Housing & finance

For COVID-19 related information, visit the UVic response to COVID-19 website and the COVID-19 Information on the International Resources web page. Please note, as information can change without notice, for the most current immigration information, always visit the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada’s website and the Government of Canada website

Before you arrive in Victoria, you need to think about 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. Searching for housing in a new city, and especially a new country can be challenging. Take time to consider the various options and make a decision based on what will be the best fit for you

On-campus housing has its advantages: your friends are close 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.

Due to COVID-19 and the Government of Canada’s Quarantine Act, all individuals travelling to Canada are required to quarantine (self-isolate) for 14-days (including a 3-day hotel stopover) upon their arrival to Canada. To help support you, as a UVic student, make the necessary arrangements for arriving in Canada and complete your self-isolation, UVic has created a Self-isolation Program. This program includes:

If you need a temporary accommodation, you can view the following options: 

On-campus housing

Residence Services at UVic offers different types of on-campus housing for students. For information about each of these options and their availability, visit the Residence Services website.

To get a snapshot of how it feels like to live in the UVic Residence, check out this article in the MyUVic Life written by a student blogger. MyUvic life is a blog that follows 20 UVic student bloggers’ daily experiences as they explore their UVic experience.

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

If you have questions about paying residence fees contact  for information. Students living on campus are required to pay for their residence fees prior to your arrival on campus.

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 and identify yourself as an international student.

Currently, all individuals travelling to Canada from overseas are required to quarantine (self-isolate) for 14-days upon their arrival to Canada. If you are required to quarantine after travel, you must complete your self-isolation prior to moving into UVic Residence. If you need resources to plan your self-isolation, visit the UVic Self-isolation program website. 

If you plan to arrive after the Residence move-in day, 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.

There is a good student article in MyUVic Life about the pros and cons of different housing options.

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

It can be very difficult to secure off-campus housing from out of town, so plan to arrive in Victoria early enough to complete self-isolation (is needed) and settle into your new home in Victoria before your program starts. At this time, if you are required to complete a 14-day quarantine, we recommend you to arrive 4 to 6 weeks before the start of term to allow plenty of time for searching.

Homestay Program

Living with a family in Victoria may be 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 Canada Homestay Network is a non-profit society that helps international students find a home away from home in Canada.

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 tuition fee estimator is a helpful tool 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 Online Tools  > Student Services > Finances.

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 Tuition, fees and budgeting page.

If you are sponsored by an organization who will pay your tuition and student fees directly to UVic, please visit the Tuition page for information on third-party billing.

Fee deadlines are available in the UVic Calendar.

Reminder: 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. 

If you have more questions about tuition and payment methods, please contact .

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 most recent year. This could be 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 contact the International Student Services (ISS) team.

Last updated:  May 2021