Vancouver Island University has been active in international education for many years. VIU has:
- over 1,000 international students from more than 50 countries enrolled in a wide range of programs;
- an English Language Centre that helps students prepare for academic programs and improve communication;
- an established internationalization strategy that includes:
- study abroad programs for Canadian and international students;
- International Certificate Programs that provide graduates with recognition of their international experiences;
- support for faculty and staff to gain international expertise;
- support for faculty to internationalize their curriculum;
- establishment of High school on Campus
VIU has established formal ties and exchange programs with international institutions in countries such as Australia, China, England, Finland, France, Italy, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam, and the United States of America.
General Information for International Students
Vancouver Island University accepts international students under one of the following conditions:
- direct application;
- application through authorized representative;
- institution-to-institution exchange program;
- sponsorship through inter-governmental agreement;
- winner of academic competition or international scholarship.
Admission to English Language Centre Programs
- High school graduation with 6 years of previous English language study TOEFL, IELTS or other test scores are accepted but not required.
Admission to Undergraduate Degree, Diploma, and Certificate Programs
- Graduation from high school or equivalent.
- Meet VIUs English language requirements for academic programs. Conditional acceptance is possible for students who do not meet the English language requirements.
- First-year credit may be granted for most Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate (higher level) courses.
- Academic programs may have additional program admission requirements and course prerequisites.
- International students who are B.C. high school graduates must have a minimum grade of C in English 12 to enter directly into an academic program.
- To meet the English language requirements for academic programs, students must have completed VIUs English Language Centre's University Preparation Program, or have already achieved a minimum TOEFL 550, TOEFL Computer Based Test (CBT) 213, iBT 80 (with no score under 19), IELTS 6.0 (with no score under 5.5), CAEL 60, Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (minimum B), or Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English (minimum B).
- Conditional letters of acceptance to enter academic programs are provided for students who meet the academic requirements but need to start in the VIU's English Language Centre's University Preparation Program.
Admission to Post-Degree Diploma in Business Studies
- Business or non-business Bachelor's degree from a recognized institution.
- Meet VIUs English language requirements for academic programs. Individual course pre-requisites also apply.
- Minimum B average in the final 2 years of a business or non-business Bachelors degree.
- Meet one of the following VIU English language requirements:
- Completion of VIU's English Language Centre University Preparation Program.
- A minimum TOEFL iBT 88 with no sections under 20, or IELTS 6.5 with no band under 6.0, CAEL 70, or equivalents.
- Work experience is preferred but not required.
- No GMAT score required.
- Submit Letter of Intent, Resume and two Letters of Recommendation from past employers or professors.
International students should follow these steps when applying to Vancouver Island University.
- Complete an International Application for Admission form, available online at viu.ca/international/apply or viu.ca/mba/apply for the MBA/MScIB program..
- Enclose a $150 (Cdn) non-refundable Application Processing Fee pay by VISA, MasterCard or Amex if applying online. Note: Applications will not be processed without this fee.
- Enclose an official copy of all educational documents in the original language, and a certified copy translated into English, if applicable.
- Enclose a passport-size photograph.
- Mail these to:
Director, International Admissions
International Education Department
Vancouver Island University
900 Fifth Street, Nanaimo, B.C.
V9R 5S5 Canada
For most programs, applications are processed in two working days; an exception is the MBA programs where a committee reviews applications monthly.
VIU will send a letter of offer. If an e-mail address is provided on the application, this letter will be sent by e-mail.
The letter of offer contains information on payment of first installment of fees, and program start dates.
Once the first installment has been paid, VIU will issue an official letter of acceptance and information on arrival, budget samples, accommodation, and other helpful tips.
The letter of acceptance is required to apply for a study permit at a Canadian Embassy, Consulate, or High Commission.
English Language Centre
VIUs English Language Centre offers courses focused on preparation for academic studies and communication. Students who are planning to enter academic programs and do not have the minimum test scores required for admission can take the VIU English Language Centre's University Preparation program. On arrival at VIU, international students will complete the Vancouver Island University English Language Placement Test. On successful completion of the top level of the English Academic Preparation program, international students may apply to academic programs at VIU. Students interested in learning spoken English can take the VIU English Language Centre's English Communication program.
For more information, visit viu.ca/esl.
Vancouver Island University reserves the right to limit the number of international students admitted to programs.
Fees are paid on a semester basis, i.e., payment is required for the September, January, and May semesters. For up-to-date fees, please visit viu.ca/international/tuition.
Fee schedule (effective January 2012)
- Academic, Career/Technology programs: $6,250 (Cdn) per semester. Where programs require more than 15 credits per semester, or when students choose to study more than 15 credits per semester, there will be additional charges of $520.83 per credit.
- English Language program: $4,700 (Cdn) for 14-week programs; $2,400 for 7-week programs.
- Trades & Applied Technology programs: $1,565 (Cdn) per month, payable in full prior to commencement of programs.
- MBA programs: $29,500 (Cdn); $4,850 (Cdn) for Management Foundation (Pre-MBA) program; books extra.
- Post-Degree Diploma in Business Studies: $7,815 per semester (15 credits).
