Study Abroad as Part of Your Geography Degree!
The Geography program is particularly suited for a Go Global experience abroad, as our discipline is incredibly diverse and varied. Geography is the discipline of ‘writing the world’ (‘geo’ – Latin for ‘the world’ and ‘graphy’, meaning ‘to write’). What better way to write about the planet that we inhabit, than getting out into the world to experience some of the different ways of being in it? A Go Global experience can immerse you in the languages, cultures and customs of other places while finishing your degree!
Go Global and the Geography Department have worked closely together to identify study abroad opportunities for Geography students. Study abroad opportunities include: Exchange, Group Study Programs, International Service Learning and more.
Why Go Global as part of your Geography Degree?
Going Global lets you:
- Explore your Geography degree from a different perspective and have the opportunity to take courses you would not have access to at UBC
- Get an edge in the workforce, as more and more industries value cross-cultural and international experience
- Get to know another part of the world for an extended period of time
- Become globally aware, grow and develop as a person while gaining cross-cultural understanding.
Go Global Exchange: Where to Start
Go Global has partner universities in over 35 countries, and many of Go Global’s partners offer programs and courses that will complement and enhance your UBC Geography degree. You can explore all of Go Global’s partner institutions by visiting Go Global’s partner pages, or see below for a list of universities that have been recommended by the Geography Department. Once you’ve completed your research on available programs, you can submit an application with your top three university choices.
- University of Toronto
*note: there is extremely limited space for UBC Go Global students at U of T. If you select this institution, bear in mind that the likelihood of getting a placement is very low
- Durham University
- University of Bristol
- University College London
- University of Edinburgh
- University of Manchester
- University of Nottingham
- University of California, specifically Berkeley and/or Los Angeles
The universities listed above have been identified as recommended exchange institutions by UBC’s Geography department. They have numerous courses which have been pre-articulated and/or have highly regarded Geography programs; however, there are a variety of alternative institutions available to Geography students. For a more comprehensive list, visit the UBC partner institution database.
Your Exchange Options
International Internships and Research Abroad
Go Global frequently works with international organizations and partners to identify internships and research opportunities for Arts students. Go Global currently has a diverse variety of internship and research opportunities available to Geography students.
An international internship is a short-term professional experience in a workplace to gain skills and knowledge related to your field of study. Students are encouraged to engage in their own internship search with the support of the resources that UBC has to offer, including advisors and online resources. For more information, please visit the International Internships webpage.
Conduct research abroad at one of our 150 partner universities worldwide! Students may wish to embark on self-directed research abroad programs or structured research abroad programs. Research abroad allows undergraduates to learn new techniques, build your career as well as network and engage with other cultures.
Global Seminars and Group Study Programs
Take a UBC course led by a faculty member alongside a small group of peers to experience hands-on learning. Each course is unique in location, length, and cost. Immerse yourself in another part of the world and bring course content to life. UBC currently has a variety of global seminar that may be of interest to Geography students. Visit the Global Seminar page to browse through a list of our current programs.
International Service Learning
UBC’s International Service Learning (ISL) program allows you to contribute towards important projects led by community partners around the world. By taking part in the program, you connect your academic studies with real-world experience. ISL fosters meaningful connections with communities around the world and will help you discover the local impact of global issues.
This is an opportunity for students to travel abroad while still earning credits for a UBC course. For more information, see here.
Study abroad for Geography majors is recommended for students during your third year, after you have completed your lower-level geography requirements (found on the UBC academic calendar). This foundation will allow you to better appreciate differences in geographical perspectives around the world and to cope with any differences in teaching styles that you may encounter. Generally, credits taken abroad will contribute to your upper-level Geography major requirements. However, there are still a variety of credits that may also count towards lower-level requirements.
As an alternative, students may also want to consider taking courses outside your Geography degree requirements, but which count towards your elective credits.
Geography students should consider the following prior to exchange abroad:
- Human Geography majors must complete at least 6 credits from each of the three themes listed. One course must have a substantial focus beyond North America. If taking these abroad, make sure the content is equivalent.
- Human Geography majors must also take at least 12 credits from the Research & Methods theme, including 3 credits from all of Lists A, B and C (see here).
- Environment and Sustainability Geography majors need at least 39 credits numbered 300 or higher from the required three themes.
We would highly encourage Geography students to take note of the requirements for all of their Geography major, minor and honors programs prior to international exchanges. For more information on specific Geography program requirements, please visit the Geography academic calendar.
Below are some guidelines to help you determine if a course abroad is equivalent to a UBC upper year GEOG or GEOB course:
- Is the course offered by the Geography department in the partner university?
- Does it have a lower level requirement?
- Is it offered as an upper year course abroad? (Keep in mind that degree structures differ. For example, in the UK, 2nd and 3rd year correspond to UBC’s 3rd and 4th year. In the rest of Europe, the third and final year of the Bachelor corresponds to UBC’s 3rd year while the first year of the masters corresponds to the 4th year of the UBC degree. These are rough parallels but offered here to help you interpret courses abroad).
TIP: Review the Go Global transfer credit database for a list of courses taken abroad that have transferred back as GEOG. You will notice both unassigned (a general GEOG 3rd year credit – 3 credits) or specific credit (ex. GEOG 310). Both types can be used to meet your degree requirements.
Meet a Go Global Alumni: Erika Hornquist
Specialization: Physical Geography Major
Exchange Destination: University of Melbourne
“The Go Global Exchange program was the positive experience I had hoped for and more. Not only did I get to explore a new country but also studying at a new university heightened my educational experience… As a physical geography major, what better way to learn about the information provided in the textbooks than to explore and see it with your own eyes? The geographical landscape around Australia is amazing and many of these are located only a short drive from Melbourne. Take the Great Ocean Road along the dramatic Victorian coastline to the 12 Apostles for a look at the natural formations caused by coastal erosion. If the wilderness is more your scene, head down to the Wilsons Promontory National Park for some camping and hiking in one of Australia’s rainforests. And if you don’t have time to leave the city, take a walk or a tram down to the Federation Square and the Yarra River, but make sure you learn about the fascinating history behind it!”