Faculty Life Guide: Navigating UBC

UBC’s Faculty Life Guide is designed to give relevant information for new and continuing UBC faculty. It covers general information on UBC, living in Vancouver, working at UBC, and engaging with different UBC and local communities.

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About UBC

Resources and fast facts on general University matters

About UBC: An overview of UBC's vision, values, and resources for all members of the UBC community.

Academic calendar: A comprehensive guide to all programs, courses, services, and academic policies at UBC Vancouver.

Overview and facts: Basic information and statistics about UBC.

Faculties and schools: Faculties, schools, and departments at UBC. (For individual programs, labs, etc., please consult the related faculty, school, or department website or search the UBC.ca domain.)

Faculty & staff directory: UBC staff and faculty contact information.

UBC Faculty Association: This association promotes the interests of UBC faculty, upholds UBC faculty's academic freedom, and supports an environment that is free from discrimination and harassment.

Strategic Plan: UBC's collective vision, purpose, goals and strategies for the years ahead including initiatives like Focus on People.

Respectful Environment: Guiding principles that support an environment of respect, civility, diversity, opportunity and inclusion at UBC.

Student Services: Academic, health, financial, career, and recreational resources for UBC students.

Sustainability: Information on sustainability programs and activities including Sustainability Action Plans, policies, regional and international engagement, campus tours, courses, fellowships, programs, research collections, student groups, and ways to get involved.

Brand guidelines: UBC's brand guidelines and downloadable assets.

Virtual campus tour: Key locations on campus.

Living in Vancouver

Resources from UBC's Human Resources and Planning departments and the federal, provincial, and local governments

Get to know Canada (Government of Canada): The Government of Canada's guide to the land, people, government, laws, human rights, and provinces and territories of Canada.

BC Newcomers' Guide (Province of British Columbia): The provincial guide to living in BC - from money and banking, driving, and the legal system - available in 15 languages.

Faculty housing programs: Information on the Housing Action Plan (HAP) to help improve affordability and choice for faculty, staff and students based on our Vancouver campus.

Finding housing: Information on buying a home in BC, UBC's Faculty Home Ownership Program, UBC's Housing Action Plan, housing programs and taxable benefits, and rental housing.

Relocating to Vancouver: Information on housing, child care, schooling, health care, doctors, hospitals, health and wellbeing, transportation, driving, Social Insurance Number (SIN), and taxation.

Relocation Services: Information on UBC's Relocation Services.

Moving from outside Canada (Insurance Corporation of British Columbia [ICBC]) and Importing a vehicle into BC (ICBC): Information for drivers and car owners moving to BC. Please note that drivers have 90 days to switch over to a BC driver's license.

Home, property, and development (City of Vancouver): Information on waste and recycling, taxes, utility and landfill bills, building and renovating, urban planning, animals, trees, gardens, lawns, property use, noise, graffiti, water/sewer/energy use, and public safety.

Areas of Vancouver (City of Vancouver): Details about Vancouver's neighbourhoods and communities from the City of Vancouver.

Transportation: Resources on accessibility on campus, transit options, cycling, walking, and driving to UBC.

Getting around Vancouver (City of Vancouver): Public transportation and accessibility accommodations around the city.

Working at UBC

Resources for new, continuing, and retiring faculty and their families

New faculty checklist

Your first days at UBC: Resources for getting started at UBC and employee orientation.

Immigration: Information on Canadian immigration processes, requirements, and work permits.

Create a Campus Wide Login (CWL): Your CWL and password will serve as your personal authentication credentials when accessing a variety of UBC's online applications.

Enrolling in benefits: Understanding your eligibility for a number of UBC benefits plans.

Medical Services Plan (MSP): Information about the BC provincial government's medical insurance plan.

Temporary medical insurance / Insurance during MSP waiting period: Information on obtaining medical coverage before your Medical Services Plan (MSP) coverage begins.

Mandatory training: Online courses that must be completed as part of your UBC onboarding.

Apply for your UBC ID (UBCcard Online Services): A form for requesting your UBCcard, which is used to access services and facilities at UBC.

Email signature generator: A form that automatically creates your UBC branded email signature.


Working at UBC: Information on Workday, remote work arrangements, the faculty collective agreement, salaries, finding housing, statutory holidays, retirement planning, working past the age of 65, leaving UBC.

Benefit plan details: Information on BC Medical Services Plan (MSP), dental, extended health, health spending account, employee & family assistance program, life insurance, long-term disability plan, vacation and leaves, benefits while traveling, tuition waiver, and retirement & survivor benefits.

Faculty Pension Plan (FPP): Information on the FPP, an independent trust to help save and invest for the future.

Vacation and leaves of absence: Information on different types of paid and unpaid leaves.

Child care and support for spouses/partners

Child care & schooling: On- and off-campus child care and schooling options.

