High School at VIU

The High School at Vancouver Island University is one of 2 high schools in Canada that are part of a university. We offer high school students the independence and flexibility of learning on a university campus with access to university facilities (including library, gymnasium, science labs, and cafeteria).

A student-teacher ratio of 15:1 creates a more personalized learning environment for our 100 students, and a one-to-one technology initiative puts a Chromebook into the hands of every student. Our diverse student body allows for a multicultural learning environment with representation from Canada (40%) and around 20 other countries (60%).

The High School at VIU also offers intensive language support aimed at preparing students to graduate from a Canadian high school and study in English at a university level.

Contact a recruitment coordinator to ask questions. We can also schedule a school visit or a meeting with the principal.  

Contact Us for More Information

Join us for a drop-in Q and A. Starting May 18, 2021, you can join a drop-in Q and A every Tuesday to ask questions, 7am-10am PT (check the time in your city). 

Join Q&A Zoom Meeting

Programs offered at the High School at VIU

Students who want to graduate from a BC high school.

  • Grade 10 to 12
  • 1 to 3 years depending on grade and English level
  • Full BC curriculum
  • BC Dogwood High School Graduation Diploma
  • Intensive English Language Learning support
  • 1 to 1 Chromebook environment
  • Successful students are eligible to apply to colleges and universities throughout Canada, the US and globally
  • Opportunity to experience life on a university campus, including access to university facilities (cafeteria, gymnasium, library and health clinic)
  • Apply to this program if you are an international student interested in the High School Pathways to Engineering, Dental Hygiene, Early Childhood Education, or Culinary Management

More information on our High School Graduation (BC Dogwood Diploma).

Students who wish to study in Canada at a BC high school for one semester to improve their English,  learn Canadian culture, and experience life in a Canadian family and school. This program may be extended to two semesters.

  • Programs run for five months (September – January) (February-June)
  • Students study four or five subjects each semester
  • 1 to 1 Chromebook environment
  • Opportunity to experience life on a university campus, including access to university facilities (cafeteria, gymnasium, library and health clinic)
  • Students may have their courses validated in their home countries

More information on our High School Study Abroad.


The International University Foundation Year at Vancouver Island University is an eight-month program designed for international students who need to complete a qualifying year in order to meet admission requirements for undergraduate studies at VIU. This is a full-time program with 25 to 40 hours of study required per week.

Upon successful completion, you are guaranteed entry to the Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Business Administration*, Bachelor of Science*, and Bachelor of Hospitality Management at Vancouver Island University. If you are interested in continuing to a different undergraduate program at Vancouver Island University, email unipath@viu.ca.

  • 1 year (8-month) program
  • For students aged 18 years or older by December 31 following a September enrollment. Students who are younger should contact us for a customised foundation option.
  • Minimum of 3 O-level subjects required with a grade above C. We will accept provisional results as long as we receive final results by August.
  • Minimum IELTS of 6.0 overall with no band below 5.5, or equivalent. 
  • Opportunity to experience life on a university campus, including access to university facilities (cafeteria, gymnasium, library and health clinic)

More information on our International University Foundation Year.


It is expected that students will take 1.5 to 2 years to complete this program, depending on their English proficiency.

  • IELTS of 4.0 overall, or equivalent. 
  • For students aged 18 years or older by December 31 following a September enrollment.
  • Passport photo page.
  • Statement of intent clearly identifying the post-secondary program you intend to pursue.
  • BC Adult Graduation diploma
  • Note: An IELTS of 5.5 is required to complete this program in 1 academic year (8 months). Add an extra semester of study for each level of IELTS below 5.5.
  • Successful students are guaranteed acceptance to Vancouver Island University, and may continue to other post-secondary institutions in Canada.
  • Opportunity to experience life on a university campus, including access to university facilities (cafeteria, gymnasium, library and health clinic)

Contact us for more information.

Students who want to improve their Academic English before continuing to a high school in Canada or any English-speaking country. 

  • Skills: Reading, Writing, Grammar, Listening & Speaking 
  • 4 levels
  • 12-weeks per level
  • Taught by British Columbia certified Academic English teachers
  • 1 on 1 coaching from a Canadian high school teacher 
  • Proctored mid-term and final assessments
  • Guaranteed acceptance to grades 10-12 at the High School at Vancouver Island University

More information on our ESL Academic Preparation (online).


Students who want to study in BC, Canada during their vacation. Goals include learning English, preparing to attend university in Canada, gaining leadership skills, experiencing Canadian culture and typical outdoor activities on the west coast.

  • Programs run from 1-8 weeks
  • ESL classes
  • Extra-curricular activities
  • University experience
  • Day trips to Vancouver, Victoria, Parksville, Coombs and Cathedral Grove

More information on our Summer Programs.


Important Links

International students (and some domestic students who are coming from outside of the Greater Nanaimo area without their families) live with local families as part of our Homestay program. Learn more about Homestay.

Are you thinking about sending your teenager to Canada for a high school program? It will offer them the opportunity to study and grow in a safe and supportive environment while gaining a world-class education. Learn more about Living in Canada.

Being familiar with our school culture will prepare you for how things work at our school. And, just as important, it will help you feel excited about joining a high school on a university campus. Learn more about our school.

Ready to apply?

Review the document checklist and then submit your online application.

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Plans for the year

Key dates are in our school calendar

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Contact us

Questions? We are happy to help in person, on phone or on email.

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I was born in Nanaimo but I lived in Hong Kong till I was 7. The best part of my experience at this high school has been making friends from all over the world and getting to see their point of view on life. Also, being on the university campus is great because we get to use the facilities on campus. This high school is like a family. Everyone is so supportive and welcoming. And learning in a small school environment is very nice.

Amalia, Canada

More student stories

International University Foundation Year

If you do not meet the entry criteria for your chosen undergraduate course, a university foundation year at Vancouver Island University may offer an alternative entry route.
We welcome applicants with O-levels, AS and A-level subjects unsuited to their chosen course, non-standard qualifications or those who require additional English language support.

Learn More