Community Connections

All of NIC campuses are located in small Vancouver Island communities. NIC students have the unique opportunity to connect with community members and organizations in unique and meaningful ways. Whether you are seeking to volunteer and contribute to your local community or would like to know more about the services available to support you in community, please check out the options below.

Volunteering is a rich opportunity to gain experience without receiving payment. The core value of volunteering is giving your time, skills and energy to an organization or cause that you care about. Volunteering is about giving back to a community that has helped you.  Finding the right volunteer opportunity is similar to finding a job. It requires research and time but there are many benefits.

Volunteering is a chance to learn about the local culture, meet new people, try out a type of career to see if you like it, network in a field that interests you, and it is also a great way to gain valuable work experience.

Each community will have a hub in which you can find volunteer opportunities.

You may be able to find other volunteer opportunities not listed by doing a browser search of volunteer opportunities in your city.

The IWC in your community can provide an array of services, come in and see if you qualify for any of these services. Services for all international newcomers both English speaking & Non-English speaking.

Their services are available in many languages.

  • Upgrading/training
  • Child care and family concerns
  • Citizenship, immigrant & refugee protection support
  • Interpretation & Translation
  • Counselling services
  • Income tax preparation
  • Access to legal advocate and Canadian law
  • Human rights

For more information please contact your local IWC

IWC Campbell River and Comox Valley

(There is currently no IWC in Port Alberni)

Living here offers many transportation options, including BC Transit, riding a bicycle, carpooling and driving to campus.

In Canada, you should cross streets only at a corner or at a crosswalk and obey traffic lights. It is against the law to cross in the middle of the block. This is called jaywalking. If the police see you jaywalking, you may have to pay a fine. Many corners have crosswalks - wide white lines painted on the road. At a crosswalk, wait for cars to stop, and then cross. Although people who are walking have the right of way, you should always be careful when crossing a street.

You can access bus maps and schedules for Campbell River, Port Alberni and the Comox Valley online at Buses pick up people at bus stops. People get on the bus at the front door and get off at the back door. If you want the bus driver to let you off at the next bus stop, pull the cord above your seat or push the red button on some of the poles. To ride the bus, you need exact change or a monthly pass. You must ask for a transfer from the driver when you pay your fare.

If you take the bus a lot, it is cheaper to buy a pass or book of tickets. The College Student Monthly Pass is a discounted bus pass available to North Island College full-time students only. The College Student Semester pass is a pass valid for a full four-month NIC semester and is available to full-time NIC students. These passes are available at the North Island College Campus bookstore. Bus drivers do not sell books of tickets or passes. Check the BC Transit website for more information about discounted student bus passes.

In Canada, many people use bicycles as a mode of transportation. You do not need a license to ride a bicycle. People on bicycles must obey the same rules as car drivers. You must have a light in front and a red reflector on the back of your bicycle to ride at night. The law says everyone who rides a bicycle must wear a helmet (except for those who wear a turban for religious reasons). When there is a bike lane, you should use it. Most city buses have bicycle racks for two bicycles. There are several bicycle racks at North Island College where you can store your bicycle. To prevent theft, it is important to use a good quality lock for your bicycle.

In North America, people drive on the right side of the road. You need a license and insurance to drive a car in BC. For more information on driving in BC, please see the Insurance Company of British Columbia (ICBC) website. This site will provide you with driving guides, licensing rules and also provide helpful tips for driving in BC road conditions including driving on winter roads.

If you have children 5 years of age or younger, there are a few options for childcare: licensed day care centres, licensed family day cares in private homes, or unlicensed child care in private homes. Please find some options listed below to help you start your childcare search.

Please note: Daycare space is in high demand. There are often waitlists of up to 1 year before a space will open up and you must be in community to get on the waitlist. If you are attending NIC and bringing children who will not be school aged, please be prepared to bring a spouse, nanny, family member or hire private babysitting services for up to one year.

Located on NIC’s Comox Valley Campus, Beaufort Children’s Centre is a private licensed group child care centre offering early care and learning experiences to children aged 18 months to 5 years old. Located in purpose-built facilities on the beautiful Comox Valley campus of North Island College, Beaufort Children’s Centre is a non-profit and is proud to have a very dedicated, well-qualified, and experienced team of licensed early childhood educators.

Please visit: for more details.

Located at the Campbell River campus and takes children from ages 0 to 5 years old.  NIC Students are given a priority for admission, as space permits. Due to limited space, international students are encouraged to fill out a wait list application to our Centre when they make an application to study at NIC.

Please visit for more details.

PacificCARE's child care referral service is one of many child care resource and referral programs in BC that can help you in your search for licensed child care.

Please visit for more information.

For children in grades Kindergarten (5 years old) to grade 12, we have a wonderful public school system in each of our campus communities. Children in BC can start Kindergarten grade in the same year that they turn five years old.

Your children will be considered international students unless they have Canadian residency status. For more information please contact: