UBC Undergraduate Research

Food preparedness guide : UBCFSP final report Bazza, Zineb; Brinkman, Dawn; Sheehan, Kyla; Wu, Di Wing; Yang, Andy


The population of international students enrolled in Canadian universities has risen substantially. Understanding the food challenges faced by foreign students becomes important in terms of gaining insights on the food security of student populations, and is an essential part of overall university experience. With a focus on newcomers, this project is part of the UBC Food System Project (UBCFSP), which is a collaboration of multiple stakeholders, including the Faculty of Land and Food Systems and the UBC Sustainability Office, tackling food insecurity on campus and striving toward campus-wide food sustainability for the long run. The Food Preparedness Guide aims to deliver information on finding affordable, healthy and culturally appropriate food options both on campus and in the Vancouver food system for incoming UBC international students. A focus group discussion was conducted with five international student participants who were recruited by the community partner through the Global Lounge. Findings demonstrate that many international students have experienced food insecurity during their first year on campus. General dissatisfaction was expressed by participants in terms of their experience with food on campus. Despite their interests in cultural food, budget and affordability was shown to be the most important determinant of food choices students make both on and off campus. This heavily shaped the content of the food preparedness guide. The content of the guide was built based on feedback received during the focus group. The guide’s aim was to deliver information on: affordable and healthy food options, food terminology, local food resources and cultural food, as a means to alleviate new-coming students’ stress with food shopping, preparation and consumption.

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Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.5 Canada