Chile Field School: Natural and Planted Forests in the Global Bioeconomy

FRST 456 | 6 credits

About the Program

This course is led by Andres Varhola, Faculty of Forestry

  • Dates: May 1, 2023 – June 7, 2023; First Week in Vancouver
  • Travel dates: Approx May 6 – June 7, 2023 
  • Format: In person
  • Locations visited: Vancouver and Chile
  • Approximate program fees: $4500.00 - $5000.00 (plus tuition and flights)
  • Funding: All qualifying students will receive a $1,000 Go Global Award. Up to 6 eligible participants will receive additional Global Skills Opportunity (GSO) funding covering the entire cost of the program, as well as tuition and flight costs. Up to 9 eligible participants will receive additional funding covering approximately 50% of the cost of participating in the program. More information below. We encourage students who are not eligible for the GSO funding to apply for the Global Pathfinder Award. See Program Fees and Costs for more details.
Global Skills Opportunity (GSO) Funding

GSO Logo - Universities Canada This program is supported generously by Global Skills Opportunity (GSO) funding from the Canadian Government to support eligible students participating in this program.

Funding for this program is open to students who are Canadian citizens or permanent residents.
Indigenous students, and those who are low-income or have a disability, are eligible for an award to cover the full cost of participating in the program. Other Canadian students are eligible for an award covering about 50% of the cost of participating.

  • Up to 6 students who are low-income, have a disability or are Indigenous will receive a GSO award of $7200 and a $1000 Go Global Award to cover the program fee and related costs.
  • Up to 9 students will be selected for partial program funding and will receive a GSO award of $3000 and a $1000 Go Global Award.

International students are unfortunately not eligible for GSO funding. International students selected for this program will receive a Go Global Award of $1000.

About the Course                                                                                                               

This course offers a profound vision of how forestry stakeholders can contribute with solutions for producing more wood without deforesting while alleviating environmental and social issues. Chile is blessed with a remarkable diversity of resources such as industrial plantations with some of the fastest tree growth rates in the planet, exuberant native forests of high protection value, a world-class modern forest industry, diverse geoclimatic conditions, a well-developed institutional forestry network, and extraordinary indigenous knowledge.

Contents are organized in four modules: Chile in the global forestry context, fundamentals of intensive silviculture, cutting edge forest products and society & land use optimization. Based on the spectacular Chilean scenery, participants will hold a fascinating broader discussion about native vs. planted forests and how government policies have historically influenced deforestation and competition between traditional land uses —forestry, agriculture, urban development and even energy production. 

Solutions to century-old land use and forest productivity inefficiencies will be elaborated in the Chilean laboratory but with a global transformative perspective. To achieve this, students will visit a variety of magnificent natural forests, productive fast-growing plantations, ecological restoration efforts, agricultural and urban landscapes, industrial wood processing facilities, tree nurseries, research trials of exotic and native tree species, and key forestry institutions.

Experience in the Field

Note that in general, students will be subject to a normal working day of 8 hours when in the field in Chile, with breaks for lunch and snacks. We will aim to take weekends off or schedule a more relaxed learning activity (e.g. visits to National Parks) during one day of the weekend.  Some intensive hiking activities are programed.

Eligibility Requirements

General Global Seminar requirements

To participate in a Global Seminar, students must: 

  • Be in good-standing in their faculty (I.e. not be under academic or non-academic discipline) 
  • Have full-time status in the year leading up to the Global Seminar 
  • Have completed 2nd year requirements before the start of the program (i.e. 3rd or 4th year standing) 
  • Have at least a 70% academic average in your last full-time academic session before applying 
  • Maintain a 70% academic average leading up to the program 
  • Meet any program specific requirements listed below including pre-requisites before participating 

Final selection will be done by the lead faculty program directors. Spots in the program may be limited. 

Students who wish to participate in the summer after graduating may be eligible on a case-by-case basis.

Program-specific requirements

This is an interdisciplinary program: All are welcome!

Students are required to bring:

  • A laptop
  • Safety shoes (with toe protection)
  • Waterproof pants and jacket
GSO Funding Eligibility*
  • Only Canadian citizens and permanent residents are eligible for GSO funding
  • Undergraduate students
  • 18+ Years of age
  • Eligible students who self-identify as First Nations, Métis, and/or Inuit, or are low-income, or have a disability (see definitions below) will receive funding to cover the full costs of participating in the program (6 spots)
  • Other eligible students will receive partial funding (9 spots)
  • International students and graduate students are not eligible for the GSO funding.


