An International Student Guide to the University of Victoria

The University of Victoria is an international student-friendly institution of higher learning. It has a rich, unique and supportive learning environment for students in Canada. It is widely accredited for its academic excellence, community engagement, inspired teaching and leadership in research.

The University of Vitoria offers real-life learning experiences and innovative programs for her students. We shall list some of these programs in the later part of this blog. Students can connect to downtown Victoria through several bicycle and bus routes, and also this amazing institution provides highly accessible pedestrian-friendly and ample parking environment.

Other features are meeting spaces, gardens, student union buildings, lecture halls or classrooms, libraries, lab facilities, overnight accommodation etc. The distance between the main campus and the downtown Victoria is about 15 minutes drive by car.

Campus Office Hours

Most offices in the university are open between the hours of 8:30am till 4: 30 pm, Mondays to Fridays. Offices do not open on statutory public holidays and weekends. Classes do not hold on public holidays and weekends too. There are no academic activities between December 25th till January 1 annually.

Global Community engagement

The University of Victoria is known for her increased international collaboration; highly supportive to international students. Annually, over 300 international students from around 118 countries come here to study. Our faculties and teaching methods are enriched with international or global perspectives. Currently, the university have over 4,000 international students.

Also, every year, we welcome more than 800 University of Victoria students who are deeply engaged in international learning experiences such as co-ops, exchange programs and field schools.

It is important to note that our researchers produce high level of scientific papers more than other Canadian universities and colleges. We are deeply concerned in providing education that will solidify our students in the rapidly-changing world.

Faculties and division

The University of Victoria has 10 faculties and 2 divisions namely:

  • Faculty of Fine Arts
  • Faculty of Education
  • Faculty of Graduate Studies
  • Peter B. Gustavson School of Business
  • Faculty of Human & Social Development
  • Faculty of Law
  • Faculty of Social Sciences
  • Faculty of Science
  • Faculty of Humanities
  • Faculty of Engineering
  • Division of medical Sciences, and
  • Division of Continuing Studies

High Student Satisfaction

The University of Victoria is known for sophisticated academic excellence with sound moral principles. In a recent survey carried out on most of our graduates, it was observed that 96% of graduates were completely satisfied with the kind of education and lifestyle they received from this institution. We are proud to have them as our alumni community.

Among the Global Top Universities

According to the 2016 World University Rankings, university of Victoria is among the 250 top universities in the world. In 2013, it was ranked the best university in Canada. During 2013, the University of Victoria was still under 50 years ago.

This is the first time that a university under 50 years of existence is winning such an accolade in Canada. The quality of our teaching staff, methods, and strategies of operation are exceptionally beautiful.

International Students

The University of Victoria, Canada is one of the best schools in the world for international students. Every year, people come here to study from virtually 118 different countries of the world for any of the following programs:

  • Undergraduate programs
  • Graduate programs
  • Cultural, social and athletic opportunities

Admission Requirements

Are you ready to apply to this university? We will walk you through the application process, so that you will have a smooth application process into the university.

Submit your application

If you want to apply for undergraduate program, the fastest way of doing so is by submitting it online. Before you apply, it is expected that the prospective student do the following:

  • Confirm the application deadline.
  • Check out the university’s application fees.
  • Review the program requirements- each program is unique; some come with supplemental application information.

After application, what next?

After submitting your application, you will receive a student number that will remain with you all through your stay at the University of Victoria.

  • If the application was made online, the student number will be sent to you via email within few days.
  • If it was a paper application, then your student number will be sent to you by the admission office through email, when the form is processed.

The student number will help you to access the application portal- which will update you on the status of the application and other things you will need to complete.

Make sure you submit the application on or before the deadline. The university will go through your application and offer you admission if you are qualified.

College and University transfers

You can apply directly to the university if you are studying or previously studied at any of the Canadian colleges or universities. Applicants are also welcomed from:

  • Institute of technology
  • British Columbia colleges and universities etc

Applications are also welcomed from recognized Canadian and/ or international post-secondary institutions.

Proficiency in English Language

No matter your country of origin, or citizenship status, you need to demonstrate your competency in English language both oral and spoken before your admission.

But you won’t be asked to show your proof of English if:

  • You have been a student in any of the Canadian institutions ( either high school or post-secondary school) for more than four years, and
  • You have received all your academic instructions in English language

This proof of English language proficiency is very important. It is expected that you need to participate in at least one of these programs:

  • CAEL
  • LPI

You must take these tests at least two years before you start the application process. It won’t be accepted if it is more than two years.

