July on Vancouver Island, Canada

Study Positive Psychology or Public Health for 3 weeks on beautiful Vancouver Island while also taking advantage of a perfect location and exploring Canada’s beautiful west coast.

Program Overview

Immerse yourself in Canadian culture, enjoy living on campus 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 where mountains, ocean and forests provide world-class recreation year-round, while studying Positive Psychology or Social Determinants of Health: Social Inequities.

At VIU, you’ll be located in the centre of the Island’s great natural beauty with access to 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.

Highlights

Some of the many highlights of this program include:

  • Receive intensive Health or Psychology instruction in a Canadian island setting to complement the coursework already completed at your home institution.
  • Live in VIU Residences on campus (breakfast included) to fully experience university residential life.
  • 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 the WildPlay Adventure Park and experience the Monkido Aerial 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 kayaking, yoga and meditation.
  • 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 hiking, surfing and sailing.

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.

Course Offerings:

  • Positive Psychology
  • Social Determinants of Health: Social Inequities

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.
  • 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.

COURSE: HHS 305
CREDITS: 3 CAD credits

What makes people healthy or unhealthy? The health of individuals is not only shaped by lifestyle choices or medical treatments, but also, to a large extent, by social conditions. This course offers an introduction to the social determinants of health and the social advantages and disadvantages that people experience based on their social position and social circumstances and how these influence their health and wellbeing. This course is designed to provide participants with an introduction to and appreciation of theoretical perspectives and empirical research on the social determinants of health.

This intensive interprofessional course provides participants with opportunities to develop and strengthen their understanding of the social determinants of health using local, regional, national and global perspectives. Participants critically examine social inequities, root causes and subsequent health consequences in diverse populations, particularly indigenous and/or marginalised populations.

The course is jointly administered by the VIU Faculty of International Education and the VIU Faculty of Health and Human Services. Students will be provided with a total of 42 hours of public health instruction, 4 hours of intercultural studies workshops, and a number of related field trips. Half-day trips include visits to the Canadian Mental Health Association, the Nanaimo Regional General Hospital (NRGH), the Tillicum Lelum Friendship Centre (indigenous health), and Kiwanis Village (assisted living for older people).

Upon successful completion of the program, students will receive a certificate of completion, and will be awarded 3 CAD credits by VIU.

Prerequisite: Second year standing in an undergraduate degree program

COURSE: PSYC 333
CREDITS: 3 CAD credits

Positive psychology is the scientific study of what makes life worth living, and wellbeing considered broadly is an indicator of the well‐lived life. This course provides an overview of what positive psychologists have learned about wellbeing and especially how to achieve and sustain it in important domains of life.

Students will participate in a number of fields trips and activities, focusing on the many elements related to positive psychology (mind, body, environment, etc.). Half-day trips and activities include kayaking, yoga and meditation, an art class, indoor rock climbing, and participation in a wild edible plants walk.

Prerequisite: Second year standing in an undergraduate degree program

COURSE: HHS 305
CREDITS: 3 CAD credits

What makes people healthy or unhealthy? The health of individuals is not only shaped by lifestyle choices or medical treatments, but also, to a large extent, by social conditions. This course offers an introduction to the social determinants of health and the social advantages and disadvantages that people experience based on their social position and social circumstances and how these influence their health and wellbeing. This course is designed to provide participants with an introduction to and appreciation of theoretical perspectives and empirical research on the social determinants of health.

This intensive interprofessional course provides participants with opportunities to develop and strengthen their understanding of the social determinants of health using local, regional, national and global perspectives. Participants critically examine social inequities, root causes and subsequent health consequences in diverse populations, particularly indigenous and/or marginalised populations.

The course is jointly administered by the VIU Faculty of International Education and the VIU Faculty of Health and Human Services. Students will be provided with a total of 42 hours of public health instruction, 4 hours of intercultural studies workshops, and a number of related field trips. Half-day trips include visits to the Canadian Mental Health Association, the Nanaimo Regional General Hospital (NRGH), the Tillicum Lelum Friendship Centre (indigenous health), and Kiwanis Village (assisted living for older people).

Upon successful completion of the program, students will receive a certificate of completion, and will be awarded 3 CAD credits by VIU.

Prerequisite: Second year standing in an undergraduate degree program

Excursions

Included in the program fee is a day trip to the WildPlay Adventure Park for the Monkido Aerial Adventure, as well as a few recreational activities such as kayaking, yoga and meditation.

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 historic Victoria, the capital city of British Columbia (BC), located on the southern tip of Vancouver Island and offers a vibrant arts and cultural scene
  • Mid-island tour, including a visit to the beautiful beaches in Parksville and the quaint town of Qualicum Beach
  • Tofino day trip, a quaint surfer town with local artisan shops and art galleries, including a stop in Cathedral Grove to check out the GIANT Douglas Fir trees

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 at well-known towns and surf breaks like Tofino, Long Beach, Cox Bay, Florencia Bay and Wickaninnish Beach.

Location

Nanaimo
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 90,000 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.
  • Shopping at one of the many farmers markets on the Island where local growers sell their produce and artisans sell their unique pieces.
  • Discovering Nanaimo’s live music scene where local bands are featured in cozy cafes to larger venues.
  • Attending seasonal events from Bathtub races, Vancouver Island Exhibition, Dragon Boat races and more.

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.

Vancouver Island
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.

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!

The University

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

Accommodation for this program will be on campus in the VIU Residences located close to classes, cafeterias and recreational facilities. Students will be placed in private, single rooms with semi-private bathrooms and common kitchens and lounges. Daily continental breakfast will be provided. Meals and/or snacks can be purchased in two campus cafeterias (open weekdays during school hours) and you will also have access to shared kitchen facilities. Laundry facilities are available (at a small and very reasonable additional charge). Linens and towels will be provided.

VIU Residences create a respectful, enjoyable and safe experience. Living in the Residences is an exciting opportunity to build lasting relationships with other students from around the world.

The VIU Residence Life Program is supported by a 24-hour front desk staff, two professional staff members and fifteen Community Leaders.

Program Fee & Dates

July 2021
Note: There is a minimum of 10 and a maximum of 22 students per course on this program.
Application Deadline31 March 2021
Arrival Date28 June 2021
Departure Date22 July 2021
Program Fee A$ 8,499
OS-HELP A$ 7,037

 

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 (on specified program arrival date within designated arrival times)
  • Onsite orientation
  • Accommodation – private room on campus
  • Breakfast daily
  • Tuition fees
  • Course materials
  • Class field trips and any course related recreational activities
  • Day trip to WildPlay Adventure Park
  • CISaustralia 24/7 on-site support – Site Director
  • Canadian University medical insurance for the duration of the program
  • Official Vancouver Island University transcript – note that transcripts can only be ordered directly by the student in their VIU portal for a fee of CAD $11
  • CISaustralia Certificate of Participation (available on request)

What is not included:

  • Flights
  • Medical insurance outside of program dates (for pre- or post- travel)
  • Travel insurance
  • Visa fees
  • Vaccinations (if required)
  • Meals (unless mentioned above)
  • Local bus transportation
  • Extra travel/excursions (other than those mentioned above)
  • Official Vancouver Island University transcript fee

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.

Adventure Awaits

Subscribe to our newsletter and receive the latest updates on all CISaustralia programs, scholarships, news and more!