UBC’s International Scholars have the potential to make a difference in the world. They are high academic achievers who have demonstrated exceptional extracurricular activities, show a desire to create global change, and they are dedicated to giving back to their schools and communities.
UBC’s International Scholars are part of the International Scholars Program, which offers the chance to:
A UBC degree opens doors and connects you to a vast alumni network across the globe.
You’ll join a community of engaged and supportive young leaders and study among the best and the brightest. You and your fellow Scholars will enrich UBC and the global community with your diverse perspectives, committed involvement, and innovative initiatives.
You’ll have access to numerous opportunities inside and outside the classroom that will enrich your university experience:
You’ll be supported by a team of dedicated International Scholars Program advisors throughout your degree, plus a network of staff from across UBC’s faculties and services who will encourage your academic, personal, and career development.
For Jessica, UBC’s International Leader of Tomorrow Award has given her the support and tools she needs to reach her “full academic potential at university” – her words, not ours! The fact that she will be spending the summer studying Indigenous medicine in Nicaragua is just one example of how the award has opened doors.
“I feel like I can truly explore my academic passions freely, knowing that there is a team of individuals who will always encourage me to keep making dreams become realities. I truly feel like I could accomplish anything I set my mind to because of this community.”
Since arriving at UBC, Jessica has taken that feeling to heart, pursuing her interests and seeking out every opportunity to get involved. She has been a Jump Start orientation leader, a habits course facilitator, and a Nutrikids educator, not to mention a gymnastics coach and a member of the Agape Street Missions.
“I feel I have become a more motivated, tenacious, and humbled person because of this award. I have met incredibly inspiring fellow Scholars as well as major leaders of this university who have continued to amaze me on a daily basis. Through the help of the support system in this community, I have learned to believe in myself and my academic and professional abilities in ways I could never have imagined.”
Originally from Israel, UBC International Scholar Eliya had always dreamed of pursuing her academic goals abroad. “Israel has always felt like a small and isolated country and I wanted to study somewhere that will help me make a global impact,” she explains.
When Eliya received the International Leader of Tomorrow Award, she saw it as a life-changing opportunity to study at a leading institution with extraordinary students from all over the world.
“Meeting so many new people helped me get a fresh perspective on things. Listening to the experiences of my fellow Scholars and learning and growing with them has been the most rewarding experience of this whole journey.”
For Eliya, being an International Scholar has given her the tools she needs to reach her goals. “I am thankful to UBC for giving me this incredible platform to help me reach the pinnacle of success in the future.”
Daniel came to UBC with the intention of pursuing an Economics degree. Today, he’s doing just that – along with a minor in Computer Science and a whole lot more – thanks to the International Scholars Program.
“This award has had a huge effect on me personally since I was able to join a community that I can study with, hang out with, and plan events with and that continuously inspires and encourages me.”
For Daniel, the support of UBC staff has also been critical in providing encouragement and keeping him accountable to his goals. “With all this support, I have managed to be quite active in my time here on campus – from advocating for fellow students as a student senator and supporting them as a teaching assistant, to helping build an inclusive on campus community as a resident advisor, to organizing elections as the chief returning officer.”
Joses was driven to study civil engineering so that he could use his education to help developing countries on his home continent of Africa. When he arrived at UBC, he found a welcoming community and endless opportunities to get involved.
When Nishat hung a poster of UBC on her wall in Bangladesh, she never imagined that she would go on to become a UBC International Scholar, deliver her convocation address, and end up pursuing grad studies on UBC’s Okanagan campus.
“Before coming to Vancouver, I lived in five different countries. Living in these countries, I was exposed to a plethora of culture, music, and food,” explains UBC International Scholar Rose.
She cites Vancouver’s nature as a driving force behind her decision to apply to UBC. “I enjoy nature and serving the community. In Mali, my classmates and I would go on school trips to a village called Sibi,” Rose recounts, noting that engaging with community members, hiking, and rock-climbing were integral parts of the trips.
At her core, Rose describes herself as “an advocate for justice, equality, and truth,” citing her father, a representative for the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), helped her discover that calling.
“One of my most inspiring experiences was getting the opportunity to escort my father to a campaign in Kenya, where he was promoting the importance of treating preventable diseases. From that point, I also had a passion of making a difference in the world.”
