Campus life

Group of students hanging out at an outdoor table

At UVic, there is so much to explore and experience outside the classroom. From attending orientation, to participating in clubs and course unions, to hanging out with your friends in the cafeteria, there are always opportunities to get involved and have some fun. And if you ever need support, we're here for you, every step of the way. 

Welcome Centre | Orientation | University of Victoria Students' Society (UVSS) | Office of Student Life | Indigenous Academic and Community Engagement | International Student Services


Welcome Centre

If you have a question or need assistance, the Welcome Centre is a great first point of contact.

Located on the first floor of the University Centre, the Welcome Centre can provide:

    • Answers to your questions
    • Directions to campus and Victoria locations
    • Campus maps
    • Referrals to campus services
    • Quiet study space

No matter the reason for your visit, you’ll always be welcomed by our friendly staff! 

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Orientation

UVic Orientation works to provide you with programs, resources and supports to help you feel welcome at UVic and successfully transition into your life as a university student. Programs include:

    • New Student Welcome: UVic's main orientation program for all new to UVic students, this day-long program will introduce you to campus, your faculty, academic expectations, support services and your fellow students.
Group of students participating in an icebreaker
    • New Student Handbook: An online resource for new to UVic students that provides an overview of support services and programs at UVic, as well as information about how to thrive in the classroom and the many opportunities to get involved outside the classroom.
    • This Week @ UVic: Each Sunday night for the first six weeks of the semester, you'll receive an email, called This Week @ UVic, that will provide you with tips for the upcoming week and let you know what is happening around campus.

Additional orientation programs also exist for international studentsIndigenous students and students living in residence.

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University of Victoria Students' Society (UVSS)

The University of Victoria Students' Society (UVSS) is a non-profit organization run by students, for students that provides key services and events. The UVSS also represents undergraduate students to university administration and external stakeholders on issues such as affordable post-secondary education, accessibility, sustainability, public transit, affordable housing, sexualized violence and mental health.

UVSS logo

The UVSS also operates a wide array of services and businesses out of the Student Union Building (SUB), including:

Additionally, the UVSS hosts private businesses in the SUB, including a dental office, pharmacy, post office (located in the pharmacy), hair studio, travel agency, and a holistic health centre (chiropractor, massage therapist, naturopath). 

Clubs and Course Unions. The UVSS provides funding for over 200 clubs on campus focusing on different recreational, environmental, cultural, political and religious interests, as well as over 40 different course unions that represent UVic's academic departments. Clubs and course unions are free to join and are open to all students.

UVSS Advocacy Groups

There are five different advocacy groups that operate under the UVSS:

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Office of Student Life

The Office of Student Life (OSL) enhances safety and inclusivity within UVic’s campus community. The OSL proactively addresses key issues impacting the student experience at UVic such as:

    • Student mental health education and awareness
    • Sexualized violence awareness and prevention
    • Responding to non-academic student misconduct allegations
    • Coordinating supports for high-risk student issues and concerns

The OSL works with the university community to implement student-led initiatives, such as the Bystander Intervention Training Program and the Student Life Leadership Program, that take an active role in addressing important campus issues. 

Student Conduct

As part of the university community, you are responsible for your personal conduct as it affects other community members and the university’s activities and property. All students are required to comply with university academic and non-academic policies and have an obligation to act in a respectful, safe and responsible manner.

Examples of non-academic student misconduct include, but are not limited to, any of the following behaviours occurring on university property or in connection to an off-campus university activity:

    • highly disruptive behaviour
    • theft or vandalism
    • health and safety risks
    • verbal or written threats
    • illegal or high-risk drug or alcohol use
    • physical violence

The university recognizes its responsibility to take measures to prevent non-academic misconduct within the university community and to diligently investigate allegations of non-academic misconduct. The Office of Student Life works to help resolve non-academic student conduct concerns. Learn more about conduct expectations for students.

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Indigenous Academic & Community Engagement

The Office of Indigenous Academic and Community Engagement (IACE) works to support the success of Indigenous students at UVic by providing cultural and academic programming, including elders-in-residence, talking circles, tutoring, academic advising and counselling, as well as experiential learning opportunities, financial aid and mentorship opportunities.

IACE also manages the First Peoples House (FPH), a home-away-from-home for Indigenous students that is located at the heart of campus. The First Peoples House is a social, cultural and academic centre for Indigenous students and serves as a safe and welcoming place that encourages the building of community.

LE,NONET

Le,NONET logo

LE,NONET delivers several programs designed to welcome and support Indigenous students at UVic, including:

    • Peer mentorship: The Campus Cousins program connects upper-year Indigenous students with new Indigenous students for fun social and cultural events. 
    • Financial support: LE,NONET bursaries are awarded twice per year and provide direct financial aid to Indigenous students. Emergency bursaries are also available.
    • Academic programs: The Community Internship Program offers students an opportunity to work with a Indigenous communities or organizations, while the Research Apprenticeship Program provides students with placements that focus on Indigenous research. 
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International Student Services

International Student Services (ISS) is a centralized resource providing international services, information and supports for students. 

International Student Advising

International Student Advisers can help support you with your Canadian immigration documents, work authorization, health insurance and settlement questions. To help you navigate your life as an international student at UVic, visit the Living in Canada webpage for valuable information. 

Student Exchange Program

5 students in a forest during fall

International exchange programs give you the opportunity to develop unique personal, professional and intercultural competencies. Participate in our exchange program and complete courses that count towards your degree at one of 70 partner universities in over 23 countries. This is a great chance to study abroad for a term or two and engage in a global experience.

UVic Global Community

The UVic Global Community initiative provides opportunities and creates space for international and domestic students, staff and faculty to share perspectives, celebrate diversity, foster intercultural connections and cultivate an inlcusive and globally minded campus. The UVic Global Community includes:

    • Arrival programs and orientation events (International Student Welcome, etc.)
    • Facebook group and online newsletter that shares important dates, resources and infomation, provides scholarship opportunities and highlights intercultural engagement, both locally and around the globe 
    • Mentorship program to provide friendship and guidance as you navigate the social and academic transitions
    • Conversation partners program to help you practice and improve your conversational English skills
    • Presentations, workshops and events
    • Volunteer and leadership opportunities

International Commons

The International Commons (IC) is a welcoming space within the Learning Commons at the Mearns Centre for Learning--McPherson Library where you can study, participate in a conversation café, meet with Global Community Advisers, and easily access the many resources the Learning Commons offers to help you succeed academically.

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