Vancouver Island University


Known as a centre of excellence for teaching, applied research and learning, Vancouver Island University (VIU) is producing quality graduates that are in demand by employers across the country and around the world.

With roots that date back to 1936 when Nanaimo’s first vocational training school opened its doors, VIU shares a rich history and connectedness with its communities.  It is this history and commitment to people that has provided VIU with a solid foundation on which we continue to grow.

VIU has evolved into a dynamic, internationally known university supporting a student population in excess of 18,000 full-time and part-time learners, including 1,100 international students, over 1,000 aboriginal students, and employing over 2,000 faculty and staff.

Through our ongoing evolution and growth, VIU is proud to have contributed to the development of the Vancouver Island culture, social, economic and knowledge base.

VIU operates four campuses including a main campus in Nanaimo and regional campuses in Duncan, Powell River and Parksville•Qualicum. VIU is also the proud owner of Milner Gardens and Woodlands in Qualicum Beach, recently named one of the top 10 public gardens in Canada.

VIU is an organization that values a diverse range of training and education. The university provides an enriched and intellectually stimulating environment for students and employees. Offering programs from basicliteracy to vocational programs, trades, undergraduate and graduatedegrees, VIU encourages all students to explore their potential, discover more about their world and excel in both life and learning.

Why choose Vancouver Island University?
Academic Preparation
  • 5 levels.
  • 20 hours of English language instruction per week, including up to 2 electives.
  • Includes 2 Learning Centers, language lab/computer lab access and socio-cultural activities.
  • Small classes, highly qualified, friendly, approachable teachers, and a wide range of learning materials.
  • Three semesters (September, January and May), each 14 weeks long.
  • Students in the top level (Academic Preparation 5) may be eligible to take up to 1 academic credit course in addition to their English language study (additional fees apply).
  • Graduates from the English Language Centre can directly enter. Vancouver Island University degree, diploma and certificate programs (as long as the academic pre-requisites are met).
  • All English language students who graduate from the AP5 course with a grade of ‘C’ or higher will receive 3 academic credits toward theirVIU university program.
English Communication Program
  • Upper beginner to advanced.
  • 3 levels.
  • 20 hours of English language instruction per week, including up to 2 electives.
  • Six start dates per year (beginning and middle of each semester), each 14 weeks long, or the option of a half-semester of studies (7 weeks).
  • Includes Learning Centre, language lab access and socio-cultural activities.
  • Small classes, highly qualified, friendly, approachable teachers, and a wide range of learning materials.
How to apply
  1. Complete an on-line International Application for Admission form or fill out a PDFprintable application form. Note: paper applications will take longer to process.
  2. Submit the $150 (Cdn) non-refundable Application Processing Fee – pay by Visa or Mastercard if applying on-line.
    your application will not be processed without this fee.
  3. Attach or send a certified copy of all educational documents in the original language, and a certified copy translated into English, if applicable.
  4. Arrange to have an original copy of your TOEFL or IELTS results sent to Vancouver Island University, if required.
    You must have a basic knowledge of English for the English Language Program.
  5. Mail these to:
English Language Centre Tuition

Choose between the Academic Preparation stream, with 14 week study periods, or the English Communication stream, with 14 or 7 week study periods. Tuition includes 16-20 hours per week of English language instruction + up to 2 elective classes. All students will receive regular one-on-one language coaching with our ESL instructors.

14 Weeks 7 Weeks
Academic Preparation (AP) stream
English Communication (EC) stream
Language & Culture Program Tuition

Choose from a 3 or 4 week program in Winter (January or February) or Summer (July or August). Tuition includes 20 hours per week of English language instruction, as well as activities and day trips.

4 Weeks 3 Weeks
Short-Term Summer program
Short-Term Winter program
Student Fees & Expenses

Additional fees include the application fee, student society fee, ancillary fee as well as medical insurance. These fees apply to all VIU students. See below.

Sample ESL Student Budget

The following sample student budget provides a list of all student fees and variable expenses to consider. Expenses with an asterisk (*) are recommended but not required. All new international students are encouraged to live in homestay or peerstay for at least the first semester, as an excellent way to become familiar with Canadian culture and the community. Please see the housing page for more information as well as additional accommodation options.

14 Weeks 7 Weeks 4 Weeks 3 Weeks (21 nights)
Application Fee $150 $150 $150 $150
Tuition $4,900 $2,500 $1,900 $1,500
Student Fees (Student Union & Ancillary Fees) $265 $134.50 N/A N/A
Medical Insurance $160 $160 $40 $40
Books $300 $150 n/a n/a
Transportation (City Bus Pass)* $176 $110 $55 $55
Homestay (Includes Housing & Food)* $3,120 $1,560 $780 $567
Homestay Placement Fee* $200 $200 $200 $200
Total Estimated ESL Student Budget

  These expenses are estimated living expenses only and do not include entertainment, clothing or other personal costs.

  • Excellent facilities.
  • Quality programs at a reasonable cost.
  • Small classes taught by experienced and highly-qualified instructors.
  • Academic advising, personal counselling, and support services for international students.
  • Social, recreational and sports activities; homestay, and on-campus student residences.
  • Co-operative Education programs that allow for study and full-time work anywhere in Canada.
  • Great location in a smaller city close to Vancouver and Victoria.

The goal of the Academic Plan is to clarify the challenges and opportunities facing Vancouver Island University (VIU) and to provide recommendations intended to highlight specific priorities, to better focus and direct our academic activities towards common goals and to better define the infrastructure and resources required to achieve them. VIU Academic Plan Summary

The Academic Plan is a blueprint for our future. It stands on a foundation of our past achievements and successes and is intended to serve as a guide for the continuing evolution of VIU. Like all components of the University Plan, the Academic Plan needs to respond to inevitably changing circumstances and must be considered to be a living document.

The VIU Academic Plan Summary (right) provides an overview of VIU’s Vision, Purpose and Objectives, as well as a list of the thirty recommendations contained in the plan.

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