Popular Activities

Welcome Mixer

In the first few days of every Intensive English Program (IEP), the UBC ELI hosts a free welcome party (“mixer”) for students to meet and socialize with staff, teachers, CAs and each other. The mixer always has a creative theme complete with snazzy decorations. Experience an authentic North American university ‘pep rally’, and a short scavenger hunt with the opportunity to win amazing prizes. End the afternoon with a catered lunch! Whatever the time of year, the Welcome Mixer provides a warm reception to new and continuing students at the UBC ELI.

Welcome to ELI

Welcome to ELI

ELI Halloween Halloween Party

Celebrate with us on this frightening day by disguising yourself. CAs organize a costume shopping activity the weekend before Halloween to help students find where to buy affordable costumes. Students and CAs then dress up and participate in a haunted house before dancing the night away! The goal is to get in the spirit of Halloween by dressing up, having fun and meeting new friends!

Halloween Party

Halloween Party

Downtown Tour

Get to know Vancouver on foot! In the first week of every program, UBC ELI CAs arrange a walking tour of downtown Vancouver and get to know the historic neighbourhoods of Vancouver. You will discover some of the best places for sightseeing, dining and recreation. Grab lunch with CAs before taking the ferry to the picturesque Lonsdale Quay in North Vancouver. You will also find out where UBC ELI students usually meet for social activities.

Downtown Vancouver

Students on the Downtown Tour

Hiking in Lynn Canyon

Discover a local’s favourite spot for hiking! Just 30 minutes from Downtown Vancouver, Lynn Canyon is a city park that has amazing hiking trails, a suspension bridge, and waterfalls. Experience the spectacular beauty that surrounds us in British Columbia. CAs will show you the best hiking trails and places where you can swim in the river.

Students at Lynn Canyon

Hiking in the beautiful Lynn Canyon

Richmond Night Market

Visit one of the most authentic and largest night markets in Canada! CAs will take students to the market and show them all of their favourite places to eat. Experience food from around the world, play games, and purchase clothes, electronics, accessories, and almost anything else you can think of!

Richmond Night Market

Enjoying the Richmond Night Market

Granville Island

Granville Island is one of Vancouver’s most iconic attractions. Full of art galleries, boutique shops, and great restaurants, there is so much to see! Take a tour of False Creek on a ferry and admire the glass buildings of downtown Vancouver before being taken on a tour by CAs. They will show you places like the Granville Island Market where you can grab lunch before heading out and seeing and some amazing street art or tasting some beer at the Granville Island brewery.

Granville Island

Students on the False Creek Ferry

Biking in Stanley Park

Taking a bike ride around Vancouver’s famous Stanley Park is something everybody needs to do at least once! A CA will assist students with bicycle rentals before taking them on a tour of the park, where they will see light houses, totem poles, and Vancouver’s iconic Lions Gate Bridge. There will also be spectacular views of Downtown Vancouver and the mountains above the city!

Stanley Park

Biking around Stanley Park


We have a saying in English: all good things must come to an end. On the last day of each UBC ELI program, we hold a Farewell event, complete with refreshments, a slide show of favourite memories, speeches, skits and or presentations. A time of laughter and tears, this event is an opportunity for those of us who will remain at the UBC ELI to say goodbye to students who are returning home or moving on to new adventures.


We take our students to nearby towns and cities to show them the best of what the Pacific Northwest has to offer.


With just a two-hour bus ride, students are taken to Whistler, the home of the world-class ski resort Whistler Blackcomb. Students are taken on a tour of the picturesque village by our CAs, and can also take part of many activities with them. Ziplining, white water rafting, hiking, mountain sightseeing and skiing and snowboarding are all activities offered, depending on the season.


Students on Whistler Mountain


Experience America with our trip to Seattle, just four hours away by bus. Students will have two days to explore the city, guided by CAs. Visit the first-ever Starbucks, take in the sights and smells of Pike Place Market, go up to the top of the iconic Space Needle, and so much more! On the drive back to Vancouver, we also stop at Premium Outlets to give students an opportunity to shop.


On top of the Space Needle!


Visit the historic capital of the province of British Columbia with our CAs! Just a short and scenic ferry ride away, students can experience the relaxed atmosphere of Vancouver Island. Highlights include a visit to Butchart Gardens (A National Historic Site of Canada), touring the BC legislature, and walking through Canada’s oldest Chinatown.


Exploring the Butchart Gardens

Weekly Events

Weekly extra-curricular activities are provided free as part of the program at the UBC ELI. Check the current Activity Calendar to confirm days and times.

Class Rep Meetings

Once a week, class representatives from the Intensive English Program meet with UBC ELI staff to provide feedback about their classes, homestay, accommodation and activities. Student input helps us make every part of the UBC ELI experience even better!

Lunch with CAs

There’s always a lot happening during Lunch with CA’s – lots to do and lots to see; strolling through the hallways of the Continuing Studies Building, one might catch sight of students chatting with friends, playing a lively game of volleyball or hacky sack in the courtyard, or working away at last night’s homework. CA’s organize crafts, games, and discussions to keep break times fun and interactive. Delicious smells draw students toward the “concession” where friendly CA’s tempt hungry staff and students by selling hot pizza and fresh sushi (Every Wednesday).
It’s fun, it’s free, and everyone is welcome – Lunch with CA’s everyday of the week is definitely worth a visit!

Lunch with CAs image

Having Fun with the CAs

Activity Sign-Ups

Ask the Sign-up CA (SuCA) questions and get detailed information about the UBC ELI’s upcoming activities, then sign up for any extra-curricular events you want to join! Check the Activity Calendar for details about upcoming activities and sign-up times.

Sports Afternoon

Have fun and keep fit! Join the CAs in some physical activity at UBC’s fully equipped Osbourne Gym. Try soccer, volleyball, basketball, badminton, skating – something different every week.

Sports Afternoon Image

Sports Afternoon


What are you interested in? We have a club for you! We have different clubs every term so you will never get bored! Below are some example clubs.

Photo Club

Capture the essence of Vancouver through images with Photo Club! Come join us at our weekly excursions throughout the city, and explore your creative side. Our knowledgeable CAs will tell you tips and tricks to get the best photos . Hope to see you there!

Photo club image

Photo Club

ELI Blog

The ELI Blog is a weekly online newsletter produced by the students and CAs. A larger-than-life sized replica of the blog is created in the ELI hallways as well to check out at school. Send blog submissions to eli.blog@cstudies.ubc.ca so that CA blog editors can revise it and polish it up for publishing. Earn $10 ELI dollars to use for any and all ELI activities! Want to submit an article? Just talk to the CA editors!

ELI News image

ELI Blog

Music Club- Ukulele Workshops

Do, re, mi fa, so, la, ti….go!
A new addition to the ELI! There are so many opportunities to learn and experience music in Vancouver, and Music Club wants to explore them with you! Together, we’ll learn to play the ukuelele. Students of all skill levels are welcome.

Music club image

Music Club