Visiting Undergraduate Research Students
Please note that we receive a very large number of inquiries about the VURS program each year; however only a small number of students are placed.
Students are typically accepted by faculty members through programs/agreements with international institutions, or by personal recommendation of colleagues at other institutions. We normally do not consider students that contact us without a strong recommendation through one of these channels.
The information below is for students and faculty members who have already agreed to accept a VURS student
Each year, students from other universities or institutes come to the Department of Mechanical Engineering for periods of practical training, typically for 3-6 months. During that time they assist with research projects done by faculty members. The work period typically forms part of the practical training requirements at the student's home institution.
While in the Mechanical Engineering Department, a visiting student must be registered at UBC as a Visiting Undergraduate Research Student (VURS). To be eligible for admission to UBC as a VURS, a student must be currently registered and in good standing at another recognized university, and coming for research purposes only. Since VURS students are accepted without completing the full UBC academic application process, they are not eligible to take classes at UBC.
Once the student visit has been approved by a faculty member at UBC, the student should complete and submit an official application form by mail or fax. The application fee is $60.00 CAD. Payment in Canadian or US funds may be made by credit card OR by a cheque, bank draft or money order drawn on a Canadian or US bank. This payment should be made payable to The University of British Columbia. There are mandatory additional fees to pay after arrival at UBC amounting to about $500. See the list at the end of this page.
The student also needs to obtain a letter of permission from their home university's Registrar or Department Head confirming that the research undertaken at UBC by the visiting student is for the purpose of completing degree requirements at the home university. The letter should be sent with the fee payment to:
Attn: VURS Admissions
Department of Mechanical Engineering
University of British Columbia
Rm 2054 - 2324 Main Mall
CANADA V6T 1Z4
Fax (604) 822-2403
The UBC International Student Services website has information about obtaining a study permit to enter Canada, as well as information on housing, medical insurance, and other useful information. Please note, however that the ISS site is designed primarily for full-time international students, and only some of the information is useful for VURS.
Once we have received all of the student information (application, application fee, Letter of Permission) and has been contacted by the sponsoring Faculty member, we will initiate the formal admissions process with the UBC Admissions Office and issue a Letter of Invitation to the student (signed by the Department Head). This letter will allow the student to apply for a study permit.
Upon arrival, the student must report to Reception in the Mechanical Engineering Department. The Faculty Secretary will advise them of their Student Number and register them in the non-credit activity VURS 499.
A VURS is officially registered at UBC, and therefore has a student number and access to a UPass (a three-zone transit pass), a library card and student accident insurance ($7). A VURS can also get an official transcript if verification of attendance is required by their home institution.
The sponsoring Faculty member may choose (but is not obligated) to give a stipend to the student. In this case, the student needs to obtain a Social Insurance Number. This number, or a copy of the completed application, must be provided to the Department upon arrival.
All fees are subject to change at any time.
• $60.00 application fee; paid at the time of application.
• $57.92 student fees per September - August school year.
• $170.00 iMED Health Insurance (basic health; equivalent to BC MSP - MANDATORY) if staying for one term. If staying for longer than 1 term, the fee is $120 but it only covers for first three months – you must apply for BC MSP for the remainder of your stay.
• $139.13 tuition fee / term (Sept-Dec; Jan-April; May-Aug).
• $95.00 U-Pass fee / term (3 zone transit pass).
• $201.46 AMS Extended Health and Dental Plan (per September – August school year).
This plan is required unless you opt out within THREE WEEKS OF YOUR ARRIVAL TO CANADA. To opt out, you need proof of equivalent coverage, including extended health and dental (accidental dental is not considered equivalent – check ups, cleanings, etc. need to be covered). If you arrive after January, the plan is $134.31, and it goes until August. The same opt-out rules apply.
Be careful about arrival and departure dates – if you are here from August to October, you will have to pay fees for both school years, essentially doubling the cost. If you are here over two different UBC terms in the same school year, you will be assessed the per term fees for both terms, even if the total length of time is less than four months.
Last reviewed 12/15/2009 10:18:38 AM