Flights & Travel

a) Should a teacher candidate book their flight/s right away?

The UBC Teacher Education Office recommends teacher candidates do not book any flights until midway through their 10 week certification practicum.  However, if a very good flight price comes available, and you do book the flight, be sure to also purchase ‘all inclusive’ flight cancellation insurance (insurance that covers you regardless of the reason for cancellation).

b) Should teacher candidates purchase flight/trip cancellation insurance?

Each teacher candidate is responsible for determining if they should accept or decline flight or trip cancellation insurance for their international CFE.  However, the TEO also strongly recommends a teacher candidate wait until midway through their 10 week certification practicum to purchase their flight and other prepaid travel costs.  If a teacher candidate feels compelled to prepay for any travel services before then (e.g., flight routes get filled up or there is a very, very good seat sale), the TEO also recommends the teacher candidate purchase ‘all inclusive’ travel or trip cancellation insurance (insurance that covers them for any trip cancellation reasons).

It is important to note that standard trip cancellation insurance rarely covers trip cancellations of an ‘academic nature’ (e.g., not being able to move forward with travel to/from an international destinations due to not passing and exam, practicum, etc…). Moreover, most inclusive travel insurance rarely reimburse more than 75% of the total cost of all prepaid travel costs.  Thus it is the teacher candidate’s responsibility to check the amount the trip cancellation insurance policy will reimburse, and that the policy covers them for any type of trip cancellation – especially of an academic nature.

Finally, teacher candidates are encouraged to review at the BCAA standard trip cancellation policy (, as it illustrates how limited standard trip cancellation insurance can be – even in medical situations!

c) Does the Teacher Education Office provide financial assistance if an international CFE is cancelled (e.g., provide refunds if a flight is cancelled)?

Unfortunately UBC, and the UBC Teacher Education Office, do not have the financial resources to provide financial assistance to teacher candidates who have had their international CFE cancelled or interrupted, regardless if the reasons for cancellation are under UBC’s control (e.g., UBC decides to cancel all CFEs due to the report of an infectious disease like SARS or H1N1, Ebola, COVID-19, etc.), or not (e.g., a failed course before departure).

Please see the International CFE Supplemental Form for more information.

D) Can a teacher candidate leave their practicum up to one day early to make their way to their international CFE, and/or can they arrive back late from their international CFE ?

Teacher candidates are not permitted to leave their practicum early to attend to an international CFE.  Nor may the Teacher Candidate return from their international CFE late and miss coursework.  Teacher candidates are asked to consider the negative impact that an early departure might have on their 10-week practicum report, and a later return may have on their coursework.

If a teacher candidate is delayed on their return trip and will be missing one or more classes, please follow the UBC BEd attendance protocols.

However, having said this, there are two circumstances that permit teacher candidates to leave early:

  • Financial Hardship

A teacher candidate whose flight costs leaving Thursday are at least $350.00 CDN cheaper than leaving Friday, may apply to the Associate Dean (through the international CFE coordinator) to leave up to one day early due to financial hardship.  If the Associate Dean approves the early departure, the teacher candidate must also present written approval (e.g.,  an email) from both their Practicum Faculty Advisor and their Practicum School Advisor.  All three approvals must be obtained before  teacher candidate can leave their practicum up to one day early.

Screen shots showing differences in airline seat costs, for equivalent seats, must be sent to the international CFE coordinator. (e.g., both are with the same airline and both seats are coach class seats).

  • Program Hardship

Teacher candidates who demonstrate program hardship may be permitted to leave up to one day early.  For example, teacher candidates who a required to be on location early to participate in a group orientation session that cant be rescheduled (e.g., UBC engineering students, forestry students and teacher candidates must all attend an orientation session on the Sunday before the international CFE starts),  may also apply to the Associate Dean (through the international CFE coordinator) to leave one day early.  Again, if the Associate Dean approves the early departure, the teacher candidates must also get written approval (e.g.,  an email) from both their Faculty Advisor and their School Advisor.  All three approvals must be obtained before a teacher candidate is permitted to leave their practicum up to one day early.

Note: Due to the arduousness of the journey to/from an African CFE, teacher candidates in this situation automatically qualify for program hardship.  However, the teacher candidate must also have their school and faculty practicum advisors present written approval (e.g., an email) to the international CFE program coordinator.

Far East international CFEs

Teacher candidates crossing the date line on their way to a Far East CFE (e.g., China, Japan, Korea, Hong Kong, Philippines, etc.) are permitted to start their international CFE one day late (they can start Tuesday instead of Monday). Thus those crossing the dateline to attend to a CFE are only required to be on their international CFE partner’s site for 14 days instead of 15 days. Teacher candidates in this situation are asked to contact their partner to let them know of their Tuesday start.