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Hands-on learning

Emma Bialobzyski spent a summer mapping and controlling invasive species in Waterton Lakes National Park, Alberta.
Emma Bialobzyski spent a summer mapping and controlling invasive species in Waterton Lakes National Park, Alberta. Photo: Emma Bialobzyski

At UVic, we encourage dynamic learning outside the classroom.

Balance your academic studies with hands-on work experience through a co-op or practicum. Travel overseas on an international exchange or join a field school with students from around the world.

Scholars program

Are you an incoming first-year social sciences student committed to academic excellence and leadership?

Apply to the Social Sciences Scholars Program and meet other exceptional students, particularly those from equity-seeking groups and first-generation students.

Students admitted to the Social Sciences Scholars Program will take the Scholars Seminar (SOSC 100) and will have the opportunity to develop research and leadership skills, engage with leading social science researchers, and explore strategies for creating positive social change.

Students in the Social Sciences Scholars Program will also have the opportunity to experience: a Scholars retreat, paid research assistantship, and an undergraduate student conference organized by Scholars Program students.

A call for applications will be announced soon with an application deadline in April 2024.

Aims of the program

The Social Sciences Scholars Program aims to: 

  • develop the research and leadership skills that exceptional undergraduate students need to become emerging researchers and leaders in the social sciences and UVic undergraduate community.
  • offer interdisciplinary learning opportunities for undergraduate students to build professional relationships with researchers across the social sciences.
  • foster a culture of research excellence and leadership at the undergraduate level in social sciences.


  • first-year students in the Faculty of Social Sciences (and, in exceptional circumstances, second-year and transfer students in Social Sciences), with priority given to students from equity-seeking groups and first-generation students (i.e., first member of your family to have enrolled in university).
  • students with a demonstrated track-record of academic excellence and/or exceptional life experiences that demonstrate a strong potential for making significant research and leadership contributions.

International travel opportunities

Time abroad can be as educational as classroom work. Our international travel opportunities allow you to combine your studies with exploring the world. You’ll experience different cultures and deepen your understanding of the world.

Check with your department for current travel programs.

There are also many funding opportunities available for UVic students who wish to study abroad.

Field schools

A field school is an extended field trip, group study tour or off-campus university course for a small group of students. You’ll be accompanied by an instructor, who is usually an academic staff member from UVic.

Students normally receive course credit for successful participation in field schools. For field schools planned for the coming academic year, contact your academic advisor.

  • The Geography department offers a variety of field schools, including opportunities to study both internationally and around the province of BC.
  • The Anthropology department, in partnership with Parks Canada, offers a collaborative archaeology field school in the Gulf Islands National Park Reserve, British Columbia.
  • The School of Environmental Studies offers Redfish School of Change, an interactive and experiential field school designed for undergraduate students interested in food security, ecological sustainability and social equity. Students are placed across British Columbia.

Exchange program

An international exchange allows you to travel and continue your studies at the same time.

UVic has over 100 partnership agreements with institutions in 33 countries. From Europe to the South Pacific, you have many corners of the world to choose from.

Ask your school or department about their international program offerings.

Community engaged learning

With community-engaged learning (CEL), you'll connect course content with real-world experiences. You’ll contribute to communities and build your understanding, your CV and your network. There are over 100 opportunities for CEL in the social sciences at UVic.

Examples of CEL activities in Social Sciences:

  • Develop an ecological education game while on the Environmental Studies field school in the Gulf Islands
  • Use community mapping as a tool for knowledge co-creation, planning and citizen engagement
  • Acquire archeological techniques while mapping and recording historical data for the Congregation Emanu-El cemetery

To find out what CEL opportunities your department is currently offering, contact or 250-472-5667.