3 opportunities to apply your learning to current global challenges



By The Office of Regional and International Community Engagement. This story was written by Christina Fung, a UBC Arts grad, former ORICE participant, and current Program Coordinator for ORICE.

Looking for opportunities to apply your learning towards understanding and acting on complex global issues? These upcoming Winter Term 2 programs and courses offered by ORICE provide students a chance to develop skills and experience related to their studies, and bridge the gap between academia, civil society and the world around us.

The Office of Regional and International Community Engagement (ORICE) offers a wide range of programs and courses that focus on what it truly means to build collaborative, trust-based relationships with communities and to address complex challenges.

I first engaged with ORICE by participating in an academic service-learning program in 2019. I was near the end of my geography degree at UBC, reflecting on what my degree meant to me and the things I cared about. A friend introduced me to ORICE and it was there that I found the space and discussion I was looking for.

ORICE has been the most fruitful learning experience I’ve had in university. It allowed me to apply the cumulation of learning that had taken place throughout my degree, prompting me to think critically about the world around me and question my own learning and experiences.

Through my placement with SELCO Foundation, I had the opportunity to witness and apply the concepts and theories learned in the course. I was able to gain perspective on how knowledge is produced or shaped for different people and how collaborative community development can truly be. It prompted me to think critically about the world around me, question my own learning and experiences, and made me realize I want to be a part of a community that is doing meaningful work and tackling complex challenges.

“Participating in an ORICE program has been the most fruitful learning experience I’ve had in university. It allowed me to apply the cumulative learning that had taken place throughout my degree.”
BA'20, Geography

ORICE offers two primary types of programming:

  • Co-curricular programs allow you to develop skills related to your studies outside of your coursework. You work directly on projects, some with community partners, that are not for course credit but still apply learnings from your degree.
  • Academic course programs also include community-based projects, but are tailored to the learning outcomes of a specific for-credit course. The community-based opportunities for both range between 8 to 12 weeks in length.

ORICE placements with community organizations around the world have taken a pause during COVID-19, but will resume this year with two course offerings. Global issues have not taken a break during them pandemic; rather, they have been amplified and remote projects have expanded our creativity for the ways we can engage. A few years ago, three students who completed a remote co-curricular program shared their experiences and learnings working online with an international NGO.

Have I piqued your interest? Deadlines to apply for opportunities in Winter Term 2 are approaching!


Co-curricular programs

Ethics of International Engagement and Service-Learning Engagementship Opportunity (Cohort #4)

Open to all upper-year undergraduate & graduate students.

Have you ever wondered why research was being done in particular locations? Are you interested in the ethics of international engagement and service-learning? The EIESL project aims to update the guidebook to reflect current discourse grounded in the social, political, economic and ecological realities of our day. What does community engagement on global issues mean to you?


Academic courses

ECON 364B The Economics of Sustainable Development (International Placement Program)

Open to upper-year undergraduate students who have taken a minimum of nine credits in Economics

Interested in turning economic theories into practice? This course offers an international community-based learning opportunity for students looking to bring their discipline to life in the real world! The aim of this course is to both deepen and broaden students’ understanding of the process of sustainable economic development as it affects low resource communities through student participation in applied community-based research and an international placement. Beginning in May 2023, the course will begin with intensive full-day week-long seminars, followed by an 8-week international placement with one of ORICE’s international community partners, and will culminate with final seminars and assignments virtually post-placement in July – August 2023.


SOWK 440J/571: Global Mental Health (International Course)

Open to all social work students with a BSW standing or a MSW standing by January 2023

This course offers an international community-based learning opportunity in Nairobi, Kenya to ground the concepts of global mental health in a specific non-western context. Students will be partnered with local mental health organizations to observe and learn from local experts. This course will be taught by Dr. Mohamed Ibrahim and will run over 4 weeks in May 2023 and will include community-based attachments.


Interested in learning more about opportunities with the Office of Regional and International Community Engagement, from academic & co-curricular programs and funding opportunities to events?


Christina Fung Christina Fung is a UBC Arts grad, former ORICE participant, and current Program Coordinator for ORICE. In her spare time, she can be found cycling, hiking in the mountains, or seeking new food spots in the city.