January on Vancouver Island, Canada
Spend 3 weeks studying Forensic Psychology on beautiful Vancouver Island where mountains, ocean and forests provide world-class recreation year-round.
Immerse yourself in Canadian culture, enjoy life with a welcoming host family and experience university-life in beautiful Nanaimo, British Columbia! CISaustralia and Vancouver Island University (VIU) have partnered to offer this 3-week program for Australian university students. Take advantage of a perfect location exploring Canada’s beautiful west coast while studying Forensic Psychology.
At VIU, you’ll be located in the centre of the Island’s great natural beauty with access to year-round activities like hiking, snow and ocean sports, mountain biking, kayaking and more. This program aims to set students up for success and guide you through amazing experiences both on- and off-campus. Enjoy the many opportunities to pursue your passions, develop your career skills and build relationships that will last a lifetime – all while gaining academic credit towards your degree.
Some of the many highlights of this program include:
- Receive intensive Psychology instruction in a Canadian island setting to complement the coursework already completed at your home institution.
- Live with a welcoming host family to fully experience Canadian hospitality and immerse in the daily culture and lifestyle – with all meals included.
- Enjoy full complimentary access to the VIU Gymnasium with you campus ID Card. Choose the fitness equipment or drop-in and play basketball, volleyball or other court sports.
- Access campus amenities including the library, bookstore, modern classrooms, student lounges and more.
- Take a day trip to Mount Washington for a snow tubing adventure!
- Connect with other VIU students on optional day trips over the weekend while discovering the Island’s vibrant communities, local cultural events and attractions.
- Opportunities to participate in recreational activities, such as deciphering the secrets to the escape room at Breakout Nanaimo, curling and weekly yoga and meditation sessions.
- Explore the great outdoors. The mild, year-round climate, with proximity to the coastline and mountains allows you to choose from an array of outdoor activities, including snowboarding, skiing, hiking, sailing and kayaking.
Choose Your Course
Hosted at Vancouver Island University (VIU), this 3-week intensive program is offered for Australian and international students at the undergraduate level. All VIU professors are fully qualified according to educational standards set out by the Canadian government and are dedicated to providing excellence in teaching and learning, service and research.
VIU Faculty fosters student engagement, strong community connections and focuses on providing instruction that allows students to realise their individual goals, have their viewpoint heard and excel in critical thinking.
- Forensic Psychology
Note: There is a minimum of 10 and a maximum of 22 students per course on this program. If applications exceed 22, a waiting list will be established and potentially additional classes will be opened up. If the minimum class size of 10 is not met, the class may not be offered. For more information, please contact your CISaustralia Program Advisor.
Course Load: 1 course (1 x full-time course is equal to 3 CAD credits / 42 lecture hours of in classroom lectures / coursework)
- Depending on your Australian university, “courses” may be referred to as “subjects” or “units”.
- Each course/subject/unit you undertake on a CISaustralia program is designed to be a full-time, semester course that has been condensed to fit into an intensive, short-term program. As such, for any 1 course you study abroad, you should receive the credit points for 1 full-time course/subject/unit at your Australian university.
- Many universities work off of a 1-for-1 equivalency (1 course abroad = 1 course in Australia), but ultimately credit approval is the decision of your faculty and Australian university.
- CISaustralia strongly recommends that you have any overseas courses pre-approved for academic credit before you depart for your program. Some documentation that may be useful are the course outline/syllabus, program overview and the contact hours.
- Please be aware that the courses listed below are subject to change and cannot be guaranteed year on year.
- Your CISaustralia Program Advisor can assist with any questions or details your university needs to make a decision.
Academic Requirement: To qualify for this program, students must be in good academic standing with a GPA of 4.0 (out of 7) or equivalent. If your current GPA falls below the requirement, you may still be considered for the program but will need to be prepared to provide supporting documentation. Please contact us to discuss your situation and we will work with you to help find another suitable program if required.
