Congratulations! You’ve landed at UBC Okanagan, located within the traditional, ancestral, and unceded territory of the Syilx Okanagan Nation. You already know it’s a top-ranked university, home of the UBCO Heat athletic teams, and a hub for world-class research. Where to first? Here are a few ideas to help you get headed in the right direction.
The Central Courtyard
Courtyards have been a central meeting place for people from time immemorial, and the same holds true at UBC Okanagan. The Central Courtyard is a great place to catch your bearings with easy access to the Library, Administration, Arts, and Science buildings. It’s also a great place to take a break and relax with its seasonal water feature and proximity to outdoor art installations. Keep your eyes open for all kinds of fun events taking place here over the course of the term.
Known affectionately as UNC, the University Centre is home to study spaces, collegia lounges, student clubs, cafés and more. At the UNC you’ll also find such supports as the Indigenous Centre, Students’ Union office, UBCO Women’s Resource Centre, the Pride Resource Centre, the Equity and Inclusion Office, Academic Advising and the Peer Support Network office.
The Commons is another spot to meet old friends and make new ones. Enjoy the innovative seating options and floor-to-ceiling windows showcasing magnificent views of the Okanagan Valley. Take a pause at Comma, a bright and airy cafe that proudly serves organic, Fairtrade coffee freshly roasted in British Columbia. If a quiet space is what you seek, visit the Lois and Cliff Serwa Reading and North Reading Rooms. Rumour has it, it’s so quiet you can hear a pin drop. Working on a group project? The Commons also has numerous private spaces that are available for booking.
Charles E. Fipke Centre
Those in the know refer to it simply as Fipke. But let’s give credit where credit is due. Through his foundation, geologist Charles E. Fipke generously donated the funds to build this centre for innovative research. Within its walls are many amenities including study spaces, labs, the campus’s second-largest lecture hall, and the lifeblood of many students, faculty and staff — Starbucks.
Engineering, Management and Education building
The EME houses the School of Engineering, Faculty of Management, and Okanagan School of Education. This building has many meeting rooms with floor-to-ceiling windows showcasing views of the atrium below and the Okanagan Valley beyond. It’s also home to the peer-facilitated makerspace UBCO where students, faculty and staff are encouraged to manifest their creative ideas through the free use of 3D printers, digital cutters, soldering stations and many more tools and materials. Downstairs is the Global Collegium where you can prepare a meal in the kitchen or just relax in a comfortable, welcoming environment. Perhaps most notably, the EME is where you’ll find a plethora of pooches during Friday afternoon drop-in sessions as part of the B.A.R.K. program.
Here at the UBC Okanagan Library, you have access to over seven million items including books, ebooks, films, journals, maps, sound recordings as well as the expertise of subject librarians and service desk staff. The library building is also home base to the Student Learning Hub with free and flexible resources such as tutoring, writing support and peer mentors. Campus Security also has its office here. They ensure the campus is a safe place to work, live and study 24 hours a day. Download the UBC Safe mobile app for immediate access to emergency services, first aid and Safewalk.
Hangar Fitness & Wellness Centre
Want to let off some steam or get energized for the day ahead? Check out the Hangar Fitness & Wellness Centre. This easily recognizable structure houses 4,000 square feet of innovative cardio equipment, an array of weight machines, plenty of free weights and open space to strengthen and stretch. There are also three studios providing space for group fitness classes, a jungle gym and spin. UBCO Recreation should be your destination if you’re into intramural or recreational sports and they always have exciting seasonal on and off campus events and programs planned for students, faculty and staff. Take a virtual tour today!
One of your first ports of call on campus may be the bookstore. This is located in the Administration building and is your one-stop-shop for textbooks, supplies and UBC-branded swag. The Administration building is also where you’ll find a well-appointed 200 seat lecture theatre, the IT Helpdesk and Sunshine restaurant. Sunshine is renowned for its all-day breakfast offerings as well as delicious vegetarian and vegan selections.
Where to eat?
Whether it’s study, work or play that brings you to campus, you’re going to need sustenance. UBC Okanagan Food Services has got you covered! There are a variety of food service options available on campus including: Comma, Sunshine, Tim Hortons, Rocket, Subway, Pritchard Dining Hall, Starbucks, and more! UBCO has also partnered with a number of off-campus restaurants where students can take advantage of discounts and use Flex Dollars. Whatever your dietary preferences — whether it’s a coffee or a smoothie or a snack or a meal — you’re sure to find something appealing, appetizing and satisfying.
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There’s so much to experience at UBC Okanagan! This is not even the tip of the iceberg. Don’t be shy about exploring spaces and contacting resources for more information. If you’re a student, consider contacting the course union for your area of interest or check out the list of many clubs where you’re sure to find some like-minded individuals who share your passions. Did someone say Ice Cream?!? For a more detailed lay of the land check out these maps, directions and virtual tours.