Last update: August 18, 2017

Global Seminar proposal deadline is July 31, 2017 (For programs running in summer 2018 & 2019)

Global Seminars offer UBC faculty the opportunity to take learning ‘beyond the classroom.’

Programs are taught around the world, and are led by UBC faculty members, with support from academia, industry, or cultural institutions.

Global Seminars programs must be credit bearing, and comprise a full course or a segment of a course.


On this page:

Background on Global Seminars

Since 2012, Global Seminars has partnered with over 40 different faculty members to deliver programs in 24 different countries. In the last two summers alone, over 700 students have taken part in programs around the world.

Global Seminars are developed in partnership with individual faculty members, Global Seminars Advisors, and with the support and approval of  department heads and deans. The academic content of individual programs is determined exclusively by faculty members.

In selecting locations for Global Seminars, faculty members should consider their research and course objectives. Typically, Global Seminars take place in international locations, although Canadian have also been extremely popular.

Locations for Global Seminars should be determined with student safety in mind. Global Seminars may not take place in locations where Global Affairs Canada has issued the warning “Avoid non-essential travel” and “Avoid all travel”.


Roles and responsibilities

Faculty Member - Academic lead for Global Seminar
  • Develop and teach the course
  • Identify local contacts for accommodations, site visits, emergencies etc.
  • Be the "on the ground" contact for students while away.
  • Communicate with Go Global throughout the entire Global Seminar cycle. Communications is essential if there are arising safety concerns.
  • Complete all financial tasks in accordance to UBC Finance deadlines, and work with department heads to determine how individual Global Seminars programs are factored into individual teaching loads. Program development funding is negotiated within each department.
Global Seminars Advisors

Global Seminar advisors support faculty members on matters outside of academic programming

  • Provide faculty members with tools and resources for planning and pre-departure activities
  • Are available to meet with faculty to discuss the progress of a Global Seminar
  • Advise and prepare students
  • Liaise with multiple departments including UBC Central Finance, Enrolment Services, and UBC Legal that allow to programs to run
Department Head

Department Heads must be aware of the responsibilities for hosting this course.

  • Approves the location of the course. Global Seminars may not take place in locations where Global Affairs Canada has issued the warning “Avoid non-essential travel” and “Avoid all travel”. The University of British Columbia and Student Safety Abroad reserves the right to review travel advisories prior to departure, and terminate the program if safety becomes a concern.
  • Confirms a UBC course code is available for use for the Global Seminar. The course code may be a generic special topics course.  It is the responsibility of the faculty member to notify their department that the course will be in use for this Global Seminar program.
  • Determines teaching loads and minimum class sizes with faculty member and their department.
  • Financial responsibility – Global Seminars run on a cost recovery basis from the funds paid by Global Seminar students. Advisors will work to ensure the budget for each Global Seminar is realistic. However, in the rare instance a Global Seminar is severely over budget, the Department Head will be notified and the department may be responsible for offsetting the budget shortage.


Program Assistant

Faculty may choose to have a designated Program Assistant (PA). This individual is not necessarily a Teaching Assistant, although they many faculty choose to bring their TAs as PAs to further the student experience. The cost for a Program Assistant is included within the budget of the Global Seminar.

Go Global encourages bringing PAs on Global Seminars, as they can function in the following capacity.

  • Assist in time of crisis while abroad (ex. Injured student, lost passport, etc.)
  • Act as a group leader for the students in the class
  • Attend safety training prior to departure
Student Safety Abroad Advisor
  • Monitors global current events and travel advisories on a daily basis
  • Offers advice for assessing and mitigating risks
  • Makes it easier for UBC to assist faculty in the case of critical incidents
  • Offers a clear and simple process for adjudicating travel proposals, especially if the Global Seminar is in a location with increased travel warning
  • Maintains the Student Abroad Registry


Funding available to faculty and students

All students participating in Global Seminars will be considered for Go Global Awards of up to $1000. Please contact the Global Seminar Advisors to discuss other student funding opportunities.

Faculty members may apply for SSHRC Insight Grants to support Global Seminars. 

Arts Research Abroad (ARA)

Funding is available through the Faculty of Arts to support identified Global Seminar Programs through Arts Research Abroad (ARA). Please contact Marcy Caouette for more information.

Do you already take UBC students abroad for academic studies?

Many UBC faculty members already run programs (including field schools, digs, tours, and more) that involve taking UBC students on group visits abroad. By partnering with Global Seminars, faculty can access support with financial and administrative tasks required in taking a group abroad.

Recent programs that have approached Global Seminars for support include: UBC Opera, Faculty of Forestry, Sauder School of Business, Faculty of Land and Food Systems, First Nations and Indigenous Studies, and the School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture.

Please contact us for more information.

