025/26 will open in early October, 2024.

The application window for this award aligns with Go Global’s Round 1 dates.

You can apply directly to the award, the successful candidate will be guaranteed an exchange at the University of Washington.

Value:

The value of this award is dependent on the length of your Exchange program at UW:

  • $8,000 (USD) for a Term 2 Exchange: January-June
  • $12,000 (USD) for a Full Year Exchange: September-June

Eligibility:

  • This program is open to both Undergraduate and Graduate students with a minimum 70% average
  • You must hold Canadian citizenship or P.R.
  • Students from all Faculties and disciplines are welcome to apply (See University of Washington’s Course Offerings)
  • Priority will be given to students who have attended high school in British Columbia
  • Priority will be given to students who wish to participate in a full year exchange to the University of Washington

How to apply:

  1. Check the complete eligibility requirements for exchange
  2. Log on to Gateway
  3. Click on the “Search Experiences” tab.
  4. Search “Corbett” in the Keywords section. This will bring up the application.
  5. Submit the application through Gateway, and then complete the application on the Corbett Exchange Scholars Program page: https://jsis.washington.edu/canada/funding/corbett-program/information/

The award is open to both incoming and outgoing exchange participants who are U.S. or Canadian citizens or permanent residents of Canada.

Deadline:

Automatically considered with program application.

Value:

$1,500 or more per term – amount varies by year

Eligibility:

To be considered for this award, you must have been nominated to participate in a Go Global program to a U.S. partner university.

To be eligible:

  • You must have at least 75% in the Winter Session before your exchange (and no failed, standing deferred, or incomplete courses).
  • You must be registered for at least 24 credits in the Winter Session. If you are on a co-op work term for one of the terms in the Winter Session, you must be registered for at least 12 credits in the other term.
  • You must be nominated to attend a U.S. partner university by Go Global.
  • You must be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident.

Deadline:

Automatically considered with program application.

Value:

$2,500 (amount varies each year)

Eligibility:

  • You must be nominated for a Go Global program to the National University of Singapore
  • You must have completed at least 18 credits in the Winter Session prior to your exchange with an average of at least 70% with no failed or incomplete courses.
  • Awards are competitive and will be automatically considered. $50,000 in total funding is allotted per year

Deadline:

Applications for this program are open October to mid-December each year.

The application window for this award aligns with Go Global’s Round 1 dates.

You can apply directly to the award, the successful candidate will be guaranteed an exchange at the University of Washington.

Value:

The value of this award is dependent on the length of your Exchange program at UW:

  • $8,000 (USD) for a Term 2 Exchange: January-June
  • $12,000 (USD) for a Full Year Exchange: September-June

Eligibility:

  • This program is open to both Undergraduate and Graduate students with a minimum 70% average
  • You must hold Canadian citizenship or P.R.
  • Students from all Faculties and disciplines are welcome to apply
  • Priority will be given to students who have attended high school in British Columbia
  • Priority will be given to students who wish to participate in a full year exchange to the University of Washington

How to apply:

  1. Check the complete eligibility requirements for exchange
  2. Log on to Gateway
  3. Click on the “Search Experiences” tab.
  4. Search “Corbett” in the Keywords section. This will bring up the application.

Deadline:

Automatically considered with program application.

Value:

$2,000

Eligibility:

To be considered for this award, you must have been nominated to participate in a Go Global program at Hong Kong University of Science and Technology.

To be eligible:

  • You must have been nominated to participate in a Go Global program at Hong Kong University of Science and Technology.
  • You must have at least 75% in the Winter Session before your exchange (and no failed, standing deferred, or incomplete courses).
  • You must be registered for at least 24 credits in the Winter Session. If you are on a co-op work term for one of the terms in the Winter Session, you must be registered for at least 12 credits in the other term.

There is no application required for this award. All students meeting the requirements above, who have been accepted to participate in a Go Global program at Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, will be considered. Only those students selected will be contacted. Conditional nominations for this award will be announced in late February.

About:

The University of Sydney is proud to partner with the Fund for Education Abroad to offer equity scholarships to UBC students, targeted towards students who are from underrepresented demographics in Study Abroad.

Deadline:

The deadline to apply for the University of Sydney Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Scholarship was December 13, 2023, at 11:59 p.m. Please note that this award was for programs taking place during the 2024/25 academic year.

Applications for 2025/26 will open in early October, 2024.