COVID Safe Travel
The health and safety of our students is our highest priority. We take our duty of care for our students, their families and our Australian University partners seriously. For all of our program locations, we have developed a site-specific COVID-19 risk matrix and risk management and emergency response plans so that health and safety response protocols are monitored, managed and communicated.
CISaustralia monitors Smartraveller and reliable news feeds to keep up to date with the latest COVID information and any associated travel restrictions and entry requirements for all destinations where we have programs. Due to the constantly evolving COVID-19 situation, Government travel advice can change quickly. For the most up to date information on Canada, visit the Smartraveller website.
Included in the program fee is a day trip to Mount Washington for a snow-tubing session.
Optional excursions (at additional expense) open to all VIU students will also be available on Saturdays as part of the University’s Cultural Connections Road Trip program. These trips have been popular and highly valued by students in previous years as they allow you to connect with other VIU students while discovering Vancouver Island’s vibrant communities, local cultural events and attractions. You can sign up for these additional excursions on-site. Some options may include:
- Day trip to Victoria
- Totem pole tour and skating in the quaint town of Duncan
- Visit to the breathtaking Capilano Suspension Bridge in North Vancouver along with a visit to downtown Vancouver
You may also wish to explore some other top BC tourist spots during your free time (at your own expense). You may even want to try surfing in winter at well-known towns and surf breaks like Tofino, Long Beach, Cox Bay, Florencia Bay and Wickaninnish Beach. While fresh in winter, it’s common to see surfers in the water at well-known breaks all year! Ever surfed in a 5mm wetsuit? Where else can you surf and snowboard in one day?
This program is located in Nanaimo on Vancouver Island, off the west coast of beautiful British Columbia, Canada. VIU’s Nanaimo campus lies on the lower slopes of Mount Benson and offers views overlooking the city of Nanaimo, the Straits of Georgia, the Gulf Islands and the mountains of the Coast Range on the mainland. At VIU, you’ll be located in the centre of the Island’s great natural beauty with access to year-round activities like kayaking, hiking, ocean and snow sports, mountain biking and more!
Nanaimo is home to over 106,000 residents and is considered a mid-size city by Canadian standards, yet still offers all of the amenities and services that one would expect in a major city. With numerous public recreational facilities, shopping malls, banks, grocery stores, restaurants, public parks, art galleries, wineries, outdoor attractions and local markets, visitors to Nanaimo find that there is always something to see or do. There are also many public festivals, sports competitions and multicultural events held throughout the year, showcasing Nanaimo’s commitment to a safe and caring community.
A few of the many activity options to do in Nanaimo and surrounding areas include:
- Exploring a wide range of hiking trails from beginner to advanced abilities.
- Visiting Nanaimo’s recreation facilities from swimming, skating, outdoor tennis, beach volleyball courts, drop-in basketball and more.
- Enjoying the city’s many coffee shops and its restaurant scene that offers a variety of cuisine with options for take-out or casual dining.
- Discovering Nanaimo’s live music scene where local bands are featured in cozy cafes to larger venues.
Close to Vancouver, Victoria and Seattle, Nanaimo is truly accessible. Regular 15-minute commercial flights from Vancouver International Airport (YVR) to Nanaimo Airport (YCD) operate every day of the week. Visitors can alternatively choose to take a seaplane from Vancouver International Airport and land in one of two seaplane terminals in downtown Nanaimo. There is also a BC Ferry service between the mainland of British Columbia and Vancouver Island, in which travellers can view some of the most spectacular scenery in Canada.
Just over 460 kilometres long and 80 kilometers wide, Vancouver Island is the largest island on the west coast of North America and is filled with beautiful beaches, mountains, temperate rainforests, freshwater lakes and rolling farmland. Dotted with colourful, quirky communities, many founded on the logging or fishing industry, you’ll find the locals to be friendly and proud of their distinct region. The area’s beauty and tranquillity has long been a draw for artists and artisans. Art galleries, studios and shops selling unique, locally produced arts and crafts are found in many populated centres, particularly on the Gulf Islands.
