Contact Go Global

Location: University Centre 207 (Advising & Involvement Centre)
Email: goglobal.okanagan@ubc.ca
Tel: 250 807 8098

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Advising is available for exchange, Global Seminars, and research abroad.

The Go Global office is currently available for online advising only. Please contact us by email, including your student number, to book a virtual appointment.

Our online office hours are Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (PDT/GMT-7). For those with time zone considerations, evening appointments between 7 p.m to 9 p.m. are available upon request.

Meet the team

Dana Lowton, headshotI am in my 11th year with Go Global and have loved watching it grow over the past decade. I am a BA graduate from UBC Okanagan and an MEd graduate from UBC Vancouver and spent part of that degree in Copenhagen. I’m currently working on my PhD with a focus in overseas short-term programs. I have a serious love of traveling, reading, and lifelong learning.

I have learned an incredible amount while abroad and I’ve taken quite a few solo adventures. I highly recommend traveling alone at least once as it squashes fears and will boost your confidence to continue exploring. I fully believe that studying overseas is what you make it, so go abroad with an open mind and say yes to experiences no matter how scary they might sound at first. Introduce yourself to new people and don’t hide in your dorm room!

Matt Harling, pictureAs a (normally) frequent traveller and dual-citizen of Canada and the United Kingdom, I am well aware of some of the unique challenges and obstacles that students may encounter both when considering whether to go and while on exchange. Having completed two degrees at UBC Okanagan (BA and BEd), I know how easy it is to find reasons not to go on exchange and am passionate about encouraging students to take advantage of the opportunity to go on exchange while they can (speaking from experience of someone who did not take the opportunity to go abroad and regrets it on regular occasion).

My goal as your Go Global Advisor is to help you have the best exchange experience possible while ensuring you meet all requirements for graduation. No matter where you decide to Go Global, it is a life-changing decision that you will never regret in life!

I am currently completing my Masters of Business Administration, and when I’m not head deep in work or study, my passions include travel, playing & watching football (soccer), supporting Liverpool FC, and continued learning/development.

Hey everyone, my name’s Chris. Nice to meet you! I am a Civil Engineering student and I spent both semesters of my third year studying at the university of Iceland and exploring the country. While there I took all of my fourth-year technical elective credits and some other courses in environmental economics, sciences, and city planning. A few of these did not transfer over to my applied science degree, but they gave me some incredibly valuable knowledge unique to the University of Iceland.

Iceland is a place that has always been somewhere on my mind. It’s arguably the most geologically unique country in the world and its absolutely one of the most naturally beautiful. I took every chance I could to get out and see the towering glaciers, looming volcanoes, mossy cliffs, and titanic waterfalls. All the while, making connections and friends with people from all over the world was made easy through the tight-knit international community in the city, Reykjavík.

Aside from studying, I love to rock climb (there’s some pretty sick crags in Iceland), reading and writing about environmental stuff, and hiking. Also trying and failing to cook.

The photo above is of me on a weekend road trip to the Westfjords of Iceland. A relatively undeveloped part of the country because of the rough terrain, but which contains some of the most incredible sights in Iceland. Don’t miss it if you ever get out there.

Hi everyone! My name is Claire. Studying abroad was a dream of mine for years, and it was tough deciding where to go, but I eventually settled on the University of Amsterdam. I am a Management student doing a minor in Psychology and decided to take primarily Psychology courses while abroad. I studied in Amsterdam for one semester, from August-December 2019.

I was also able to visit seven other countries during my time in Europe, including Sweden, where this picture was taken. Ask me about my favourite places!

When you’re an international student, exchange isn’t an idea that really crosses your mind. Luckily, I found myself at a Go Global information session and I haven’t looked back since! Being able to explore my passion for travelling and immersing myself in new cultures has been the opportunity of a lifetime.

I am in the fourth year of my degree pursuing international relations in the hopes of having a career in international affairs. I went on exchange for a year to the University of Nottingham, UK and found myself yet another place to call home. I have a deep love for theatre (no wonder I am this dramatic); and since it takes up so much of my time already, I have decided that I will be minoring in corny puns.

The picture was taken on my third day in Nottingham which is known for the Robin Hood folklore; and if you haven’t figured by now, yes, that is Robin hood. This famous statue lies right in front of ‘Ye Old Trip To Jerusalem’ which claims to be the oldest pub in England and sits right in the centre of the beautiful city.