Value:

Recipients of this award will be given a full waiver on their housing during their semester program (20-week housing contract on campus) at the University of Sydney valued at over $8,000 AUD (the award does not cover the $200 acceptance fee and security deposit of 4 weeks rent). The room is single occupancy with shared bathrooms.

Eligibility:

  • Have not participated in a Go Global program in the past
  • Have unmet financial needs that hinder participation
  • Are eligible to participate in a Go Global program, and are in good standing in their faculty
  • Commitments and experience outside of school will be considered including family commitments, job commitments, community/faith commitments etc.
  • Students who belong to under-represented or marginalized groups
  • All applications will be considered.

How to apply:

Check the complete eligibility requirements for exchange.

  1. Log on to Gateway.
  2. Click on the “Search Experiences” tab
  3. Search “University of Sydney DEI Award” in the Keywords section. Select that experience as your top choice.
  4. After the application deadline, students will be asked to submit a statement and budget plan.
  5. You can use the Global Pathfinder Budget Template (Excel spreadsheet) to plan your budget.

Receiving your scholarship

Student will be notified by email when they have received an award (which typically coincides with the beginning of the exchange term). To receive the award, login to the Student Service Centre (SSC) and accept the award. The award will be placed towards any tuition owing. If you are not owing any tuition, and have set up direct deposit banking, the award will then be directly deposited to your personal bank account. If you have not set up direct deposit, the award will be made available to you via cheque. The cheque may be forwarded to your home address—for this to happen, contact sis.ubco@ubc.ca or 250 807 9100.

Note: Students are only eligible for one award via Go Global, and will automatically receive the higher valued award. For example, if you receive the Choquette ($10,000) award, you will not receive the Go Global award ($1,000).

Ensuring future scholarships eligibility

If you are currently in receipt of a UBC scholarship and want to be considered for scholarships following your exchange, you will need to meet the following requirements:

  • Return to full-time studies after your exchange.
  • Meet the applicable regulations governing University awards (PDF).
  • For awards recommended by faculties meet with your faculty to confirm your faculty’s requirements before you leave.

Student Loans

Going on exchange is an exciting endeavor and it’s worth every moment of additional preparation. As an exchange student, you will have special requirements to complete your loan application and to receive your loan.

Note: Students must speak with a member of Student Records & Financial Services (SRFS) to verify partner university study dates.

If you are a study abroad student (paying tuition directly to the partner school), and are on Student Aid or seeking Band funding, connect with SRFS or Indigenous Programs & Services to discuss eligibility requirements.

Students from British Columbia

To be eligible for funding, your study period must be at least 12 weeks long and you must be enrolled in at least 60% (40% for students with disabilities) of a full-time course load in each term. Visit course load requirements for the credit load requirement of your program.

  1. If your exchange starts before August 1, use the loan application for the current Academic Year. If your exchange starts August 1 or later, use the application for the upcoming Academic Year.
  2. For exchange, select UBC as your learning institution (not your partner university); for study abroad, indicate the study abroad school as your institution, not UBC. Study abroad students will also be responsible for getting documentation from the school which confirms that they are enrolled in full-time studies.
  3. Select your UBC program of study.
  4. Enter your partner university’s academic start and end dates—they are likely to be different from UBC’s study dates so this will automatically trigger an Appendix three* that will be completed by UBCO electronically.
    • Undergraduate and post-baccalaureate students: contact Student Services before you apply to confirm your study dates. If you do not use the correct dates, UBC will be unable to approve your funding. Your start date is the first day of classes (not the orientation week), and your end date is the last day of the exam period – these dates will be supplied through Student Services staff.
    • Graduate students: you can apply with UBC’s regular term dates (not term dates from the partner university at which you wish to study).
  5. *Appendix three form
    • This Appendix is required because of your irregular study dates, and will be auto-generated and electronically submitted by UBC
    • Online applications: partway through the application process, you will be informed that your school is being contacted for Appendix three. Within one week, UBC will automatically complete an online Appendix three for you. You can continue your application after you have been notified that the online Appendix three is complete.
  6. Account for breaks in study
    • If there is a break in study for more than 10 business days, you must apply for two loans during your exchange year. You will submit one application for your first semester and one application for your second semester.
    • If your semester break falls in late December (similar to UBC’s holiday break), you are allowed a 15-business-day break; submit a single application for both semesters.

Since you will be away when your loan funding arrives, you will need to make arrangements to receive your loan funding.

