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Daily Life

Bus logoNanaimo Bus System  

Bus Etiquette

To help make the transit experience pleasant and comfortable, please be courteous and respectful of your driver and fellow passengers.

We encourage you to follow these simple suggestions while travelling with RDN Transit:

Although RDN Transit serves everyone on a first-to-board basis, we extend a special thank you to our customers who give up their seats for people with disabilities or mobility challenges. Courtesy seating, located at the front of the bus, meets the needs of all transit customers, and is especially vital to:

  • Customers who use scooters, wheelchairs, pediatric strollers or other mobility aids
  • Customers with a disability or mobility issue
  • Customers with baby strollers

Do not stand in the doorways. This is for your safety and so customers can quickly enter and exit the bus. Please stand behind the red or yellow lines.

When the bus is full, please move to the back of the bus to accommodate as many passengers as possible.

Seats are for customers, not bags, feet or wet umbrellas. Please allow others to make use of the seats. Place and hold your bag on your lap or on the floor where it will not obstruct the aisles or other customers.

We appreciate your help in keeping the bus clean. Take your garbage with you when you leave.

Be mindful of your belongings as you walk through the bus — you may be accidentally bumping into other customers as you pass.

A bus ride is a great time to listen to music, but please be considerate — loud music coming from a headset can bother others.

Please keep your in-person and cell phone conversations at a reasonable sound level.

Try not to get involved and engage in confrontations.


Taxi app

Taxi App

This taxi service will give VIU students a 10% discount, just let the dispatcher know that you are a student and present your ID card to the driver. 

You can download their app to book your ride any time day or night, just click in the appropriate link: 

Android      IPhone

Vancouver Island University Parking Information

Driving in Canada

Speed Limit: Speed limits posted on signs are the maximum speed permitted (generally 50 Km/hr within towns/cities except near schools and playgrounds (30 Km/hr)). Speed limits are enforced by Police.
Parking: Pay attention to signs posted for parking regulations and parking meters. Not following these rules can result in you finding a parking ticket under your windshield wiper. Never block a fire hydrant or a driveway when parking on the street.
Emergency Vehicles (Police, Fire, Ambulance): When you see an emergency vehicle driving with lights flashing and/or siren drive safely and move to let them pass either by pulling to the side of the road or slowing down and staying in alignment with the vehicles around you in your lane. If you are stopped at a stop sign/light simply stay put and wait for the emergency vehicle to pass by.


Everyone who drives a vehicle (excluding exceptions) in Canada must have a valid driver’s license. Driver’s licenses are controlled by each province and territory separately. Click the link below for information about driver’s licensing in British Columbia.
If you have a valid driver’s license from another country or Canadian province and you are registered as a student at VIU, your driver’s license allows you to drive as long as you maintain *full time studies. You may need to get an international drivers permit or get your driver’s license translated to English. *Please note that if you are no longer a full time student you must obtain a valid BC driver’s license.
BC Identification
If you are not driving a vehicle but you want to get a local ID, see the link below to learn about getting a BCID card. This ID card can function as a legitimate form of government identification for you while you are here. Important to note that if you are applying for health coverage through the government of British Columbia health plan, you can use your BCID card or driver’s license as your health care ID card.

Cell Phone:
Pre-paid service
This option is best for students who will be in Canada for a short period of time:
· Pay for a certain amount of data and minutes 
· When out of credits, you can simply add more
· You do not sign a contract
Contract service
This option is best for students who will be in Canada for a longer period of time:
· You must sign a contract, usually 1 or 2 years
· You have a certain amount of minutes and data every month
· You choose a plan that caters to your needs 
Home Phone/Landline:
Usually combined with home internet service, landline telephones can be the cheapest option for having access to a telephone. Most people will choose to have a cell phone instead but if you don’t need a cellphone a landline can be an affordable option.
Calling Cards
You can purchase calling cards from almost any drugstore, gas station or grocery store in Nanaimo. Calling cards allow you to call long distance from any phone for a very low price.


For reasonable prices VIU students can buy amazing meals and baked goods prepared by the Culinary Arts and Professional Baking students at the Main Cafeteria and Lower Cafeteria. For an additional savings at the cafeterias, students can purchase the Student Value Plan. Load your student card with dining dollars redeemable at both cafeterias and save. 
If living in the VIU Residence, students can take advantage of the Free Grocery Shuttle twice a week to a local grocery store – check with Residence to find out which days.
To stretch groceries further, sign up for the Good Food Box (scroll down page) at the VIU Residence, Cedar Activity Centre.
If you are a sub sandwich fan, we have a Subway on campus in Building 165.
The closest grocery store is 15 minutes walking distance away – Quality Foods at University Village Mall. Also from this link see Starbucks, Subway, Ai Sushi Go, Baby Salsa, Lee's Famous Recipe Chicken. Shoppers Drug Mart and Value Village Thrift Store are also located in this mall.
See all the locations of our supermarkets in Nanaimo.
Check out organic and local produce at farmers’ markets, one of which is offered on campus throughout the fall.
Nanaimo boasts a wide selection of restaurants in downtown Nanaimo.



Students should open a bank account in Canada if their home banking institutions are not compatible overseas. In Canada, most payments are made via debit or credit payments.
How do I open a bank account?
· Browse the internet for branches that are close to your home. 
· Search bank websites to view the services they offer.
· When choosing a bank in Canada, search for additional services for university students. 
· Call the bank to make an appointment.
What do I need to bring to my bank appointment?
· Home address and local address in Canada.
· Two forms of identification (passport, driver’s license, BCID etc).
· Study permit.
· VIU acceptance letter.

Check out this website for an overview of Canadian Social Norms.

For information related to working, please visit our immigration page.
The minimum wage in British Columbia is $13.85 per hour and the liquor server minimum wage is $12.70 per hour (because they receive tips). This rate may change; for the latest information visit this site.

For more information regarding Employment standards in this province, please visit the BC Employment Standards page.

Relationships aren’t always easy to maintain. University life opens the door for all kinds of new relationship challenges such as roommate issues, casual dating, serious dating, friendships, and sex. You may also be confronted by interpersonal issues in the class room working on group projects, or when you play on varsity or intramural teams, become involved in a student organization, or decide to join a club. These various relationships can provide a great deal of comfort and support during your college years, but they can also be a source of confusion and stress at times. How do you keep the lines of communication open so that you can maintain strong, honest, and respectful relationships? 

For information on forming healthy friendships check out this link:

For tips on Healthy Romantic Relationships check out this link:

For more information contact The Human Rights and Respectful Workplace Office

Vancouver Island University recognizes its obligation to make reasonable accommodation for
employees and students who, in order to observe a religious holy day, must miss a day of work,
or a required academic event, such as a class, examination, test, or laboratory. Any
accommodation that is implemented must maintain the instructor’s capacity to fairly evaluate
the student’s performance.
Employees and students are permitted to be absent from work or a required academic event for
the purpose of observing a religious holy day, provided that the appropriate procedures have
been followed as outlined in the procedure for Student Leave Request for Observance of a
Religious Holy Day or the procedure for Employee Leave Request for Observance of a Religious
Holy Day.

Student request for leave form