Study ABROAD Nanaimo

Vancouver Island University (VIU) was founded in 1936 and enjoys a very good reputation worldwide. This modern university offers its more than 18,000 students excellent study conditions. Thanks to small class sizes and intensive support by experienced faculty and dedicated staff, study abroad students quickly feel at home at VIU.

The university’s unique location makes it an excellent choice for a semester abroad: The city of Nanaimo is an ideal base for exploring Vancouver Island: a great destination for outdoor enthusiasts, charming with its magnificent landscapes and featuring the famous surf beach Tofino. It is also perfect for visiting nearby major cities such as Vancouver, Victoria, and Seattle.


Faculty of Design incl. Ecosign

  • Marken- & Kommunikationsdesign, B.A.: 6th semester (available labs: Virtual Lab, Inszenierungs-Lab and Brand Strategy Lab)
  • Nachhaltiges Design, B.A.: 5th semester

Vancouver Island University

  • Fall Semester:
    Orientation: end of August
    Lecture and examination period: September until mid-December
  • Spring Semester:
    Orientation: first week of January
    Lecture and examination period: January until end of April
  • First, you must pass the English test offered by Hochschule Fresenius, achieving a level of B2 or higher. The test will be taken online after the application deadline. If you already have at least a B2 English level and can provide an official language certificate which is not older than two years, please submit it with your application to be exempted from the test.
  • A good academic standing and at least 60 ECTS are recommended.

Deadline: January 15

  • The application takes place online via our application form (see button below).
  • Please submit the following documents with your online application:
    • Letter of motivation in English (100-300 words)
    • Curriculum vitae in English (incl. two references, e.g., teacher or employer)
    • Portfolio (10-15 work samples)
    • Copy of passport (if you do not have a passport yet or it has expired, please submit a copy of your ID card, and send in a copy of your passport as soon as possible)
    • Passport-sized photo
    • If applicable: official proof of English proficiency at B2 level


You will continue to pay your regular tuition fee at Hochschule Fresenius during the semester abroad, as you will still be enrolled. Since this is a study abroad program, there are also fees to be paid at the host university (reduced partner rate).

Please plan for additional expenses, such as Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA), flights, accommodation, insurance and living costs.

The semester abroad can be funded, e.g., through Auslands-BAföG, HS Fresenius performance-based scholarship and/or a VIU scholarship.

A valid passport is required. Please check the validity of your passport and, if necessary, apply for a new one in time.

For a semester abroad in Canada for up to six months, German citizens (and citizens of most other European countries) do not need any visa, but a so-called Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA). If a longer stay or paid work on campus is planned, you will need a study permit.

Program participants are responsible for booking their own flights.

Program participants are responsible for arranging their own accommodation. The host university / International Student Office (VIU’s European office) provides information to help you find accommodation.

For more information, please refer to the International Student Office (VIU’s European office) for study abroad students.