Student exchange proves popular

A record 265 students have been accepted into UBC student exchange programs this year -- 250 in the Exchange Abroad Program (EAP) and 15 in the Group of Ten Exchange Program (GOTSEP) across Canada.

Thevi Pather, program co-ordinator, said the numbers meet the goal set in 1989 to have five per cent of third-year students participating in education abroad.

"The program is open to undergrads and graduate students but the emphasis is on students heading into third year," said Pather. "The exchange program has been a life-changing experience for many UBC students as well as for visiting exchange students from afar who add to the cultural richness of our own campus."

The EAP program started in 1988 with three students exchanging with counterparts at the University of California. Pather says that in the last two years, participation has doubled.

The University of California remains the most popular destination with 23 students heading south on exchanges. Other top destinations include the University of New South Wales , Lancaster University, the University of Glasgow and Keele University in the United Kingdom.

Pather expects UBC's recent agreement with the Sorbonne in France will be a popular addition. In total, UBC has education abroad agreements with 54 institutions in Australia, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, the Philippines, South Africa, Singapore, Sweden, Taiwan, the United Kingdom and the United States.

The GOTSEP is an undergraduate exchange program with universities in Ontario, Alberta and Quebec.

For both EAP and GOTSEP, students can exchange for a term or a full year.

Pather says roughly 70 students participate annually in a separate exchange program run by the Faculty of Commerce and Business Administration.