Vancouver Island University’s first-year students were welcomed to ‘the rock’ at Rock the VIU last week.
About 600 new students turned up Thursday for the university’s annual orientation day, which featured adventure-type activities designed to familiarize new arrivals with the campus, introduce them to the faculty and staff they’ll be dealing with in coming years and get them acquainted with fellow students.
Activities included campus tours guided by second-year students, a self-guided Instagram tour – in which students toured the campus, took pictures and then met up with other students to share images and observations – live music in the amphitheatre, a barbecue and even a flash mob.
There were also open houses hosted by on-campus trades, academic, First Nations, arts and humanities, recreation, tourism and business and social sciences programs and facilities.
Minami Nakatani came from Osaka, Japan, to study culture and communications at VIU.
Nakatani said benefits of attending university in Nanaimo include Vancouver Island’s mild weather and VIU’s hospitality and business programs.
“I want to get a job related to English and communication, such as a translator,” she said.
She will be attending Vancouver Island University for about six months and said she hopes that in the future her career choice will allow her to travel the world.
Andrew Desjardins, from Kelowna, will be studying creative writing and journalism.
“I looked at a whole bunch of different universities and this one seemed to have the program that best suited me,” Desjardins said. “This was only university that had simply a creative writing course. There’s a lot of others that have sub-courses and stuff for it, but this is all about the writing and that’s really what I’m interested in.”
Desjardins said he hopes to write cartoon scripts and will be taking TV script writing as part of his studies. He plans to attend VIU for four years and earn his degree there.
Michael Unger came from Calgary to study technical theatre, which includes lighting, sound, set design, building props, sets and other physical disciplines that make a theatre function.
“There’s four-year technical programs in many places across Canada, but there’s only a few that offer a two-year diploma, VIU being one of them,” Unger said.
He said he is well acquainted with the West Coast from summers spent with his grandparents on Thetis Island.
“All my summers have been spent on the island, so I’m more B.C. than I am Alberta at heart,” he said.