Hi Friends! My name is Jessica. I spent my one-semester exchange at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland filling the ARTS elective credit requirements for my Zoology degree.

Scotland has always been a place I felt drawn to with all of its history and my family connections; and Edinburgh is the centre of it all with festivals, street performers and incredible museums and architecture. I’m an avid Harry Potter fan so getting to experience the UK and seeing all the places with connections to the series was really amazing (Scotland really is the best place for a magic school!).
When I’m not studying, my passions include photography, playing soccer, listening to Taylor Swift’s music, attempting to write novels and telling everyone that I went on exchange to Scotland.

Photo Info: Me sitting atop Arthur’s Seat overlooking the city of Edinburgh. Spy the castle in the background. It was really windy so ignore my messy hair!

This photo was taken on my trip to Paris in front of the Arc de Triomphe, which I passed every day between my airbnb and the rest of the city!

I went on a Full-Year exchange to the University of Birmingham to work on my major in Political Science and my minor in Gender and Women’s Studies. Although my year was unfortunately cut short by Covid-19, I still managed to finish my studies before returning home and along the way acquired a plethora of knowledge and experiences. I traveled to 7 countries during my exchange and was involved in my university’s Songwriting and Pro-Choice societies, which are two of my passions alongside my studies. I am so grateful I made the decision to go for a full year, as I initially only signed up for a semester. The people that I met and the memories that I made will last a lifetime and I am so excited to be involved this year as an ambassador for Go Global!

Frequently asked questions

Exchange benefits

Going on exchange can be a transformational learning experience. By studying at another university, in another part of the world, you will immerse yourself in a new culture. Rather than being just another tourist, this immersion experience will allow you to connect meaningfully with people in your host country and experience a different academic perspective and culture. It will also allow you to experience international issues and ideas from a fresh perspective. Lastly, it’s an opportunity to challenge yourself in a new environment and to gain confidence while strengthening your life skills.

We endeavour to collect feedback from every UBC student about the value they found in their Go Global exchanges. Search the Student Reports database for helpful information about overseas experiences written by past UBC Go Global Students. Contact past students through the Go Global Student Directory. Returned Go Global students are a great resource, and they’re usually very eager to give advice and share their experiences with others.

Participating in an exchange program offers you the opportunity to develop skills and gain experience that employers may desire in a candidate. An exchange program can serve as the opportunity to demonstrate the problem solving, intercultural and language skills that you have acquired while completing your degree. It can also showcase an independence and self-reliance that would be invaluable in the workplace. Lastly, it may highlight your ability to succeed in new and challenging environments.

Exchange and my UBC degree

Yes, you can do both! Planning your co-op term and an exchange will require some careful planning on your part. If you are already accepted into a co-op program, please speak with your co-op advisor to determine whether or not you can balance a co-op and an exchange program. We currently have very few co-op placement opportunities with our overseas partner institutions so speak with your co-op advisor first.

Not usually. Students will receive UBC credit for all successfully completed academic courses taken on exchange. Non-academic courses such as badminton or tea ceremony, or seminar courses without assessment, will not earn UBC credit. Therefore, taking a full course load while on exchange will be the same as taking a full course load here at UBC. How your credits transfer back to your degree can vary and is dependent on how they are articulated.

In most cases you can do course work in English. However, we do have some partnerships with universities that do not offer courses in English. Most schools offer courses in English or have language programs intended for foreign students For example, Universidad Nacional Autonomia de Mexico does not offer courses taught in English, but has an excellent Spanish language program.

In most cases, students apply during their second or third years to go on exchange in their third or fourth year. All eligibility requirements must be met and in most cases, this means that students must go in their third year. However, exceptions can be made with respect to going in your final year. In this case, consult with your Go Global advisor.

Deadlines are six months to a year in advance of the start of an exchange program to ensure there is sufficient time to prepare partner university applications, travel documents, and pre-departure programming. For many students, the planning process begins as they start their degree and consider how an exchange might fit into their academic plans. We find that students who have done extensive research benefit the most from the entire exchange experience (from before they apply to integrating back to UBC).

Yes, you can go on exchange without having declared a major. Simply write your tentative major and/or minor on your Go Global application.

