Get Started

GET STARTED

Welcome to LFS! You’ve made an excellent decision. University can be an exciting time, if a little overwhelming — there’s so much to know and learn. With Get Started, the team at LFS Student Services has got you covered. This is where you’ll find all the information you need to succeed during your first year of personal and academic exploration at UBC.

Things to Think About

Prepare for the Year Ahead

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Figure out your program options, register for classes and get oriented to UBC — your new home away from home.

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Term 1

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Position yourself for academic success, stay up-to-date on LFS news, and start expanding your personal growth and network.

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Term 2 and Beyond

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Reflect on your first term, and look ahead. Take time for wellness. Keep expanding your horizons and developing your relationships.

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Prepare for the Year Ahead

Once you’ve been admitted

Once you’ve received your offer of admission, you might be wondering, What now? Here’s a helpful checklist with details about what to do before you come. From planning your finances to finding a place to live and registering for courses, this list positions you for success!

Academics

In your first year, you will register in your foundational science courses (first-year chemistry, biology, math and physics). You’ll also take LFS 100, a first-year seminar course, with all the other first-year students in the Faculty. Your schedule will be full with these start-up courses, so there really isn’t room for electives (courses you get to choose yourself) in first year. It’s a fairly structured journey this year, but your upper-level courses in future years will draw on theories and concepts from these courses. You are laying the foundation for your academic future!

If you want to travel with a familiar group of classmates throughout your first year, check out our Land One program option, available only to first-year students on a competitive basis. Land One gathers a group of students from LFS and from the Faculty of Forestry into a single cohort, where you’ll take your first-year classes together in an integrated course suite. Land One offers a collaborative environment, with plenty of opportunity for hands-on learning through field trips and experiential work. As a bonus? Studies show that students in cohorts tend to do better in the later years of their degree. Check it out — and be sure to apply by the deadline.

Be sure to review your program options, and learn about registration processes and timelines. Some courses are only offered at specific times or in specific terms, so take the time to read through the registration info here and plan ahead! The more work you do up front, the better.

Beyond the classroom

Depending on where you’re coming to UBC from, you may be able to attend a UBC welcome event in your area in the spring. We even host a UBC Welcomes You event on campus where you can meet and ask questions of LFS students, staff and faculty to set yourself up for success. To see a complete list of spring events in other Canadian and international locales, visit the list here.

If you’re in or near Vancouver, you may want to attend a UBC–Vancouver campus tour. You’ll be able to meet UBC students, get to know our beautiful campus and start to get comfortable navigating your new “home.”

Here’s a quick tip that’ll make your life a lot easier: Know the name of your Faculty (Land and Food Systems) and your degree program (e.g. Bachelor of Science in Food, Nutrition and Health; Bachelor of Science in Applied Biology; or Bachelor of Global Resource Systems).

And finally, there’s no better way to meet new people, get comfortable at UBC and feel prepared for your first year than by attending the Jump Start and Imagine orientation programs! Learn more here.

Term 1

The adjustment to the academic pace and rigour of UBC from high school or another post-secondary institution can be a tough one, so start yourself off on the right foot. Learn to be your own advocate, and be proactive in seeking and making use of available resources and supports.

To ensure you can pasta all of your courses…

Go to class! It may sound like an obvious piece of advice, but if you’re living away from home for the first time, it can be easy to miss class when someone isn’t waking you up and checking in on you. Remember: you’re in the driver’s seat of your own success now. If you’re not showing up . . . you’re not showing up.

You may find your academic identity is challenged in first year. What worked for you in the past may not be what works for you in university. It’s important for you to recognize when something isn’t working and adjust your approach. Don’t be afraid to ask for help: from study habits to time management and stress reduction, there is a ton of help for you in UBC’s academic support resources.

Don’t be afraid to ask your professors when you’re unsure about concepts in class. Many instructors hold office hours where you can visit to ask questions and get clarity on the course. Your professors are people too, and you shouldn’t feel intimidated to approach them. And here’s a tip: profs get an awful lot of email. So when you’ve got a question or something to share, instead of firing off an impersonal electronic message, make use of those office hours. Connecting face-to-face is a much more effective way to build your network, anyway.

Academic advisors in LFS Student Services are also available to help you talk through your challenges and navigate options to help you succeed. You can book an appointment in advance or just drop in during our office hours to chat. You can also email your questions or give us a call! Here’s how to find us.

Establish some roots

Get to know your faculty and campus by getting involved outside your classes. You don’t want to overload yourself in first year, but studies show that students who participate in university life do better overall. Getting involved with things that bring you joy is a great way to meet new people who share your interests, or to try something new and challenge yourself! University is a time of exploration, so get out there and see where you might like to plant some seeds.

You’ll meet fellow students and get to know more about the Faculty of Land and Food Systems by coming out to a Wednesday Night Dinner , attending an ACE Team event or grabbing a bite at the student-run Agora Cafe in the basement of the MacMillan Building. Or, check out AMS Clubs Days in the early part of the term to see which of UBC’s 300+ clubs may be of interest to you. There’s plenty more information about how to get involved on our Campus page.

Stay in touch with your Orientation leader throughout Term 1 by participating in the exciting social events they’ll plan for you. This helps you develop a relationship with someone who’s familiar with life at UBC and in LFS — and who’s got great leadership skills. You’ll also be nurturing the connections you made with other students during Jump Start and Imagine.

Read the weekly Newslettuce email that LFS Student Services sends you. You’ll keep on top of important dates and be aware of opportunities and events that you will want to take advantage of. Similarly, read your weekly UBCfyi email for campus-wide updates and news, and visit students.ubc.ca for links to helpful resources and services.

Term 2 and Beyond

We hope that your first term of your first year was a resounding success! You may want to connect with an academic advisor in LFS Student Services to review your academic performance from Term 1 and make changes to your Term 2 schedule.

Reflect on your experiences in Term 1. How did things go academically? How did your experiences feel on a personal level?

Always make time for a wellness check-in. Take responsibility for staying on top of your emotional and mental health by exploring and making use of the resources available here.

To ensure you can pasta all of your courses…

If you haven’t done so already, it’s time to familiarize yourself with the Faculty’s annual academic evaluation process and year promotion requirements. We’ve got all the necessary information right here for you.

Start thinking about what major (subject area of specialization) you want to pursue, as you’ll be asked to choose one when you register for second year. Not sure what a major is? We’ve got an answer for that. Not sure what your options are for your major? Click on the box below that says “Check Out Our Programs”. You can find information about majors on each of the program pages.

Do you plan on taking courses in the Summer Session (May to August)? Most students don’t; they take a break over the summer and then return to classes in September. If, however, you plan on taking summer courses, you’ll need to review the schedule online in February and register in March, so make sure you do some pre-planning.

Establish some roots

Now that you’ve got a term of university under your belt, it’s time to explore UBC and LFS more fully! Pick up some LFS swag from the LFS|US online store, participate in a UBC Rec event, or attend a UBC Thunderbirds athletic event. There’s so much you can do to explore and develop yourself on campus. Start here.

Have Questions?

Romaine calm! If you have any questions, LFS Student Services is here to help. Visit, call or email our office.

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