Living in Nanaimo

Housing options for your study abroad term in Canada

Vancouver Island University students can choose between staying on campus in one of our student residences, living with a Canadian host family or living in an apartment off-campus.

Living On-Campus

VIU Residences are popular among Canadian and international students. It’s a great way of meeting other students and enjoying close proximity to class rooms as well as easy access to VIU facilities. Apply early if you’re interested in living on-campus!



The VIU residences offer a mix of accommodation choices: traditional dorms with shared kitchens and common areas shared by students living on the same floor as well as apartment style houses with shared kitchen facilities and a living room. Rooms are equipped with a single bed /bunk bed, a closet and a desk. All buildings have internet access and the front desk is open 24/7.

Students living on campus can prepare their own meals in one of the kitchens or purchase a meal plan to be used at the cafeterias on campus. Coin-operated laundry facilities are available 24-hours a day.

VIU students can choose between living in a single and a double room, depening on availability and budget. Shared rooms are unisex and preferably cross-cultural. Rooms fill up quickly, early applications are highly recommended.

Current fees for Fall 2023/Spring 2024*:

Residence fees per month*

  • Double Room: $643
  • Single Room: from $1,043

* Fees are in Canadian Dollars and subject to change.
After receiving your Letter of Offer, you can apply for a room indicating your VIU student ID.

Vancovuer Island Unviersity

Vancouver Island University:

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Living with a host family

If you wish to experience the everyday life of a Canadian family up close and improve your English skills, apply for our homestay program! All host families have been vetted by the Canada Homestay Network Society (CHN). Students can either prepare their own meals in the family’s kitchen (fees 2022/23: 750 CAD/month) or have three meals a day included (fees 2022/23: 1050 CAD/month). Certainly a great option for those who want to learn more about Canadian culture and traditions and are ready to become part of a Canadian family!

Living Off- Campus

You prefer living in an apartment or shared flat off campus? We recommend you check out, a website where landlords offer apartments to students, as well as the VIUSU App, on which VIU students sublet their apartments or search for flatmates. VIU also offers workshops on how to find an apartment and offer further support: [email protected]

Vancouver Island University:

Request information now