No, in most cases you can go for just one term (however, some university programs are a full year). Some universities offer shorter programs (two to eighteen weeks) in the summer.

Students are permitted to do either a one term or two term exchange. However, it is possible to apply for a summer program, AND a one term or full year exchange program, AND a UBC Global Seminar Program.

There are limited spaces available at each partner university and the demand for each partner varies from one year to the next. In some cases, the demand exceeds the number of spaces available. For this reason, we ask that students provide us with your top three choices and carefully consider their second and third choices.

As long as you meet the minimum eligibility criteria, you will be accepted to the program. However, although we do our best to match you to your first choice, this is not always possible if we have more students than spaces available. Two thirds of available positions are matched to top academic applicants based on grades. The remaining spots are offered to students on a combination of grades and the essay.

Your decision should be based on a number of factors, some academic, and some personal. You should make sure the universities you’re interested in offer courses you need to take towards your degree in the term(s) that you wish to go. Also check to see what subject areas the university offers – they may offer unique courses not offered at UBC – take advantage of this. Some universities are well-known for certain departments or faculties; think about what you’re interested in learning about, and find a university that can help you meet that goal.

Also consider living arrangements, lifestyle, and other personal needs. What kind of accommodation do the universities you’ve researched offer? What size campus or town would you like to live in? Would you like to learn another language through immersion? We encourage students to push their boundaries and explore new perspectives. Talking this through with someone is often a good strategy as it helps you clarify your goals.

There are many types of accommodation available. While not all of our partners have guaranteed student housing, most provide assistance in finding accommodation on and off campus. However, many do not offer on-campus accommodation and in some cases, you may be required to find off campus housing on your own. Some universities have homestay programs. Alternatively, you may choose to stay with family or friends. Go Global does not facilitate your housing at the host university. It is your responsibility to research your own accommodation and to find options that meets your needs.

Students who require special accommodation should contact a Go Global advisor regarding their needs at least six weeks prior to the application deadline. You will need to provide Go Global with appropriate documentation so that we may liaise with the partner university on your behalf.

It really depends. You pay UBC tuition with the exception of a few partner universities where tuition is paid directly to them (this is indicated in our partner pages). Living costs vary from one country to the next and it is also important to consider your living cost budget in Kelowna as your baseline.

Prepare a budget to help determine how much it will cost to study abroad. Be sure to include extra spending in your budget, in order to take advantage of the different opportunities exchange offers.

Yes! When you are accepted to go on exchange you are automatically considered for most International Learning Awards. However, we have other funding opportunities on our awards and scholarships page that you must apply for. Keep in mind that you are only eligible to receive one UBC mobility award (the one of greatest value will be awarded if you qualify for more than one).

Yes. In most cases, as a full-time UBC student you are eligible for provincial and national student loans. Contact Student Services for details.

During pre-departure you will have the opportunity to learn more about student financial assistance and awards.

All successfully completed academic courses will transfer back to your UBC degree. How these credits transfer is dependent on how they are articulated. Visit the transfer credit page for more information.

While on exchange, you receive credit for coursework taken abroad; however, grades do not appear on your UBC transcript. But they do count. Your grades from exchange may be used for assessment of some UBC scholarships. If you choose to apply to graduate school you will be required to provide transcripts from all prior institutions attended, including those you attended while on exchange. Passing grade varies by institution. Look at your partner university page on our website for more information.

Read the transfer credit information on our website. Also, your faculty advisor (Biology, Human Kinetics) will help you determine course requirements. Visit the Program Advisors section on the transfer credit page to find out who your program advisor is.

The visa application process varies by country and in complexity. Go Global is not able to advise on student visas as the criteria change and differs depending on the applicant. The best place to access current and accurate information is directly from the host country’s embassy, consulate, or high commission.

Note: Everyone’s circumstances are different. Do not assume that a fellow student’s process will be the same for yours. Your visa process is based on your citizenship, prior travel, your destination, as well as other personal factors.

You should wait until you receive official acceptance from your partner university before purchasing a ticket. However, if you chose to purchase your ticket before you receive your acceptance, make sure you buy cancellation insurance.