Accept your offer of admission

After reviewing your application, you will be given a provisional admission into the university, and then you will be asked to:

  • Pay your acceptance fee
  • Submit your transcripts plus other necessary documents, and
  • Apply for student permit (every international student must apply for a study permit).

Get ready for life at University of Victoria

  • Get a Netlink ID
  • Apply for scholarships and housing
  • Review all the useful information for new intakes
  • Read about the orientation activities at the university

In fact, at this stage, there are so many things to think about. But, if you can’t find ready answers on the website, then you will have no other option than to call, email, tweet a question or post your questions on facebook. Whichever medium you decide to use, you will get the needed answer.

Undergraduate Programs

Please check the academic calendar to view the comprehensive lists of available programs.

Tuition & Scholarships

One of the biggest costs you will have to pay during your academic program in the University of Victoria is tuition fee. However, the total cost of your education would be determined by a number of factors such as:

  • The number of classes you will take
  • How you get to and fro the institution ( bus, bike, car etc)
  • Where you live, and
  • The foods you eat

You can use the university’s handy tool to get useful information about the tuition, co-op jobs, bursaries, scholarships, work study positions and student fees.

Financial aid and scholarships

The courses you take should have a positive influence on you. Check out the ‘Student Awards & Financial Aid’ so as to learn about budgeting, bursaries, financial aid, work study opportunities, scholarships and lots more.

The university is deeply committed in helping you get options that will assist in financing your academic programs at the University of Victoria.

Working and Volunteering Opportunities

Besides co-op work terms, there are also other viable opportunities that will help you gain useful work experience and earn decent income. But, don’t forget that your studies are your topmost priority. Harness your time very well, so that the volunteer positions and work won’t interfere with the smooth running of your academic activities.

International students can work in Canada, but before you work either on or off campus, you need to have a social insurance number (SIN).

You need to show this card when required or prove to your employer that you have applied for it in not less than three days ago. However, you need to safeguard your SIN card to avoid identity theft.

  • If you get on-campus work, then you need to apply to Service Canada Office for your social insurance number, once you have gotten a job offer. You will need to provide a contract you signed with your supervisor.
  • If you get off-campus work, then you must apply at Services Canada Office for your social insurance number. Also, you will need to prove that you have obtained a valid off-campus work permit.

Learning beyond the classroom

The university of Victoria offers a lot of learning opportunities to international students, the learning are given in new and dynamic ways, where your academic coursework would be supplemented with hands-on experience.

Through the practicum or co-op program, you will learn beyond the classroom level, by engaging in international exchange programs, international field trips, and cross fertilization of ideas with students from around the world.

Participate in Co-operative program

One in every three university of Victoria students participates actively in this interesting and exciting co-operative Education Program. If you participate in co-op program, you will earn about $2,900 CAD monthly, and you graduate with about 16 months of quality work experience.

International students can work locally or nationally or in any of the 40 countries that are included in this amazing scheme. You can have an opportunity to work with any of these multi-national organizations:

  • Hewlett-Packard
  • Parks Canada
  • United Nations
  • BMW
  • Microsoft
  • Google
  • Government of BC
  • Ballard Power systems etc

Field Schools

International students are extensively exposed to field research such as:

  • Coastal marine research
  • Exploring historical sites and memories such as monuments, museums etc.

Career Planning

Career services and co-operative programs have put together wonderful kits that will help international students to evaluate their career skill sets such as:

  • The journey kit, also known as planning
  • The competency kit, which is all about recognizing your strengths, and
  • The tool kit, which is all about writing cover letters and writing resumes.

Campus Living

British Columbia, Canada is one of the best places you can live. Amazingly, university of Victoria is located in British Columbia. There are many good places to stay in the campus, good people to network with and also good foods to eat.

A home away from home

Living in the university’s campus is an experience worth having. More than 1,000 international students are currently living on-campus.

Another amazing thing is that the students create a wonderful atmosphere for them to mingle, relate with each other, network and build quality relationships. The distance between the hostel and the classroom is less than 8 minutes. So, many international students are exceedingly happy with this development.

As an international student, you are guaranteed of quality accommodation, especially if you are coming directly from high school.

There are good family housing, and places guests can stay. If you want to live off-campus, the University of Victoria will provide you assistance on this; you will be shown available off-campus housing options to make your selection.

Campus & Personal Safety

When you decide to study in University of Victoria, we believe that you make this decision, not because of the academic excellence you will gain, but also based on the fact that you will be safe and sound in good health all through the period of stay.

