Below are some of the common questions and challenges students encounter. Click through to learn about the resources we have at VIU to help out.

Paying for University 
Deciding What to Study
Finding Employment
The average class size at Vancouver Island University is 34
We believe everyone has the ability to contribute and will help open doors to your future.
We've partnered with 38  nonprofits in Nanaimo this year.
Let us help you achieve your goals. 
Enter to win a $2,500 tuition credit today.  
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© Copyright 2020 Vancouver Island University

At Vancouver Island University, we’re here to help you in your journey toward becoming a student.

That's why we're giving away one (1) $2,500 credit toward Fall 2020 tuition to a new full-time domestic student.*  

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We know, university can be hard.
But it’s worth it.

Ready to change the world?

Gain experience through hands-on, practical learning that will help you pursue your passions and define what interests you most. Small class sizes, and a welcoming, inclusive campus community allow you to make connections quickly and focus on challenges and issuesyou want to help solve. Get started at developing skills for careers that make an impact in your community and your world

Island Life
Balancing Life with Studies
Making a Difference

* By entering this contest, you agree to the Contest Rules which include your consent for Vancouver Island to collect your personal information in this entry form and consent to contact you regarding Vancouver Island University’s programs.

Study, live and play on beautiful Vancouver Island

At Vancouver Island University (VIU) you’ll be located in the centre of the Island’s great natural beauty and laid back culture, with access to year-round activities like kayaking, hiking, mountain biking, and more. As a student here, you can easily visit both small coastal towns and large bustling cities (like Victoria & Vancouver). The mild west coast climate means that you’ll have endless opportunities to explore our beautiful island playground. If you’re looking for a student experience in a mid-sized, oceanside city, VIU may be a perfect fit for you. Sign up for a campus tour to see for yourself! 

 The average person will change careers 5-7 times during their working life.

Nearly 1/3 of bachelor degree students will change their major.
VIU offers over 120+ programs. Explore more to find your fit.

Here are some options to help reduce or cover your costs

Apply for VIU scholarships, awards and bursaries

Apply for all Scholarships, Bursaries and Awards offered at VIU through one easy online portalFill out the form and you’re done.

Work part-time on or off-campus

Last year, VIU students worked at more than 400 part-time jobs on campus. Gain skills, get experience and help pay the bills.

Canada Emergency Student Benefit

To address the economic impacts that students are encountering, the government has created a benefit plan. Check it out to see if this may help you start or continue your studies this fall.

Access student loans from Student Aid BC

Student Aid BC provides loans and grants to help students fund their studies. Non-BC residents can check with their provincial government for similar options.

How do I pay for university?

Tuition, books and supplies, accommodation, transportation, food and definitely some entertainment; the costs pile up so fast it’s exhausting just thinking about it.

Here’s the good news. There are lots of options available to help you pay for university, and we have plenty of tips and support to help you manage your expenses and reduce costs where you can.

There’s also lots of evidence that university studies are worth your investment – from the higher earnings graduates make over their lifetime, to the increased career options that ope
n up to you.

903,000 is the number of job openings expected to be created over the next decade in BC.
$3.5 M is the value of scholarships, awards and bursaries available to VIU students in 2019-2020.
7/10 roughly how many students work part- or full-time while attending university.

Where do you start if you don’t know what to study?

If you’re like a lot of people, you probably didn’t graduate high school with a fully formed idea of what you’d like to do with your life. That’s not unusual, and it’s also not a reason to abandon the idea of university studies. Instead, you can use this time to explore what you’d like to do, while narrowing in on a field of study that really interests you. We’re talking about something that ignites your passion and curiosity.

Explore your interests and turn them into attainable goals. We help you set a direction for your post-secondary education. The first step is yours!

88%  of VIU bachelor grads report that the skills they learned during their studies are helpful in their current job.
77% is the number of new jobs that require a post-secondary education.
88%  is the employment rate for VIU bachelor grads two years after graduation.

Will university lead to a job?

You were probably pretty young when you first got the question: “What do you want to be when you grow up?” Now you’re facing the real deal, and it can feel a bit scary. So many options, and a lot of pressure to figure it all out.

It’s okay not knowing, and you’re not alone. Education can give you opportunities you’d never imagine. Whether you have a strong destination in mind, or you are just exploring your options, we’re here to help.

VIU offers paths to many different kinds of careers. Some take a pretty obvious path: study Nursing or Welding, become a nurse or welder. Other programs lead to a much wider variety of career options, including some you may not have even heard of or considered, and might be a perfect fit for you.

Vancouver Island’s entire population is 748,937, spread over 50 towns and cities.
Balance your studies with fun, active outdoor activities for all levels.
It takes roughly 6 hours to drive the length of Vancouver Island between Victoria and Port Hardy.

Develop effective skills & habits to balance life

No matter what age you are, life is busy. Full of things you want to do and need to do. It’s a lot. There’s family and friends, work and fun, and keeping healthy. How do you make it all work as a student?
At VIU, you will find great support from faculty, staff, and classmates. As a student you will have access to resources that will help you form strong study habits and time management skills so you can fit in what’s important. 

Help manage stress with healthy eating and exercise.
It’s motivating to find what you love to do, helping you keep an eye on your goals.
Asking for help may be hard, but it’s a key to success.

Narrow in on a program that feels like a fit

Talk to a VIU Recruiter 

You need to talk it out. A VIU Recruiter can answer your questions about university, and help you narrow your interests to find a program that feels like a fit. They’re friendly, approachable, and can help guide you through the application process.

Explore many paths

The Exploratory University Studies (EXPO) program gives you the freedom to choose courses without committing to a specific degree program. Plus, you get the support of Educational Advisors to guide and help you set some goals to find your true path.

Hear from VIU students

Every VIU student has a unique story to share. They talk about the experience of being a student, and the support and guidance that helped them along the way. Recent graduates also talk about great connections made along their career path, and the passions that are beginning to take shape in their lives.

Explore different programs

Not so sure? Spend some time reading about VIU’s programs, and reach out to a Recruiter if you have questions. They work closely with Educational Advisors to help you get started in a university program that’s a fit for you. You can also talk to a professor in your program of choice, or a recent graduate who’s using what they’ve learned in their career.

Get started on the path to a career that you’ll enjoy

Get career experience while you study

There are many experiences outside the classroom that can enhance your learning, and help you build skills and knowledge to improve your future career opportunities. VIU’s Co-Curricular Record helps you add valuable non-academic credit to your student record, which can help you find a great career.

Educational advisors are here to help you

Once you are enrolled, you can get help with goal setting to connect your studies and future career, learn strategies that will help you handle challenges you’re having with your studies, and find out about the different kinds of supports and opportunities that will make your learning experience the best it can be.

Take your learning on a journey

You can travel and study at the same time through experiences offered by Education Abroad. Combining studies and travel can help you gain confidence, develop new interests, meet great people, and pursue a future career with an expanded world perspective.

Get experience with internships and co-ops

Most degree and trades programs offer practical experience in the field through internships, co-ops, and practicums – a great way to gain valuable work experience and get your foot in the door even before you graduate!

Add island adventure to your university experience

Join a club to fit your interests

Meet new friends by getting involved in campus life. The VIU Students’ Union (VIUSU) offers more than 50 different clubs and activities for a wide range of interests. Your program may also have a student club, which gives you a chance to socialize and gain new perspectives with your classmates.

Get outdoors with Mariners Recreation

Take a break from your studies with fun and affordable outdoor activities. Join VIU’s Mariners Recreation for a sea kayaking adventure, a weekend hiking trip, an indoor rock climbing lesson, a stand-up paddleboarding adventure, or a weekend surf trip. This is the way to multitask as a student!

Live on an Island full of beauty and adventure

Get into an Island lifestyle that is laid back, friendly, inclusive and all about easy access to natural west coast beauty. It’s a big Island, the largest on North America’s west coast. Small towns and cities, including Nanaimo – home to VIU’s main campus – are great to explore for some downtime.

Take in Island and BC activities with Cultural Connections

Get out and explore Vancouver Island with other VIU students. Every semester, Cultural Connections schedules weekly activities and road trips for all students who want to take in cultural events, attractions and fun activities together.

Resources to keep you balanced

Learn (or relearn) how to learn

You want to make the most of the time you spend at your studies, and find some balance in life at the same time. There’s great support and resources on VIU’s Learning Matters website, including great study tips that help you become a better, more focused learner.

Get successful with Success Coaching

If you need help finding your focus, developing resilience, or finding the important balance between learning, well-being and all that life throws at you, you can access free Student Success Coaching. Workshops or one-on-one conversations can get you on the right track.

Navigate your studies with Academic Advising

What if you need help overcoming obstacles to achieve success in your studies, or want to talk to someone about setting goals, or clarifying the possible path to a future career? Once your studies are underway, VIU’s Education Advisors are your go-to team. They’re available to help you one-on-one and have tons of information and will help you take action, prioritize and keep to your plan.

Connect with current students or alumni

If you’re seeking inspiration and advice for how to handle a busy life and the colliding priorities involved in university studies, you can connect with an alumni who has been there. VIU’s new alumni network, ‘Ten Thousand Coffees’ helps you connect with someone who’s made it work and can share how they did it.

Gain skills to help solve real world challenges

Get involved in student research

Getting involved in research and creative activities at VIU will help you make a difference. You’ll get practical and academic experience to deepen your learning. Find your cause through deep examination of issues you are researching, learn how to present your research and engage with groups on topics you think are important, and develop skills that will transfer into many careers.

Work on issues you care about

Issues and challenges you care about may seem too big to tackle, but you can find ways to get involved and make a difference right here in the Vancouver Island and coastal BC region. Get involved in student research and learning beyond the classroom that involves working with great community partners, like the ones you will see on the map in this link.

Embrace the steps taken toward reconciliation

Actions large and small make a difference in addressing the challenges outlined in Canada’s recent Truth and Reconciliation Commission report. Join us at VIU as we take up the challenge together. Learn about reconciliation in a place where your history and traditions are respected, and where you will be encouraged by faculty, staff and Elders in Residence in making the difference you want to make in the world.

Find real solutions

You might already have a general idea about what you care about, and where you want to make a difference. University studies, in your program area or not, will expose you to opportunities for involvement and learning you may not have imagined. You can work with faculty and community partners to ask the kind of questions that lead to deeper understanding, and help find real solutions.