Scholarships in Canada for International Students: Types, Application, Eligibility, Award

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    Bhavya Rawal

    Study Abroad Expert

    One of the most coveted studying abroad destinations- Canada, with an inflow of over 642,000 international students enrolling with the broad range of programs offered. Irrespective of its popularity, studying in Canada does not come cheap. Students who wish to study in Canada but lack the financial resources to do so can opt from the numerous scholarships in Canada

    As international students pursuing higher education in Canada, you can apply for various types of fundings available by the government, universities, or non-governmental organizations. Given below are the details for scholarships in Canada for international students. 

    Types of Scholarships in Canada for International Students

    1. Canadian Government Scholarships: These are awards offered by the government to encourage students to study in Canada.
    2. Non-Government Scholarships: Offered by various different trusts, foundations, and organizations to students pursuing a specific course stream to encourage participation and development in the said field. 
    3. Institutional Scholarships: Offered by universities or colleges in Canada to students who are pursuing education with them.

    How to search scholarships in Canada for international students?

    Majorly you can either choose to look for funding options offered by the home country to students planning to study abroad. In this case, you can contact the immigration, home affairs, or external affairs department of your home country. 

    You can also avail of government, non-government, or institutional scholarships to study in Canada. For the former two types of scholarships, you can explore the Government of Canada International Scholarships or International Council for Canadian Studies. Here is a step by step guide on finding the right scholarship in Canada for you:

    1. Start the search as soon as you apply. Look for all the options available- government, non-government, university-specific, and more.
    2. Communicate with your university/colleges to find out what all scholarships are currently open for applications.
    3. Do additional research, if required contact counselors, and more. 
    4. Make applications for scholarships before deadlines approach.
    5. Ensure your scores for tests required to study in Canada are competitive and good. 

    What are the criteria for applying for scholarships in Canada for international students?

    To get any scholarship in Canada as an international student, one has to make sure that they fulfill certain criteria. Though for each individual scholarship that you wish to avail, the overall eligibility will vary but some general requirements that international students must keep in mind are:

    • Academic excellence: Applicants for scholarships to study in Canada must ensure that they have good academic scores. Most of the scholarships are merit-based, which means, financial support will be offered to meritorious students. 
    • Language Proficiency: Since most international students do not have English as their first language, having better language skills or proficiency scores on exams like IELTS/TOEFL enhances your chances of getting a scholarship to study in Canada.
    • Extracurricular Indulgence: Some scholarships in Canada for international students also consider students’ involvement in volunteering and extracurricular activities. This is often a case with stream specific scholarships, such as programs like social work, etc. The work experience in the field is an add on and hence, becomes one of the major eligibility criteria. 

    Government Scholarships in Canada for International Students 

    Some of the most renowned government scholarships to study in Canada are listed below along with the details of award and eligibility:

    Scholarship Name Award No. of Scholarships and Duration Eligibility Deadline
    Banting Postdoctoral Fellowship 70,000 CAD 70 Fellowships
    2 years (non-renewable)
    Must be enrolled in natural & social science or health research PG programs  October 1, 2020
    IDRC Research Awards Travel and research support of up to 15,000 CAD - Applicants from developing countries enrolled in master's or doctoral programs September 16, 2020
    Vanier Graduate Scholarships 50,000 CAD 166 scholarships/year
    3 years non-renewable
    Must be meritorious applicants, have research potential and leadership skills November 3, 2020
    Canada-ASEAN SEED  10,000 CAD for cost of program 5,000 for flight, visa, health insurance 1600 weekly allowance non-renewable Mid-career professional from ASEAN countries Closed
    Canadian Studies Post-Doctoral Fellowship 2500 CAD/month & airfare up to 10,000 CAD non-renewable Completed thesis in last 5 years, is not employed, length of stay 1-3 months November 24
    Partnership Grants by Social Science and Humanities Research Council in Canada 20,000 CAD 4-7 years Pursuing PhD at eligible Canadian Universities in specific subject Application Closed
    Ontario Trillium Scholarship 40,000 CAD 75 scholarships 
    Renewable for 4 years
    PhD students in Ontario -

