Living in Victoria

Map of Western Canada showing the city of Victoria

Victoria is an amazing place to learn English and explore Canada. It’s a small city with a big heart! You’ll find the same shopping, restaurants and festivals that you might find in a large city, but it’s also safe, friendly and beautiful. In addition to this, Victoria has the mildest winter in Canada. We feel very lucky to call this city our home.

Throughout the year, you’ll find Victorians enjoying outdoor activities such as hiking, kayaking or camping. There are also lots of fun indoor activities to enjoy. Visit the Tourism Victoria events page to see what’s happening in our city right now.

We’re located on the southern tip of Vancouver Island, just a short trip to Vancouver and Seattle by ferry or plane.

Victoria quick facts:

  • 367,000: population of Greater Victoria
  • 50% less rainfall than Vancouver
  • Visited by +1 million tourists each year
  • Mildest climate in Canada
  • Capital city of British Columbia
  • 20-minute flight to Vancouver or Seattle
  • + 200 downtown restaurants and pubs
  • Great cafes, beaches and music scene
  • World-famous gardens and outdoor activities
  • Training centre for Olympic athletes because of mild weather
  • Beautiful, clean city
  • Welcoming and supportive community for international students
Graphic of quick facts


Living in British Columbia

BC offers not only a world-class education, but it is also a great place to live as an international student.


Certain ELC programs have UVic Homestay or dormitory options available. Check the specific program page for details. If you're interested in finding private accommodations, please view the University of Victoria's off-campus housing resource page.

Health and safety

BC has a great health care system and supports are right at your fingertips in the event of an emergency.


ELC students are automatically enrolled in a medical insurance plan called, which provides emergency medical insurance coverage for international students who are new to UVic Continuing Studies. View full details on the Medical insurance and student services page. 

Places to visit

There are many fun and beautiful sights to visit in Victoria, BC.

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Victoria is a great place to explore nature: go hiking, whale watching, stroll around downtown, visit a museum or take a sunset cruise! 

The ELC organizes many different activies that you can sign up for during your program. Learn more about ELC Activities.