Blog Spotlight How UVic supports its on-campus international community 
Students entering the library for the orientationStudents entering the library for the orientation

How UVic supports its on-campus international community 

If you’re thinking about studying abroad in Canada, the University of Victoria (UVic) is a great choice. With 4,000+ international students from over 110 countries, representing nearly 20% of UVic’s total student population, it’s a place where you’ll be welcome and included. 

However, even with a great international student community around you, making that transition to studying abroad can be tough. That’s why UVic takes care to provide comprehensive support for its international students through initiatives like the International Student Welcome Program and the International Commons — a hub for academic support.  

Here are some more examples of how UVic helps you while you live and study in Canada.  

International Centre for Students  

The International Centre for Students (ICS) is dedicated to supporting you throughout your UVic journey. This resource provides international services, information and programs to all undergraduate and graduate students. You can access its support services at any time from pre-arrival all the way to degree completion. The ICS can help you in areas such as:  

  • study permits
  • work permits
  • student onboarding via the UVic Bound program
  • housing  
  • banking 
  • health insurance  

The ICS also has International Student Advisers who are regulated immigration practitioners. They can give you professional advice on Canadian immigration documents, as well as explain how UVic policies relate to your international student status.  

UVic Global Community 

A specialized part of the ICS, UVic’s Global Community offers programs and events designed to bring students together and build intercultural connections on campus. Through these initiatives, domestic and international students can celebrate diversity and support UVic’s ongoing commitment to fostering a globally minded atmosphere.

As an international student at UVic, you might especially benefit from the Conversation Partners Program. It’s aimed at those who have English as an additional language, providing opportunities for you to practice your English conversational skills.

You’ll be matched with a conversation partner, and you’ll meet with them for a minimum of one hour a week throughout the term. There are a range of activities you can do together as part of this partnership, including:  

  • studying and attending workshops
  • meeting for a coffee
  • going for walks 
  • community activities (museum tours, festivals, etc.) 
  • intercultural engagement (cultural festivals, holiday events, etc.) 
  • fitness and sport (hiking, running, tennis, etc.) 

“I really liked the Conversation Partners Program. For international students who may not be too comfortable with their English, these programs really help them to adjust. It also helps international students become aware of all the resources on campus and be a good support system for them.”  

Pedro from Brazil, earning a BSc in Biochemistry
Guaranteed on-campus housing in your first year 

If you’re joining the University of Victoria as an undergraduate student in the same year that you graduated high school, you’re guaranteed on-campus housing in your first year. This means you’ll live in the heart of campus alongside domestic and international students, joining a friendly, close-knit campus culture.  So, if you’re worried about being lonely in your first year at UVic, don’t be! The university makes it easy for you to become part of its community.  

On top of offering a wide range of housing options, UVic’s Residence Services will also provide ten Living Learning Communities (LLCs) in single dormitory rooms in 2024–25, which aims to bring together students with common interests.

This includes the Global Citizenship Community, where international and Canadian students can live together and share their cultures with each other through a range of academic and leisure activities.

UVic students chatting and laughing
Apply to study at UVic 

If you would like to become an international student at the University of Victoria, then Kaplan can help. We will provide expert assistance with preparing your application, as well as giving you support and guidance in other areas.

To learn more, get in touch with us and an Education Advisor will explore your options with you. 

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