Arts Peer Academic Coaches


Aspire Academic Mentorship Program

Open to first-year students

The Aspire program connects first-year students with an upper-year Arts Peer Academic Coach. The program begins with a launch event, followed by three meetings with a coach of your choice throughout first term.

Conversations with a coach will cover the following topics;

  • Study strategies
  • Time management techniques
  • Ways to approach academic tasks
  • Campus involvement opportunities

At the end of the program, participants will receive a completion certificate, and will feel more confident in their learning strategies for the university context. This program is free, and open to undergraduate Arts students who are beginning their studies in September 2019.

Students register their interest for the Aspire program between May and August. Participants accepted into the program attend the launch event on Thursday, September 18, which provides an opportunity to network with other first-year students and meet all of the Arts Peer Academic Coaches. At this event, participants will submit preferences for a coach they would like to be paired with. The coach and the participant will connect via email to arrange their first meeting within two weeks following the event. All conversations will take place in the coaching corner in Buchanan D140.

Creating social connections within an academic community is a proven element of success at university. All of the Arts Peer Academic Coaches have grown to be successful learners at UBC, and have insight into the transition you are about to make. Through regular conversations, Aspire can help you discover more about yourself as a learner, and introduce you to new learning strategies relevant to university academic tasks.

If you have accepted your offer to join the Faculty of Arts in an undergraduate program beginning in September 2019, you can complete a short application for the program via the online application survey.

Please note that this program has limited space. Register your interest now to avoid disappointment!

Contact Olivia Jenkinson, Student Engagement Officer (Arts) at

Drop-in Coaching or Coaching by Appointment

Open to students in all year levels

** Coaching will reopen on September 9, 2019**

Meeting with an Arts Peer Academic Coach (APAC) is a great way to keep motivated throughout the term and discover more about yourself as a learner. The APAC coaches help students improve their learning experience through one-on-one coaching conversations on academic related skills and tasks. Talking with a coach can help you engage with the next steps of your task or get help with that obstacle that’s holding you back.

Are you feeling a little stuck and unsure how to proceed? Are you looking for more effective ways to revise for exams? Meet with a coach to discuss study strategies, prioritizing and time or even to walk through an academic task together.

Coaches can also talk to you about your experience as a student holistically, and recommend ways to get involved. Getting involved in your campus community is a great way to enhance your learning experience.

APAC’s coaching hours are hosted in the Meekison Arts Student Space in Buchanan D140 (down the hall from Arts Academic Advising). There are two ways to meet with a coach:

  • Drop-in hours. Come by the space; 11am-3pm Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays throughout the term.
  • Book an appointment in advance. (This function will reopen in September)

Great news – peer coaching is free! Come on your own, or bring a friend. Come by once, or several times to meet some of the different coaches on the team.

Each coaching conversation is different as it is tailored to the needs and goals of the individual student. The coach will be friendly, compassionate, and non-judgmental, and will ask questions to identify the root cause of an obstacle or your goals for the appointment. You can expect to do most of the talking! Together with your coach, you might create an action plan or walk away with resources to support the strategies discussed during the appointment.

Contact Olivia Jenkinson, Student Engagement Officer (Arts) at

Meet your coaches

The APAC coaches are a group of upper-year students who know what it’s like to learn and study in the Faculty of Arts at UBC. They are all volunteers who study in a variety of different departments and share a common goal of seeing other students succeed. Coaches are trained in self-regulated learning techniques to support student self-reflection and growth. APAC coaches grew to become academically successful by overcoming their own obstacles as students. They can relate to student experiences and provide you with strategies to improve your academic experience.