It is extremely rare that Go Global would nominate you to a school and the nomination wouldn’t be honored; however, a few students don’t look into their student visas requirements early enough and aren’t able to go because they don’t get their visa on time for their flight.

If you are going on exchange as an undergraduate student for one or two terms you will be automatically registered in 15 UBC credits per term (unless you have a letter from Access and Diversity which recommends a reduced course load). While you may be registered in 15 UBC credits and assessed for 15 credits of tuition, some students choose to take fewer courses. Make sure you are registered in a full-course load as determined by your partner university to avoid jeopardizing your student visa.

Graduate students are assessed their regular program fee while on exchange.

Summer Programs are assessed per credit (e.g. some Summer Exchange students register for as few as three UBC credits).

If you intend to apply to transfer from UBC’s Okanagan campus to its Vancouver campus, you will not find out your transfer status until after the Go Global deadline. As such, it is strongly encouraged that you meet with a Go Global Advisor before applying to Go Global. Degree programs between campuses have different requirements and students who do not meet with an advisor may experience challenges with their exchange status.

Transfer credit

Your grades earned while on exchange will never appear on your UBC transcript and do not affect your GPA. However, they do become part of your permanent academic record. If you are applying to any other educational institution, you will be required to submit a transcript from your exchange, and your grades will appear on your partner university transcript.

For a general sense of how your grades may translate, refer to the International Grade Conversion Guide.

Every student participating in a Senate-approved exchange program through Go Global is eligible to receive transfer credit for all courses successfully completed abroad as part of the exchange agreement (except for non-academic courses such as fitness or tea ceremony). Exchange credit can take one of three forms:

  1. Unassigned faculty credit (e.g. Arts, third-year)
  2. Unassigned department credit satisfying a general requirement (e.g. third-year POLI)
  3. Specific course credit (e.g. PSYO 350)

Your faculty advisor will determine how the credit you earn on exchange will be applied to your degree requirements.

Exchange transfer credits does not count toward the total amount of transfer credit allowed in your degree. Exchange transfer credit counts as credit earned at UBC.

A list of course equivalencies from our partner universities can be found once you are admitted to Go Global and login to your Portal.

A credit equivalency formula exists for each partner university. This formula is used to calculate the total number of UBC credits that you can receive for courses taken during your exchange. Check our partner university search for your host university’s credit equivalency formula.

The maximum number of credits you can earn on exchange is equivalent to the total number of credits you took while on exchange and applied to the specific equivalency formula. This may result in decimal numbers. While we may round up or down the total credit value, you cannot receive more than the total taken.

We will evaluate your transfer credit request based on the total number of credits you took at your host university to ensure that you receive the maximum number of credits.

In general, you should be taking upper-level courses on exchange (equivalent to UBC 300- and 400-level courses). If you are attending a university that has a three-year degree (Australia, New Zealand, and most countries in Europe), courses in the second year often transfer as upper-level credit at UBC but this needs to be confirmed by faculty or the database.

However, you should consider the following when determining the year level of a course:

  • What prerequisites does the course have? If there are none, it’s likely a lower-level course.
  • Is the course an “Introduction to” course? If it is, it’s likely a lower-level course.
  • Does the course cover the subject at a very broad level without going into detail in a particular topic? If it does, it’s likely a lower-level course.

Courses in the last year of a three-year degree are equivalent to upper-level courses at UBC. In the end, it’s up to the faculty at UBC to determine the year level of your courses. If you are concerned about this prior to going on exchange, please contact your Go Global advisor.

It takes approximately 16 weeks to process transfer credit evaluations from the time a student submits their completed Course Request Forms to the time the evaluation is added to their student record.

Keep in mind that we must receive the official transcript from your partner university before the credit can be added onto your record. Make sure to review the submission deadlines and ensure that your course requests are complete and accurate.

We advise that you submit your online course requests for evaluation once you have finalized the courses you will take on exchange (e.g. after the add/drop date at your partner university).

If your course selection changes after you have submitted your course requests for evaluation, email goglobal.okanagan@ubc.ca.

With a Course Request Form, you will need to provide basic course information (course number, title, credit hours, etc.), a syllabus, and a description for each course you take on exchange. If the course was taught in a language other than English, you will need to translate the course information with the original course syllabus.

Refer to your partner university’s website. You can search for partner universities on the Go Global website.

