Contact International Programs & Services

International Programs & Services

Location: University Centre 227
Email: ips.ubco@ubc.ca

As of March 23, all International Advising is online only (email or Zoom). Please contact us by email to book an online appointment and our advisors will be able to meet with you via Zoom.

Virtual Office Hours

Our online office hours are Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (PST)

  • Appointments (please email to arrange)- Mon, Weds and Fri 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (PST)
  • Drop-in Appointments – Zoom appointments are available Tuesday and Thursday (9am -11:30am & 1pm -3:30pm PST)
    • To ensure privacy for our student appointments the Zoom link and password for drop-ins session are provided via email. Please email ips.ubco@ubc.ca
    • In preparation for your appointment, we kindly ask that you read the following note as this will help ensure you are able to address specific issues:
      • If you have the opportunity to read over the Travel Isolation Guide before-hand, you may have specific questions that can be answered by our advisors
      • If you have the opportunity to read over the Travelling to Canada Guide before-hand, you may have specific questions that can be answered by our advisors.

** Please note: Zoom drop-in appointments can take as long as 30-40 minutes. If you are not immediately admitted to the session, please know that we are committed to answering your questions as soon as possible.

Our advisors are available to assist students with a wide range of concerns. Book an appointment to speak with an advisor if you have questions about:

  • Immigration documentation advising
  • Health insurance
  • Working in Canada (co-op, PGWP, and SP)
  • Career programming (ICDP)
  • Degree progression/academic concerns
  • General advising and transitional support
  • English Foundation Program advising
  • Intercultural programming and events
  • Not sure where to start? E-mail ips.ubco@ubc.ca—we are here to help!

Our staff can also connect students with additional campus and community resources throughout their time at UBC.

Meet the team

As a proud alumnus of UBC’s Okanagan campus I was excited to return from studying and working in the Netherlands to join International Programs & Services at UBCO. Originally from Germany, I grew up moving a lot and have been fortunate to gain experience studying, living, and working internationally. I completed my Bachelors degree at UBCO in Political Science and History after transferring from FPU in California. I received my Master’s degree in International Relations with honours from the Universiteit Leiden in the Netherlands where I was a Nuffic Huygens scholar. I completed my doctoral studies at the University of Calgary with my dissertation and research focused on the internationalization of higher education and the nexus of government policy, immigration policies/programs, institutional programming, and international student career transitions.

Outside of my role at UBC, I am involved in volunteer community activities focused on topics related to equity/diversity and welcoming newcomers to the Okanagan Valley and an active member of the Central Okanagan Local Immigration Partnership Committee (COLIP). In addition, I am the Co-Chair of the Canadian Bureau for International Education’s Immigration Advisory Committee (IAC) and a consultant/instructor for the CBIE International Students and Immigration Education Program (ISIEP). Before joining UBC, I was at the Rotterdam School of Management (RSM) with their International and Executive MBA programmes, and prior to that at The Hague Centre for Strategic Studies (HCSS) in the Netherlands.

International Programs & Services is here to support you throughout your studies and I encourage you to stop by our office, hang out and join some of our events and programming. If you aren’t sure where to start with your query, stop by our office and connect with our staff to get you started! I wish you all the best in your studies at UBC.

I have a Masters of Arts from Carleton University with a specialization in Women’s and Gender studies (migration and diaspora). I have over 6 years of experience working in the field of human rights and migration policy. I have also completed a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Gender Studies from the University of Victoria. I manage the Intercultural Development Program at UBCO to provide intercultural training to students and staff on topics related to mental health, cross-cultural communication, social justice, and professional development.

I also work as an Intercultural Consultant across campus and within the broader Okanagan community to provide strategic direction on equity and diversity projects and publications. I am also a volunteer advisory board member of the Canadian Women for Women in Afghanistan and an Associate Lead of the International Network of Tomorrow’s Leaders (INTL) of the Canadian Bureau of International Education (CBIE).
I am passionate about meeting and interacting with students from all over the world. I hope you have a successful academic year and I look forward to meeting you.

