Go Global Office of Global Engagement

Running a Global Seminar

Take your course abroad!

Call for proposals for 2025 will open in the Spring of 2024

In the meantime start by having a brief consultation with the Global Seminars team at Go Global.

Contact global.seminars@ubc.ca


In 2024, over 30 UBC-Vancouver faculty members are teaching courses in 25 countries. Over 350 students will be immersed in a new environment, learning about their academic discipline through first-hand experience. 

Global Seminars are UBC accredited courses taught off-campus, in an international setting. Go Global has partnered with more than 60 different faculty members since 2012 to deliver Global Seminars in 30 countries. This program model gives UBC faculty a chance to set their classroom in a location that deepens learning, puts subject-matter in context and enriches the academic experience. Global Seminars often take place during the summer terms for two to six weeks, depending on the number of credits. Occasionally, travel happens during Reading Week for Term 2 courses. 

Learn more about experiential learning.

Woman on former train tracks at Auschwitz Birkenau Concentration Camp UBC Global Seminar poster

UBC Associate Professor Bozena Karwowska’s “Witnessing Auschwitz,” a UBC Global Seminar on offer this summer: read more.

How does Go Global help? 

Go Global provides faculty with support throughout the entire program cycle: from creation of new programs, promotion and recruitment, application management, budgeting, support in the field, and evaluation.
Go Global’s supports include:  

  • Guidance on program development and management
  • Assistance with budget development
  • Customized support from learning designers at the Centre for Teaching and Learning Technology
  • Promotional materials, including social media toolkits 
  • Student application processing using UBC’s online Gateway application system  
  • Assistance with shortlisting and student selection  
  • Pre-departure programming for all selected students  
  • Expertise in UBC’s finance, student safety and student conduct policies and protocols  
  • Financial management of student fees, vendor payments, and travel advances  
  • Risk management and emergency assistance while programs are in the field
  • Provide Go Global awards to participating students
What are the responsibilities of faculty program directors? 
  • Adapt the course syllabus for teaching in the field
  • Schedule program activities
  • Consider the risks related to the location and activities, and develop a safety plan, with the support of UBC’s Student Safety Abroad Manager  
  • Develop and maintain partnerships to support learning and program logistics in your destination 
  • Prepare a realistic program budget 
  • Obtain approval and support from your department head and direct supervisor (if different)
  • Promote the program in your department 
  • Review student applications and select program participants
  • Meet semi-regularly with Go Global staff to discuss program planning progression
  • Attend faculty and student pre-departure meetings  
  • Lead and take charge of the student group in your destination 
  • Communicate changes in plans with Go Global
  • Communicate any challenges or safety incidents with Go Global 

Program Proposals

The call for proposals for 2024 programs is now closed. The next call for proposals will open in Spring 2024. 

All faculty considering proposals for new programs are encouraged to contact the Global Seminars team at Go Global for a brief consultation to discuss your plans and the proposal process. Get in touch at global.seminars@ubc.ca

Proposals require:

  • Statements describing the unique value of travel to the location for the learning outcomes of the related academic course
  • Description of the activities that will take place in the field
  • Information about local partners and collaborators 
  • A draft program itinerary
  • A draft program budget
  • A draft course syllabus, revised for an international context

Proposals are reviewed with consideration of the following: 

  • The unique value the Global Seminar will bring to the student experience
  • Program viability: budget, logistics, prospects for recruitment, relationships/partnerships in the proposed location
  • Student safety and risk management
  • Commitment and participation of the program leads (faculty program directors) 
  • The capacity of Go Global to support the program

Program approval will require support from your home department or unit head and Go Global. As you consider preparing a Global Seminar proposal, please discuss your plans with your department or unit head with consideration of: 

  • Your teaching load
  • Minimum course enrolment requirements
  • Capacity of the department to support the program
  • The department's academic goals
  • Viability of student recruitment
  • Other programs that may be approved or proposed

If you are interested in developing a Global Seminar, please get in touch with us for a consultation meeting at global.seminars@ubc.ca.

Faculty and Program Funding Opportunities - *New*

Go Global is piloting 3 "seed funding" initiatives to support new programs in 2024 and 2025: 

  • Faculty travel grant for partnership and program development: Faculty planning to propose new Global Seminars for 2024 or 2025, can apply to Go Global for up to $3000 in funding to support travel for the purpose of building relationships with local partners, and vendors, and to plan program logistics. 
  • GIG $10k program subsidy for new programs: Through the Global Innovation Grant (GIG) managed by the Office of the Vice Provost International, in 2024 and 2025, up to 5 new Global Seminars each year will be selected to receive a $10,000 subsidy towards program costs to reduce the cost of the programs to students. 
  • Funding to promote inclusion of students with disabilities: Thanks to a grant from the Global Skills Opportunity program, Go Global can provide funds to pilot/trial initiatives that will enhance the inclusion of students with disabilities in your program. Contact us for more information. 

Arts Research Abroad (ARA)

The Arts Research Abroad (ARA) program aims to ensure that upper-level international research courses are accessible to academically qualified students, and that scholarly preparation and aspiration rather than financial means are the deciding factors for student participation.  Funded by a generous gift from donors, the Faculty of Arts, and Go Global, the ARA program sponsors advanced research-intensive courses involving international travel.  Advanced research-intensive courses are defined as courses that enable students to engage with the research positions and research practices of their discipline.  Students work collegially with faculty to produce a potential contribution to knowledge in the field.  Accordingly, the defining criterion of advanced research-intensive courses is not that students travel abroad and conduct research, but that students’ inquiries in the discipline result in new knowledge that could be shared with others in the field.  For example, students could present a paper related to their research at a conference.  Alternatively, students could participate in material practice or professional immersion, such as fieldwork, a practicum, or a performance project.

Typically, eligible Arts students in ARA-funded Global Seminar programs have up to 70% of program and travel costs covered by the program. A certain number of students with financial need will have 100% of their costs covered. 

Proposals for ARA programs require a supplemental application reviewed by the Faculty of Arts' Dean's Office and Go Global. 


UBC students participating in Go Global international learning programs receive more than $1.4 million annually through scholarships and awards. Historically, Go Global has considered all Global Seminar students for the $1,000 Go Global Award.


From Global Seminars faculty:

"One of the most rewarding experiences of my career."

"I loved that (Go Global) had budget templates I could share with my partner organization abroad, handled all the money, helped with publicity and preparation for the program."

"As a faculty member, I personally find it important to leave the 'confines' of our classroom and work in a different (and more complicated) learning setting."

Read about previous Global Seminars:

For more information:

Mathew Lyle, Assistant Director, Faculty-Led and Strategic Programs
Jessica Tsai and Fay Alikhani, Global Engagement Advisors