Canada Scholarships for International Students

One of the most convenient methods of starting your studies in Canada is by winning a scholarship that covers your study and living expenses. Naturally, Canadian universities tend to offer scholarships to students with exceptional academic achievements. Nonetheless, chances of winning a Canadian scholarship also depend on work and volunteer experience. Scholarships as a kind of non-repayable financial help are quite limited and competitive.

International students can apply for Canadian scholarships by enrolling in undergraduate, master’s, doctoral, post-doctoral, and certificate programs. International scholarships from the Canadian government are provided in almost all academic fields. As a result, this Canada Government grant for overseas students is open to students from all regions. Luckily, Canadian institutions provide a variety of scholarships, the longest one can pay a student’s fees for up to four years.

List of Scholarships in Canada for International Students

1.   Lester B. Pearson International Scholarship Program at the University of Toronto

The University of Toronto offers a yearly scholarship to international students from all around the world, as well as international students who are enrolled in Canadian secondary schools. The Lester B. Pearson International Scholarship Program at the University of Toronto is designed to recognize international students who excel academically and creatively, as well as those who are leaders in their schools. In total, the University of Toronto awards 37 students of the undergraduate program with the title Lester B. Pearson Scholars. For four years, the Lester B. Pearson Scholarship will cover tuition, books, incidental fees, and full living expenses.

One should meet the following criteria to be eligible for the Pearson International Scholarship:

  • An international student / a non-Canadian requiring a study permit.
  • You must be in your final year of high school or have graduated by June.
  • In September of the upcoming year, you will have to begin your studies at the University of Toronto. Students already attending post-secondary studies cannot be considered; students starting their studies in January of the upcoming year at another post-secondary institution cannot be considered.

For further information on how to apply for this scholarship, make sure to visit the official website.

2.   Karen McKellin International Leader of Tomorrow Award at University of British Columbia

The University of British Columbia offers the Karen McKellin International Leader of Tomorrow Award to international students who have excelled in their academics, leadership abilities, involvement in student affairs, and community service. International students are eligible to make use of this award at the undergraduate level. Your Karen McKellin International Leader of Tomorrow Award is valued according to your financial need. The total tuition, fees, and living costs are subtracted from the financial contribution you and your family can make each year to assess financial needs. Your award may be extended for up to three more years of undergraduate study or until you complete your degree.

There are some requirements for one to be nominated for the Karen McKellin International Leader of Tomorrow Award:

  • Be an international student with a Canadian study permit who will be studying in Canada.
  • Transfer from a recognized high school or from your first year at a post-secondary college or other university to attend UBC.
  • Meet all of UBC’s admission standards, including the English Language Admission Standard and general and degree-specific requirements.
  • A track record of academic excellence.
  • Demonstrate financial need that would prohibit you from pursuing a UBC degree otherwise.
  • Be a high school graduate no earlier than June two years prior to the academic year for which you are applying.
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Other additional information on the application process can be found at the official scholarship website.

3.   York University International Student Scholarship

International students interested in pursuing a full-time undergraduate degree at York University can apply for the Global Leader of Tomorrow Scholarships and the International Entrance Scholarships of Distinction. More than usually, the York University in Ontario offers two Global Leader of Tomorrow Awards and two International Entrance Scholarships of Distinction to international students. These scholarships are renewable for three years of full-time undergraduate study, more specifically the Global Leader of Tomorrow Award in total offers $80,000 (for four years) and the International Entrance Scholarship of Distinction $140,000 (for four years) if international students show high academic achievement in each academic year. Undergraduate prospective students must fall into one of these faculties:

  • Liberal Arts and Professional Studies
  • Arts, Media, Performance & Design
  • Engineering
  • Education
  • Health
  • Science
  • Business

To get the major international scholarship, it is mandatory to meet all the listed requirements:

  • International Student holding a Canadian Study Permit.
  • Have applied to one of the undergraduate degree programs of York University.
  • Being a York accepted student who applied right out of  high school, no more than two years after graduation, and who had no prior university or college courses.
  • Hold a strong academic record with a minimum grade point average of “A” or comparable.
  • Have shown leadership via volunteerism or success in the arts, sports, or other areas of personal achievement.
  • Having been nominated by the native high school, normally only one student can be nominated.
  • Load a letter of recommendation.
  • Ensure that all essential documents in the York application are marked as “Received”.
  • The online International Student Scholarship Application must be completed  within the required time frame of the university.

For more application information consult the website of the York University, the section of International Scholarships.

