We know that this is a uniquely challenging time for graduate students, filled with uncertainties. Although the GSS Office is temporarily closed, we’re still here to support you.
We are working hard to advocate on key student issues to the university and the government, as well as to provide opportunities for our members to safely expand their network and enrich their grad life experience.
As we continue to navigate COVID-19, our priority is on the health and well-being of everyone in our community, and following all provincial health guidelines and directives. We will continue to carefully monitor the situation and adjust our plans accordingly.
Bookmark this page and check back often for all the latest updates.
January 4, 2022: The GSS office and Thea Koerner House building are closed until the end of April 2022. You can reach us by email.
What Can We Offer
GSS Peer Support Specialists are graduate students who can give confidential assistance to fellow graduate students experiencing difficulties, academic or otherwise. They provide you with relevant information on, and facilitate access to, university resources. They empower you to resolve disputes fairly and in a timely manner.
What Can’t We Offer
- Our students are not trained mental health professionals or counsellors, so while we can offer advice and support, we’ll have to direct you to more specialist services for this
- Our advocates can’t provide direct access to funds. The GSS has a hardship fund the GSFA, that you may be able to access, but this money is given out by a separate panel.
Graduate Student Financial Aid (GSFA)
The GSFA, or Graduate Student Financial Aid is the GSS’s fund to support graduate students at UBC Vancouver, who are experiencing unforeseen financial hardship. We are still accepting applications for the GFSA during the campus closureThe fund can cover a wide range of expenses directly arising from unforeseen circumstances, which may include but not be limited to:
- Rent and living expenses
- Prescription medication not covered by MSP, Pharmacare, and the AMS / GSS Health and Dental Plan
- Moving and related expenses
- The UBC Leave of Absence fee
January 26, 2022: The majority of instruction will be delivered in-person from February 7 until the end of Winter Session, Term 2. Read full announcement →
COVID-19 Rapid Testing
UBC is requiring COVID-19 rapid testing for all students, faculty and staff, with exemptions provided for those who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Effective September 7, all students, faculty and staff must complete an online, confidential declaration of their vaccination status.
UBC’s regularly updated information page on the University and COVID-19, including links to resources specifically for students: https://covid19.ubc.ca/
UBC Graduate & Postdoctoral Studies has provided a thorough list addressing FAQs for graduate students on a range of academic and personal issues related to COVID-19. This also includes links to useful resources for mental health.
UBC Housing provides the latest information for students in residences.
WalkAlong is a UBC-Developed mental health platform to support youth’s mental health and wellness. Accessible to everyone, whether you are a current UBC student or not.
Empower Me provides counselling and life coaching, free for all students. They can help with anything you’re concerned about and will give you the option of getting help online or by phone. They provide confidential counselling 24/7, and it’s free for all UBC students. Hotline: 1-844-741-6389
Arrival & Quarantine
Before travelling to Canada, you will need to check if you’re eligible to enter Canada, prepare documentation to support essential travel, prepare your quarantine (self-isolate) plan, and know what to do upon arrival at the airport or border.
For the most detailed and accurate information, please visit the Government of Canada website.
UBC: Travelling to Canada during COVID as well as resources and links on immigration, health insurance, and working in Canada during and after your studies:
Travelling to Canada:
- UBC International Students: Immigration and Health Insurance FAQ on COVID-19
- Government of Canada: COVID-19 vaccinated travellers entering Canada
Applying for a Study Permit:
Self-Isolation and Support:
Key to UBC’s approach for returning to campus is a robust safety planning process—in order to ensure the health and safety of our community. The COVID-19 Safety Plan process will be informed by the recent primer document, as well as new COVID-19 Go-Forward Guidelines for BC’s Post-Secondary Sector.
We anticipate that the following measures will remain in place:
- Completing a daily COVID-19 self-assessment and not attending work or school when ill
- Following hand-washing and hygiene protocols
- Continuing daily cleaning protocols in indoor settings and on high touch surfaces
- Requiring non-medical masks in indoor common areas, depending on the rate of COVID-19 transmission
We encourage you to visit BC Centre for Disease Control for the latest information. The Government of Canada also has an information line at 1-833-784-4397.
Anyone over the age of 5 living in BC is eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.
- Updated information on BC’s COVID-19 Immunization Plan
- More details on immunizations and BC’s COVID-19 response plan
If you are not already vaccinated upon arrival, free COVID-19 vaccinations will be available to all incoming UBC students (both domestic and international).
Please note: you do not need a BC Personal Health Number, a BC Services Card, or to be enrolled in BC’s Medical Services Plan to receive a vaccine.
Information on how to register for your vaccine
External Wellness & Mental Health Resources
The BC Centre for Disease Control provides the latest medical advice on COVID-19.
Crisis Centre BC: If you or someone you know is feeling hopeless or thinking about suicide, call or chat online with a crisis responder any time.
Mental Health Support Line: 604-310-6789
Online Chat Service for Adults: www.CrisisCentreChat.ca (Noon to 1am)
Canadian Association of Mental Health provides a range of services:
- Skill-building and resiliency-enhancing platforms: https://bouncebackbc.ca/
Updated: February 1, 2022