Explore Your Housing Options
Nanaimo is a diverse community with many different accommodation options to choose from. It is important to find an option that works best for you, so that you can feel settled and comfortable before starting your studies.
The following are some of the local housing options for you to consider when making your decision about where to live while you study at Vancouver Island University (VIU).
Note that some of these options may have application deadlines that are several months in advance of your arrival.
VIU Homestay is an opportunity to live with and be part of a Canadian family. The host family will provide food for three meals a day and offer a supportive environment to learn and practice your English language skills and transition into the local culture. A homestay student is treated like a member of the family and expected to help around the home as other family members do. Homestay is an invaluable experience where one can learn about Canadian customs and culture, and make life-long friends.
- Best for: Experiencing the local culture, practicing English and receiving support
- When to Apply: At least 6 weeks in advance.> Apply online
- How much? $850 (Homestay) or $500 (Homestay without Meals)
- Questions? Contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 1 (250) 740-6159
For more information, please visit the Homestay website
VIU Residences are located on the VIU Nanaimo campus, close to classes, cafeterias and recreational facilities. Living in VIU Student Residences is about more than the convenient location, it is about building lasting relationships with other students from around the world. The residences offer a mix of accommodation choices from single private rooms with semi-private bathroom to shared double rooms.
Student residence does not provide bedding, dishes or food. Students can bring all bedding supplies from their home country or purchase them upon their arrival in Nanaimo. Kitchen facilities are available in the Student Residences; meals can also be purchased in two campus cafeterias, open weekdays during school hours.
- Best for: Social atmosphere, access to ResLife programming & convenience in location
- When to Apply: Early. Applications for Fall must be received by May 1st . Apply online. Conditions apply.
- How much? Ranges from $3400 - $6700 for 2 semesters + application fee & damage deposit
- Questions? Contact email@example.com or 1 (250) 740-6640
The housing market in Nanaimo can be a bit of a challenge to navigate. It may take some time searching for the perfect new home. There are many different types of apartments, room and board options, and shared housing opportunities in Nanaimo. It is possible to rent an apartment before arrival by searching and communicating online, through sites like Craigslist, Used Nanaimo and Kijiji. However, we encourage you to use caution before entering into agreements or making deposits. The Government of BC has a fact sheet that outlines your rights and responsibilities as a tenant.
- Best for: Flexibility of choice
- When to Apply: It varies but typically arrangements require at least 1 month notice
- How much? Ranges from $700 - $1200 on average per month for a private apartment + refundable damage deposit, utilities (heat, hot water, internet) are typically additional fees
Links to Off-Campus Housing Options
Places4Students is an online listing service which specializes in providing rental housing options for students. Listings are in real-time; accessible 24/7; descriptive with photos, amenity icons, floor plans and include mapping from each rental property to campus; Smart Search features and much more! Check out their website for more information.
- VIU Suggestions for Short-term & Long-term accommodations: Download accommodation_information_spring_2018.pdf
- Vancouver Island Students' Union (VIUSU) App: A way to connect with other university students who might have a roommates or have rooms for rent.
For assistance with Tenancy, landlords, and your rights, please go to: http://tenants.bc.ca/
Finding Housing & Workshop Opportunities
Renting it Right: If you are interested in learning more about finding the right place for you, and your rights and responsibilities as a tenant, Renting it Right is a free online course that can help guide you throughout the process of finding off-campus accommodation.
Finding a Place to Live: This FREE workshop is facilitated by staff in the Faculty of International Education. You will learn the do’s and don’ts of apartment hunting, how to find what you are looking for… what the adverts mean, how to inspect a potential accommodation choice, the general rules of tenancy and when they apply/when they do not, where to get assistance, etc. We will also make suggestions on how to live with roommates more effectively and deal with problems should they arise. Sign up online for a session date and time that works for you. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for questions.
Alternate short term and long term options for student housing off campus are:
Please be aware that VIU takes no responsibility for the quality or accuracy of the sites listed above. Be sure to fully understand any contract before you sign it and ensure each person has copies of all written documents.