If you have questions, we have answers

Frequently Asked Questions


Q: Is it useful to own a printer or are printing services pretty affordable on campus?           

A: Printing costs 10¢ per page for black & white printing and is available in all campus computer labs. Colour printing, as well as black & white printing, is available in the Library and Commons at a cost of $1.00 per page.  You can print at the Students' Union as well. One thing to think about is when you are working in your dorm late at night, do you want to have the convenience of printing in your room, or head up to the library to print your assignment?

Campus Store   

Q: How do we find out what text books we need? Is it best to just wait until the first class to find out and purchase them?

A: Visit the VIU Campus Store website to find your textbooks. You will notice that you will be given 'required' and 'optional' textbooks. Most students wait until the first day of class to buy the optional texts. The bookstore will be launching an online comparison tool with online stores to make sure you get the best deal. You can also visit the Vancouver Island University Students' Union to buy used textbooks too!

Residence/ Housing           

Q: Where can I find off-campus housing?    
A: You should check out the off-campus housing list.

Q: What is in my dorm room?           
A: The rooms come with most of the furniture you will need, (desk/book shelf ,chair, bed, wardrobe or closet,) toasters, microwaves etc. are all in the common areas and are not allowed in most rooms. Decorations are great as long as they don't damage the walls or room

Q: What can we bring with us to our dorm room? 
A: It is wise to bring clothing, bed linens (if not ordered), cooking supplies, food, toiletries (especially toilet paper), school related items (books, laptop, desktop, etc.) and entertainment items (books, video games, dvds, personal televisions, etc.). Most items can be brought in, however, if they come as a replacement for a pre-existing item (bed/chair/desk/dresser) the item currently in the room must remain there due to space limitations. There are more items as listed in the Student Residence Agreement 4.09 which are prohibited.

Q: How do I get my Residence Parking Pass?        
A: Residence Parking Pass can be purchased from Parking at Building 315

Q: My course starts in mid-August, can I move in early?  
A: Semester start dates vary each year. You will be allowed to move in approximately two to three days before the start of the regular academic term. Check your room assignment for your date, or under "Move In Dates" on the "Room Assignment Package" page. If your program has a different start date, ask (residence@viu.ca) if it is possible to make other arrangements.

Q: What are grocery shuttles? When do they run? 
A: Grocery Shuttles run Monday and Wednesday and provide grocery shopping opportunities for those that sign up. One shuttle goes to Superstore, the other goes to Fairway Market.


Q: I'm on a waitlist, should I worry? 
A: Monday through Friday our Web Registration system will check for students in this situation and automatically register them overnight. If you are enrolled in your course from a waitlist before the semester starts you will be sent an email informing you of this. The first six weekdays of the semester are critical. After the semester starts it will be your responsibility to check the waitlists each day and to claim a seat if you want it: we will not contact you if a seat becomes available. During the first six weekdays of each semester, the waitlists are updated every Monday to Friday night between 11:30pm and 1:30am (no changes are made Saturday or Sunday). When waitlists are updated, the next available seat in a class is "held" for the next student on the waitlist. You should check your student record each day between 1:30am and 11:30pm during the first six days to see if any seats are being held for you and claim them if you still want them. If a seat becomes available to you during the first six weekdays of the semester, you must claim it on that day, either in person or using Web Registration

Campus Rec/Outdoor Recreation

Q: What kinds of recreation opporunities exist?  
A: Check out the Student Life Activity Guide for all the great activities happening this year. Register early, they fill up quickly!


Q: What is the weather like?  
A: Nanaimo has one of the mildest climates in Canada and is similar to Seattle or Vancouver. In the summer, average daytime temperatures are between 20 and 28 degrees Celsius. In the winter there is more rain, but the daytime temperatures are normally between 3 and 6 degrees Celsius.

Q: What is Nanaimo Like?       
A: Nanaimo is a medium sized Canadian city of 86,000 centrally located on Vancouver Island, close to Vancouver and the capital city of Victoria. Nanaimo is friendly like a smaller town, but has all of the things that a bigger city has — great restaurants, nightlife, festivals and shopping. Nanaimo is located by the ocean so there are lots of great recreational opportunities like kayaking, sailing, swimming close by. It is also easy to get to either Vancouver or Victoria for day-trips and sightseeing. In the winter, it is a 1 hour drive to Mount Washington ski and snowboard area and world famous Whistler Blackcomb ski resort is less than 3 hours away.


Q: Is there a Frosh Week? Welcome Days?  
A: We have Weeks of Welcome during the first two weeks of classes in September. There are a lot of free events for students.  FROSH is during the second week of September and is put on by VIUSU. There's a whole bunch of activities, including a free concert, movie night, pancake breakfast, and much more! The schedule will come out later in the summer, stay tuned!

Q: How do I cancel a Summer- Warm-up Session?
A: If you want to reschedule, you can just register again online with a new date! 

Q: How do I get my student card?   
A: Student/Library Cards are issued at the Photo ID Centre located in building 305 3rd floor commons area.  To obtain your student card you need to bring: 1 piece of picture ID or 2 pieces of ID with no picture and your Registration receipt or Student Number (the camera is linked to the Registration system)


Q: What types of ATM's are on campus?     
A: VIU has general ATM's on campus. The locations of the ATM's are in the Upper Cafeteria (Building 300) and the Students' Union Pub (Building 193)