Canada Scholarships for International Students

Canada Scholarships for International Students: Funding Opportunities and Application Tips

Canada is renowned for its excellent education system, attracting international students for quality learning opportunities. 

While pursuing higher education there can be costly, many students turn to scholarships to finance their studies. Thankfully, many scholarships cater to international students enrolled in Canadian institutions.

The Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship stands out as a distinguished option among these scholarships. It recognizes exceptional doctoral students who exhibit leadership qualities and excel academically in their respective fields.

The scholarship is valued at $50,000 annually for up to three years and is open to Canadian and international students. In addition to the Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship, numerous other scholarships are available for international students at various universities across Canada. 

The University of British Columbia provides various scholarships for international undergraduate students, whereas the University of Manitoba focuses on scholarships tailored to international scholars.

The University of Calgary and the University of Toronto also offer scholarships for outstanding international students, and the Canadian government provides scholarships for post-secondary students worldwide.

Types of Scholarships

Canada provides diverse scholarships for international students seeking to achieve their academic aspirations. These scholarships can be categorized into three main types: government-funded, privately-funded, and university-funded options.

Government-Funded Scholarships

The Canadian government provides numerous scholarship programs for international students, including the Canada Graduate Scholarships (Master’s) and the Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships. 

The Canada Graduate Scholarships (Master’s) are awarded to high-caliber students engaged in master’s or doctoral programs in Canada. 

Conversely, the Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships are granted to exceptional doctoral students who showcase leadership abilities and excel academically.

Another government-funded scholarship program is the Banting Postdoctoral Fellowships, which provides funding for postdoctoral researchers to undertake research in Canada. The program is open to both Canadian and international students.

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Privately Funded Scholarships

International students also receive scholarships from private businesses and donors. An example is the Dick Martin Scholarship Award, granted to those who show leadership and a dedication to social justice and is funded by private sources.

University-Funded Scholarships

Canadian universities also offer a range of scholarships for international students. For example, the University of Winnipeg provides the Winnipeg President’s Scholarships, awarded to international students who have demonstrated academic excellence and leadership potential. 

Similarly, the University of British Columbia (UBC) provides financial support to international undergraduate students through awards, scholarships, and other financial assistance, including the International Major Entrance Scholarships (IMES) and NSERC Postgraduate Scholarships.

Additional scholarships funded by the university encompass the Royal Military College Scholarships and Awards. These grants support officer cadets under the Regular Officer Training Plan. 

Furthermore, the H.L. Holmes Award for Postdoctoral Studies is bestowed upon postdoctoral researchers in Canadian research pursuits.

Application Process and Eligibility

International students seeking scholarships in Canada must satisfy specific eligibility criteria and adhere to the application process, which can differ based on the scholarship program and institution.

Eligibility Criteria

The eligibility criteria for scholarships in Canada for international students may include academic merit, financial need, community involvement, and other factors. Some scholarships may be available only to students from certain countries, while others may be open to students from any country.

In addition to meeting the specific eligibility criteria for each scholarship program, international students must also meet the general eligibility requirements for studying in Canada. This includes obtaining a study permit and meeting the admission requirements of the institution where they plan to study.

Application Process

The application process for scholarships in Canada for international students may involve the following:

  • Submitting an online application form.
  • Providing transcripts and other supporting documents.
  • Writing essays or personal statements.

Specific scholarships might also necessitate letters of recommendation from educators or other professionals.

International students should start the application process early to ensure they have enough time to gather all the required documents and complete the application before the deadline. 

They should also carefully read the application instructions and guidelines to ensure they meet all the requirements and submit a complete application.

In addition to scholarships offered by Canadian institutions, international students may be eligible for scholarships from the Canadian government, international organizations, foreign governments, and other sources. 

Diverse scholarships come with varying eligibility requirements and application procedures. Therefore, it’s crucial for students to meticulously explore all available choices and submit applications for numerous scholarships to enhance their prospects of securing financial support.

Benefits and Coverage

International students who receive scholarships to study in Canada can enjoy various benefits and coverage. These benefits can include financial support for tuition, living expenses, and other costs associated with studying in Canada. In addition, some scholarships may provide health insurance, airfare, and transportation coverage.

Scholarships are accessible to students across diverse health, engineering, natural and social sciences, and humanities fields. These scholarships consider factors like academic success and community engagement.

Students from developing nations can utilize scholarships to pursue studies in Canada, acquiring valuable expertise in their home countries. Numerous scholarships target students who foster positive change within their communities and nations.

In addition to financial support, scholarships can also provide valuable networking opportunities and access to academic resources. Many scholarships offer mentorship and professional development opportunities, which can help students build their careers and make connections in their fields.

It is crucial for international students to carefully review the terms and conditions of any scholarship they are considering, including any requirements related to maintaining academic standing or obtaining a visa. Some scholarships may require students to maintain a certain GPA or to remain enrolled full-time in their program of study.

Selection Criteria and Evaluation

The criteria and evaluation process for Canadian scholarships offered to international students differs by scholarship. Yet, most rely on academic excellence, community engagement, faculty endorsements, and alumni recommendations.

Academic achievement is one of the primary criteria for most scholarships. Applicants must demonstrate outstanding academic performance in their previous studies to be considered for a scholarship. 

