2024 Vancouver Summer Program


The Vancouver Summer Program (VSP) session is a four-week experience for international undergraduate students at one of the world’s top universities. The program provides the opportunity to take two academic courses while engaging in socio-cultural extracurricular activities specific to Vancouver and its surroundings.

July Session: July 12 – August 12, 2024

UBC’s Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries is offering its Vancouver Summer Program sessions, focused on providing international undergraduate students with a grounding in ocean leadership.

Grand Challenges Facing the Ocean

This project-based course will develop leadership and advocacy skills that are required to address key challenges facing the ocean, from overexploitation and marine pollution to climate change and ocean acidification. Students will learn about key marine and coastal issues and how to apply technical expertise to address real-world marine challenges. Working in groups on timely problems facing the ocean, students will learn to analyze the challenges, identify opportunities for resolution, and then embark on that path to change. In so doing, they will gain experience applying their technical expertise to address actual challenges facing the oceans today.

How to be an Ocean Leader

This course will train students to help create a world in which the oceans are healthy and their resources are used sustainably and equitably. Through lectures and workshop activities, students will learn about integrating and synthesizing disparate knowledge, policy analysis and briefing, public communication, and knowledge translation. The instructors focus on developing transferable capacity to improve the future of the ocean, rather than teaching technical skills that are specific to particular disciplines. That means that students will develop skills in collective leadership, facilitating collaboration, interdisciplinary teamwork, oral presentations, conventional and social media, public communication, and knowledge translation.

The IOF VSP includes approximately 39 hours of class time, per session. 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, and short field trips.

Courses do not receive 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.


July Session: July 12 – August 12, 2024


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

The Vancouver Summer Program package fee of CAD $5,825.00 (for the 2024 program) is all-encompassing and includes:

  • Application fee (Please note the application fee of $125 CAD is payable upon submitting the application)*
  • Course materials and tuition for two courses
  • Learn at UBC, one of the largest and oldest universities in Canada, and on its breathtaking campus. (Take a virtual tour of UBC!)
  • Shared accommodation on UBC campus (Accommodation and residence details can be found on the UBC Vancouver Summer Program website.)
  • Medical insurance
  • Transportation by shuttle bus to and from airport (during peak hours)
  • Vancouver city tour
  • Orientation and farewell events
  • Social activities (some activities may require an additional fee)**
    * Please note the application fee of $125 CAD is payable upon submitting the application, with the balance of $5,700 due by the payment deadline stated below.

    ** Some packages include socio-cultural activities that are included in the package fee, 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 2024 Vancouver Summer program, you must receive your Letter of Acceptance and make payment by the following dates:

July Session: May 10, 2024

Other Costs

Your airfare, meals, personal trips, and personal expenses are not covered in the program fee unless noted otherwise. For more details on fees and expenses, please visit the UBC Vancouver Summer Program website.

This program is for students registered at a post-secondary institution outside of Canada and at least 19 years of age on the first day of the program.

For registration and payment, please see the UBC Vancouver Summer Program website.

The IOF VSP includes organized social and cultural activities, which are a great opportunity experience life in Vancouver, 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


Vicente Regis
Program Specialist, Extracurricular and Extended Learning
Email: v.regis@oceans.ubc.ca