10 Reasons Americans Should Choose UVic
Located on Vancouver Island, off the coast of British Columbia, Canada, the University of Victoria is hidden gem when it comes to American students’ university options. Here are some of the reasons I chose to come to UVic from California, and why you may want to as well.
1. Indigenous perspectives
We acknowledge and respect the Lkwungen-speaking peoples on whose traditional territory the university stands and the Songhees, Esquimalt, and WSÁNEĆ peoples whose historical relationships with the land continue to this day.
Indigenous perspectives are woven into every aspect of life here. At UVic, you’ll have the opportunity to learn about the Indigenous Peoples on whose traditional lands you will live, as well as perhaps learn about the Indigenous Peoples of your own home state that you may not have had the opportunity to learn about before. If you are Native American, the resources of our First Peoples House are absolutely open to you as well.
2. The cost
International tuition and fees (for 8 months including bus transportation) is around $18,800 CAD which your American dollar will convert to approximately $14,800 USD. That is really close to what I would have paid for in-state tuition at many universities in my home state of California.
UVic also accepts the loan portion of FAFSA, as well as many other US financial aid resources to help fund your education.
3. If you meet the GPA minimum, leave your SAT/ACT scores at home
If you have an unweighted cumulative GPA from grades 9-12 of 3.0 or higher, your SAT/ACT scores will not be needed for evaluation.
AP courses are also considered for transfer credit if you got a 4 or 5 (5 is required for chemistry and physics). And lastly, no huge application essays! At UVic, only some faculties require a few short statements or supplemental application materials.
4. An internationally recognized degree
Receive a world class education at a leading research-intensive university (consistently ranked in the “Top 3 comprehensive universities in Canada”).
5. Mostly single dorm rooms (and guaranteed housing for most first-year students!)
UVic Residence Communities are made up of 80% single rooms, which is rare in the US. It’s a big draw for many undergrads, especially at the price tag of around $10,000 CAD ($7,900 USD), including your meal plan, for 8 months (two terms).
If you’re coming into your first year of university directly from high school, you’ll be guaranteed a room in residence. While it’s not mandatory for first-year students to live on-campus, it’s certainly an encouraged first step into the community.
6. You can go skiing and surfing in the same day
Victoria offers four distinct seasons and almost every ecosystem imaginable. From old-growth forests to snowy mountains, miles of sandy beaches to rainforests (yes, rainforests), you’ll have access to learn and play in it all. If you’re looking for the real outdoors – it’s all here!
7. Two Thanksgivings
Thanksgiving comes in early October in Canada. So, you’ll get to enjoy Thanksgiving twice! If you live on campus the cafeteria usually serves some sort of Thanksgiving-themed meal around American Thanksgiving, which is really nice of them and yummy too.
8. The “polite Canadian” and other stereotypes hold up
Yup – it’s true! Canadians are the nicest people and super polite! They thank the bus drivers when getting off the bus, apologize constantly, and usually always have smiles on their faces, not to mention the fact that they say “good morning” to strangers on the sidewalk everywhere.
Oh – and maple syrup! It’s the best. It’s 100% natural made from sap right out of the tree. Canada produces more pure maple syrup than any other country in the world. Need I say more?
Yes – I must say more. It really is a nice place to live and learn. Canada is a warm and welcoming place where people are proud of their cultures and encouraged to celebrate diversity and difference.
Canada is home to universal health care. International students can apply for the BC Medical Services Plan after a few months and every student automatically receives the University of Victoria Students’ Society (UVSS) Health & Dental Plan, which is included in your tuition and other fees.
10. Dynamic learning opportunities
Get paid work experience before you graduate through UVic’s Co-operative Education Program (Co-op) which is widely offered across faculties. Or travel with Study Abroad and International Exchange Programs (while paying UVic tuition).
UVic also offers some of the best field schools around – locally, nationally and internationally.
These are just some of the reasons I made Canada and UVic my home, and maybe you will too!