Communal dining is an integral part of life at the College; it is over the dinner table that friendships are formed, and cross-cultural exchange and learning happens. College Junior Fellows are required to participate in the meal plan which is provided by SJC Culinary Service. Chef offers a diverse dinner menu, including abundant homemade entrees, vegetarian alternatives, and luxurious desserts. Breakfast is served Monday through Friday, and dinner is served Sunday through Thursday. Common kitchen facilities are available for those who wish to exercise their culinary talents during the lunch hour and on weekends.
(The College has very limited capacity to meet special dietary requirements so if you have such requirements, please contact the College in advance of application.)
The entire College comes together several times throughout the year for Formal Dinners that showcase the Chef’s skill and creativity. By combining daily sustenance with the highest ideals of scholarly learning and global engagement, SJC strives to embody the spirit of the original motto of St. John’s University of Shanghai, the pursuit of a better world through “Light and Truth.”
The current meal plan includes ten meals per week. Breakfast (toast, fresh baked goods, cereal, fruit, juice, tea, and coffee) is served Monday through Friday, 7:30 a.m. – 9:30 a.m. Dinner (a choice of vegetarian or non-vegetarian entrée, vegetables, salad bar, fresh baked goods, dessert, and beverages) is served Sunday through Thursday, between 6:15 p.m. – 7:45 p.m.
Did you know that our meal plan works out to roughly the same costs as your food cost would be off-campus?
This even takes into account no all meals are included in our meal plan. Plus you have an experienced Chef preparing your meals!
Please visit our fees page for meal plan costs.
Beyond the sense of community that communal dining brings; there is value for your dollars in our meal plan when you consider actual costs of food and cooking equipment/supplies, having your meals prepared for you, enhanced meals on special occasions, and four special formal dinners over the academic year.
Check out the Cost Calculator that UBC has created and make sure to choose off-campus housing to give a comparison of on-campus and and off-campus food costs. You just may be surprised!
Before arriving to Vancouver as a graduate international student, I checked all the accommodation options at UBC campus. Being used to the European standards is not easy when you move to a North American University and you realize that the cheapest room on campus is around $700. I had the opportunity to be an international student in Brazil, France, Finland and South Africa, and I have never paid more than $300 per month in the universities’ residences. However, this time in Vancouver, it would be much more challenging and in order to save some money I decided to live off campus and rent a room for $500.
Three months later I was living in the St. John’s College at UBC. Why? Because my $500 room in a share house was 40 minutes by bus from the university, did not have grocery shops nearby and the owner did not connect the heating every days. What does it mean? I had to waste a big part of my day taking buses, planning for buying groceries, cooking, cleaning dishes, and still spend 100$ per week on food.
When I looked back and I realized I was spending almost $1000 a month in groceries and rent, plus a big amount of time in commuting, shopping, cooking, etc. and I did not have time for my own hobbies, I knew something was not working as I wish. For that reason when in October I had the chance to visit SJC I knew it was the place I wanted to be. Now, I am living in SJC, I am paying a bit more of $1000 for rent and food, but I live on campus at 5 min walking from my working place, a well recognized Chef cooks for me every nights, I have more time for myself and for volunteer on campus and if this is not enough, still I have more than 100 friends from all around the world. I could not ask for more!
Thanks SJC for making me feel at home!
Leticia Hermoso Barroso
SJC Resident, Testimonial
An essential part of the community life at St. John’s College is eating meals together. Residents are expected to take their meals in the dining hall unless a scheduled class, sport, committee, or similar event makes this impossible. Residents who must miss a meal may arrange for the meal to be packed for pick up, or apply for a credit voucher enabling them to claim the missed meal at a future date. More information will be found in your SJC Resident Information Guide given upon arrival.
St. John’s College Meal Plan and Maintenance Fees
A resident who will be temporarily residing away from the College for 2 consecutive weeks or more in a calendar month may request the option of paying only a dining maintenance fee for that month. This fee covers SJC Culinary Service’s overhead costs and ongoing financial commitments, but not food costs. All meal plan fees are determined by SJC Culinary Service and are reviewed yearly. Currently, the maintenance fee is 50% of the meal plan plus GST.
The resident must use meal tickets or credit vouchers to purchase breakfasts and dinners while in residence during that month, and is not entitled to credit vouchers for missed dinner. The resident must submit a request to pay only the meal maintenance fee at least one week prior to the beginning of the month during which the absence will occur, stating clearly the dates of absence from the College. A request from is available in the office or can be downloaded here.
Bring a Guest to Dinner
Residents may submit a credit voucher (dinner reservation and voucher submission must be received by the Chef by noon the day prior) to bring a guest to breakfast or dinner, or purchase a meal ticket.
SJC Culinary Service Cancellation Policy
- Residents who cancel their contract with sufficient notice will be charged meal plan fees until the contract end date e.g. notice submitted on or before January 31 for cancellation March 31 – meal plan fees charged to March 31.
- Residents who cancel their contract with less than two months’ notice will be charged meal plan fees until the contract end date, plus the meal maintenance fee for the following month e.g. notice submitted on or after February 1 for cancellation March 31 – meal plan fees charged to March 31, meal maintenance fee charged for April.
- Residents who depart without notice will be charged the meal plan fee to the end of the current month, plus the meal maintenance fee for the following month, with the exception of departures in August.