In-person Program

July 16th – August 16th, 2022

The Arts VSP provides an opportunity to study at one of the world’s top ranked universities and gain international academic experience. By offering globally relevant courses and sociocultural events, the Arts VSP encourages students to engage in cross-disciplinary learning, build friendships, and expand their perspective of the world around them. Additionally, the in-person Arts VSP will give students the chance to discover what it is like to live and learn in Canada, and explore the multicultural city of Vancouver.

Apply now to study at UBC! The deadline to submit applications is April 8th, 2022. 

Course Packages

The Arts VSP offers a variety of packages with courses in the fields of humanities, social sciences, and creative and performing arts. Packages are themed, comprising of two relevant courses taught by world-class UBC instructors. Each course is approximately 39 hours of instructional time. Students will earn a certificate and grades letter* upon successful completion at the end of the program.

*Grades letters are not official UBC school transcripts. VSP courses do not receive UBC credit, but credit may be granted by students’ home institution, at their discretion. 

Culture and Communication (Department of Anthropology)

Anthropology is the study of what makes us human. One of the most fundamental aspects of human society is communication through language. In this course, we ask if human language is unique and different from communication systems of other animals. We also examine the relationship between language and culture and explore how language is linked to how we see the world and how we relate to each other. By reading about a variety of cultures and languages across the globe, we will try to answer questions, such as: Do we see the world differently because we speak different languages? Do we identify the social characteristics of an individual based on their dialect and accent? How do people use language to form or change identities? Why are women criticized more frequently than men for how they communicate? You will gain experience in meeting writing standards for UBC Arts/Anthropology courses and will receive individual feedback on writing assignments.

Global Journalism (School of Journalism, Writing, and Media)

This course will examine the development of media technologies, their applications, and their cultural, political and social impacts. Students will also gain hands-on experience in learning how to think and operate like a professional journalist in a simulated multimedia environment. lt is designed to introduce students to the grammar and syntax of media across platforms, based on a core journalistic skill set of interviewing, reporting, news writing, and research methods in tandem with the most current technical tools and technologies in digital media.

Inequality and Diversity in Modern Societies (Department of Sociology)

This course explores the concepts and theories surrounding social diversity across a range of modern societies. The aim is to highlight how societies are stratified along different social categories, and engage students to think critically think about the organizational structure of multicultural societies. The course will begin with an overview of the demographic and socioeconomic position of various groups. The course will then analyze the social inequalities that exist among these groups and the social mechanisms and policies that generate these differences. Drawing from real life examples and research findings, the course will teach students how to think sociologically about specific issues (e.g. labour market participation, health outcomes, civic participation) that are relevant across the globe but also pay attention to those pertinent to multicultural societies such as Canada. Lastly, the course will use assignments to enable students to analyze these issues and think about practical solutions to address them.

Practice with Marginalized Diverse Populations (School of  Social Work)

Based on a framework that recognizes that inequality is rooted in historical forms of stratification that are often embedded in modern institutions, this course will explore the application of the concepts of diversity in policy and practice with diverse populations. This course will then examine how different forms of diversity individually and intersectionally cause predicaments to and marginalization of individuals, groups and communities. Using Canadian policies as an example, students will learn and critique the strengths and limitations of the human rights and multicultural discourse prevalently embraced by many western countries. Through agency visits and small group discussions, students will examine different ways and approaches of how health and social service practitioners apply the concepts of social diversity in serving and advocating for individuals, groups and communities to overcome these predicaments and marginalization.

Program Details

Program Fees 

The VSP package fee is $5450 CAD and it includes tuition for your course package, accommodation, course materials, and medical insurance.

The fee also includes transport to and from the airport, a city tour of Vancouver, a welcome event, and a farewell lunch.

Other included activities differ according to your chosen course package. Some packages include sociocultural activities, 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.

Application Process

Find out how to apply for the VSP and what you can expect from the application process here.


Typical participants are undergraduate students who have completed a minimum of two years of university studies prior to joining the program. Students with fewer than two years of university studies may be considered if the home institution approves it. Participants must be fully proficient in English and be able to engage in an academic setting. Language requirements are self-assessed – we do not require TOEFL or IELTS results.

Course Format 

A typical course includes an interactive lecture and discussion component and will have a mix of in-class and take-home assignments. Assignments can also include individual or group projects, quizzes, and exams.

Some courses will offer academic field trips that take place on or off-campus. These field trips complement classroom learning, and may include community engagement or fieldwork.

The Arts VSP’s instructors and teaching assistants are committed to providing a supportive learning environment for students. During the program, instructors provide support in-class and by email.

Program Size

Each package may set minimum and maximum enrollment limits for their courses. The minimum enrollment is generally 20 students, though some packages may have higher minimums. Students are advised to register as early as possible to get their first choice of package.

Disclaimer: In some instances, course packages may be cancelled due to insufficient enrollment or other reasons. If this happens, students will be offered a choice to apply for another package or to request for a refund (see refund policy for full details). 

Social Programming 

UBC VSP is as much about academics as it is about social and cultural experiences. The Arts VSP will have weekly sociocultural events such a UBC tour, a city of Vancouver tour, a sports day, and a graduate studies information fair.