Vancouver Island University Study Abroad

Vancouver Island University, with its 16,000 students from a wide variety of disciplines and nationalities, is a great opportunity to broaden your horizons, both academically and personally. Just like Bayreuth, the university is a pure campus university with very short distances. According to, VIU is the abbreviation of Vancouver Island University.

Studying at a Canadian university is very different from studying in Germany. It is easiest to compare with the college level of a German grammar school. Class sizes of around 30 students enable an intensive supervisory relationship and good contacts with the lecturers. The way in which the proof of performance is provided also differs a lot. In addition to the final exam, you also have mid-terms and various other projects, presentations, papers or quizzes to complete per course. The preparation for each component is not as intensive as before exams at the University of Bayreuth, but the more courses you take, the more time-consuming it is to meet all due dates. On the other hand, with group projects, which are absolutely the norm in Canada, you can quickly find connections to other students and contacts for activities beyond the curriculum. After a certain period of acclimatization, however, you will find your way around the teaching methods of the lecturers and learn to manage yourself very well.

What should not go unmentioned are the costs at the university, which are incurred in addition to the tuition fees (CAN $ 6600 per term). Each course supervisor works with a special textbook that you can buy in the bookstore, but which is also quite expensive (CAN $ 150 – CAN $ 250). The Student Union organizes a sale of used books at the beginning of each term, which is a good way to get the books a little “cheaper”, but the costs are also quite high with up to CAN $ 100. However, you can also sell your used books back to the Student Union after the semester.

Travel and leisure

Canada’s west and especially Vancouver Island offer natural highlights wherever you look. Although I would not have called myself a “nature boy” before my Canada adventure, I have definitely become one through the infinite beauty of Canada. Ocean, lakes, forests, rivers, green valleys and snow-capped mountains, all of these contribute to the fact that I would call Canada’s West Coast one of the most beautiful spots on earth. From Nanaimo, which is pretty centrally located on Vancouver Island, all of this can be reached by rental car or by bus in just one to two hours. There are so many different leisure activities on offerthat it is difficult to see them all in one semester. Sea kayaking with wild animals, whale watching tours on a Zodiac boat, surfing in the Pacific or just a walk on countless trails or national parks make Vancouver Island even more liveable.

The 2.5 hour drive to Tofino, a very well-known surfing town on the west coast of Vancouver Island, offers everything that western Canada stands for. At Tofino, the Pacific Rim National Park stretches for 50 kilometers along the coast. If you are not put off by the warning notices of tsunamis, bears or pumas, you can walk in the rainforests and on field coasts in addition to kilometers of sandy beaches, which are ideal for surfing, and you can not get enough of nature.

Excursions to Vancouver or Victoria including city tours make Canada and the hospitality of Canadians very special. For sports lovers, Vancouver offers some delicacies with the NHL team of Canucks, who play their home games in the Rogers Arena, as well as the BC Lions (football) or the Whitecaps (soccer). Of course, ice hockey, the motherland of which is Canada, is the focus of interest and not only the NHL offers great sport, but also minor hockey is offered in Nanaimo (student tickets cost only CAN $ 5).


From my personal experience, I can recommend Canada and VIU to everyone with a clear conscience. Studying abroad makes a major contribution to personal development and, in addition to university knowledge and improving your English skills, also creates unforgettable memories. Despite the sometimes high costs, studying and living in Canada was worth every penny for me personally!

Vancouver Island University Study Abroad