Past and current Global Seminars by faculty

Faculty of Arts


Chinese Migration in the Americas

Cultural Identify in the Shaping of Urban Landscape and Economy

Remembering the City’s History: Vancouver and Hong Kong in Comparative Context

Nostalgia in the Making of Urban Forms: Hong Kong and Shanghai Global Seminar

The Heritage of Chinese Migration – the Village Fortress/Mansions of Kaiping in Guangdong

Art History, Visual Art and Theory:

VISA 580

Renaissance Art in Venice and the Veneto

VISA 470 – Venice Biennale and Italian Theory

Lost, Loose & Loved: Foreign Artists in Paris from 1944 to 1964

Asian Studies:

A Canada-Japan Collaborative Learning Activity Focused on Trade

Intensive Chinese in China with Yunnan Normal University

Kakehashi Project


Germanic Studies in Berlin: Travel and Adventure in Early Germanic Prose

German Research Abroad: Reality Drama in the 18th Century

Witnessing Auschwitz: Conflicting Stories and Memories of People

Women's Epistolary Culture in the Age of Goethe


Excavations in Sicily – the Gerace Project

Urban Landscapes of Bronze Age Cyprus – A field school investigating ancient cities, interaction, and social change

Life among Ruins: Archaeology in Practice (Roman Archaeology Field School)


Italian in Italy and the Spaces of Venice

Literature and the City: Reading Montreal

Le Québec par sa littérature: Montréal

Stories in Motion: Travel Writing in France


Anthropology Field School in Jordan

Archaeological Field Training in Anyang, China

First Nations Studies:

In Search of Indigenous London


Interactive Music and Performing Arts for Research Training (IMPART)

School of Opera


Ethics and Global Poverty


International Security from African Perspectives: Ethiopia

Co-existence and Co-operation in the Middle East


Japanese Geography 379C 201

Term Abroad in Global Citizenship – Guatemala

Canadian Field Studies in Africa

Faculty of Science

Field course in Biology (BIOL 409)

ISCI 361: Field Course in Systems Approaches to Regional Sustainability

Faculty of Land and Food Systems

LFS 302

International Field Studies in Sustainable Agriculture

Program Monitoring & Evaluation for Timely Responses: LFS Summer Field Study

Faculty of Forestry

Exploring Forestry and Conservation in China

International Conservation and Forest Ecosystem Management Field School

Faculty of Education

Peru Sumer Institute: Ecology, Technology and Indigeneity in the High Amazon

Southwest University (Chongqing) summer institute

Faculty of Applied Science


Natural Resource Issues and Sustainability Planning in Latin America

Philippine Planning Studio Course: Municipal Development Planning

Land Use Planning in Costa Rica – PLAN 545

The Unplannable City


Chandigarh – Master of Urban Design fieldwork seminar and studio

Sauder School of Business

Shanghai Sumer Program

European Summer Program

Faculty of Medicine

Midwifery Global Seminar


What to expect during the Global Seminar program planning and cycle process

Planning a Global Seminar takes time and we encourage early connections between faculty members and Go Global. 

January to July Proposal submissions. Proposals are sent to the Global Seminars Advisors. The Program Director(s) and the Global Seminars Advisors then work closely with the faculty member to build the information about the program. 
May to September Program preparation. Global Seminars Advisors create a plan to promote the Global Seminars across both campuses. A webpage with program information is launched in September. The application form for students is usually launched in October.
September to February Promotion and recruitment and selection period. Some program applications close in November (the early deadline) and most programs close in January. Once applications close, Program Directors may choose to interview applicants. A list of accepted students is finalized by mid-February.
March (following year)

Student confirmation and predeparture. Students confirm their participation and pre-departure sessions are held. The Go Global Award is awarded to eligible students. Each Global Seminar departs at different times throughout the Summer Session, with the earliest departures in May. 

Upon return, Program Directors and the Global Seminar Advisors work together to evaluate the experience and reconcile the budget.


How to apply

We encourage you to contact us to discuss how we can best support you through the program’s development. Please Global Seminar Advisor Nazlyn Pirani

Please complete and submit the Global Seminar Proposal form to by July 31, 2017.

Please contact the Global Seminar Advisor for the budget template.

Essential Tasks Agreement




Support from Go Global

The dedicated Global Seminars team and the Student Safety Abroad Advisor can provide administrative support at all stages of program development and delivery. Together, you will customize the support requirements to meet the needs and priorities for your specific program. 

Program Development and Recruitment
  • On-going support for program planning
  • Support  and communication during the program
  • Recruitment and promotion Student advising on vetting
Application and Selection
  • Support and collaborate with faculty on the student application process, including the creation and collection of applications 
  • Determine a selection criteria for participants
  • Schedule and conduct interviews with students (if desired)
  • Communicate with students regarding acceptances and rejections
  • Help students register with appropriate courses codes at UBC
  • Liaise with partner universities for official transcripts (if needed)
  • Establish a pre-departure plan to identify what students need to know
  • Develop specific group pre-departure sessions related to Student Safety Abroad 
  • Ensure students register in the Student Safety Abroad Registry per UBC policy 69
  • Provide access to the Safety Toolkit that has processes and planning templates for managing student safety abroad. Please contact Global Seminars advisors for password access.
Program Evaluation
  • Create student and faculty program evaluations
  • Send and compile student evaluations, analyze and summarize results 
  • Budget and student fee management and reconciliation
  • Supporting the student award process
  • Provide assistance for flights for faculty and teaching team
  • Support with reimbursement or payment for vendors, service providers and faculty members
  • Arrange travel advances

Note: Faculty members are not allowed to charge a professional fee in the budget for a Global Seminar. Please contact the Go Global Advisors for more details.



Program Administration
  • Ensure coordination with broader university initiatives and priorities
  • Ongoing problem-solving and administrative tasks as required to ensure the successful delivery of your program. 
Student Safety Abroad Program

Documents and webpages for your reference include:


Contact information