two students by tree in hard hats and vests

Student Lifestyle

Love where you learn

Located in the city of Nanaimo on Canada's west coast, Vancouver Island University (VIU) is set in an environment where the study and practice of forestry comes naturally.

The Vancouver Island landscape is made up of mountains, forests, and beaches. The temperate climate provides a range of year-round outdoor activities such as rock climbing, cycling, sailing, golfing, skiing, and hiking.

Nanaimo provides easy access to Victoria (110 km by car), and Vancouver (1.5 hour ferry ride across the Straight).


Welcome to Nanaimo!With breathtaking views, exciting attractions, and friendly people, Nanaimo is the premier gateway to Vancouver Island. Tourism Nanaimo is here to guide you to everything that this great city has to offer, from its oceanfront scenery and stunning mountain views, to the charming downtown area.

Super Natural British Columbia CanadaVancouver Island has one of the world's most diverse ecosystems: Rainforests, marshes, meadows, beaches, mountains, oceans, rivers and lakes create habitats for multitudes of wildlife species. In fact, the region is one of the world's premier locations for whale watching, birding, as well as salmon and trout fishing.

Much of the island is protected parkland. It contains many pockets of old-growth fir and cedar forests, as well as rare, naturally occurring groves of Garry oak. Vancouver Island is bisected, north to south, by the Beaufort Mountain Range, which is home to one of Canada's biggest all-natural ski bases.