Dual career programs: Information on assisting partners of UBC faculty explore on- and off-campus faculty and staff job options.

Employment for spouses and partners: Information on career help, employment opportunities, and work permits for spouses and partners.

IT and Workday support

IT Service Centre Help Desk: Troubleshooting and resources for IT questions.

Wireless internet access on campus: Information on wireless networks that are available on campus.

IT Guide to Working off Campus: Technical resources that can support off-campus work.

Software licensing: Resources on software programs that UBC faculty can access for free or at a discounted rate.

Privacy Matters: How to stay safe online and protect yourself and others from being involved in an information security breach.

Cell phone services: Information on cellular and mobile devices and services.

Email, voice, & internet: Support for internet and voice services, including email, internet and network access, and telephone services.

Workday training: Training for Workday, an online system that all UBC employees use Workday to manage benefits, payroll, absence tracking, and other logistics.

Integrated Service Centre (ISC): Support services for faculty and staff who have questions about using Workday.

Finance, facilities, and recruitment

Finance: Information related to financial activity at UBC including payroll, procure to pay, budgeting and reporting, banking and leases, year end, financial resources for Workday, and tax and services levy.

Building operations: Information on UBC building operations including elevators, ice prevention and snow removal, submitting a request, and a variety of policies, procedures, and forms.

Recruiting and supporting top faculty and students: Initiatives from the Office of the Provost that are designed to attract top scholars and researchers.

Recruiting foreign academics (CWL login required): Information on recruiting non-Canadian faculty and renewing work permits.

Strategic student recruitment: Information on UBC's recruitment and student support initiatives.

Professional development

Academic Leadership Development Program (ALDP): A nine-month cohort-based leadership development program for new Department Heads, Associate Deans, Directors and those in related academic leadership roles at UBC.

Career development: Information on programs and resources to help your career growth including workplace learning opportunities, leadership programs, Conflict Theatre, coaching, career retention, navigation, and transition; performance conversations, tenure and faculty appointments, and professional development funding.

LinkedIn Learning: Free access to high-quality digital tutorials, courses, and curated learning paths.

Mentoring: Opportunities to be mentored by senior faculty members or to become a mentor to a junior faculty member or student.

Professional development by the Centre for Teaching, Learning & Technology (CTLT): The CTLT offers services for members of the UBC teaching and learning community at different stages in their careers.

Supporting supervisors and administrators with HR resources (CWL login required): Information on supporting faculty and staff in the workplace.

Workplace Learning (WPL) ecosystem: Free self-directed courses to support training, wellbeing and professional development.

Health and wellbeing

Health and wellbeing: Resources on Occupational and Preventative Health (OPH), working with an injury, illness, or disability; ergonomics, physical wellbeing, mental health, Healthy Workplace Initiatives Program, Workplace Wellbeing Ambassador Program, breastfeeding-friendly spaces, personal safety, and supports for those experiencing domestic violence.

UBC Wellbeing: Information on UBC's Wellbeing Strategic Framework (including collaborative leadership, mental health and resilience, food and nutrition, social connection, built and natural environments, physical activity), UBC Wellbeing Annual Report, research, tools, workshops, campaigns, and initiatives.

UBC Recreation: Information on physical activity experiences at UBC including aquatics, baseball, drop-in classes, fitness classes and plans, ice, intramurals, rowing, sport clubs, tennis, camps, rentals, and discounts.

Healthy UBC Newsletter: A monthly newsletter on health and wellbeing topics at UBC.

Safety and security

Campus Security: Information on UBC Campus Security services, including Safewalk, blue phones, Lost & Found database, building access, community watch, security requests, site security assessment, CCTV cameras, campus alerts, and how to report an incident.

Safety & Risk Services: Resources on risk management, including health and safety, environment, emergency preparedness, insurance, security, and training.

Sexual Violence Prevention and Response Office (SVPRO): SVPRO is a confidential place for those who have experienced, or been impacted by, any form of sexual or gender-based violence, harassment, or harm, regardless of where or when it took place.

Community engagement

Resources on academic and local partnerships, activism, special interest groups, Indigenous communities, things to do on- and off-campus, and more

Programs and initiatives

Academic communities

Community partners: An overall of all of UBC's community partnerships.

Academic community: Information on UBC's appointments, committees, multi-disciplinary opportunities, and academic updates.

Innovation UBC: Information on UBC's vast network that generates social and economic impacts locally and globally.

Public Scholars Initiative (PSI): A program for PhD candidates that seek collaborative, action-oriented, and/or creative forms of scholarship in their dissertation work.

UBC Research Excellence: Research stories, faculty, institutes, funding, awards, and collaborations at UBC.

Off-campus opportunities

Community engagement: Information on how UBC engages with diverse communities.