Enter the direct URL link of the course description into the Course Request Form. If you have paper course syllabi, type out the required course information into the appropriate field.

Provide the course descriptions in English as well as the language of instruction. Supply a rough translation of the course description and enter this into the “Detailed course description in English” field in the Course Request Form.

The results of the evaluation will appear online on the Student Service Centre (SSC), in the “Transfer credit” section. You will receive an email with the results of your evaluation when they are available and you will be able to track the progress of the evaluation in the online portal. Contact your Go Global advisor if you have any questions.

Students are generally satisfied with exchange credit evaluations, but if you believe that something may have been overlooked, you may appeal by contacting your Go Global advisor. Provide specific information in your appeal (e.g. grade missing from transcript, incomplete course information submitted in the online Course Request Form, etc.).

In this case, an appeal is not required. Contact the appropriate advisor in your department or faculty. For program requirements, contact your departmental advisor; for faculty requirements, contact the central faculty advising office. Come prepared with a copy of your course description when you meet with your advisor. At their discretion, an advisor may waive a program or faculty requirement if they feel the requirement has been met abroad.

Applications

Applications are only evaluated after the application deadline.

You should submit your application by the earliest deadline that applies to your partner university choices. For example, if you are applying to the University of Glasgow, the University of Copenhagen, and the University of Sydney, you should apply for all three by the earliest of the three deadlines.

All documents relating to the Go Global application must be submitted online by 4:30 p.m. on the day of the deadline.

We consider eligibility requirements and the availability at partner universities when matching students to opportunities. If your partner university choices have space, you will be matched based on your GPA and answers to the application questions. For programs that have a high demand, students may be invited to an interview.

In general, students may only go on one exchange, to one location per degree, even if the exchange is only a one-term exchange. The following are exceptions to this rule; if an exception applies to you and you would like to apply to two placements, speak with the Go Global office at least two weeks prior to the application deadline.

  • Students may go on a summer exchange AND an exchange during the school year.
  • Students may go on exchanges to two universities if they will be paying tuition directly to one of the partner universities (formerly called “Study Abroad”). Ask a Go Global advisor for details.

Attend a Go Global application workshop. See events and information sessions for dates and times.

Before you apply, you should have a general idea of the type of courses you plan to take during your exchange and how they will fit into your UBC degree. However, since up to date course information from your host university will not be available until closer to the time of your exchange, it may not be possible (or necessary) to know exactly how every course will transfer at this stage.

Once you have been selected for an exchange, you will be asked to make specific course selections and you can then work towards getting pre-approval for your exchange courses.

Finances

If your loan certificates are sent directly to UBC (Ontario, Newfoundland), fax or email your Off-Campus Document Request form to Student Services. You must do this after we email you that your loan certificate is ready to pick up.

When we receive your form, we will sign your loan certificates and send them to your Power of Attorney (POA). Enter the correct address on the Student Service Centre (SSC).

Before you go on exchange, contact Student Services to get an Off-Campus Document Request form.

If your Power of Attorney (POA) lives in Vancouver or on-campus, you do not need an Off-Campus Document Request form. Complete 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.

Go Global and 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 the following academic year open in October (e.g. applications for 2021/22 open in October 2020).

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.

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.

At this time, deferrals are not being offered for Go Global programs. If you choose to withdraw, or 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 2021/22 Go Global programs in October 2021.

Planning for 2021 Summer Abroad programs is underway. The applications open in October 2020 with deadlines on December 3, 2020 and January 28, 2021, depending on the program. The decision to cancel programs doesn’t follow a strict timeline, but relies on ongoing monitoring of the probability 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.

Alternatively, a selection of virtual summer programs will be available for summer 2021. Details will be published on the Go Global website by October or November.

Unfortunately, if UBC decides to cancel international programs and you choose to still participate (provided the partner university continues to offer the program), it would be outside of UBC activity. As an independent, any coursework you complete would be for personal interest only and ineligible for transfer credit.

Go Global also recommends that you consider guidance for travel offered by Global Affairs Canada and other resources through the BC CDCInternational SOS and the World Health Organization. These sources offer information about international border closures and travel recommendations associated with mitigating the spread of COVID-19.

Planning for 2021 Summer Global Seminar programs is underway.  The application deadline is January 18, 2020.  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.