COVID-19 / Winter Session Student FAQs

Monday, August 31, 2020 | By Lee Yang
UBC Civil Engineering COVID-19 Student FAQs

For the latest information on UBC's response to COVID-19, please visit the following resources:

UBC's response: https://covid19.ubc.ca

UBC Faculty of Applied Science's response: https://apsc.ubc.ca/covid-19

Student resources: https://students.ubc.ca/covid19

Graduate student resources: https://www.grad.ubc.ca/covid-19

To support UBC’s social distancing protocols, the Student Services Office and Administrative Office are open virtually. Please contact us via email

Administrative Office

Online Hours: 8:30 AM – 4 PM, Monday to Friday

Finance: res-accounts@civil.ubc.ca

Human Resources: adminsupport@civil.ubc.ca

General Inquiry: info@civil.ubc.ca

Student Services Office

Online Hours: 8:30 AM – 4 PM, Monday to Friday

Kali Dumbrell, Undergraduate Support: undergradsupport@civil.ubc.ca

Kevin Veltheer, Graduate Support: gradsupport@civil.ubc.ca

Chris Gorczynski, Manager, Student Services: studentservices@civil.ubc.ca

Student FAQs

How will courses be delivered online and how can I access each course?

The online delivery method for each of your courses will vary based on course needs and instructor preference. Most courses will be streamed through an online platform like Zoom or Collaborate Ultra and recorded for later viewing by students who are in time zones where live viewing is not convenient.

All instructors will be providing information for how to access their online courses in their syllabi and/or on their Canvas course sites.

You are expected to keep on top of coursework by regularly attending live lectures or by viewing recorded lectures. Recordings may only be available for 24-48 hours after the scheduled lecture. If students are required to attend a live lecture, your instructor will communicate how this will work.

Where can I get support with learning remotely?

We know it’s a difficult time around the world. While online learning offers many challenges, it also has benefits, such as increased flexibility in your weekly schedule and learning at your own pace. For a comprehensive list of resources and tips on how to learn effectively online, please visit UBC Keep Learning.

When will I hear about my Term 2 waitlist request?

Registration requests (for both electives and constrained electives) will be processed in December for Term 2 courses. Admission is not guaranteed for any elective course requests.

How can an online course be “full”?

While we are not limited by the usual room size and seat constraints this term, there are other resource constraints that result in a cap on the number of students that can be enrolled in an online course (e.g. TA and marker work hours, etc.). If you have been waitlisted for an elective course and we are ultimately not able to register you in the course, please know we have done everything possible to try to get you in.

What engineering software will be available?

The Civil Lab will be made available remotely via a website to be announced soon. Please check back for the URL when it is published. All other software required for your courses will either be made for you to download or through remote access to computer labs.

Microsoft Office 365 is available here: https://it.ubc.ca/services/desktop-print-services/software-licensing/microsoft-365-students

Licenses for Windows 10 are available here: https://it.ubc.ca/software-downloads

Unfortunately, due to privacy issues, Microsoft Visio and Project can only be made available through remote access to computer labs. Access to the Design Studio computers are currently being made ready for students to access them remotely. Further information forthcoming. 

Who should I contact for technical support for installing software?

If you have trouble installing software, you may seek support at this website: https://blogs.ubc.ca/labsos. Please note, they do not provide support on how to use the different softwares. Contact your course instructor or the course TA directly for that.

What are some wellbeing resources available to me?

There are a number of wellbeing resources available to you during your online studies.

  • The Thrive 5 still apply:  Helping Others, Sleep, Social Connection via Zoom/Skype, Physical Activity while practicing social distancing, and Nutrition
  • Get active at home via UBC REC – Instagram Live and Virtual Fitness Classes
  • Best resource for students during COVID- 19: students.ubc.ca
  • Wellness Centre Online: https://students.ubc.ca/health/wellness-centre

Phone/video/online/app versions of in-person counselling and coaching are also available during this time:

Service UBC Counseling Services Empower Me Here 2 Talk
How + when to access service

Daytime hours: Mon-Fri
Phone/video
1-604-822-3811

24/7
Phone/online/app
1-844-741-6389

24/7
Phone/online/app
1-877-857-3397 (CAN)
1-604-642-5212 (INT)

How will I get textbooks or note packs for my course?

Please contact your instructors directly as most have made online resources available for free to students. In the event that material is not available for free online, please order your books through the UBC Bookstore. Your books can be delivered online, shipped, or picked up. Please check the UBC Bookstore website for the most up to date information.

What financial support are available to students?

Please refer to the following pages for further details on student-specific financial support available:

Student-specific support

Graduates and postdoctoral fellows

How will online learning impact my post-graduation work permits?

This is an evolving issue dictated by the Canadian government, we recommend reaching out to International Student Advising and the government of Canada website.

Will 2020 Winter Term 1 tuition or student fees be discounted as classes will primarily be conducted online?

Tuition and student fees are handled by other units at the University and are not a Department-level decision. Please find more information about this at: https://students.ubc.ca/covid19/awards-loans-tuition-faq-covid-19 (search “discount”).

Will I still be charged for my U-pass?

The U-Pass BC Program has restarted, however, there are additional exemptions available due to COVID-19. For more information, please visit: https://planning.ubc.ca/transportation/transit/u-pass-compass-card.

I am a graduate student and will not be Vancouver this fall. How will that impact the payment of TAships, RAships and awards?

Teaching Assistantships 

There are a number of significant obstacles to UBC employing people to work outside Canada. Because teaching assistants (TAs) are considered UBC employees, those challenges apply to TAs as well. UBC continues to assess the intricacies of hiring students outside of Canada and expects to have a clearer sense of what is feasible in the coming weeks. Please consult your supervisor or program directly about questions you may have about the payment of TAs.

Research Assistantships and Awards

Graduate students who do not come to Vancouver in September and have Research Assistantships and/or awards can have these awards issued and assigned through the Student Information Services Centre (SISC). The assigned awards will be applied towards tuition and students fees. Any excess funding will remain in the student account until the account can get linked to a Canadian bank account for deposits. Alternatively, UBC is looking into the possibility of sending any excess funds to students outside of Canada via wire transfer. Further details will be made available shortly.

For all matters related to international students, immigration, and post-graduation work permits please contact International Student Advising or visit:

https://students.ubc.ca/covid19/international-immigration-health-insurance-faq-covid-19.

I am a Teaching Assistant (TA) and do not feel I have the technology/hardware to run online sessions effectively, is there any support for TAs in this regard?

At this time, there is no formal support for TAs with regard to hardware purchases. Please contact your course instructor to explore any support they may be able to provide. If you are encountering significant challenges, please contact studentservices@civil.ubc.ca so that we are aware of the overall demand for such support.

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