Study Abroad on Vancouver Island in Canada

Nanaimo and surroundings

The port city Nanaimo

Nanaimo (located in British Columbia) is the second largest city on beautiful Vancouver Island with about 80,000 inhabitants, after the city of Victoria.

Thanks to its central location on the island, Nanaimo has two major ferry connections: The BC Ferries regularly depart to Vancouver and back every day from both the Departure Bay Ferry Terminal and the Duke Point Ferry Terminal. The ferry ride takes about 1.5 hours. Alternatively, the airport in Nanaimo will also get you to Vancouver. The flight from Vancouver to Nanaimo offers a fantastic view and takes about 15-20 minutes. Flying by seaplane is also a popular option to get to the main land. Here, you will take off in the port of Nanaimo and land downtown in the port of Vancouver – an ideal way of transport for a shopping trip to the big city.

The student city Nanaimo offers a pretty downtown area as well as the picturesque harbor promenade with great shopping opportunities and good restaurants. Why don’t you try a burger and have a drink at the Dinghy Dock Floating Pub on Protection Island? A small boat takes the guests there once every hour – a small island directly across from Nanaimo. We recommend taking the boat to the island during sunset.

Fun fact: The treat “Nanaimo Bars” (small chocolate slices filled with vanilla and coconut), are known throughout North America. The bars were named after Nanaimo on Vancouver Island.

Vancouver Island

Vancouver Island is over 450 km long and about 100 km wide and has a similar size as the European country Belgium.

The island is just like the rest of the west coast of Canada: breathtakingly beautiful and has something to offer for nature lovers. Whether you prefer surfing or skiing, whale watching in the Pacific, cycling, stand up paddling (SUP), kayaking or climbing in the mountains – during a semester abroad or full study in Canada, you will definitely not be bored. The university also offers various excursions and trips to explore the area during the semester. Particularly popular with students are trips to British Columbia’s capital Victoria, the surfing village of Tofino, the metropolis of Vancouver and the Olympic Park Whistler. Private organized trips before and after studies often go to the US, due to the close proximity of the border to the United States.

Favorite Places on Vancouver Island!

Favorite Places on Vancouver Island!

Student experience report by Theresa F. If you love nature and being outdoors, you're going to love Vancouver Island! It offers anything any outdoor-person has ever dreamed of. A gorgeous coastline, rivers, lakes, beaches, forests, and even mountains can be found on...

Incredible Camping Experience on Vancouver Island

Incredible Camping Experience on Vancouver Island

Incredible camping experience on Vancouver Island Experience report by Jan K. Finding the Right Camping Spot Deep inside the many forests of northern Vancouver Island, there lies a little lake. Blue-green water. It’s so clear and pure, you can see the ground. Huge...

Things to do while at VIU: bands in concert

Things to do while at VIU: bands in concert

Bands in Concert Student story by Marvin E. As a big fan of music, a great North American city like Vancouver is probably one of the most exciting places to live close to. The most popular artists play at least one show of their tour in Vancouver and many more unknown...

Downloads & further information

Brochures and forms:

Please find more information as well as forms and guides for your study abroad term at Vancouver Island University in Canada below: