VIU International students

Self-Isolation Information & Resources

Please refer to COVID-19 Updates for more information.

Below is information on pre-departure and self-isolation arrangements if needed.

Pre-Departure Planning

At your Departure Airport

To board a flight to Canada, you must show the airline:

  • a valid study permit or letter of introduction that shows study permit approval.
  • a valid passport for entry to Canada and a valid entry document (visitor visa or eTA, if required)

It is your responsibility to demonstrate that you meet the travel requirements and are coming to Canada for essential purposes.

At the Canada Port of Entry

Be prepared to show a Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) Officer:

  • the documents listed above plus
  • a valid letter of acceptance or confirmation of enrolment letter
  • proof that you have enough money to support yourself and any family members who come with you to Canada
  • resumption of (with medical policy number, start date, & end date)

VIU recommends travelling with all documents you believe necessary. Stay up to date with the Government checklist for all travellers and international student guidelines..

Plan to arrive in time to complete any required quarantining and start the first week of class. Please note that Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) states, "If you arrive too early, you may be refused entry by CBSA."

Letter of Acceptance or Confirmation of Enrolment Letter?

New students to VIU will present their valid Letter of Acceptance when entering Canada.

Continuing students will no longer have a valid letter of acceptance. They will need to provide a confirmation of enrolment letter. Students requiring a confirmation of enrolment letter can request it by emailing

Students are responsible to ensure that they have the appropriate medical insurance while they are studying in Canada.

New international students at VIU are normally automatically enrolled in VIU International Health insurance when they begin their studies at VIUPlease ensure that you have not opted out of this coverage. Please visit here for more information  

Returning VIU students or students who previously opted out of health insurance coverage because they were studying in their home country should contact they have questions regarding coverage. 

If a student is arriving early for the next semester and does not have valid medial insurance, they should purchase ‘Early Arrivals’ insurance through directly.


Immediate family members (e.g. spouse/common-law partner, dependent children) may be able to come with you to Canada, provided that they have the proper immigration documents and their purposes for travel are non-discretionary. For more information on how your accompanying family member may travel to Canada, please visit VIU's information site.

Depending on the country of citizenship, your family members may also require a valid temporary resident visa (TRV) or electronic travel authorization (eTA) to travel to Canada.

Symptoms or Positive COVID-19 Test Result After Arrival

For government guidance, please visit their Covid-19: Symptoms, treatment ... page.

Private Accommodation

Students can self isolate at some local hotels if necessary. The following Nanaimo hotels have been able to accommodate. Contact them directly to check availability and rates.

Travelodge96 Terminal Avenue North, 250.754.6355. (In summer, call directly for the best rates.) Rooms include fridge, microwave, coffee maker, continental breakfast, private balcony. Amenities include 24 hour reception, non-smoking hotel, coin-op laundry, dry sauna, restaurant discount.

Best Western Dorchester: 7-30 day booking (from October 2021) / 1 x queen bed @ 119 CAD + tax / quarantine meal package @ 45 CAD for 3 meals per day plus 5% tax and 18% gratuity contact: /

Getting Settled and Organized  

Arrange for the necessities of life (e.g., food, medications, basic hygiene supplies, and cleaning supplies) to be delivered to your place of self-isolation.  


Go to virtual events on the VIU website. Check listings on VIU Residence Facebook.

Connect and Engage! Access information about campus events on the VIU Co-Curricular Involvement App. Find it at the App Store and Google Play. Alternatively, log on to the desktop version.


Download the BC COVID-19 APP for COVID-19 in BC updates.

Students with insurance can use a Mobile Doctor. Connect with Canadian doctors on Maple, a telemedicine company. The 24-hour service is Canada wide, on the phone, tablet or computer. Your insurance also includes keep.meSafe - mental health and wellness services.

Connect with a counsellor. Self-isolation can be a challenge on emotional well-being. They are here for confidential support. Book an online meeting at

Meet with an international student advisor during drop-in times


VIU Residence  

Phone: 250.740.6640 (24 hours a day)  

Virtual Meeting: Email to set up a meeting

Mike Bauche, Assistant Manager, Residence Life Email: 

Victoria Bowns, Residence Life Coordinator Email:  

Off-Campus Housing Office  

Phone: 250.740.6680 (messages checked and returned throughout the workday)  

Virtual Meeting: Email to set up a meeting  

Campus Security  

Phone: 250.740.6660