- Co-operative Education: $1,565 (Cdn) per work placement term, payable on or before April 1.
Note: Vancouver Island University reserves the right to change fees without notice.
International students are also responsible for such expenses as textbooks (except in the case of the MBA/MScIB programs where textbooks are included), housing, food and transportation costs, as well as required medical insurance. For details, please visit viu.ca/international/otherexpenses.asp.
Students who are admissible will be advised to submit the first semesters tuition and student program fees if applicable, the Homestay Placement Fee and Homestay Deposit, as well as a completed Homestay Profile form. Students who pay their fees by the deadline date will receive a formal Letter of Acceptance and a receipt for fees paid. The Letter of Acceptance must be submitted, along with the other required documentation, to the Canadian Embassy High Commission, or Consulate Visa Section.
Failure to pay the required fees by the deadline date will result in cancellation of the application for admission, and applicants will be required to re-apply and re-pay the non-refundable Application Processing Fee.
Tuition fees will not be pro-rated for students choosing to take less than a full program.
Payment Replacement Service Fee
Replacement payments issued in cheque or electronic format for items that are lost, destroyed, stale dated (not cashed within 6 months of issue date) or where incorrect banking information is provided, are subject to a payment replacement service fee in the amount of $25.00 per item. This service fee will be automatically deducted from the payment upon reissue.
New applicants may be eligible to apply for a refund in exceptional circumstances only. Requests for refunds must be made in writing to the Dean of International Education. The approval or rejection of a request for a refund will be determined based on the rationale provided in the submission. Any refunds will require the approval of the Dean of International Education. In no cases will the refund exceed 75% for tuition.
A student whose study permit is rejected will receive a full refund minus the Application Processing Fee. A copy of the letter of refusal from the Canadian Embassy High Commission, or Consulate Visa Section, must be received before the refund will be processed.
Refunds for current students (excluding MBA programs) are:
- 50% between the tuition payment due date and before the first day of the semester;
- 25% between the first day of class and before the end of the second week of the semester;
- Student fees are not refunded.
Please check the website at viu.ca/mba/tuitionfees.asp.
International Student Support
VIU provides extensive support services for international students. Staff in the Richard W. Johnston Centre for International Education provide international students with information on VIUs programs, orientation, medical, banking, recreation, social opportunities, and living in Canada. Each semester, social and recreational activities are arranged for international students, and they are also encouraged to become members of the University and the Nanaimo community.
VIU has a Peer Helper program in which international students who have been at VIU provide information and support to new international students. Contact VIU's Centre for International Education for details.
The purpose of the Homestay/ Peerstay Program is to provide international students with a supportive and welcoming environment in a Canadian family's home. It is also an opportunity to learn and practice English. Host families are very valuable in helping students become familiar with Canadian customs and culture and introducing them to the Nanaimo community. All hosts have been carefully screened by the Vancouver Island University Homestay office.
We recommend that new international students spend at least their first semester in Nanaimo in homestay or peerstay.
Living in Homestay or Peerstay
When living in homestay students will have their own private bedroom, an area to study quietly, while sharing the rest of the house with family members. In homestay, food is provided by the family while cooking/meal preparation is shared by all family members. Students may be taught to make their own breakfast and lunch while family members prepare dinner. Most families share household chores.
Peerstay is the same except students will buy their own food, prepare all of their own meals and clean their own dishes.
Fees for the homestay and peerstay programs can be found at viu.ca/international.
Information about on-campus student residences.
Policy on International Students
Both the provincial Ministry of Advanced Education and the Vancouver Island University Board recognize their primary responsibility is to the education of British Columbians. Guidelines have been established to ensure international students benefit from the opportunity to study at VIU without restricting education for B.C. residents. Current guidelines suggest the following:
- Colleges and institutes exist for the education of Canadian citizens and permanent residents.
- International students will not normally be accepted into limited enrolment programs if, by their acceptance, places are denied to qualified Canadians and permanent residents. This does not pre-empt the University from adding seats for international students to specific programs.
- International students admitted to Vancouver Island University must demonstrate a command of English. This standard varies, depending on the University program (e.g., pre-college vs. university program). Vancouver Island University assessment and TOEFL and IELTS results are used to assess English skills.
- Students whose English language skills are below standard will be placed in an appropriate level of the English Language Program to gain fluency.
- Programs designed for international students, which also create course opportunities for British Columbians, are encouraged.
- Costs of educating international students (including administrative and management costs, as well as direct instructional costs) must be borne by international students, or their sponsoring agency, on a cost-recovery basis.
Where possible, international students will be admitted based on these guidelines. If VIU is unable to provide the educational opportunity requested, effort will be made to recommend an alternate institution.
International students must abide by the rules of the VIU Student Conduct Policy, which also covers homestay. Infractions may result in suspension.
For Further Information
Please check the website viu.ca/international. Write or call International Education, Vancouver Island University, 900 Fifth Street, Nanaimo, B.C. V9R 5S5 CANADA. Tel: 250-740-6315; Fax: 250-740-6471; e-mail: email@example.com.
Updated March 29, 2012