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 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.
Experience Report by Bernd P. Cultural Connection is an organization that offers leisure activities related to student life at VIU. In addition to road trips, the Cultural Connection coordinators organise a Cultural Couch one day a week. Cultural Connection is also...
Student Experience Report by Theresa F. Recreation at VIU For anybody who wishes to explore the island, to get outside and to be active I recommend signing up for the programs offered by the university's outdoor recreation team. They are super nice and they have a...
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...