Vancouver Island University

Rank 30
Location Nanaimo
Established 1969
Famous For Teaching, Innovative Research


Vancouver Island University (VIU) was established in 1969 in Nanaimo, British Columbia. It is officially recognised by the Ministry of Advanced Education, Skill and Training of British Columbia and is ranked 67th in Canada.

VIU offers over 120 undergraduate and postgraduate courses, as well as certificates, diplomas, associate or foundation programs. The University also offers programs with specialised accreditations, including the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB International), Commission on Dental Accreditation Canada (CDAC), Canadian Association of Schools of Nursing (NCASN) and Canadian Forestry Accreditation Board (CFAB).

Vancouver Island University currently has 18,000 full-and part-time students enrolled, which includes 1,100 international students from over 40 countries. Vancouver Island has partnerships with many global universities, including the University of Hertfordshire in England and University of Canberra in Australia.

All campuses have hi-tech labs, libraries, art studios, mathematics and writing centres, and high-speed Wi-Fi connectivity, as well as a 20,000 sq. ft. gymnasium with 2 Basketball Courts, 10 Badminton Courts, 4 Volleyball Courts, Fitness, Weight and a Multipurpose Room.

Vancouver Island attracts millions of visitors yearly for its natural beauty and world-class recreation opportunities.

Services for International Students

Vancouver Island University offers support to international students at every stage of their journey. The University assists with ferry or harbour services when arriving for the first time and an International Student Orientation will ensure you feel at home straight away. The University also provides academic ESL programs for those who want to improve their English.


Vancouver Island University is ranked 67th in Canada, and 11th in British Columbia, according to Edurank.


Vancouver Island University provides accommodation for over 500 students in 10 buildings on the Nanaimo campus. Students can find a 24/7 front help desk, wireless internet, and laundry facilities. In addition, there are shared lounges and kitchen facilities for the students. Options include:

  • Single rooms with semi-private bathrooms in dorms
  • Single rooms with semi-private bathrooms in townhouses or apartments
  • Shared rooms with semi-private bathrooms in townhouses or apartments

For students with special needs, University residences provide specially designed rooms. The residences include outdoor recreation facilities, picnic areas, basketball and volleyball courts, and walking paths. For those looking for off-campus housing, VIU supports with advice related to tenancy and local information in finding private rented accommodations.

In addition, VIU offers homestay options to international students who wish to learn about the local culture.

About Location

Aside from the main campus at Nanaimo, the University has branch campuses at Duncan, Parksville and Powell River. Students can reach the main campus from Nanaimo airport, a 20-minute drive from campus. The Departure Bay ferry terminal is a 10-minute drive from the campus. Students can also travel to Duke Point in the South of Nanaimo from the Vancouver port of Tsawwassen.

Colliery Dam Park, Vancouver Island whale watching, Westwood Lake Park, Harbourfront walkway, Morrell Sanctuary and Nanaimo museums are some attractions close to the VIU.

About Location

  • Gwen O’Mahony, a Canadian politician who represented Chilliwack-Hope from April 2012 until April 2013
  • Doug Elliot, a Canadian musician
  • Victor Blasco, a Spanish footballer

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Amanpreet KaurInternational Business Management (May 2024 intake)

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