Housing & finance

Before you arrive in Victoria, you need to determine where you are going to live and how you are going to pay for your tuition fees, student fees, and living expenses. Spend some time exploring the available housing options and considering how you will manage your finances.


Housing

What are my options?

UVic will be a place for you to call home, regardless of where you choose to live.

On-campus housing has its advantages: your friends live next door and you are only steps away from class.

Off-campus housing has advantages too: more personal space, and time away from school to explore everything Victoria has to offer.

Visit MyUVic Life to learn more about each of these options from the perspective of UVic students.

On-campus housing

Residence Services at UVic offers four types of on-campus housing for students: dormitory rooms, cluster units, apartments, and family housing. For information about each of these options, visit the Residence Services website.

If you want to live on campus, submit your application as early as possible. Each year the number of applications exceeds available space.

Contact  for information about paying residence fees by credit card or by wire transfer from an international bank prior to your arrival on campus.

When should I arrive?

If your application is accepted, you will receive an email confirmation that includes your move in date.

If you want to request an earlier move in date, contact Residence Services and identify yourself as an international student.

If you plan to arrive after the start of term, you must inform Residence Services or they will cancel your on-campus housing.

Off-campus housing

UVic partners with Places4Students to provide information about rental opportunities including suites, apartments, houses, and shared living situations in the Greater Victoria Region.

The Living Off Campus in Victoria handout offers further suggestions to help you find off-campus housing.

When should I arrive?

It can be very difficult to secure off-campus housing from out of town, so plan to arrive in Victoria at least two or three weeks before the start of term to allow plenty of time for searching.

We recommend you reserve temporary accommodation before you arrive. For on-campus options, check out the Visitor Accommodation website. Victoria also has many hotels, hostels, and bed and breakfast inns to choose from. You can find them listed on the Tourism Victoria website.

Homestay Program

Living with a family in Victoria is a great option for students who want to live off campus, but who are not quite ready to set up a home of their own. The UVic Homestay Program brings international students and Canadian families together to share cultures and develop long-lasting friendships.

Tenant rights and responsibilities

Tenancies are most successful when landlords and tenants fully understand their legal rights and responsibilities.

Use the Residential Tenancy Branch (RTB) website and the Tenant Resource & Advisory Centre (TRAC) website to familiarize yourself with the legal rights and responsibilities for tenants and landlords in British Columbia (BC).

The Tenant Survival Guide is also an excellent resource.

Municipal bylaws and community standards

Students living off campus in the Greater Victoria Region can learn about traffic, parking, garbage and recycling, safety standards, and being a responsible community member on the Office of Student Life website.

Students living on campus can learn about conduct and community standards on the Residence Services website.

Tenant insurance

We advise that you insure your possessions against theft, fire, and other damage.

There are many tenant insurance providers. Research your options before making a decision.


Financial planning

Tuition and student fees

Students who do not have Canadian citizenship or permanent resident status are required to pay international tuition fees at UVic.

The current tuition and fees schedule and the tuition fee estimator are helpful tools for predicting tuition and student fee amounts based on your program of study.

However, your actual tuition and student fee amounts will depend on both your program of study and your course registration.

Please note that you will not receive invoices for your tuition and student fees.

Once you have registered for a term, a summary of your tuition and student fees will be available in your UVic student account, which you can access through UVic My Page in the Student Services section under the Finances tab.

When you add or drop a course, allow 24 hours for your UVic student account to be updated.

Instructions for how to pay your tuition and student fees are available on the Accounting Services website.

If you are sponsored by an organization who will pay your tuition and student fees directly to UVic, please visit the Accounting Services website for instructions.

Fee deadlines are available in the UVic Calendar.

Be sure to pay your tuition and student fees on time. A penalty service charge will be added for late payments. Failure to pay tuition and student fees on time may also result in cancellation of course registration and denial of services.

Exchange students:  While at UVic, you will pay tuition fees to your home university, but you will be responsible for paying all other student fees to UVic.

Graduate degree-seeking students:  More information about tuition and fees is available on the Graduate Studies website.

Tuition and student fees do not include the cost of textbooks, course materials, and other supplies associated with your program of study.

Living expenses

Living expenses include housing and utilities, food, clothing, personal care, and recreation for you and any family members who accompany you to Canada.

Costs associated with living in British Columbia (BC) are available on the Employment and Social Development Canada website. Look for the table that outlines student living allowances for the current school year. This is a helpful tool for predicting living expenses, but keep in mind that your actual living expenses will depend on your lifestyle and the choices you make.

We recommend setting aside some additional money for unexpected costs.

Financial assistance

Awards available to international students studying in Canada are listed on the International Scholarships website.

Visit the Student Awards and Financial Aid (SAFA) website for information about scholarships, bursaries, and other funding opportunities available to international students at UVic.

Graduate degree-seeking students:  More information about funding opportunities is available on the Graduate Studies website.

Employment

As an international student, your primary purpose in Canada must be to study, and you must be able to cover all the costs of your studies without relying on employment income.

However, there are some specific options available for gaining work experience in Canada as an international student.

Visit Working in Canada for information about work authorization, finding work, applying for a Social Insurance Number (SIN), and filing an income tax return.

Please make sure you understand the restrictions associated with working in Canada, and never work without the proper authorization.

Working in Canada when you are not authorized may result in enforcement action taken by the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA). It could also negatively impact your current temporary resident status and any future applications you make under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act and its regulations.


If you have questions about any of the information on this page, please visit or contact the International Student Services (ISS) team at the International Student Centre.


Last updated: August 2019