Danai Belanger, profileI have completed a Master’s of Education (Diversity) from UBC Okanagan and a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in English from Memorial University. I am also a Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant (RCIC).

I have spent almost a decade working with international students across the country in Newfoundland and Labrador, New Brunswick, Ontario, and British Columbia. As a former international student to Canada, I appreciate the unique experiences that intentional students face. I enjoy interacting with students and learning about new cultures. I hope you have a fantastic time living and learning in Canada and wish you success in your academic journey at UBC Okanagan.

Quin, profileI completed a Master’s of Education at UBC’s Okanagan campus and a Bachelor of Law at Northwest University in China. I have over six years experience working with international students in both secondary and post secondary schools.

I am familiar with the cultural adjustment process for international students, and have extensive experience providing international student services, such as settlement support, personal issue support, health care advising, and connecting students with cultural activities and supports within the community.

I am a proud alumnus of UBC’s Okanagan campus. Originally, from Namibia I moved to Canada in 2007. I have a Bachelor of Social Work from the University of the Fraser Valley in Abbotsford and a Master of Social Work from UBCO.

With over 20 years of experience in the mental health field, I have worked as a Mental Health Clinician and Counselor in different settings including Health Authorities, NGO’s such as UNAIDS, Red Cross in Southern Africa, and community mental health in British Columbia.

From these settings, I have gained diverse experience working with adults and young adults going through life transitions, forced displacements, situational crisis, self-esteem, and trauma.

I have a special interest in working with individuals who have experienced horizontal aggression or oppression. My passion is to create a safe space where individuals can feel heard, validated, and understood in ways that support their own healing and wellness.

I look forward to meeting you and I wish you all the best in your studies at UBCO.

(Currently on leave)

I completed a Master of Arts degree in Counselling Psychology from City University of Seattle, and completed a Bachelor of Arts degree in Law & Psychology from De Montfort University in England.

I have over a decade of experience working as a Registered Clinical Counsellor (RCC) in a variety of different settings, with people of all ages from all around the world. I appreciate that sometimes in our lives, particularly as a student, we may experience a diverse range of challenges, which can transform our thoughts, emotions, and behaviors. This has the ability to create a sense of uncertainty, leading us to believe that life is unchangeable. I provide compassion and establish a positive therapeutic relationship with all students, to help overcome these challenges. My approach to supporting students is based upon creating a safe, trusting, collaborative relationship, regardless of age, culture, or religious background. Students will be supported and provided with strategies to overcome any difficulties that may be interfering with their academic success.

I invite you to come speak with me to learn more about counselling services. I welcome you to UBC and hope you have a successful academic fun-filled experience!

Sebastian, profileI am a recent graduate of UBC Okanagan’s International Relations program. Throughout my time at UBC, I have worked with international students through my involvement with both the English Foundation Program and the International Student Initiative.

As an international student myself, I pursued political science at the Paris Institute of Political Studies as a participant in the 2016/2017 Go Global exchange program. I have an affinity for language acquisition, and am fluent in French and proficient in Spanish. I am passionate about travelling and athletics, and am eager to learn about culture wherever possible. I welcome you to come visit me at any time and I hope you have a successful experience at UBC.

Originally from Ecuador, I moved to Canada in 2017 to pursue my studies at UBC Okanagan. Currently, I am in my final year of a Bachelor of Arts, majoring in sociology and minoring in political science. Throughout my time at UBC Okanagan, I have worked closely with international and domestic students as an orientation leader, a teaching assistant, and a student representative in the UBC Okanagan Students´ Union. I have also worked with International Programs & Services as one of the coordinators of the Intercultural Development Program, facilitating workshops that foster intercultural dialogues and promote diversity and inclusion.

