ISO Fall 2019

International Students Orientation

Welcome to Vancouver Island University!

Smooth sailing VIU orientation logo

Each semester the Faculty of International Education provide a specialized International Student Orientation (ISO), known as Smooth Sailing.  Also, we offer workshops, activities and day trips to help our arriving students in undergraduate & graduate programs get connected with peers, feel at home on campus and settled in the community.

All incoming international students in undergraduate and graduate programs at VIU are invited and expected to attend Smooth Sailing: International Student Orientation.  This includes students transitioning from English language studies in Canada, as well as exchange and study abroad students. 

Please note, if you are starting in the English Language Centre (ELC), please visit the ELC Orientation webpage for more information about that orientation program: ELC Orientation.

Intended for new international students attending VIU in Fall semester. 

Topics to be covered include academic & immigration information, scholarships, important dates, and health and safety.

All new students will receive an email with details about attending the virtual sessions. The schedule will be posted in this website, including sessions extending beyond August 29th.

To see photos from our last orientation visit our Facebook page:

Housing Options 

Please explore your housing options from the following link 

Nanaimo Airporter

Nanaimo Airporter is a van service from Departure Bay, Gabriola and Duke Point Ferry terminals as well as the Nanaimo airport.

You can access their Booking on-line or call 1-888-758-2133. When booking online add "VIU international student" under the "Special Instructions" window


From the airport: For the first 2 passengers (whether there is 1 or 2) the cost is $26.00, and each additional passenger after the first 2 is $5.00 more. For example 3 passengers $31.00 (or $10.35 per person) 4 passengers is $36.00 (or $9.00 per person) all passengers must be going to VIU to get this deal.

Departure Bay ferry: (students must book in advance) The cost from the Ferry to the University is $15.00 for the first passenger and $5.00 per person after that.

RockVIU Logo

RockVIU: Welcome to Campus is an opportunity for new students to explore the campus, meet their faculty, and make new connections with their peers. This year's orientation will consist of a full week of Virtual events aimed to explore the theme of Connect, Engage, Discover.

To find out more click here

Future International Students Orientations



First day of classes

Fall 2020Saturday August 29Tuesday September 8
Spring 2021Tuesday  January 5Thursday January 7

Spring 2020

Group photo

Fall 2019

ISO Fall 2019

Fall 2018

ISO Fall 2018

Fall 2017

Fall 2017 orientation

Orientation schedule


Fall 2016

Orientation group


For more pictures visit our Facebook Album 

Upcoming Activities + Day Trips

Orientation Information

Smooth Sailing

The term smooth sailing refers to navigating through a task with ease, like a boat travelling on calm waters.  As a campus situated on the West Coast of Canada, our proximity to the ocean inspires us as we support students who are transitioning to this new environment, culture and academic landscape for the first time.  Our goal is that this day of welcome for international students will provide the tools to have a successful first year at Vancouver Island University (VIU) and beyond.

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