4.   Ontario Graduate Scholarship

The Province of Ontario along with the University of Toronto annually provide international students Ontario Graduate Scholarships for those who are ambitious and want to take up Master or Doctoral degree programs at the Toronto University. The Ontario Graduate Scholarship has been supporting international students from all around the world, as well as Canadian citizens, permanent residents, and protected persons with merit-based scholarships. The OGS is valued at $5,000 each session. As a result, recipients may get $10,000 or $15,000 for two consecutive sessions or three consecutive sessions. In all cases, the awarding graduate unit will donate one-third of the total award earned by the students. Furthermore, OGS criteria limit students to a lifetime maximum of 6 years of government-funded prizes and forbid students from simultaneously holding an OGS and another government-funded award.

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In order to be eligible for Ontario Graduate Scholarship one must meet the following criteria:

  • International students who are studying or want to study at the University of Toronto on a temporary resident visa must be Canadian citizens, Permanent Residents, or Protected Persons under subsection 95(2) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (Canada).
  • Must receive an A- (or equivalent) in each of the last two years of full-time study or, if you have completed two years of graduate studies at the time of application, show an overall average of at least A- (or equivalent) on all graduate courses completed.
  • Be a full-time student at the University of Toronto in an appropriate program at the graduate unit where the OGS was conferred and stay enrolled.
  • Do not hold a full-time job or an OGS award in the same session or in the same award year as a scholarship from SSHRC, NSERC, CIHR, QEII-GSST, or another OGS.

The qualifying standards listed above are simply the bare minimum. Additional conditions for applying for, receiving, or holding an OGS may be imposed by graduate units.

5.   University of Winnipeg President’s Scholarship for World Leaders

The President’s Scholarship for World Leaders at the University of Winnipeg is given to international students who are enrolling for the first time in any of the university’s divisions. This scholarship is intended for those who are willing to enroll in Bachelor or Master degree programs of the Winnipeg University. Furthermore, all international candidates must have an entrance average of at least 80% or comparable, as well as be engaged in activities that indicate leadership. The amount of the President’s Scholarship for World Leaders is $5,000. Beside the bachelor’s and master’s programs offered at University of Winnipeg, international students can make use of the scholarship to enroll in the PACE (Professional, Applied and Counting Education) or ELP (English Language Program) programs that best fit their objectives.

Candidates must meet the following requirements:

  • Have a minimum entrance average of 80% or above.
  • Be an international student.
  • Demonstrate outstanding leadership abilities.
  • Beginning the first year of any program.
  • By the scholarship deadline, submit a full entrance application.

To get detailed information on the application process consult the University of Winnipeg website.

6.   University of Calgary International Entrance Scholarship

Every year, the University of Calgary provides International Entrance Scholarships to international students who are not Canadian citizens or permanent residents to encourage them to continue their studies and join the first cycle of studies. Academic proficiency, as well as achievements beyond the classroom, are among the Scholarship’s requirements. The scholarship is worth $15,000 and is renewable every year in the second, third, and fourth years at the University of Calgary, as long as winners maintain a 2.60 GPA over a minimum of 24.00 units in the preceding autumn and winter terms. The overall cost of the undergraduate program is $60,000 over four years. International students wishing to apply for this scholarship are free to pick any subject from the Bachelor degree program of the University of Calgary.

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There are some specific requirements for international students in order to win the International Entrance Scholarship:

  • International students must be enrolled full-time in an undergraduate degree program that begins in the Fall semester.
  • Must be a new student.
  • A student must have a minimum GPA of 3.20 to be considered for a scholarship.
  • The university’s English Language Proficiency criterion must also be met.

For more information it is good to check the official scholarship website of Calgary University.

Tips on How to Find Scholarships

Searching for scholarships might be a real challenge, which is why it is important to know where to orient yourself in order to easily track the targeted scholarships. Overall, scholarships are customized to academic interests, talents, extracurricular activities, professional ambitions, geographic area, and a variety of other variables. You’ll discover some of the most beneficial methods for finding scholarships listed below.

1.   Consult Your Chosen University

As a landing step to gather the necessary information one should either visit the university’s website or simply contact the financial aid office of the university you aim to attend. By doing so students can ask questions regarding scholarships for international students and other application guidelines. It is important not to confuse the application for admission with the application for scholarships, since they are separate entities.

2.   Try Networking

Nowadays everybody is joined into a group of people who share common interests. Using social media or simply talking with peers who are also keen on finding a scholarship to further their academic career is a great way of tracking possible scholarships. Don’t overlook the opportunity to learn about scholarships offered by the federal government, provincial governments, private foundations, and not-for-profit organizations in Canada.

3.   Contact Your Academic Advisor

Academic advisors assist students in exploring their academic interests, locating resources for more information and support, and developing study programs that are appropriate for their educational objectives. As a student, you have unrestricted access to the school counselor; why not make use of this and have a productive conversation about this matter? Find out what resources are available if your school has a specialized office for students moving abroad for study purposes.

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