UBC Life

Getting set up


 
If you are brand new to the University of British Columbia, there are a few steps that you must take to make sure you have an identity within UBC systems.

Orientation

IOF has its own Orientation session for students, and so does G+PS: General Graduate Student Orientation , which includes a special session for International Students.

We strongly suggest you attend.

Campus-Wide Login (CWL)

The Campus-Wide Login (CWL) system provides access to many of the University's online systems, such as the Student Service Centre, and Canvas.

Student Services Centre (SSC)

This is where students can register for (add and drop) courses, check fees, pay fees online, and keep their address and email information up to date. The address listed here is the one that the Faculty of Graduate Postdoctoral Studies (G+PS) and Enrolment Services (Registrar’s Office) will use, so it is essential that students keep it updated.

UBC Card

A student's UBC Card is also the UBC Library Card. The UBC Card Office is located in the UBC Bookstore. A student must be registered to get a library card (e.g., register in for courses or the thesis/dissertation course), and must show a government-issued picture ID.

Once you have your UBC Card here is how you access UBC library services.

Compass Card & U-Pass

U-Pass has been integrated into the Translink’s new Compass Card for UBC students. The U-Pass/Compass Card is an unlimited all-zone bus pass. Fees are $41/month, assessed with student fees. The initial Compass Card is issued at the UBC Card Office in the Bookstore. A UBC Card is required to be shown to pick up the Compass Card. The UBC Card Office will have vending machines ready to issue the cards. Once a student has the Compass Card, it must be linked to the U-Pass account so that the card can be used as a monthly transit pass. To take transit in the following month, a U-pass must be requested on or after the 16th of the month at upassbc.translink.ca. This MUST be done each month.

Wireless Internet Access

UBC hosts several wireless networks to support students, faculty and staff on campus and at partner institutions.

Medical insurance

Graduate students are automatically enrolled in the AMS/GSS Extended Medical Plan – if a student has other coverage they can opt out, but this must be done by the deadline. Fees are assessed with student fees.

If you have just arrived in B.C., students must apply for coverage for the Medical Services Plan – there is a waiting period of 3 months from the date of entry to BC, before they become eligible for coverage.

International students are enrolled in a mandatory medical coverage (iMed) for the first 3 months in the program – the $180 fee is assessed as part of the student fees.

Note: MSP covers visits to doctors, hospitals and many medical specialists are free. Extended Health covers prescription drugs, dental visits, vision care, health practitioners, travel health coverage, and more.

Orientation

We strongly suggest you attend IOF's Orientation session for OCF students. Note: We are having our Welcome (Back) BBQ immediately after this session... free food!

Keys and keycard access

Keys are either electronic (linked to your student card) or standard. Keys and keycard access for the AERL building will be ready on the first day of classes. If additional access is required (e.g. labs), students are advised to check with their Supervisor, who will coordinate with the Graduate Program Officer.

Note that there is a $20 deposit required for a standard key and a picture ID must be shown when collecting these. The deposit will be refunded when the key is returned.

Mail

Mailboxes are located at the east end of the common office space on the 2nd floor, and at the west end of the 3rd floor, where they are organized by Lab (e.g. Trites Lab, Vincent Lab, Cheung Lab).

Pay

In order to initiate pay, students must have a Social Insurance Number (SIN) and also, if an international student, a study permit (for more information open the "Getting set up as as International Student" tab below).

Students must complete a "New to IOF" (XLS) form (Tab 1), then send it to their Supervisor who will complete Tab 2 and send it to the Graduate Program Officer, with the Direct Deposit forms and Tax forms (embedded in the New to IOF form).

Pay dates are the 15th and last day of the month. If there are any problems with pay, the Graduate Program Officer should be informed. Each student can access their appointment information (using their CWL) at www.mps.ubc.ca.

Computer accounts, email, and audio-visual equipment

All new IOF graduate students will to get a UBC email account. The email address will be in the format {initial.lastname@oceans.ubc.ca]. For issues with internet connectivity or email service problems, contact UBC IT (822-HELP or www.it.ubc.ca/SOS).

Students will also be added to the main IOF emailing list: students@oceans.ubc.ca.

The main meeting rooms in AERL are all AV equipped and you can connect with VGA, HDMI or wirelessly with a laptop or mobile device. AERL rooms can be booked through the Graduate Program Officer. If you book a room somewhere that is not AV equipped, the IOF has a bookable laptop computer and projector. Contact the IOF Communications Manager to book.

Make sure you book well ahead for important events (committee meetings, comps, etc.).

Orders for lab supplies and equipment

Students must consult with their supervisor before ordering supplies and work with IOF Finance staff to place orders.

Seminars

Notices are posted on the 1st, 2nd and 3rd floors, and also distributed by email. Information about all upcoming IOF events can be found on the Events Calendar.

A good source of information is International Student Development at International House (1783 West Mall) (ISDIH). If there are any questions regarding visas, health care, etc., ISDIH can be contacted for inquiries. Check out ISDIH’s International Student Guide.

UBC has a helpful pre-arrival checklist for International Students.

Social Insurance Number

Immediately after new graduate students arrive in Vancouver, they should visit a Service Canada Centre to apply for a Social Insurance Number (SIN). UBC students cannot be paid until they have one and they cannot be paid retroactively. This website will explain the application procedures.

The closest Service Canada Centre is located at 1263 West Broadway, Vancouver, British Columbia. (Broadway and Birch Street). A study permit and passport must be brought along. Service Canada will require these documents in order to issue the number.

Students are required to forward a copy of their study permit and SIN confirmation receipt to the OCF Graduate Program Officer as soon as they are available – you cannot be appointed/hired without them!

Note that SIN’s have expiry dates that correspond to the study permit expiry date. Both must be kept up to date.

Study Permit or Visa

A copy of a student’s study permit must be provided to the Graduate Program Officer as soon as possible – students cannot receive any form of payment from UBC until a copy of the study permit has been submitted. Study permit extensions take some time to process, so students are urged to plan ahead.
For further information please see the Citizen and Immigration Canada website.

Health Insurance

Students must apply for coverage for the Medical Services Plan as soon as they arrive in BC – there is a waiting period of 3 months from the date of entry to BC, before they become eligible for coverage.

International students are enrolled in a mandatory medical coverage (iMed) for the first 3 months in the program – the $180 fee is assessed as part of the student fees.

Note: MSP covers visits to doctors, hospitals and many medical specialists are free. Extended Health covers prescription drugs, dental visits, vision care, health practitioners, travel health coverage, and more.

I’ve settled in: now what?

IOF is your new home base while at UBC, so it is important to learn about things that will be going on around you.