Go Global Office of Global Engagement

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

FRST 456 | 6 credits

Program overview

This course is led by Andres Varhola, Faculty of Forestry

  • Course dates: May 1 – June 30, 2024  
  • Travel dates: Approx May 3 – June 3, 2024  
  • Format: In-person 
  • Locations visited: Vancouver and Chile 
  • Approximate program fee: $4950 (Go Global Fee, tuition and flights are not included) Eligible students will have 50% - 100% of program fees and flights costs covered. More info below.
  • Funding available (click through to learn more about each award): 

Application deadline extended to January 30, 2024

Application instructions here

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About the course                                                                                                               

See highlights and photos from the 2023 field school here: https://global.ubc.ca/news-events/stories/oct-26-2023-learning-doing-south-american-rainforest

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.

Program eligibility
General Global Seminar requirements

To participate in a Global Seminar, students must: 

  • Be in good-standing in their faculty (as defined by home faculty) 
  • In the year leading up to the Global Seminar, have full-time student status (as defined by home faculty)  
  • Have completed 2nd year requirements before the start of the program (i.e. eligible for 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 
Program-specific requirements

This is an interdisciplinary program: All are welcome!

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.

Experience and conditions 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. 

Students are required to bring: 

  • A laptop 
  • Safety shoes (with toe and ankle protection) 
  • Waterproof pants and jacket

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

Program fees and costs
Approximate program fees: $4950*
  • Accommodation  
  • Program- related travel in-country; (e.g. buses)  
  • Excursions and entrance fees  
  • Some group meals  
  • On-site guest lectures
Not Included:  
  • Go Global Fee ($415)
  • 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. 

Global Skills Opportunity (GSO) Funding

Global Skills Opportunity Funding

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

See more details on UBC Go Global’s Awards.

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