Location
Victoria, BC
Undergrads
18,863
Tuition (in-state)
$16,673 ($5,365)
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Reviews 19 total reviews with an average rating of 4.3

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5 Recent Alumnus

Academics: Environmental Studies is unreal good. I've had lectures that were like poetry, seriously.
Unreal field school experiences as well. Great community spirit, you really feel like you are a part of something. And the profs are very approachable and friendly - great mentors. I would say I'm actually friends with quite a few of them now.
Anthropology is very good as well, but as it is a bigger department, there is a larger range in quality. I've had a bad prof or two for sure, but mostly pretty good. Again, very approachable and friendly profs who are available as mentors and as friends. Again lots of great field school experiences (e.g. archaeology in the gulf islands, archaeology in western Africa, cultural studies in Cuba, ect).

4 Recent Alumnus

Academics: I've been in the social sciences department mostly, but from what I can tell both social sciences and sciences have a lot of field school opportunities. And generally speaking, I've heard great things about co-ops (where you have work terms mixed in with your studies).
From what I know, UVic's tops areas are Environmental Studies, Neuroscience, Law, Business, Marine Biology, and Earth and Ocean Studies.

5 Recent Alumnus

Off-Campus Dining: High quality and delicious food everywhere. Definitely try out the restaurants downtown, in particular the brunch places. You're paying between $10-20 a meal, but you are getting great quality food every time.
Great coffee around town.
I recommend always going somewhere new when eating here as there is lots to try.
The sushi is subpar compared to Vancouver though, but I'm sure you'll still love it if you're not from Vancouver ;)

5 Recent Alumnus

Local Atmosphere: Great cuisine in town. Very touristy place so there are always things of that nature going on - parades, festivals, sites to see, plays, et cetera.
Not a crazy nightlife although a suitable one. The local craft beers are fantastic (Phillips brewery or Hoyne are made right in the city, and are just to die for). Very much an artisan sort of place, so you can have your french press, and freshly baked baguette from the bakery, with your island free range organic eggs for breakfast.
Lots of local businesses as well, who all try to support each other. So you can go to a locally run restaurant that has sourced its ingredients from other local places. Clothing stores are unique and local typically, although for a 15 minute bus ride out of the downtown core you can get to the franchise stores for some cheaper stuff.
You're surrounded by ocean/beach, forests, and parks. Very outdoorsy place. Everyone bikes. Very environmentally conscious and progressive.
Lots of students here, as well as lots of retirees. Not a lot of middle aged people for some bizarre reason...

1 Recent Alumnus

Greek Life: So in the last couple of years the first sorority and fraternity were established - sort of. They exist, but I'm not sure if the school is really recognizing them. I think the student body voted on it a while back, and I'm not too sure what the results were but I think the school attempted to disband them or maybe just recognize them as a campus club.
The people I know in the two groups are decent normal people for the most part, but seem like as if they are trying to make their university experience like what they have seen in movies.
It's there if you want it, but I really don't think it fits with the school's progressive mentality.

4 Recent Alumnus

Computers: Bring your own computer if you can. You can rent some laptops from the main library, or use computers that are all over campus, but having your own computer is far better. I don't know actually know anyone that hasn't brought their own, although I'm sure you could get away with it. You have to be smart about it though. The computers in the main library are never going to be available during crunch time, but there are several other computer labs that are often ignored.
Printing in the main library can be pricey, so definitely go to Zap in the Student Union Building for far cheaper prices.

5 Recent Alumnus

Off-Campus Housing: This is definitely a student city. There are loads of places for students to rent out, with quite a variety. I recommend looking on Craigslist and Used Victoria, and starting early. Given that there is a high student population here, the good places are snatched up early at the start of every year - and you don't want to get stuck with the bad places. Start looking mid-summer for the fall. Do try to live on rez for at least a semester to socially establish yourself, but then get out and rent a place.

5 Recent Alumnus

Drug Safety: Haha.. Okay. So, everyone has heard of BC Bud right?
The Marijuana Club meets every Wednesday at 4:20pm in the middle of campus for everyone to get high together, in broad daylight.
But, with that said, people do not go to campus to get stoned. It's available, enforcement isn't too fussy about it, but aside from the Wednesday meet for the Marijuana club, it isn't in your face. People also do drink alcohol. Things like MDMA and mushrooms are not necessarily hard to find, but not rampant and not too visible in parties.
If you don't like drugs and alcohol, you'll be completely fine here. There definitely are people who never do either and are still very socially active and successful.

4 Recent Alumnus

Athletics: Not a big sports school, but definitely a highly active school. There's a super cheap off campus gym, and a free on campus gym. The on campus gym has historically sucked but is just getting a bunch of money funneled into it, so it sounds like it will be much better in the future. Team sports are kind of picking up a bit over the last year or so but not too much. The sports are there if you want to play them, but noone is going to care that you play them, if that makes sense.
There are lots of clubs dedicated to outdoor activities, and through those you can do anything from white river kayaking, sailing, surfing, hiking, rock climbing, canoeing, caving, fencing, et cetera. There are lots of gorgeous forests nearby (the largest trees in Canada are on Vancouver Island where UVic is located) so the focus is much more on nature.

