Island Life

Make Vancouver Island Your Classroom

From vibrant music festivals, skiing at Mount Washington Alpine Resort and surfing on Vancouver Island's West Coast, North Island College offers an outstanding education in one of Canada's most spectacular international tourist destinations.

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North Island College international students study at three campuses on central Vancouver Island, a popular tourist destination with access to beaches, mountains, wilderness areas and lively, friendly communities.

Whether you study in the Comox Valley, Port Alberni, or Campbell River, each community offers one-of-a-kind restaurants, social activities and opportunities for adventure you can't get anywhere else.

Living on Vancouver Island

Comox Valley

The Comox Valley campus is referred to as the main campus and is located in the City of Courtenay, just 15 minutes from the airport in Comox. There are three municipalities located in the Comox Valley: Courtenay, Comox and Cumberland. Each offers unique shopping, dining and entertainment opportunities. A bus service runs between them and many people use bicycles.

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The Comox Valley is centrally located on Vancouver Island, providing lots of opportunity to visit the island's most famous locations. Visit Long Beach in Pacific Rim National Park, the city of Victoria, or go whalewatching on the Strait of Georgia. The Comox Valley is home to 64,084 people. Residents are friendly and welcoming and everyone speaks English, the language of business and study. People in the Comox Valley enjoy many outdoor sports, arts, education and learning.

There are many activities to enjoy; kayaking and paddle boarding, golfing, sailing, walking along the beaches, hiking in the forest, playing sports, swimming in the rivers, ocean or lakes, visiting local farms and wineries, attending music and art festivals, cruising through the Sunday farmer’s market for fresh produce, meats, baking, beverages, flowers, and more, or browsing the artisan studios and galleries, discovering local and international cuisine.

Many of these activities are available all year round. Winters are mild compared to the rest of Canada and summer months remain comfortable. Winter months are humid due to rainfall, but on average remain above freezing. While nearby Mt. Washington may receive heavy snowfall for your skiing interest, there are usually two significant snowfalls a year.

The Comox Valley has many restaurants, from fine dining and gourmet meals to casual cafes and easy fast food. If you wish to eat at home, local supermarkets with international food sections. Fresh farm produce is also available at the Comox Valley Farmers’ Market all year round.

Campbell River

Campbell River has been dubbed the ‘Salmon Fishing Capital of Canada’ and is a 40 minute drive north of the Comox Valley by car and therefore has similar weather as the Comox Valley. There is bus service throughout the city and between Campbell River and Courtenay. The Campbell River campus has fine cuisine and warm hospitality with its Third Course bistro, where professional cook students create a wonderful dining experience for the public.

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Campbell River is known for its great fishing and spectacular scenery. Visit the Campbell River waterfront, Strathcona Park, go whale watching, golfing, kayaking, swim with the salmon and visit the local Farmer's Market to buy produce fresh from Campbell River area farms. Campbell River is known for its friendly residents and easy access to outdoor adventures. Go island hopping to Quadra and Cortes which are short ferry rides away, where you can enjoy great food and wine and check out the local artists.

Port Alberni

Port Alberni is a city in the centre of Vancouver Island. Just over an hour's drive from Nanaimo makes it a great hub for exploring Tofino and the West Coast. The community is linked to forestry, fishing and marine commercial industries. Recent years have seen an increase in tourism, arts, aerospace, agriculture, and high tech industries. The Port Alberni campus is architecturally similar to the main Comox Valley campus. You will find similar year-round outdoor activities as found in the other campus communities.

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