    Apart from the above-mentioned scholarships, there are certainly other scholarships or financial aid programs funded by the Canadian government. These include:

    • Ontario Graduate Scholarships: OGS are offered in collaboration with Canadian government and participating institutions. International students enrolling with masters or doctoral programs at select institutes. The total scholarship award is 15,000 CAD/year.
    • Quebec Provincial Government Scholarship: Financial aid offered to masters students enrolled in Quebec Canadian universities. Awards are offered on the merit basis. Doctoral students are offered 25,000 CAD/year and postdoctoral students are offered 35,000 CAD/year. 
    • Shastri-Indo Canadian Institute: Multiple fellowships are offered to students pursuing graduate and postgraduate courses in Canada.
    • Canadian Commonwealth Scholarship and Fellowship: Offered to meritorious students from commonwealth countries pursuing masters and PhD at Canadian institutes. The award covers tuition fees, living expenses, and travelling allowance. 

    Non-Governmental Scholarships in Canada for International Students

    Certain organizations, funds, and trusts offer scholarships to international students in Canada. Some of the popular ones are listed below:

    • Anne Vallee Ecological Fund: Offered to students pursuing animal research at doctoral level in Universities in British Columbia or Quebec. The award amount is 1,500 CAD.
    • Trudeau Scholarships and Fellowships: Awarded to international students pursuing doctorate degrees in Canada. There are around 15 scholarship awards of 60,000 CAD offered under this scheme. 
    • Canada Memorial Scholarship: Offered to students from the UK pursuing PG education in Canada. The award covers tuition fee, airfare, and accommodation expenses. 

    Institutional Scholarships in Canada for International Students 

    Many top universities in Canada offer its international applicants with a number of scholarships to easen out the financial burden. From top universities like UToronto, UBC, McGill to other lesser popular institutions like Fairleigh Dickinson, Quest University, and others; all have certain financial aid opportunities open for international students. 

    Some of the popular institutional scholarships in Canada for international students are:

    Scholarship Eligibility Institute Award
    UBC International Leader for Tomorrow Award Offered to international students applying for their first UG degree at UBC
    You will be required to submit proof of financial need and fulfill admission requirements for UBC. 
    UBC Varies
    Lester B. Peterson Scholarship Offered to international UG students at UToronto University of Toronto covers the tuition fees
    Western University International President’s Entrance Scholarship Choice is made as per academic performance, and a holistic approach is taken where students' overall growth and extracurricular indulgence is also taken into consideration when making decisions Western University Three scholarships for 50,000 CAD
    University of Waterloo International Funding Offering multiple award options to international students at masters and doctoral level University of Waterloo $2,045 per term for 2 years (Master’s) or $4,090 per term for 3 years (PhD)
    York University Automatic Entrance Scholarship Students with an aggregate score of 80-95% are offered York University 1000 to 4,000 CAD
    SFU Financial Aids and Awards Offered to international students at SFU Simon Fraser University Varies
    University of Manitoba Scholarships Various international scholarships for masters students University of Manitoba 5,000 CAD to 14,000 CAD
    University of Alberta International Scholarships Country-specific and other scholarship awards for international students UAlberta Varies
    University of Calgary International Scholarships Offered to international graduate students UCalgary 500 to 60,000 CAD
    Quest University International Scholarships Enrolled in BASc or BSc programs Quest University 2000-8000 CAD

    Find out some more here

    In case, you are unable to grab any of the scholarships, you can choose to work while studying in Canada. The Canadian study permit allows you to work for a maximum of 15 hours a week or 100 hours for the complete summer session. The minimum wage per day of CAD 14 per hour and 4% vacation pay. International students must have a Social Insurance Number (SIN) to work.

    International students are offered wonderful education opportunities at 100 public Canadian universities and more private universities. In case you are unable to fund your education, scholarships in Canada come in as a handy option. To ensure that you get hold of at least one scholarship in Canada for international students, please ensure to dig deeper and find as many choices as you can.