Community Leadership Program: A program to explore leadership concepts and principles through interactive, participatory workshops and experiential learning.

Donating and volunteering (City of Vancouver): Information on volunteering with and making donations to organizations in Vancouver.

Equity and inclusion

Initiatives and support

Anti-Racism and Inclusive Excellence at UBC: A call to action and task force for all community members to confront hatred, oppression, violence and injustice and to support and elevate those who are traditionally, systemically and historically marginalized.

Centre for Culture, Identity and Education (CCIE): A cultural studies research centre that focuses on exploring identity and its educational implications in local and international cultural contexts.

Equity & Inclusion Office: This office advances UBC's commitment to excellence, diversity, and inclusion through their Inclusion Action Plan, Gender Diversity, Training and Education, Faculty Resources, and other resources, workshops, and events.

Equity, diversity, and inclusion (City of Vancouver): Resources on how Vancouver supports and celebrates anti-racism, multiculturalism, seniors, youth, and more.

Faculty equity, diversity, + inclusion: Information on UBC's commitment to recruiting and retaining diverse faculty.

Get Involved: Groups and programs hosted by the Equity & Inclusion Office, including the Equity Ambassadors, Equity Student Advisory Council, and Equity & Inclusion Scholars Program.

Student diversity initiative: Information on UBC's commitment to foster and engage with diversity in UBC's student population

The Open Education Resource (OER) Accessibility Toolkit: A guide to creating open and accessible educational resources.

The Social Justice Institute: A degree-granting academic unit that is part of the Institute for Gender, Race, Sexuality and Social Justice and critically explores knowledge, democratic communities, and equity in scholarship, research, and teaching.

Special interest and affinity groups

Faith-based communities

UBC Chaplains: Current membership includes Bahá'í, Buddhist, Christian (Anglican, Baptist, Brethren Tradition, Pentecostal, Presbyterian, Roman Catholic, and United Churches), Jewish, and Muslim representation.

UBC Graduate and Faculty Christian Forum (GFCF): GFCF is an interdenominational group that invites the curious to search further into the things of God.


2SLGBTQ+ community (City of Vancouver): Resources on how Vancouver supports and celebrates the 2SLGBTQ+ community.

Get Involved: Groups and programs hosted by the Equity & Inclusion Office, including the Trans, Two-Spirit and Gender Diversity Task Force.

Rainbow Refugee A Vancouver-based community group that supports people seeking refugee protection in Canada because of persecution based on sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression (SOGIE) or HIV status.

People with disabilities

Accessibility (City of Vancouver): Resources on how Vancouver supports and celebrates accessibility throughout the city.

Crane Library: Provides course-support materials in four media: recorded "talking books", braille, large type, and ordinary print.

Faculty and staff with disabilities: Information on the Centre for Accessibility, which provides disability-related accommodations for UBC faculty and staff that have a disability or medical condition.

Racialized groups

Asian Canadian Community Engagement Initiative: An initiative that supports UBC's sustained and mutually enriching engagement with Asian Canadian communities.

Black Women Connect Vancouver: A collective of women who come together to inspire, empower, leverage our strengths and embrace our diverse experiences.

Colour the Trails: A collective of BIPoC and LGBTQ2S+ adventure seekers who advocate for inclusive representation in outdoor spaces, working with brand partners, businesses, and organizations to break barriers and create accessibility.

Hogan’s Alley Society: A non-profit organization composed of civil rights activists, business professionals, community organizations, artists, writers and academics committed to daylighting the presence of Black history in Vancouver and throughout British Columbia.

UBC Black Caucus: An organization that brings together Black students, staff, and faculty at UBC.


Faculty Women's Club: Open to women affiliated with the University of British Columbia – faculty, faculty spouses/partners, staff, and post-doctorates.

Women (City of Vancouver): Resources on how Vancouver supports and celebrates women.

Indigenous communities and initiatives

Indigenous Portal: Resources of Indigenous members of the UBC community, including the Indigenous Strategic Plan, the First Nations Longhouse, the First Nations House of Learning, the Xwi7xwa Library, Musqueam & UBC, and a directory of self-identified Indigenous faculty members. 

Indian Residential School History and Dialogue Centre (IRSHDC): The IRSHDC addresses the colonial legacy of residential schools and other policies imposed by the Canadian government on Indigenous Peoples and ensures that this history is acknowledged, examined and understood.

Musqueam First Nation: The official website of the Musqueam First Nation. UBC Vancouver is on the unceded lands of the Musqueam people and is committed to reconciliation.

Indigenous communities (City of Vancouver): Indigenous community resources from the City of Vancouver.

Indigenous Communications Guide: A guide to understanding the correct terminology to use when writing about Indigenous peoples.

Land acknowledgements in teaching and learning: A beginners' guide to understanding the importance of land acknowledgements and how to integrate them into teaching and learning practice.

