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 Centre for Students| UVic Graduate Students' Society (GSS) |

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 Jamie Cassels 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! 



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.
  • 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.
  • Pre-Arrival Program: An online orientation program that will introduce you to what to expect at UVic, what supports and services are available, and key strategies for university success. All undergraduate students are encouraged to complete the program before the first day of classes.
Group of students participating in an icebreaker
Additional orientation programs also exist for international studentsIndigenous students and students living in residence.

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.

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

UVSS logo

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). There is also tons of study space available in the SUB!

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:


Office of Student Life

The Office of Student Life (OSL) works to enhance safety and inclusivity amongst UVic’s campus community, as well as support the full development of students during their time at UVic. Through unique and dynamic programming and initiatives, the OSL provides opportunities for meaningful engagement in extra-curricular spaces, supporting the capacity of all students to establish belonging and connection, and engage in holistic learning and growth.

The OSL offers a range of opportunities for students to get involved. Through various programs and initiatives, students can connect with like-minded peers and build community, gain professional experience, develop leadership skills, create and implement a community project, and/or improve the university experience for others on campus:

  • New student engagement and transition to university life
  • Student mental health and wellness education
  • Sexualized violence awareness and prevention
  • Student leadership
  • Student life grant and anti-racism supplement

Student Conduct

As part of the UVic community, each student is responsible for their personal conduct as it affects other community members and the university’s activities and property. To support a respectful, safe and responsible community, all students are required to maintain the expectations outlined in the university’s academic and non-academic policies, including the Resolution of Non-Academic Misconduct policy. Any university community member can connect with the Office of Student Life for support to bring forward concerns and for assistance to learn about the expectations for all students.

Examples of non-academic student misconduct include, but are not limited to, any of the following behaviours when they take place on university property or in connection to a university activity:

  • dangerous or 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. The Office of Student Life works with students, faculty and staff to help address non-academic student conduct concerns and provide options for student support. This may include responding to concerns, investigating allegations of non-academic misconduct or engaging students in informal resolution processes. Learn more about conduct expectations for students and your options for support.


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, wellness circles, tutoring, academic advising and counselling, as well as experiential learning opportunities, financial aid, leadership and community development 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 community building.


LE,NONET delivers several programs designed to welcome and support Indigenous students (First Nations, Inuit and Métis) at UVic, including:

Community Building: Campus Cousins are upper-level undergraduate and graduate students who support community building in the First Peoples House by hosting academic events (study halls, learning communities, workshops) and social and cultural events (feasts, movie nights, game nights). 

Financial support: Indigenous students can apply for financial support in the form of scholarships (based on academic achievement) and bursaries (based on financial need). LE,NONET bursaries are awarded twice per year and provide direct financial aid to Indigenous undergraduate and graduate students. Emergency bursaries are also available.

Academic programs: Through the Indigenous Students program, 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.

Student support: The IACE Indigenous Support Coordinator is available to assist students with accessing financial support and accessing services on and off-campus. 


International Centre for Students

UVic welcomes over 4000 international students from more than 100 countries around the world. The International Centre for Students (ICS) is a centralized resource providing international services, information and supports for students.

5 students in a forest during fall

International Student Advising

The International Student Advising team provides non-academic support, such as settlement resources and referrals, health insurance information, and immigration advice related to being a student (e.g. study permit, work authorization) throughout your studies at UVic. Visit the Living in Canada webpages for valuable information that will help you navigate life as an international student at UVic. 

Student Exchange Program

The International Centre for Students Exchange Program allows students to study at one of our 70+ partner universities around the world while earning UVic credits and paying UVic tuition. The ICS coordinates exchanges in the faculties of Humanities, Science and Social Sciences. Students in other faculties are also welcome to apply with permission from their academic unit adviser. Where will you go?

UVic Global Community

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


UVic Graduate Students' Society (GSS)

The UVic Graduate Students' Society is a democratic non-profit organization run by a team of graduate student volunteers and GSS staff. The GSS provides services, advocacy and events specifically for graduate students. 

The GSS also operates The Grad House restaurant on campus.

gss logo