  • WHERE IS HOME? Hong Kong
  • WHAT THREE ADJECTIVES BEST DESCRIBE YOU? Friendly, empathetic, nerdy
  • WHAT EXTRACURRICULAR ACTIVITIES HAVE YOU BEEN INVOLVED IN? Model United Nations, debate, double bass playing, casual cat stalking
  • WHAT IS YOUR BEST EXAM PREP TECHNIQUE? Make colour-coded flashcards! I put a prompt (e.g. treaty name, key concept, short question) on one side and the answer on the other, and colour-code it in accordance to the question type and chapter number. I study for exam that require memorization of facts best with flashcards!
  • IF YOU COULD TRAVEL BACK IN TIME TO YOUR FIRST YEAR, WHAT IS ONE THING YOU WOULD DO DIFFERENTLY? I would definitely take into account the distance between lecture halls when making a timetable with back-to-back classes in it. Running from Swing to Buchanan in ten minutes is not exactly the kind of exercise I want early in the morning!
  • WHERE IS HOME? Vancouver and Guangzhou!
  • WHAT THREE ADJECTIVES BEST DESCRIBE YOU? Empathetic, committed, passionate.
  • WHAT EXTRACURRICULAR ACTIVITIES HAVE YOU BEEN INVOLVED IN? In my first year, I volunteered as a tutor for UBC Trek and was placed with Frontier College; I continued volunteering with Frontier in my second year and completed my last term with the African Children’s Homework Club. I also worked as a student assistant for UBC Asian Library through the Work-Learn program, volunteered for the Student Leadership Conference, and worked as an editor for the English department’s undergraduate journal, The Garden Statuary. During my summers I volunteer for Bard on the Beach Shakespeare Festival and UBC Camps.
  • WHERE’S YOUR FAVOURITE PLACE TO STUDY ON CAMPUS? The upper floor carrels in UBC Asian Library are perfect for studying – the cubicles are silent and well-lit, and you can always take a nice break by walking through the forests or in the Nitobe Gardens.
  • WHAT IS YOUR BEST EXAM PREP TECHNIQUE? I usually start by condensing class material into a single document or notebook, which is an efficient way to comb through heavy texts without getting weighed down. I then review and revise, pinpoint the exact topics that need to be strengthened, and plan my time until the exam accordingly. This routine is really just time management, material reinforcement, and a lot of coffee.
  • WHERE IS HOME? Metro Manila, Philippines
  • WHAT THREE ADJECTIVES BEST DESCRIBE YOU? Curious, Fun-loving, and Caring
  • WHICH EXTRACURRICULAR ACTIVITIES HAVE YOU BEEN INVOLVED IN? I’ve been a part of AMS Events, World Vision, and the Arts Undergraduate Society. I am also a brother at Alpha Kappa Psi the professional fraternity at UBC. Back home in the Philippines, I have also worked as an intern for a residential municipal Office.
  • WHERE IS HOME? New Westminster, BC
  • WHAT THREE ADJECTIVES BEST DESCRIBE YOU? Motivated, Active, Methodical
  • WHAT EXTRACURRICULAR ACTIVITIES HAVE YOU BEEN INVOLVED IN? For the past two years I have volunteered as a peer mentor for first year students, and I am excited to continue supporting my fellow students on a larger scale! I have worked at one of the psychology research labs on campus studying child development for the past year and a half. Before that I worked for UBC Athletics at Varsity Games. To stay active I have been playing basketball in the UBC Rec League since first year. When I need a break from studying, I love going for runs around campus and Greater Vancouver.
  • WHAT IS YOUR BEST EXAM PREP TECHNIQUE? My biggest tip would be focus testing yourself (instead of rereading). That is the best way to truly see if you understand the material. I recently discovered ANKI (a free cue card software program), and it has been super useful when I have a lot of information to memorize. If you want to learn more about how to study effectively, I would strongly recommend taking Psychology 333!
  • IF YOU COULD TRAVEL BACK IN TIME TO YOUR FIRST YEAR, WHAT IS ONE THING YOU WOULD DO DIFFERENTLY? I would be less stressed about taking courses that fulfilled my desired major and minor, and instead have taken a variety of courses I am interested in. UBC has such a wide range of courses for everyone’s interests. Use your first year as an opportunity to find what you enjoy! I have changed my minor three times; so don’t worry about having it all figured out when you arrive!!
  • WHERE IS HOME? Nanjing
  • WHAT THREE ADJECTIVES BEST DESCRIBE YOU? Positive, energetic, independent.
  • WHAT EXTRACURRICULAR ACTIVITIES HAVE YOU BEEN INVOLVED IN? I've been a member of the Academic Committee of the Psychology Students Association.
  • WHAT IS YOUR BEST EXAM PREP TECHNIQUE? Make a task list first and then assign different tasks to each day. Track your progress.
  •  IF YOU COULD TRAVEL BACK IN TIME TO YOUR FIRST YEAR, WHAT IS ONE THING YOU WOULD DO DIFFERENTLY? I would participate in more activities, and talk to advisors/professors more often.