Academic and learning resources

Regardless of how good of a student you are, the transition between high school and university can be tough. There’s no shame in fumbling a little while you adjust to different standards and new environments. Here are some resources to make your university transition a little smoother.

Office hours

Professors and TAs set aside time in their week specifically to connect with students. Office hours are your chance to work through questions about the material and get them answered thoroughly — and maybe even discuss some class-related interests on the side. It can definitely be intimidating to go from watching your prof or TA from the back of the lecture hall to asking them questions in their office. Try not to worry about sounding silly. This is a great time to get to know your professors, which is awesome in terms of finding both people to write letters of recommendation and potentially fascinating areas of research.

Centre for Writing and Scholarly Communication (CWSC)

Whether you’re struggling with papers or simply curious about how to improve your writing, the CWSC in the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre is a one-stop shop. It offers personalized writing consultations for all levels of students, which are easily bookable as in-person meetings or as asynchronous drop-offs — just bring your draft! Its website is full of other resources that might suit your fancy like annotated papers from various disciplines, formatting advice and lists of workshops on different aspects of scholarly communication.


The AMS offers peer tutoring for first- and second-year students in a variety of subjects. You’ll get to meet upper-years that know the profs and understand your struggles. Get started by drop- ping into one of the group sessions happening in the Nest. Private tutoring is also an option.


The library is the first place to look for research. UBC has several, so be sure to check online that you have the right hours and location. What’s more, the library’s online resources have any number of helpful scholarly journals, eBooks and articles. Librarians can also help you get unstuck — just let them know what you’re trying to find out and they can show you where to look. Finally, you can check out much more than just books at the library: the Chapman Learning Commons lets students print, copy and scan, as well as borrow all kinds of equipment from laptop chargers to DSLR cameras.

Faculty academic advising

For more general concerns regarding your degree, feel free to reach out to your faculty advisor. They are the ones best suited to helping with course planning and degree requirements and can put you in touch with support systems that are unique to your faculty. This also goes for more logistical questions like adding/dropping courses and trying to secure an academic concession.