Scholarships in Canada for international students

Submitted by seeta.bhardwa@… on Mon, 03/15/2021 - 11:00

Towering mountains, fresh air, azure lakes, abundant wildlife, great universities...Canada attracts thousands of international students every year and for good reason. 

However, what isn’t so great is the amount that it costs to study there. Tuition fees are fairly high and in some big cities the cost of living can be quite pricey too. High costs of living can often put international students off studying abroad. 

That’s where this guide to scholarships in Canada for international students comes in. There are plenty of government-funded opportunities that students can apply for as well as scholarship funds from universities. 

Here’s a broad selection of scholarships that are available to international students looking to study in Canada.

Types of scholarships

University scholarships 
Most universities will offer some kind of financial aid for international students, so your institution of choice should be your first port of call when considering funding. 

Financial scholarships 
These scholarships are based on the financial need of the students. The majority of these are only available for US residents but some universities will give out needs-based scholarships to international students.

Merit scholarships 
For students who are either academically gifted, were top sports players in high school or excelled in community or entrepreneurial work.

Country-based scholarships 
These scholarships are targeted at students from developing countries in particular.

Government-funded scholarships 
The Canadian government offers many scholarship programmes for international students, some of which are listed below.

Privately funded scholarships 
Sometimes private businesses or donors will fund scholarships for international students. These are also more likely to be targeted at developing countries and minority groups, or in specific areas of study.

Part scholarships 
These can range from a small one-off payment students can use towards their fees or a larger payment that is staggered to cover certain costs of going to university. 

Government and private scholarships

Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships 
These were created to attract and retain world-class doctoral students. The scholarship is worth CAD$50,000 (£31,000) per year for three years and can be used towards a doctoral degree or combined master’s and PhD. 

Banting Postdoctoral Fellowships 
These are offered to international students doing postgraduate study in natural and social sciences or health sciences. 

IDRC Doctoral Research Awards 
These are for students from developing countries that are already studying at a university in Canada. 

NSERC Postgraduate Scholarships 
There are a number of Canadian government scholarships for students choosing to study in natural sciences or engineering.

Pierre Elliot Trudeau Foundation Doctoral Scholarships 
These are open to foreign students applying to a doctoral programme in the social sciences and humanities. The annual value is up to $60,000 per scholar for a maximum of three years. 

Student experience in Canada

Best universities in Canada 
Everything you need to know about studying in Canada
Vlog: A week in the life of a student in Canada
The cost of studying at a university in Canada
Studying overseas: guide to Australia, Canada, the UK and the USA

University scholarships 

Lester B. Pearson International Scholarships 
These scholarships at the University of Toronto aim to recognise international students who demonstrate exceptional academic achievement. The scholarship will cover tuition, books, incidental fees and full residence support for four years.

Humber College International Entrance Scholarships — For graduate certificate, diploma and advanced diploma students joining Humber in May, September and January. The funding equates to CAD $2,000 off student’s tuition fees over the course of their first year of studies.

York University International Student Scholarship Programme 
These scholarships are worth CAD$60,000-$100,000 for a four-year degree programme for international students who have displayed academic excellence. The university is also offering bursaries for international student who have faced unforeseen costs due to Covid-19. 

University of British Columbia Scholarships for International Students 
The university dedicates more than $10 million annually towards awards, scholarships and other forms of financial assistance for international undergraduate students. 

Carleton University Entrance Scholarships for International Students
Carleton University offers partial scholarships worth $4,000 - $16,000 to students who meet the admission average criteria of 80 per cent and above. 

University of Manitoba graduate fellowships 
These awards are open to students of any nationality who have applied to be full-time graduate students at the University of Manitoba. They are valued at $18,000  a year for PhD students or $14,000 a year for master’s students. 

University of Waterloo Master’s Awards of Excellence 
The master’s of excellence awards are open to international master’s students starting a research based graduate programme. Students will receive $2,500 per term for a maximum of five months. 

University of Calgary Graduate awards 
There are a number funding opportunities for international students of up to $40,000. 

University of Winnipeg President’s Scholarships 
Scholarships are given to international students from undergraduate level up to PhD. The award is a partial tuition fee waiver of $3,500. 

Read more: Best universities in Canada

Please note all costs and conversion rates were correct at the time of publication. These may vary over time.


If you are an international student looking to study in Canada, make sure you check out which scholarships are available to you from organisations and universities