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Physical health

We're here to support your wellbeing so you can thrive in your university experience. Our physicians, nurses, specialists, practitioner partners and Student Welcome Team work collaboratively to provide students with a range of health services.

We can be your primary point of health care while registered at university, especially if you do not have a family doctor in Victoria.

Sexual health

We offer sexual health services and information to people of all genders, identities, orientations and abilities.

Sexual health visit

A sexual health visit may include:

  • health history
  • review breast/chest exam
  • pelvic exam
  • pap smear
  • testicular and/or prostate exam
  • vaccinations such as HPV, HEP A and HEP B
  • birth control information
  • STI testing, treatment and prevention information
  • PrEP – pre-exposure prophylaxis for those at elevated risk of HIV exposure
  • healthy relationships counselling
  • any other concerns or questions you might have

If you have a preference for the gender of your practitioner, please let the Student Welcome Team know. We will accommodate your preference as best as possible.

Contraception/birth control

We offer consultation on a full range of birth control options. We can provide trial samples of many birth control products and/or prescriptions.

  • IUDs: we offer IUD education, prescriptions and insertion (both hormonal and copper IUDs).
  • Emergency contraception (EC): EC is available in the clinic. It should be taken as soon as possible after unprotected sex. Talk to a nurse about your best options and timing for emergency contraception.
  • Barrier methods: we provide a range of free condoms. We also offer information about barrier methods for preventing STIs and as a form of birth control.

Pregnancy testing & counselling

We offer on-site pregnancy testing and counselling. Our practitioners can discuss pregnancy, conception and contraception options, resources and support.

The SWC does not offer maternity care. We refer pregnant students to OB-GYNs or midwives as needed.

Community resources

Public health & immunization

COVID-19 vaccinations

Register and book an appointment to get a COVID-19 vaccination in your community.


The monkeypox vaccine is available to high-risk populations through Island Health.

We offer immunization reviews where you can make sure you are up to date with your immunity.

Not sure if you are up to date or how to find your records? Check out tips for locating immunization records or make an appointment to speak with a nurse.

For information about immunization preventable diseases and immunizations, go to Immunize BC.


The vaccines we offer include (subject to availability):

  • Hepatitis A
  • Hepatitis B
  • HPV (Gardasil 9)
  • Influenza (flu)
  • Meningitis (Meningococcal C, quad and B)
  • Measles, mumps, rubella (MMR)
  • Pneumococcal (pneumonia)
  • Polio
  • Td, TDaP (tetanus/diphtheria and tetanus/diphtheria/pertussis)
  • Typhoid
  • Chicken pox (Varicella)

Some vaccines are free (depending on eligibility) and some have a cost. Talk to the Student Welcome Team or a nurse to find the costs for any vaccines you need.

Flu immunization clinics

UVic Health offers flu clinics every flu season. Check back in the Fall to find out details for 2021.

Travel vaccinations

We do not supply travel vaccines. We encourage students to access a specialized travel clinic.

Travel vaccination is important to help reduce and manage your risk of illness during your journey. Consultations should take place eight weeks before departure and include a discussion about immunizations, preventative medications and specific health information.

When seeking travel immunizations:

Victoria travel clinics

International students

The Student Wellness Centre can be your primary point of health care while you are a UVic student. It’s important to make sure that you have health insurance that covers the period of time that you will be in Canada.

SWC health care is private and confidential. Translation services are available upon request; please request translation when making your appointment if required.

Staying active

Exercise is good for your physical and mental health. Physical activity reduces stress, reduce the risk of some diseases, and can help with feelings of depression and anxiety.

Vikes Athletics and Recreation provides physical activity facilities for all UVic community members.

The Centre for Athletics, Recreation and Special Abilities (CARSA) offers:

  • fitness and weight centre
  • climbing wall
  • group fitness classes
  • personal training
  • squash and racquetball courts
  • dance space
  • yoga studio
  • intramural leagues and clubs
  • an indoor fieldhouse for drop-in and informal rec
  • inclusion programming (blind soccer, wheelchair basketball)

CARSA membership is included with tuition payments

Intramurals are a great way to get exercise and meet people. Exercise classes such as yoga, bootcamp, Pilates and personal training options are also available.

Some other options for being active on and around campus include:

  • walking or running around Ring Road or the many trails on campus
  • walking the trails in Mystic Vale or Finnerty Gardens
  • exploring Cadboro Bay beach near campus


A healthy diet will support your mental and physical health. UVic Food Services has dining information to help you make healthy dietary choices on campus.

UVic’s registered dietitian is also available to help you learn how to make healthier choices on campus. They are available for free one-on-one counselling.


Getting enough sleep is essential to a sharp and clear mind. It can be tempting to stay up late to study, but being sleep deprived makes it difficult to focus and can impair learning.

Sleep deprivation is associated with difficulties concentrating and higher rates of depression and anxiety. It has also been linked to other health concerns like cardiovascular problems, diabetes and cancer.

Try go to sleep and wake up at the same time each day. A consistent sleep pattern allows your body to adjust to a stable sleep-wake cycle. This reduces daytime drowsiness and enhances energy levels throughout the day.

Try to avoid having caffeine after 2 p.m. Caffeine makes it difficult to fall asleep and reduces the amount of REM sleep you get. REM is a stage in the sleep cycle where your deepest cognitive processing normally occurs.

More resources

Calm is a mindfulness meditation app that can help you clear your mind.

Meditation Oasis has meditation and relaxation resources.

Eating disorders

Eating disorders include anorexia, bulimia and binge eating disorders. Eating disorders have symptoms such as compulsive exercise, laxative use and restricting food intake.

Don't wait until you have all the symptoms of a clinical eating disorder to get help. Reach out for support if you are concerned about disordered eating.

You can find more information from Island Health. You can access their Regional Eating Disorder Liaison (250-519-7700 ext.17117) for help in locating resources.

Substance use

We advocate a harm reduction approach to substance use (alcohol and drugs), if you choose to consume them. Substances can have impacts to your physical and mental health so it’s important to understand the risks and make informed choices.

Questions to ask yourself:

  • Do you think you have issues with alcohol or substances?
  • Are your academics or relationships affected?
  • Are other people expressing concerns?
  • Do you have difficulty with control?
  • Do you put yourself at risk?

Consider how to keep yourself safe if you plan on using alcohol or drugs:

  • Decide in advance how much you’re going to drink.
  • Eat food before drinking.
  • Keep an eye on your drink at all times.
  • Plan a ride home.

If you’re concerned about your substance use, reach out to a counsellor or health practitioner for support.  Our practitioners are open and willing to discuss substance use concerns. They support those in recovery and can share resources to help you or your friends. They also have information about Narcotics Anonymous (NA) and Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) meetings held near campus.

More resources

UVic Harm Reduction Centre aims to help UVic students to make more informed and safer choices around sex and substance use.

HereToHelp has activities to help you think about your own substance use.

Substance Use Blood Alcohol Calculator is a tool to help you anticipate your blood alcohol content over the time you expect to drink.

Check Your Drinking helps users get a full picture of their alcohol consumption.