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Living Here

 

Royal Roads University understands that the decision to study in a new country is a big decision to make. The links to resources and services below are designed to to help smooth your transition to Royal Roads University.

Services for international students are coordinated through the office of University Life. These services include international student orientation sessions, online academic resources, academic workshops and involvement with the international and intercultural club. Tutoring is also available.

For information on travelling to, and living in Victoria, please see the information below.

Currency Transfers/Conversions

Currency may be readily transferred in a number of ways, including bank-to-bank transfers that can be arranged through your home bank. If you are using this system, be aware that such transfers can take time; you may want to bring Canadian dollars with you. Credit cards (VISA and MasterCard) or bank cards are easy to use. Most Canadian Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) use the Plus or Interac systems for transfer. Your tuition, book purchases, and residence/food purchases may be made by credit card.

Banks

It is a good idea to open a bank account to deposit your money in Canadian or American funds in while you are in Canada. There are many banks to choose from in the Greater Victoria area. Here is a list of some of the most popular banks (RRU does not endorse, or guarantee the services of these organizations).

To open a bank account you will require proper identification such as your passport. You will also have to decide whether you want to open a chequing account, or a savings account. Someone at the bank will be able to advise you on how their services suit your needs while in Canada. If you do not have a credit card, you may want to apply for one at the bank, since credit cards are normally required for hotels, car rentals and phone purchases.

Shopping

If you live at or close to Royal Roads University, you can find most things you need nearby. Thrifty Foods is a grocery store located within walking distance, just east of the campus gates on Sooke Road. Great Canadian Superstore is a five minute drive from campus. You should be able to find most basic items at these stores. You can also shop at Chinatown, located near the inner harbour in downtown Victoria.

There are several shopping malls in the Victoria area that you can shop at for clothing and other items.

Transportation

Public Transit

Victoria has a good bus system. Typically, a one-way ride costs $2.50. Students have the option to purchase a monthly bus pass for $72 (Canadian dollars). If you plan to drive in Canada, you should obtain an International Driver's License before leaving home. Victoria Transit System website.

Getting to or from Vancouver, B.C.

If you want to visit Vancouver, there are several ways to get there. The most popular way (and the least expensive) is by ferry. The ferry carries cars and foot passengers from Swartz Bay north of Victoria to Tsawwassen, south of Vancouver. Please visit the BC Ferries website.

There are several ways to get to the ferry terminal. You can drive you to the ferry terminal and walk on as a foot passenger, or; take the Pacific Coach Lines (PCL) bus. PCL buses leave from the station in downtown Victoria and stop at other locations along the way to the ferry. Your PCL bus fare covers the ferry cost. You can also take public transit to the ferry terminal and board the ferry as a foot passenger. Please visit the Pacific Coach Lines website for schedule information.

Air Travel

To book flights you can contact the following airlines in Victoria:

  • Air BC/Air Canada (250) 360-9074
  • Westjet Airlines 1-800-538-5696
  • Helijet Airways (250) 382-6222
  • Horizon Airlines 1-800-547-9308

Newspapers

The National Post is one of Canada's leading national newspapers. It is delivered to campus daily, and available to students, faculty and staff free of charge.The Times Colonist is Victoria's newspaper of record and can be purchased any day of the week. You can also receive it at your home address in the morning. The Times Colonist can be bought nearly anywhere around Victoria, including grocery stores, gas stations, or convenience stores.

Monday Magazine is a free weekly entertainment newspaper that can be found all over town. There is no charge for this newspaper.

Other Major B.C. newspapers include the Vancouver Sun and The Province. Ming Pao newspaper and Sing Tao newspapers also serve Asian readers.