The scholarship committee will evaluate applicants’ academic transcripts, GPAs, and achievements to determine eligibility.

Community engagement holds significant importance for specific scholarships. Candidates who exhibit dedication to their community via volunteer work or related endeavors might enjoy an edge over those without such demonstrated involvement.

Faculty recommendations can also play a significant role in the selection process. Applicants who have received strong offers from their previous professors or academic advisors may have a higher chance of receiving a scholarship.

Alumni endorsements are also considered for some scholarships. 

Applicants who have received endorsements from alumni of the institution they are applying to may have an advantage over other applicants.

In addition to these criteria, some scholarships may consider other factors such as financial need, research proposals, and personal statements. 

Applicants must thoroughly assess eligibility criteria and selection prerequisites for each desired scholarship to guarantee alignment with essential qualifications.

Maintaining Scholarship Eligibility

International students awarded scholarships for studying in Canada must adhere to specific eligibility criteria to retain their funding. 

These criteria vary by scholarship program but commonly revolve around academic accomplishments and community engagement.

For instance, the University of British Columbia grants scholarships to international students displaying academic excellence and leadership potential. Recipients must uphold a minimum academic average and engage in extracurriculars showcasing their leadership abilities.

Similarly, the University of Manitoba provides scholarships to international students who excel academically and exhibit dedication to community service. To remain eligible, recipients must sustain their academic achievements and continue contributing to their community through volunteer work or comparable endeavors.

At the University of Calgary, scholarship-receiving international students must maintain a specified GPA and engage in activities fostering intercultural understanding and global citizenship. 

These activities encompass involvement in student clubs and participation in campus-based international events.

Likewise, the University of Toronto mandates that international scholarship recipients uphold a designated GPA and actively partake in extracurricular undertakings benefiting the university community. 

These activities encompass joining student groups, volunteering, and participating in research initiatives.

Alongside these specific requisites, scholars must acquaint themselves with any guidelines their faculty or department set forth. 

Effective communication with the scholarship provider is crucial to meeting all necessary criteria and deadlines.

Additional Financial Aid Resources

In addition to scholarships, other financial aid resources are available to international students who wish to study in Canada. These resources include fellowships, grants, and financial aid programs various organizations offer. 

Here are some of the additional financial aid resources that international students can explore:


Fellowships are financial awards given to students to support their research or academic pursuits. These awards are usually granted to students with exceptional academic ability and potential. 

Some of the fellowships that international students can apply for include:

  • The Killam Fellowships Program: This program funds graduate students to conduct research at Canadian universities.
  • The Trudeau Foundation Fellowship is awarded to outstanding doctoral candidates pursuing social sciences and humanities research.
  • The Banting Postdoctoral Fellowships: These fellowships fund postdoctoral researchers to conduct research at Canadian universities.


Grants provide financial support to students for their educational or research initiatives. Unlike scholarships, grants are typically granted based on a student’s financial need or the quality of their proposed project. International students have the opportunity to apply for various grants, such as:

  • The Canada Graduate Scholarships-Master’s Program: This program funds master’s students to pursue their research at Canadian universities.
  • The SSHRC Grants fund research endeavors in social sciences and humanities.
  • The NSERC Grants support research endeavors in natural sciences and engineering by offering financial assistance for projects.

Financial Aid Programs

International students can apply for various financial aid programs to help cover the cost of their education. Universities or government agencies usually offer these programs. Some of the financial aid programs that international students can explore include:

  • The Canada Student Loans Program: This program provides financial assistance to students who need help paying for their education.
  • The Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP): This program offers financial aid to students studying in Ontario.
  • The Quebec Loans and Bursaries Program: This program provides financial assistance to students studying in Quebec.


Prospective or current international students interested in studying in Canada or attending a Canadian institution often seek scholarship information. 

The following are common inquiries regarding scholarships available to international students in Canada:

What scholarships are available for international students in Canada?

There are many scholarships available for international students in Canada. Some popular scholarships include the Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship, the International Development Research Centre Awards, and the Joseph-Armand Bombardier Canada Graduate Scholarships Program. Scholars are also available for specific fields, such as occupational health and safety and nursing.

How can international students find scholarships to study in Canada?

International students can find scholarships to study in Canada by researching scholarship opportunities on the websites of Canadian universities and the Canadian government. They can also use scholarship search engines and databases to find scholarships that match their qualifications and interests.

Are there scholarships available for international students to conduct research in Canada?

There are scholarships available for international students to conduct research in Canada. The International Scholarships Program, for example, offers scholarships for international students to conduct research at Canadian universities and research institutions.

Can non-Canadians apply for scholarships to study in Canada?

Yes, non-Canadians can apply for scholarships to study in Canada. Many scholarships are available to both Canadian and international students.

Are scholarships available for Latin American and Caribbean students studying in Canada?

Yes, there are scholarships available for Latin American and Caribbean students to study in Canada. For example, the University of British Columbia offers scholarships for Latin American and Caribbean students to study at the university.

Are there scholarships available for international business students to study in Canada?

Yes, there are scholarships available for international business students to study in Canada. The Canadian government offers scholarships for international business students to study at Canadian universities and colleges.

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