VIU High School Graduates

What Students Say...

Bara Oworibo from Nigeria (summer program & graduation)

“This summer has been an amazing experience for me… No isolation, racism or anything like that… I have made friends from different countries, friends I would never forget for years and years and years to come.”


Yoko Kawaguchi from Japan (summer program)

“I think I am really lucky that I could take part in the whole summer program at this school with great friends.”


Rex Cunningham from Canada (graduate program)

“With VIU I now have an excellent start to post secondary education along with a massive self confidence boost. Attending the High School was one of the best decisions I have ever made.”


Anton Mosienko from Russia (summer program)

“The High School at Vancouver Island University was a great learning experience for me. I was studying with students from the whole world, China, South Korea, Mexico, Colombia, Canada. It was so unusual for me to study in such a multicultural group. I have learned a lot from my classmates.”


Laura Ludwig from Germany (summer program)

“I had a great host family. Every evening with my host family and their dogs we went to the beach.”


Niklas Franz from Germany (summer program)

“I love Canada. I have done a lot of funny and exciting things like bungee jumping and whale watching.”


Hendrik Roedel from Germany (summer program)

“I hope I can come back here because I think that Canada is the most beautiful place on this planet.”



Lewin Sutanto from Germany (summer program)

“It was a great summer. I saw many great places and met many nice people. It was a great experience. I enjoyed the trips to the beaches and cities.”




Jose Del Rio from Mexico (summer program)

“I had a great summer in The High School at Vancouver Island University. I made a lot of friend and I liked my host family. I was a new experience for me.”




Shina Nakayama from Japan (summer program & graduation)

“I don't know how to explain my experience at the High School because it was super awesome! I will never forget my wonderful friends and teachers. Thank you for everything.”



Lennart Shinke from Germany (summer program)

“My summer was great! I met new people and found new friends from Germany and other countries. The trips to Vancouver, beaches and ice centre were the best. I hope I can come to Nanaimo again!”



Aya Shea from Japan (summer program and graduation)

“My summer was awesome! It's really cool to meet people from all around the world. I think friends I made this summer will be forever! They are very nice people and I feel really graceful that I met them in my life. I am really glad that I participated in this program.”


Michael Tschackert from Germany (summer program)

“My summer was the best summer in my life. I had so much fun and met so many cool people from so many different parts of the world. I totally fell in love with Canada and I really want to come back.”



Yumeko Wachi from Japan (summer program)

“This summer became one of the best memories in my life. I met awesome people here: friends, host family, and teachers. I am so glad to meet these great people. I will never forget the time we spent in Nanaimo. I love Canada!!!”


The High School at Vancouver Island University Brings Cultures Together

According to two graduating Nanaimo students, The High School at Vancouver Island University creates not just a love of learning in the classroom, but a cross cultural learning experience resulting in tight friendships.

Ryan Porteous and Odai Khalaileh are new roommates and new graduates of the high school located on VIU’s campus.

Porteous grew up here in Nanaimo and Khalaileh was an international student from Jordan. At first glance, the two may seem like unlikely buddies, but both students see The High School at Vancouver Island University’s small classrooms as the ideal setting for students to get to know each other and break down stereotypes about different cultures.

“You meet so many people from different parts of the world who look different than you, speak a different language, but underneath are the same as you,” said Porteous. “After a while the differences disappear and you get to know the individual.”

The principal said that one of The High School at Vancouver Island University’s strengths is the intimate, multinational setting. “You’re not going to get lost here. There are 12 kids in the class. Students get the chance to develop real relationships with teachers and friends from all over the world.”

He said that The High School at Vancouver Island University expects Canadian students to take a leadership role in their classes.

“This is an amazing place to build confidence,” he said. “Students are focused and when you feel good about yourself, you’re going to be successful.”

Porteous said there were lots of opportunities to play a leadership role. “Certainly for Canadians, we’re enrolled in the school to learn but also to guide because there are a lot of international students who might feel lost or alone in a strange country, speaking a strange language.”

According to Khalaileh, the Canadians in the class helped the international students understand Canadian culture. “I wouldn’t have known anything about hockey if it weren’t for Ryan,” he said, noting that The High School at Vancouver Island University’s small town feel meant that he had the opportunity to get to know all kinds of students and really practice his English skills.

“Not many people like to leave their social groups, but our school is much more open. Everyone does their own thing, but together.”

Khalaileh said he also was able to take a leadership role in the school, especially around sports and representing The High School at at university activities. “In the classroom I was answering questions that Canadian students have about the other side of the world and adding new ideas to the debates.”

“The learning here is meaningful,” said Watson, who adds that exposure to VIU’s campus environment is a unique feature of The High School at Vancouver Island University. Students are able to use the university’s facilities, take courses and participate in campus recreational activities. “It’s amazing what opportunities education can bring you.”

With admission to VIU guaranteed upon successful completion of high school, it’s no surprise that 17 of this year’s 22 graduates will be attending VIU in September. Khalaileh has enrolled in VIU with plans to pursue a career as a petroleum engineer.

Although Porteous was once convinced that he would not attend university, he will begin Culinary Arts training in January. He said taking a university Media Studies class while still in high school changed his future.

“I think what made me decide to do that was being so close to university. It opened my eyes and changed my perspective on what university is. There’s a whole other side that I’d like to experience.”