Before you go on Exchange

Set up Power of Attorney (POA):

  • Since loan certificates can only be cashed in Canada, you must designate someone as permitted to cash your student loan certificates for you. You should choose a family member or friend whom you trust to be your POA.
  • Download and complete the HRSDC Power of Attorney form (PDF).
  • For assistance with completing and submitting this form, contact the National Student Loans Service Centre.
  • If this is your first time borrowing BC student loan funding, you will need to grant your POA greater signing authority than the HRSDC form provides. Contact Student Services to discuss.

While you are on Exchange

Your POA will cash (negotiate) your loan funding.

  • Have your loan certificates sent to your POA.
  • Your POA will need to follow the instructions provided with your loan certificates to negotiate your student loan. We believe the POA can send directly to National Student Loans or Province as needed.
  • To cash your loans, your POA will need:
    • A copy of your SIN card
    • A copy of your driver’s license or passport
    • A void cheque for each loan certificate
  • If your POA lives in Vancouver on-campus, you do not need an Off-Campus Document Request form. Do the following:
  1. Download the Third-Party Pickup form (PDF)
  2. Complete this form and give it to your POA.
  3. Your POA can visit Student Services with this form to have your loan certificate signed or pick up your loan certificate if it is mailed directly to UBC.

If you require further information about how to manage your student loans while on exchange, contact Student Services.

Students from other provinces

To be eligible for funding, your study period must be at least 12 weeks long and you must be enrolled in at least 60% (40% for students with disabilities / 80% for Newfoundland loans) of a full-time course load in each term. Visit course load requirements for the credit load requirement of your program. If your exchange starts before August 1, use the loan application for the current Academic Year. If your exchange starts August 1 or later, use the application for the upcoming Academic Year.

For exchange, select UBC as your learning institution (not your partner university); for study abroad, indicate the study abroad school as your institution, not UBC. Study abroad students will also be responsible for getting documentation from the school which confirms that they are enrolled in full-time studies.
Enter your partner university’s academic start and end dates (this will automatically trigger an Appendix three* that will be completed by UBCO).

  • Undergraduate and post-baccalaureate students: contact Student Services before you apply to confirm your study dates. If you do not use the correct dates, UBC will be unable to approve your funding. Your start date is the first day of classes (not the orientation week), and your end date is the last day of the exam period.
  • Graduate students: you can apply with UBC’s regular term dates (not term dates from the partner university at which you wish to study).

Initiate a Program Information Form (PIF) online through your provincial government lender:

  • These forms are required by some provinces
  • You must request that your PIF be completed with your exchange dates listed

Account for breaks in study

  • If there is a break in study for more than 10 business days, you must apply for two loans during your exchange year. You will submit one application for your first semester and one application for your second semester.

Before you go on Exchange

Set up Power of Attorney (POA)

  • Since loan certificates can only be cashed in Canada, you must designate someone as permitted to cash your student loan certificates for you. You should choose as your POA a family member or friend whom you trust.
  • For the federal portion of your loan funding:

While you are on Exchange

  • Have your loan certificates sent to your POA.
  • Your POA will need to follow the instructions provided with your loan certificates to negotiate your student loan. We believe the POA can send directly to National Student Loans or Province as needed.
  • To cash your loans, your POA will need:
    • A copy of your SIN card
    • A copy of your driver’s license or passport
    • A void cheque for each loan certificate
  • If your POA lives in Vancouver on-campus, you do not need an Off-Campus Document Request form. Do the following:
    1. Download the Third-Party Pickup form (PDF)
    2. Complete this form and give it to your POA.
    3. Your POA can visit Student Services with this form to have your loan certificate signed or pick up your loan certificate if it is mailed directly to UBC.

If you require further information about how to manage your student loans while on exchange, contact Student Services.

Information for U.S. students

If you are a student from the United States, check the U.S. Department of Education lookup tool to ensure that any partner institution you wish to attend on exchange is considered ‘eligible’ by the Federal Student Aid Office for the year in which you intend to study there. For institutions outside of the U.S., select “Foreign Country” from the “State” dropdown menu.

If you attend an eligible institution, then you may receive the Title IV federal student loans while on exchange.

If you attend an ineligible institution:

  • You will not be eligible for U.S. federal student loans
  • You may invalidate any U.S. student aid you have previously received for your studies at UBC
  • You may be required to immediately begin repaying your U.S. student loans
  • You may not be eligible for any future U.S. student aid for the remainder of your studies at UBC