Two Students walk by the VIU Residence


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.

Contact housing staff

VIU On-Campus Student Residence, $500-900


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. Kitchen facilities are available in the Student Residences; meals can also be purchased in two campus cafeterias, open weekdays during school hours.

Learn more about VIU Residences


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.

Learn more about Homestay
Off-Campus & Apartment Rentals, $500-1600

Off-Campus Housing

Off-Campus Housing is private, rented accommodation. Students coming to Nanaimo sign a legal contract with a local landlord. Places4Students is a dedicated site for VIU Nanaimo student listings. It is our trusted partner in providing rental solutions for students. There are different types of accommodation to choose from and choices to make about your budget. The housing market in Nanaimo can be a challenge to navigate and it may take time finding your new home. We recommend getting to know the local market and learning about renting in British Columbia as soon as possible.

Learn more about Off-Campus Housing