Considered one of the top vacation destinations in the country, Vancouver Island has the mildest climate in Canada. With temperatures ranging from 20-25 degrees Celsius in summer and 0-10 degrees Celsius in winter, Vancouver Island is known for its accessibility to year-round outdoor pursuits, including hiking, kayaking, surfing, mountain biking, caving, rock climbing, whale watching, camping and much more. As an added bonus, skiing, snowboarding and snowshoeing activities are also available in the winter months by driving a short distance to the popular Mount Washington Ski Resort 1.5 hours north of Nanaimo.
The island has one of the world’s most diverse ecosystems: rainforests, marshes, meadows, beaches, mountains, oceans, rivers and lakes, which create habitats for a multitude of wildlife species. It is also one of the world’s premier locations for whale watching, birding and salmon and trout fishing.
Much of Vancouver Island is protected parkland, containing areas of old-growth fir and cedar forests, as well as rare, naturally occurring groves of Garry oak. The Beaufort Mountain Range bisects the island from north to south, which is home to one of Canada’s biggest all-natural ski bases.
Surfers from across Canada and the US migrate to well known towns and surf breaks like Tofino, Long Beach, Cox Bay, Florencia Bay and Wickaninnish Beach year round. It’s common to see surfers in the water at well know breaks all year, even in winter!
Vancouver Island University is a student-centred community where excellence in learning is the primary goal. VIU welcomes and values the contributions of students from around the world who create a rich cultural tapestry on its campuses. Faculty and students gain valuable international experience through engagement in innovative projects and partnerships worldwide. VIU’s vision is shaped by the ideals of a just, equitable and sustainable global community.
The University was named a finalist in the Higher Education Academy’s 2018 Global Teaching Excellence Award, which recognises and celebrates an institution-wide commitment to the pursuit of teaching excellence. VIU was one of 17 finalists shortlisted from applications from more than 40 countries, and one of just two universities in Canada to make the list.
VIU’s infrastructure is built to accommodate today’s modern day student and offers many amenities and comfortable places to study and socialise:
- The Quad is a favourite gathering place located at the centre of the campus, with a courtyard of flowers and lawn surrounded by buildings housing the Library, Cafeteria/Administration, Math/Physics, the Theatre and a Starbucks.
- The library offers access to both digital and traditional research sources, equipment loans, printing and photocopying, I Help Desk, numerous computer terminals and desks, and a Writing Centre.
- The bookstore has an excellent selection of general reading and reference books, art supplies, VIU athletic wear, gifts, educational software, course supplies and stationery products.
- The gymnasium is home to the Mariners athletic teams and offers accessible training equipment (individual weight machines, stairmasters, free weights, treadmills, elliptical and rowing machines, and recumbent and exercise bikes), plus it is also open for drop-in basketball, volleyball, badminton, soccer, squash and racquetball.
- The Tamagawa Garden is comprised of flowering trees, shrubs and lawn with an arched bridge over a fishpond, home to colourful Koi fish – a peaceful place to study, meditate or rest.
- All classrooms are equipped with natural lighting, comfortable chairs and well-maintained tables/desks.
- Wireless internet access is available throughout campus.
- A number of buildings are open 7 days a week with complimentary access to computer terminals.
- Food service outlets are open throughout the day on most days of the week.
- Student lounges are located in most buildings.
- Security officials are on-campus and available 24/7.
- City bus service is available every day of the week.
In addition, the following campus services are also available:
- International Student Services: Offers dedicated services for international students, including advising, counselling, homestay support, language support, and cultural and/or recreational activities. They also provide access to numerous computer stations, multiple classrooms, group work rooms (each with computer hook-up and flat screen TV), a multi-purpose room, computer labs, a language lab and student lounge.
- The Health and Wellness Centre: Access a Physician and/or Nurse Practitioner for medical appointments who are able to diagnose, consult, order and interpret tests, prescribe and treat health conditions.
