Frequently Asked Questions


Find answers to the most common questions here and visit the students page for more basic information.

If you are a UBC student, you are eligible to get involved at the Learning Exchange.

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You can contribute in many ways, including directly supporting residents, partnering with local volunteers, creating lesson materials, sharing a skill you have, or helping assess the impact of the overall program. Before you start we’ll chat with you about what strengths you bring, and what excites you.

Some of the major options:

  • Lead small conversation groups in our ESL Program.
  • Share teaching tips or computer knowledge to support local volunteers who lead computer skills workshops
  • Facilitate a workshop on a topic that interests you. We’re open to suggestions.

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Students have facilitated “special interest” ESL workshops; for example, on music appreciation, or short story reading. Other students have supported local volunteers by running workshops on Photoshop and website design. Examples of workshops based on students’ own interests include guitar playing sessions, an “Economics Café” series and a small garden project.

Check out some student stories.

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You will learn about other cultures and issues faced by immigrants. You’ll develop effective leadership skills, practicing how to bring out the best in others. You can increase your public-speaking and general communication skills, along with your proficiency in facilitating small workshops. Maybe you are interested in and can extend your practical understanding of issues such as non-traditional approaches to learning, open access to education and social-justice or community-development.

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Your biggest asset will be having an openness to learning about yourself and others. We believe that everyone has something to teach and something to learn, so we’d like to chat with you about what strengths or passions you bring. What excites you?

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Generally students are involved for one or two hours a week for most of an academic term. Students have also worked with us during academic breaks and over the summer.

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We offer programs year round—you can get involved at any time. To find out more contact Katie Forman.

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Yes. Drop by Tuesday to Friday afternoons, 1:00 – 4:30 pm. There will be a member of staff available to talk with you, and you can get a feel for what the Learning Exchange is all about. You can also contact Katie Forman to chat or set up an appointment.

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Most students don’t get academic credit for volunteering at the Learning Exchange. If you’re involved as part of a course then you likely do get credit—please check with your professor for details.

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All of the activities and learning opportunities described above are available to students who join us via the Trek Program.

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If community-based experiential learning is part of your course, and you opt to participate at the Learning Exchange, we will give you an orientation to your project, and support you in achieving your learning goals.

Previous course-based community learning opportunities have involved students from Economics, Community Psychology and Civil Engineering classes, to name a few. We collaborate with the Centre for Community Engaged Learning to develop and extend course-based opportunities at the Learning Exchange.

If you have questions about course-based work at the Learning Exchange, contact Katie Forman.

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UBC research projects can be conducted at the Learning Exchange, under faculty supervision, and we may also be able to provide interview rooms and help identifying or reaching out to potential research participants. Contact Katie Forman to discuss the possibilities.

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