Education Abroad Policies

Participants in Education Abroad programs are subject to the rules, regulations and policies of Vancouver Island University. Additionally, there are some program specific policies and procedures that apply.  

Field School Fees

When participating in a group program, individual costs of group-arranged activities are applied to participants in the form of Field School fees.  

Field School fees vary by program, and may include but are not limited to international flights, ground transportation, shared accommodations, group admission to attractions and activity fees. Tuition and student service fees are excluded and will be applied separately following a different payment schedule (when applicable).  Detailed information can be found on each Field School web page.  

Accepted Field School participants can view upcoming field school fees and past payments using the VIU Student Record System.  

Process to Pay Field School Fees

Field School fee payments are made using the participants' student record.

  • Please note that VIU does not accept payments by credit card for field school fees.

Fee Payment Through Sponsorship

If your Education Abroad experience is sponsored by a government Ministry, First Nations band council or other agency, VIU requires a sponsor letter which outlines the terms of the sponsorship.  Please see the process outlined on the VIU Registration Services Fees web page for more information, and contact us upon acceptance into your Education Abroad program for further instructions.

Field School Fee Payment Schedule

Typically, Field School fees payment schedules require a $500 non-refundable deposit and subsequent payments over the course of the semester prior to the scheduled international travel.  Students are provided with advance notice of the fee schedule and payment by the applicable deadlines is required.

Failure to Pay

Students can be withdrawn from an Education Abroad program for failure to complete their Field School fee payments by the required deadline(s).  Any advance payments received may be retained.  See the Education Abroad Cancellation and Refund Policies for more information.

Tuition and Student Union Fees

VIU Education Abroad coordinates the registration of students into applicable academic courses for Education Abroad Programs (Exchange, Internship, Practica, select Field Schools and select Summer programs). Courses and credit offerings vary by program. 

Accepted students can view course registrations and related tuition and student service fees using the VIU Student Record System.  

As the majority of student mobility programs take place during Intersession (between May - August), participants will be registered in the associated academic courses (where applicable) during Intersession and tuition fee payment deadlines will be will be posted in the VIU Student Record. 

Tuition Fee Rates: Tuition fees for Education Abroad programs are the same as the VIU Tuition Schedule (or International Tuition Fee Schedule), however Student Activity Fees do not apply as students are off-campus. 

Cancellations and Refund Policies for Education Abroad Programs

1. Student Withdrawals from Education Abroad Programs

Sometimes things come up.  Students may elect to withdraw from a program or may be withdrawn from an Education Abroad program for a variety of reasons.  Depending on the circumstances, students may not be eligible for a refund of program fees (see refund section below).

Field School fees that are paid to VIU for an Education Abroad program should be considered non-refundable.  If a student has not maintained the necessary grade point average, academic conduct, student conduct requirements or is unable or elects not to attend the program or fulfill the pre-departure requirements, then the student will not receive a refund of any Field School fees paid to VIU.  Exceptions may be made in the case of serious illness, death in the immediate family, or equally severe circumstances. Tuition refund policies apply for withdrawal from any for-credit program. 

Academic Courses and Tuition: Course withdrawal processes/deadlines and tuition refund policies apply for early withdrawal from any for-credit Education Abroad Program.

Process to Withdraw: Any student who withdraws from an Education Abroad program must notify the EA Office in writing (EdAbroad@viu.ca). Notifying a faculty supervisor alone will not constitute withdrawal from the program. Depending on the circumstances, students may not be eligible for a refund of any applicable Field School fees (see refund section below).

2. Cancellations of Education Abroad Programs by VIU

Education Abroad will make every effort to ensure programs go according to plan, and to inform participants of any unforeseen changes as promptly as possible.

Vancouver Island University (VIU) reserves the right to make changes to Education Abroad (EA) programs (overseas field school/trip, practicum, internship or exchange). VIU also reserves the right to cancel an Education Abroad program if:

  • Global Affairs Canada issues a directive for Canadians not to travel to the destination country or to leave the destination country immediately; or
  • VIU determines for any reason that it is not feasible to continue the Education Abroad program.

EA programs often involve the use of services and facilities provided by third parties.  While we will make every effort to ensure programs go according to plan, it is possible that EA Programs could be impacted by situations that are beyond the control of VIU. 

3. Refund Policy for Education Abroad Programs

a) Program Withdrawal by the Student

VIU Tuition and Student Fees: EA Programs which are for-credit are subject to the applicable VIU Tuition and Student Fee Refund Policies.

b) EA Program Cancellation by VIU

If the VIU Education Abroad program is cancelled by VIU prior to the start of the program, the student will receive a refund of any fees paid directly to VIU, including Field School program fees and the associated Tuition and Student Fees (where applicable in the case of for-credit programs).

Note: VIU is not responsible for airline tickets and other services purchased directly by the student.  These are the property of the student.  We strongly recommend purchasing trip interruption and cancellation insurance.

C) Refund of Fees Paid to VIU Once the Student is Abroad

If Global Affairs Canada issues a warning for Canadians to leave the destination country immediately while the student is abroad, VIU will work with the necessary service providers to assist the student to return home as quickly as possible.  Such situations are beyond the control of VIU and the student should not expect a refund of any EA Field School fees paid to VIU or any other costs incurred by the student.

Other Financial Considerations

If a student has received an Education Abroad Stipend from VIU and that student does not attend the Education Abroad program, he/she will be required to return the Stipend to the Faculty of International Education. 

Financial Aid

Every effort will be made to make arrangements for the student to complete their course work if the program is cancelled by VIU. If this is not possible, the Education Abroad office will be required to report the change in the student’s enrolment status to the Financial Aid office.  If the student has received funding through BC Student Aid Program, he/she is also required to contact the Financial Aid office and revert back to the original study end date.  Failure to do so may result in penalties or future funding restrictions.