- Disability Services: Provides information, support services and reasonable accommodation to students with documented disabilities (temporary or permanent) ranging from attention deficit, learning disabilities, chronic health issues, hearing and visual impairments due to accident, illness or injury.
- Banking: Automated banking machines are available in the main cafeteria and the Students’ Union Pub.
Accommodation for the duration of this program is a homestay. Local Nanaimo residents open their homes to students in order to promote friendship and provide opportunities for cultural exchange. Homestays provide a perfect opportunity to truly learn about Canadian family life and customs while immersing in the local culture.
One or two students will be placed per home depending upon host family availability. Each student will have their own private bedroom. Host families provide food for 3 meals a day and offer a supportive environment to transition into the local culture. As a homestay student, you will be treated like a member of the family and expected to help around the home as other family members do. A homestay is an invaluable experience where you can learn about Canadian customs and culture while developing lifelong relationships.
Students will commute to campus by public transport. All homes are within a 1-hour commute to VIU.
Please note: If special meals are required (vegan, vegetarian, gluten free, high protein, Halal etc) an additional fee may be applicable.
Program Fee & Dates
|Note there is a minimum of 10 and a maximum of 22 students per course on this program.|
|Application Deadline||03 November 2023|
|Arrival Date||02 January 2024|
|Departure Date||25 January 2024|
|Application Fee||A$ 95|
|Program Fee||A$ 6,999|
Program fees include the following:
- CISaustralia support services before, during and after the program
- Academic advising
- Financial advice
- Assistance with travel arrangements
- Pre-departure guide and session
- Airport pick-up and return (on specified program arrival date within designated arrival times)
- Onsite orientation
- Accommodation – private bedroom in a homestay
- Meals – 3x daily meals provided
- Tuition fees
- Course materials
- Class field trips and any course related recreational activities
- Day trip to Mount Washington
- Canadian University medical insurance for the duration of the program
- Program risk matrix and COVID-19 risk assessment
- Risk Management and Emergency Response Plan
- CISaustralia 24/7 on-site support – Site Director
- Official Vancouver Island University transcript*
- CISaustralia Certificate of Participation (available on request)
*Note that transcripts can only be ordered directly by the student in their VIU portal for a fee of CAD $11.
What is not included:
- Program application fee
- International Student Identity Card
- Flights (CISaustralia will however provide travel guidance and support via our formal travel partner)
- Medical insurance outside of program dates (for pre- or post-travel)
- Travel insurance
- Visa fees
- Vaccinations (if required)
- Local bus transportation
- Extra travel/excursions (other than those mentioned above)
- Official Vancouver Island University transcript fee
- Please note: If special meals are required (vegan, vegetarian, gluten free, high protein, Halal etc) an additional fee may be applicable.
Canadian Visa: Australian students would normally enter Canada on a tourist visa – eTA (approx. CAD $7). Exceptions may apply for international students or students from countries other than Australia. You can apply for an eTA online, or visit the Canadian government’s eTA website for more information. It is the student’s responsibility to ensure their passport and visa are valid prior to departure and remain valid during their stay in Canada. Visa and other entry and exit conditions (such as currency, customs and quarantine regulations) can change at short notice. Contact the nearest Canadian High Commission or Consulate for the most up to date information. Visa information is also available from Citizenship and Immigration Canada. See Smartraveller for further information.
If you are travelling to Canada through the United States, or if you are transiting via a US point of entry, you are required to meet US entry/transit requirements. Make sure you check your visa requirements with the nearest Embassy or Consulate of the United States well in advance of your travel. You will also find information on US entry and exit requirements on the Smartraveller website.
Dates are for reference only and are subject to change. Please do not book flights until you have received the confirmed dates in your acceptance paperwork.
CISaustralia reserves the right to alter fees at any time due to currency fluctuations and/or fee changes made by our partner universities.