Moreover, I have volunteered as co-cultural coordinator of the Latin American Students´ Organization, planning events to share part of the Latin American culture and reduce stereotypes and discrimination. In addition, as the former external vice-president of Age-Link, I planned and facilitated interactive events with students, professors, and elders from Kelowna, bridging the intergenerational and intercultural gaps between these communities. I hope you have a successful and enjoyable academic year, and I am looking forward to meet you.

 

My name is Stephen Kimanzi. I am from Mombasa in Kenya. I am currently pursuing a PhD in Mechanical Engineering at UBC Okanagan in the Heart Valve Performance Lab under Dr. Mohammadi.  I work with IPS as the CELPIP Test Centre Coordinator.

Meet Our student StafF

Intercultural Development Program

My name is Zoia and I am currently in my third-year in the International Relations program. Having a Circassian background and being born and raised in Syria, I have learned the importance of developing a sense of cultural identity at a young age. However, my experience in an  International school in Armenia has shown me that overcoming one’s biases about race, religion, and gender is a never-ending process. Although my future aspirations involve working with Syrian refugees, I am passionate about international development and all the themes it encompasses. As a part of this wonderful team, I hope to promote an inclusive environment in the UBCO community, where we could all learn and ‘unlearn’ together.

My name is Fatema and I’m a third year student, working to complete my Arts degree in  Cultural Studies and Sociology. I’ve lived in a total of four countries throughout my life, which allowed me to bring to Canada and this university a culturally diverse international lens. Other than being a full time student, I am committed to the Muslim Student Club at UBC Okanagan and volunteer in teaching children weekly at the Islamic Centre. In my free time, I enjoy cooking and listening to music!

International Peer Mentors

Where you are from: Nairobi, Kenya.

What you are studying/year: Civil Engineering, Third year

The languages you speak: English, Swahili.

Extra curricular you’re involved with (peer mentor program, clubs, etc): Part of KelownaAgainstCorona.

Something extra you know about, and could help with (best places to get international foods, phone plans, finding a sports team, etc): McCurdy is an awesome Saturday night out bowling in Kelowna.

Favourite quote: Mine is “Perhaps one did not want to be loved so much as to be understood”. “Balance is all you need in life”

Where you are from: Chennai, India

What you are studying/year: Management, Third year

The languages you speak: English and Tamil

Extra curriculars you’re involved with (peer mentor program, clubs, etc): Peer mentor, President of Age-Link UBCO, Project co-manager at Smart Meals Initiative Enactus UBCO, Volunteer Recruiter at ICDC and Faculty of Management Representative at SUO of UBC

Something extra you know about, and could help with (best places to get international foods, phone plans, finding a sports team, etc):  Restaurant hopping Downtown Kelowna is a wonderful way of eventually picking your favourite restaurant in Kelowna!

Favourite quote: ”Some mistakes…just have greater consequences than others. But you don’t have to let the result of one mistake be the thing that defines you. You, Clark, have the choice not to let that happen.” – Me before you

Where you are from: Half Turkish half Romanian

What you are studying/year: International Relations, Third year

The languages you speak: English, Romanian, Turkish, French, German and currently learning Arabic and Spanish!

Extra curriculars you’re involved with: Clubs: UNICEF, ACSC, Age-Link and International Relations Student Club. Other: Peer Mentor Program and Senior Online Learning Coach.

Something extra you know about, and could help with: Fun activities and good food around Kelowna, leisure time recommendations and suggestions (Recipes, books, movies, self care), study skills and time management ideas and most importantly, where you can find the most dogs so you can pet them all

Where you are from: Goa, India

What you are studying/year: Philosophy, Politics, and Economics – 4th Year

The languages you speak: Hindi, English

Extra curriculars you’re involved with: The Peer Mentor Program, The Equity and Inclusion Office, TAing the EAP courses, badminton club, Model United Nations

Something extra you know about, and could help with: Getting Involved on Campus! Research opportunities, Things to do around Kelowna (getting started with hiking, skiing, camping)

Favourite quote: I mean, it’s sort of exciting, isn’t it, breaking the rules? (Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix)