Vancouver Island University


Located on Canada’s west coast in the city of Nanaimo, Vancouver Island University is surrounded by coastal mountains, ocean and forests. Students experience an active, exciting west coast BC lifestyle as they explore the region, taking advantage of world-class recreation while studying at VIU. Surfing, hiking, scuba diving, camping? Yes please! Authentic cultural and arts experiences? You’ll find it all at VIU and beyond.

Vancouver Island University is a student-centred community where excellence in learning is the primary goal. We welcome and value the contributions of students from around the world who create the rich cultural tapestry on our campuses. Our faculty and students gain valuable international experience through engagement in innovative projects and partnerships worldwide. Our vision is shaped by the ideals of a just, equitable and sustainable global community.

This is a place of acknowledgement and fair access, achievement and personal attention – a special blend of a caring, nurturing environment sets VIU apart from other universities. It’s an essential ingredient for a values-based education that creates an environment balancing academic accomplishments with the goal of developing students' social and relationship skills to last a lifetime, make a difference, and model others to do the same. In doing this, VIU is making an invaluable contribution to much stronger and healthier communities and a better world.


Exchange Program fact sheet

Facts and figures

Year Established 1969
Total Number of Staff 1200
Number of Academic Staff 600
Number of Students 14500
Focus Areas

VIU is a comprehensive university with more than 120+ programs, in the focus areas of:

Art, Design & Performing Arts
Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences
Business & Management
First Nations Studies
Science & Technology (Including Fisheries & Aquaculture, Natural Resource Protection)
Tourism, Recreation & Hospitality

See our full list of programs:

Web link for international students
Fields of Study Offered Arts (broad programmes)
Music and performing arts
Humanities (broad programmes)
History and archaeology
Political science and civics
Business and administration (broad programmes)
Environmental science
Earth science
Computer science
Agriculture, forestry and fishery (others)
Travel, tourism and leisure
Environmental protection (broad programmes)