5 Recent Alumnus

Diversity: In terms of acceptance, anything you are will be accepted unless it is something hateful. The school has a fairly progressive attitude, so racial and sexual differences are highly accepted. Polyamory is not that abnormal here. But, let's say you are anti-abortion and you want to protest that (which has happened before) people are not going to like you too much. Not that anything bad will happen, but you'll get some bad looks.
Racially however, the campus and surrounding city are quite homogenous (i.e. majority Caucasian), although that may be shifting a bit. I haven't experienced economic circumstance coming up as an issue or a thing really either. Some people seem to be well-off but its never in anyone's face, and some others take advantage of free student dinner nights throughout the city, and the free student food bank on campus. Plus foraging for food is a thing here, and campus has lots of edible plants that people occasionally peruse. But that could just be for fun.
It would be hard to tell from someone's appearance as to whether or not they are millionaires or broke as dirt as the thrift shops are kind of similar to the more expensive shops, haha.

5 Recent Alumnus

Overall Experience: I loved my experience at UVic.
The city is friendly, clean, safe and aesthetically pleasing. Campus is gorgeous. The air is super clean. Everyone is very progressive and environmentally conscious. Lots of beautiful, healthy people on campus. Very physically active demographic of young people - not so much in regard to team sports, but more things like yoga, cycling, rock climbing, hiking, kayaking, et cetera.
Delicious restaurants off of campus - although the food is not as cheap here as it would be in other bigger cities. But you do get what you pay for, which is high quality and delicious treats. The city is on the smaller side and because of that it's more of a brunch place rather than an after-hours place. UVic has a party atmosphere is your first couple of years for sure, lots of house parties near campus, rez parties, students nights for clubbing, but I wouldn't say that Victoria is the mecca for nightlife. Given its size, the furthest you will travel will only be about 25 minutes so you'll always be pretty close to your friends and everything else here.
In case demographic and cultural diversity matters to you, it should be noted that Victoria is very Caucasian and has quite a British feel to it. I'm not Caucasian and have never had a problem at all, and small pockets of other cultural communities do exist, but it is still quite a homogenous space.
Over all, lovely place and lovely school.

5 Recent Alumnus

Weather: The climate is mild. It doesn't get too hot, it doesn't get too cold. Usually the temperature varies between 5 C to 25 C throughout the year. You can ride your bicycle all year round and most people do. I only wore a "spring coat" for all of last winter. Although, it was actually legitimately cold for a week and a half this winter (-10 C!) so there is variation, although rare.
It does rain here but not too much (nowhere near as much as it does in Vancouver or Seattle). Summers are pretty dry.

5 Recent Alumnus

Facilities: The UVic campus is gorgeous. There are forests on campus along with a beautiful enclosed garden, with the Pacific ocean only a stroll away. The green spaces aren't segregated either, most of the campus is quite beautiful with well maintained gardens and grassy spaces. For instance the Social Science and Math Building has a courtyard designed to mimic the components of the surrounding ecosystem.
The campus use to be infested with hoards of bunnies in years past, but they were ruining the ecology of the campus, so they were "donated" somewhere. Hilariously, now there are deer roaming around on campus.
Most buildings are quite new or have been recently renovated. The Student Union Building is just undergoing a revamping right now, and next will the campus gym. The school generally cares about its aesthetics so money is definitely funneled into maintaining that.

5 Recent Alumnus

Facilities: My experiences are limited to the Social Science departments, namely Anthropology and Environmental Studies. I would say the latter department is unreal good - I can't actually imagine a better education. Anthropology has been good too for sure, but ES is just on another level. Both departments (along with others that I know of such as Geography) offer a wide range of amazing, paradigm shifting field schools. Most of my life's greatest adventures have happened through these field schools, whether it's climbing mountains in the subalpine (yeah, actually), studying law with third year law students as an undergrad, hiking through the Great Bear Rainforest, or doing archaeology throughout the Gulf Islands. And these are just three field schools out of many different kinds.

2 College Student

Parking: I've never been able to afford on campus parking, so I usually end up parking off campus and having to walk because there are few spots available nearby.

3 College Student

Computers: Wi-fi is fine, unless you're anywhere other than the library. Since many of the buildings are old and cement, the wifi doesn't reach.

5 College Student

Health & Safety: I've only felt unsafe a couple of times on campus, such as if I had to walk the whole way across or down one of the paths alone at night.

4 College Student

Off-Campus Dining: I've lived here my whole life and never gotten bored with the food. Vegetarian and never had problems finding somewhere to eat. As a student, I can't afford to eat out frequently. There's a place that does 24 hour pizza delivery, but the only other places to get food near campus after midnight is Tim's and McD's.

4 College Student

Campus Strictness: I've never gotten on the wrong side of campus security, but I also don't live on res so not really sure what's the situation is like over there. Parking is actually pretty lenient but very unavailable, hence the rating. Alcohol and drug wise, we're on the west coast. Attendance depends on the teacher; easier to skip bigger classes.

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