Driven by her interest in neuroscience and Rwanda’s history, Rose is now studying Psychology on UBC’s Vancouver campus. “I have family members who are survivors and victims of the Rwandan genocide. Seeing how they coped with the trauma was a true fascination of mine,” she explains. “My goal in life is to make a difference, regardless of where I am.”
Andreas is grateful for the chance to make a difference and study the subject he loves.
“Receiving this award gave me great pride, reminding me that someone who hadn’t met me believed in my ability to create change and supported my vision.”
In June 2017, shortly before his twentieth birthday, UBC International Scholar and budding screenwriter Roberto won the “Audience Choice Award” at the Diversity in Cannes Short Film Showcase for Bittersweet – a project he worked on with two of his closest friends and artistic partners.
“The camera has the ability to capture and eternalize fleeting moments that would otherwise dissolve from memory. As a result, it acts as a time machine that allows us to revisit history and potentially liberate it from the curse that has bound it to repeat itself.”
Find out how Roberto started making and writing films, and what’s next for him at UBC and beyond.
“Before coming to university, I thought I had to commit to a single one of my passions. When I came here, I realized that there is no end to what I could explore,” says UBC International Scholar Carolina.
“I could say the Scholar’s community is the single most important factor to my university success. It is there where I have found the friends that have now become my family, my support system, my laughter, and above all, my inspiration.”
Giving the opening speech at Imagine UBC in front of more than 8,000 students, starting her own radio show, and learning how to fire-dance are just a few of the highlights so far from Carolina’s time at UBC.
“I have been part of theatre productions, gone surfing and camping around beautiful British Columbia, worked as a research assistant, learned how to play the guitar, and developed a deep love for biking. I have also had the most eye-opening conversations with world-renowned professors who are at the forefront of their fields. I am infinitely grateful and privileged to be able to learn and play in these unceded territories of the First Nation’s peoples,” she reflects.
After graduation, Carolina plans to pursue a career in education with a focus on social justice, fine arts, and the environment. In the distant future, she dreams of piloting her very own yellow propeller plane.
Four prestigious need-and-merit-based awards are available through UBC’s International Scholars Program. UBC offers approximately 50 scholarships each year across all four awards. You won’t select which award you wish to receive when you submit your application – our team will automatically consider you for the awards that you are eligible for.
This award recognizes international undergraduate students who demonstrate superior academic achievement, exceptional leadership skills, involvement in student affairs and community service, and recognized achievement in other key areas.
This award recognizes outstanding international undergraduate students from impoverished or war-torn areas who have achieved academic excellence under challenging circumstances, and who would be unable to attend university without significant financial assistance.
This award is offered to exceptional students who have expressed commitment to and solutions for social justice issues, climate change, equity and inclusion, societal health and wellness, and freedom of expression.
This award is offered by UBC Vantage College for academically outstanding international students who do not yet meet the English Language Admission Standard for direct admission to UBC . The awards range in value up to the full cost of a student’s academic program and living expenses.
We will consider you for the Vantage One Excellence Award if:
Please note: If you apply for the International Scholars Program, you will not be considered for merit-based awards, including International Major Entrance Scholarships and Outstanding International Student Awards.
2. Submit your application to UBC.
3. To apply for the International Scholars Program, you must be nominated by your school or non-profit, and submit a reference from an academic referee. Confirm that your school or non-profit is able to nominate you, and inform your nominator and academic referee that you’d like to apply for the International Scholars Program.
A single high school, college, or university may nominate up to three students for UBC Vancouver (including Vantage College), and one student for UBC Okanagan. A non-profit may only nominate a high school student who is involved with their organization. This nomination will count towards the total nominations permitted from a student’s school.
(Please note: your nominator should be your school counsellor or equivalent, and your academic referee should be someone who is familiar with you and your work – for example, your teacher for your chosen area of study.)
4. Gather your required financial information, as well as notes on any extracurricular activities and awards.
5. Apply for the International Scholars Program by completing this form.
Applications for the 2022 school year will open on October 4, 2021.
December 1: You must have submitted your online application for admission to UBC, and submitted your International Scholars Program application. Although you can specify two degree choices in your application, only your first-choice degree will be considered for an Internationals Scholars Program award.
January 31: Meet UBC’s English Language Admission Standard for direct-entry, or the English language requirement for UBC Vantage College if you have applied to a Vantage One program and are hoping to be considered for the Vantage One Excellent Award.
January 31: Submit any documents required for your admission to UBC. Please submit by this deadline, not the date indicated in your “next steps” email.
Mid-April: You will be informed if you have received an award.