In cases of campus-wide emergency, ensure you sign up, so that you will be fully informed if there are emergency alerts.

Campus Security Services

The campus services are working round the clock 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, as well as 365 days a year. Call the campus security hotline for immediate assistance.

University of Victoria’s Personal Safety Coordinators offer wonderful support to the global university community. They address personal security concerns, safety workshops and help students with their individual complaints. Their overall goal is to help the students to live happily within the institution.

Anti- Violence Project

They provide sex-positive and anti-oppressive services, action, on- campus and advocacy services to all students irrespective of your gender, and/ or sexual orientation. Besides this support services, they also provide referrals, resources and information to all university of Victoria students.

Student Life

Every student in University of Victoria enjoys amazing collaboration- your experience is not limited to what you study, it is all about the things you learn, as well as how you grow through your alumni connections, friends, course of study and faculty.

The academic work at University of Victoria makes you to be highly talented- our trainings will make you to be balanced; we try to strike a balance between flexible lifestyle and classes weaving together personal, social, athletic, altruistic and academic interests.

Take time to explore a wide range of student organizations, course and teams unions already existing in the university. You can also create your own to leave a lasting legacy here too. It is interesting to point out that some of these student organizations were founded by our ex-students who are currently doing amazing things around the world.

Career Planning

The university will help you to put your career on track. Are you looking for work experience in your field of study? Do you want to ace the big interview or write a compelling resume? Are you thinking of what to do, so that you can land your dream job? Then university of Victoria truly gets you covered for all these and many more.

Students can access career development support anytime they wish through university of Victoria’s co-op and career offices. Some of the services includes, but not limited to:

  • Job search support
  • Lifelong career coaching
  • Job development resources etc

Evaluation and Conclusion

The University of Victoria provides innovative programs for over 25,000 students; we are dynamic, and provide the needed research and hands-on-learning that will create vital impact on our students. We have extraordinary academic environment that appeals to all local and international students.

University of Victoria is a top ranked Canadian university, and it is one of the top 200 best universities in the world. Thus, it can be classified as one of the universities of the moment, happily training students for the service of humanity.

Besides the classroom activities, the University of Victoria is deeply immersed in community engagement. In fact, civic engagement is one of our primary goals. The students, faculty and staff walk side by side together with the university’s partners in Canada and around the world.

University of Victoria is an innovative leader in all areas of creative endeavor and critical research. All the faculty members are inspiring and committed. The students are rapidly given research-enriched education, which is complemented by work-integrated, clinical and applied learning opportunities.

Internationally, university of Victoria is reputed as an amazing spot for research in the following areas:

  • Computer science.
  • Engineering and physical sciences.
  • Indigenous research.
  • Technology and ocean science.
  • Global studies and social justice.
  • Creativity and culture.
  • Environment, climate and energy.
  • Health and life sciences.
  • Data science and cyber physical systems and lots more.

University of Victoria has one of the biggest co-operative education programs in the country. We offer great support services to our international students- we are doing everything possible to make our international students’ experience more interesting, amazing and as positive as possible.

As an international student, once you arrive at the university, we encourage you to visit the international office, so that you can easily engage with the global community. If you have inquiries, then meet any of our international student advisors.

The role of the advisor is to attend to the questions relating to Canadian immigration rules and regulations, available housing options, health insurance and offer advice on the available resources for the course of study you have chosen.

Everything is perfectly designed in a way that you will feel completely at home with the international community. The international commons is a unique place where foreign students can access programming services, academic, resources, and information that will make their stay to be peaceful, and prosperous at the university.

Victoria is one of the beautiful places in the world. It is also one of the topmost tourist attraction destinations not just in Canada, but around the world. To most international students, one of the amazing ways they can visit, live and work in Victoria is by gaining admission into any of the programs at the University of Victoria.

Besides being the capital of British Columbia, Victoria is also the home to variety of foods, arts, sports and shopping; a city widely known due to her natural spaces and cultural entertainments. University of Victoria is a global leader in climate change research activities.

As an international student, we invite you to explore our research activities or engagements, classroom and green initiatives on the campus, learn tips that will enhance your capacity, connect with student groups or organizations, create your own if possible, build your resume and find out how you can use the skills and knowledge gained from the university to create a sustainable lifestyle for your community upon your return in Canada, home or around the world upon graduation.

At the end of your completion of study at the University of Victoria, we would like you to give us a review or assessment of your student activities, teaching methods, strategies, co-operative programs and global community engagements. This will help us to continue to grow institutionally. Contact Tudor House Immigration Services in Victoria BC to learn more.