English Language Centre Orientation

Welcome to the ESL program!

Each term, we provide an orientation for new ESL students a few days before classes start. Students will learn about their program, student services, campus life and activities as well as information about the larger Nanaimo community. 

Benefits of attending ESL orientation before you begin your classes

  • Make new friends and meet current VIU students!
  • Get set up with wifi, a VIU computer account and your Student Record.
  • Go on a tour of the campus with Peer Helpers (student volunteers).
  • Meet members of the International Student Services team including academic advisors, immigration specialists, counsellors and others.
  • Get to know more about the ESL programs and services.
  • Find out about fun activities and road trips.
  • Find out about how to stay safe and healthy. 


Tips on preparing for orientation.

Arrange Housing

Research the housing options available to you and make arrangements for a place to live before you arrive.

Learn more about Arranging Housing

Arrive Early

Try to plan your arrival so that you get into Nanaimo and your new accommodations a few days before orientation, in order to get settled and have time to rest after your travels. Your first day is noted on your VIU Letter of Acceptance.

Learn more about Arriving Early

Getting Here

Download a campus map and bring it with you on your first day. 

Street address for the ESL Department:

VIU Nanaimo Campus
Building 255
255 Fourth Street
Nanaimo, BC Canada

When should I travel to Nanaimo?

We suggest that you arrive in Nanaimo a few days before orientation in order to get settled and have time to rest and explore the city.

What should I bring?

Consider bringing cash for optional Activity Sign-up for Saturday Road Trips as well as proof of medical insurance from Guard.Me (this can be simply showing the email confirmation on your phone). Proof of medical insurance is a requirement to be able to sign up for optional off-campus activities provided by VIU.

Where will I live?

Important: If you have not made arrangements yet for a place to live, there are options for you to consider:

It is important that you arrange for a place to live before you arrive.

How will I know which level of the program I am in?

You will be enrolled in the appropriate level based on the English Proficiency Test (EPT) scores (IELTS, TOEFL, or Duolingo) you submitted with your application.

Please ensure that we have received your test score before the deadline listed on your orientation schedule. You can send your test score in advance to Study@viu.ca or drop them off in person at the Main Reception Desk in Building 255.

Upcoming ELC Events

Upcoming Activities + Day Trips