Acknowledging the Musqueam people at ceremonies and events: Guidelines for acknowledging the Musqueam people and requesting a Musqueam representative at your event.

Things to do

On campus

Visit UBC Vancouver: Learn about the sites and attractions at UBC's Vancouver campus, including museums and galleries, gardens and nature, theatre and music, and athletics and recreation.

Arts & Culture District: Events and activities featuring live music, theatre, opera, film, contemporary and fine art, and more on campus.

UBC Events: Upcoming events across UBC's campuses.

UBC Today: A website and weekly newsletter on what's happening at UBC.

Off campus

Access Gallery: An artist-run centre and gallery with a mission to create conditions of emergence for provocative ideas and work in the visual arts.

Afro Van Connect: A non-profit dedicated to empowering people of African descent through conversation, collaboration, creation & performance.

BC Sports Hall of Fame and Museum: A museum that showcases British Columbia's sport history.

Bloedel Conservatory: A domed plant and bird conservatory located in Queen Elizabeth Park on Vancouver's highest point.

Canton-sardine: An artist-run gallery for contemporary art that was founded by Vancouver-based artists from Canton, China.

Museum of Vancouver: A museum dedicated to Vancouver's civic history.

Nikkei National Museum and Cultural Centre: A multi-use facility that honours, preserves, and shares Japanese culture and Japanese Canadian history and heritage.

Old Hastings Mill Store Museum: Vancouver's oldest building.

Parks, recreation, and culture in Vancouver (City of Vancouver): Information on recreational activities, parks, gardens, beaches, and things to do in Vancouver.

Roedde House Museum: A restored late Victorian home in Vancouver.

Science World: Interactive science displays & films for kids from toddlers to early teens, inside a geodesic dome.

The Jewish Museum & Archives of BC: Dedicated to collecting and sharing community memories of Jewish life in British Columbia.

The Polygon Gallery: An art gallery in North Vancouver that focuses on the histories and evolving technologies of photography and related media.

Vancouver Art Gallery: One of North America's most respected and innovative visual arts institutions.

Vancouver Holocaust Education Centre: A centre that is devoted to Holocaust-based anti-racism education and commemoration.

Vancouver Maritime Museum: A museum on maritime heritage and history in Vancouver.

Vancouver Police Museum & Archives: Museum dedicated to law enforcement in Vancouver.

Vancouver Public Library (VPL) public programming: Free programs and events hosted by VPL.

VanDusen Botanical Garden: A botanical garden in Vancouver.

Annual local events

Car Free Day: In-person festivals that support local artists, businesses, and nonprofits while advocating for public streets and spaces without cars.

Caribbean Days Festival: A North Vancouver festival that features Caribbean music, dancing, food, and activities for children.

Chilliwack Tulips: Western Canada's largest tulip farm.

DOXA Documentary Film Festival: Headed by the Documentary Media Society, this festival is devoted to presenting independent and innovative documentaries to Vancouver audiences.

Festival of Recorded Movement (F-O-R-M): Co-presented by Simon Fraser University's Woodward's Cultural Programs, this festival showcases movement-based films by youth and emerging artists.

Full Circle / Talking Stick Festival: Headed by Full Circle: First Nations Performance, this festival showcases and celebrates Indigenous art and performance to a wider audience.

Indian Summer Fest: Headed by the Indian Summer Arts Society, this festival presents multi-arts experiences that are curated through a South Asian lens.

Italian Day: A celebration of Italian culture, heritage and community.

Khatsahlano Street Party: Supported by the merchants of Vancouver's West 4th Avenue.

Queer Arts Festival / SUM Gallery: Headed by the Pride in Art Society (PiA), this festival and gallery are dedicated to the presentation of queer art.

Richmond Night Market: The largest in North America, this market hosts a variety of street food, merchandise and games every weekend from May to October.

Vancouver Comic Arts Festival (VanCAF): An exhibition and vendor fair featuring hundreds of international comics, graphic novels, and their creators.

Vancouver Folk Music Festival: A community-based celebration that presents traditional and contemporary folk and roots music from around the world.

Vancouver International Children's Festival: This festival hosts live performances and hands-on arts activities for children, parents, and teachers.

Vancouver International Film Festival (VIFF): Hosted by the Greater Vancouver International Film Festival Society, this festival hosts critically acclaimed films in addition to year-round programming.

Vancouver Queer Film Festival: This festival showcases dynamic and thought-provoking films from British Columbian filmmakers as well as other Canadian and international directors and storytellers.

Vancouver Writers Fest: One of the largest annual literary festivals in North America that attracts local and international authors for one week every October.

If you have any resources to add to this guide, or have any questions, please contact Faculty Staff Housing & Relocation Services at faculty.lifeguide@ubc.ca.