Ways to Learn Beyond the Classroom

While our academics is important, learning beyond the classroom and getting hands-on experience can help you learn more about your strengths and inspire you to become a proactive learner in daily life. There is an abundance of ways for you to gain new skills and try new things outside of the classroom. Here are some helpful resources to get you started.

1. Apply for Summer jobs

Now is a great time to start looking for summer jobs to gain work experience. UBC CareersOnline is a useful job hunting resource to find out about various opportunities here in Vancouver as well as abroad. If you are keen on finding a summer job on campus, make sure to look into the Work-Learn program (more details below). Once you find the job positions that you are interested in applying to, head over to the Centre for Student Involvement and Careers (CSI&C) in Brock Hall which offers free one-on-one coaching on resumes, cover letters and interview preparation. You can book an appointment in advance with a Career Advisor (call 604 822 4011 or book online on Careers Online) or just drop-in for a 30-minute coaching session hosted by the Career Peer Coaches (Check out the drop-in hours here).

Here are some helpful resources that might interest you:

  • Federal Student Work Experience Program: This program offers full-time students work experience in the federal public service. This is a great opportunity if you are interested in working for the government. Apply ASAP. 
  • UBC Summer Camps: If you have a passion for you and want to improve your leadership skills, check out all the positions that are offered by UBC Summer Camps. Apply ASAP (application open until all the positions are filled). 
  • UBC Summer Work-Learn Program: This program, specifically for UBC students, gives you the opportunity to learn and develop professional skills in a work environment. Applications open from March 13-24 on Careers Online.
  • Alma Mater Society (AMS): Apply to work for your student society to make a difference in UBC. 

2. Check out Events around Campus

Attendings events is a fun, stress-free way to learn about something outside of your major and make new friends. A great way to find out events happening on campus is the UBC Events website. I have it bookmarked so that I can check out what’s happening on campus if I happen to have a few hours to spear. (You can also follow them on Twitter at @UBCevents) If you’ve got the appetite for events related to Arts and Culture, Dive into UBC is another great resource to check out. Other ways to find out about events is to subscribe to different clubs/organizations’ email letters as well as their Facebook Events. It’s also a great idea to join clubs related to your interests so that you can find about more opportunities that you would be interested in.

3. Volunteer

There are tons of opportunities to volunteer and give back to the community. If you want to volunteer on campus but don’t know where to start, AMS Volunteer Avenue can help you. It is a free AMS service that provides one-on-one consultation and offers resources to guide you to pursue a volunteer position that will be right for you. You can also find various volunteer opportunities on the AMS Volunteer Postings.

Here are some volunteer opportunities that you might be interested in:

  • Vancouver Crisis Centre: Distress Services Volunteers are trained to provide non-judgmental listening, support and intervention over the telephone and online messaging. Application deadline is March 26th for those that want to start in May 2017.
  • Ubyssey: Do you like storytelling and journalism? Volunteer for UBC’s student-run newspaper.
  • United Nations Online Volunteering: This program allows volunteers to team up with organizations to address sustainable development challenges anywhere in the world.
  • UBC Farm: Interested in agriculture, sustainability and food? Gain hands-on experience in small-scale sustainable farming!

4. Start your own initiative

Can’t find a club that focuses on your passion, you can start your own. Check out the application process for starting your own club for the next school year here: Start preparing for a club next year: http://www.ams.ubc.ca/clubs/starting-a-club/. You can also create your own learning experience through starting your own initiative. If you have a bright idea, you can make it happen with various funding resources on campus!

  • UBC Student Environment Centre Fund: Apply to this fund if you have an idea for a project (e.g event, program, campaign, etc.) which is concerned with sustainability and/or the environment. Apply before the end of the semester.
  • Equity Enhancement Fund: Supports community-based initiatives that enhance equity, diversity, inclusion and intercultural understanding at UBC. Apply by Feb 28th.
  • Find a list of other sources of funding here.


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