  • Low-income students: students who report to be in receipt of Canada Student Grants, or similar non-repayable student financial assistance offered by provinces and territories, or, in the absence of receiving non-repayable student financial assistance, can provide information to demonstrate that they require financial support to study or work abroad.
  • Indigenous students: students who report being an Indigenous person, that is, First Nations, Metis or Inuk (Inuit).
  • Students with disabilities: students who report having a long-term disability or health condition and experience a limitation in their daily activities.  Learn more about UBC’s Disability Policy here.

Please note that the GSO funding criteria is established by the Canadian Government who provides the funding, and not UBC.

Program Fees and Costs
Approximate program fees: $4750.00 - $5000.00*

*The final fee depends on the number of students in the program. Students do not pay the Go Global fee when applying to a Global Seminar. The Go Global fee is built into the Program Fee and is payable upon acceptance to the program.  

  • Accommodation  
  • Program- related travel in-country; (e.g. buses)  
  • Excursions and entrance fees  
  • Some group meals  
  • On-site guest lectures
Not Included:  
  • Flights*  
  • UBC tuition for credits  
  • Visa/country entrance fees  
  • Health or travel insurance
  • Safety gear: rain-proof clothing and safety shoes are required  
  • Personal spending money*  

*Some examples of incidentals are: personal mobile communication, personal transportation that is not related to the learning outcomes of the program, additional meals that are not already identified as part of the Program Fee, immunizations, Visas, etc.  

Travel to Chile is a separate cost.  You are responsible for arranging your own travel. You should not book your flight until you are notified to book. 


Students will typically share accommodation in cabins or rooms with 3 – 4 students.

How to Apply 

Students apply through the Go Global Gateway. Applications will open in early October. Go to “search experiences” from the top menu, search “GSP,” then press “apply search.” Scroll down to the program you wish to apply to and select Apply for “Summer” to initiate an application.

After the deadline, students’ applications will be reviewed by Go Global and the faculty program directors. You may be asked to participate in an interview as part of the selection process.  

Application Deadline 

Tuesday December 13, 2022 (11:59pm PST)

Global Seminars Refund Policy

To withdraw from your program, you must contact Go Global by email to request a withdrawal.  You will not be charged until you officially accept your spot in the program.  Refunds cannot be issued after the program fee is charged to your SSC account. 

In the case of withdrawal, Go Global Award funding must be returned in full.

If you have questions, please connect with your Go Global advisor or email Go Global at

Student Safety Abroad and Pre-Departure Policy

UBC is committed to preparing students for safe and successful international experiences. In order to achieve this, any student participating in a Go Global Program must complete the following:

Failure to successfully complete these and any other requirements may result in withdrawal from the Go Global Program.

We encourage you to read the Global Affairs Canada travel report for your destination country before applying:

Global Seminars and COVID-19

Students and faculty are required to comply with the entry requirements of the host country, regulations of transportation carriers, and any local public health orders in the destination. These rules may require COVID-19 vaccination for entry or to participate in certain program activities, testing requirements, masking requirements, and/or isolation in case of infection. Alternatively, where isolation due to infection is not required by local health authorities and students are sharing accommodations isolation may be a challenge. We encourage you to review local requirements before applying and before departure. Check out the Global Affairs Canada Advisory ( under Entry Requirements for your Global Seminar destination to learn more.  Keep in mind that program conditions can vary and these rules can change before or during your trip.

Once it becomes closer to the departure date, the group will be informed of all updated local requirements and COVID-19 safety plans for the Global Seminar.


If you are considering applying for a Go Global program and identify with having a disability or pre-existing health condition (mental or physical) which could impact your participation, or if you require academic accommodations, you can contact the following offices and meet with an Accessibility Advisor before the start of the program:

Contact Go Global
In-person and Virtual Drop-in advising hours
  • Tuesday: 1:00 - 3:00 pm
  • Wednesday: 1:00 - 3:00 pm

Go Global offers both in-person and virtual drop-in advising through Zoom during the times listed above.

Please use Go Global's new Ask Us Webform and we will respond to your inquiry.