One way that international students can help finance their studies in Canada is through scholarships, which are non-repayable financial awards. They tend to be granted to students with outstanding academic achievement, although some also recognise volunteer and work experience.You must apply for some scholarships, but others are awarded automatically.

Scholarship funding for international students who wish to study in Canada is limited, highly competitive, and available mostly at the postgraduate level. Nevertheless, here are some tips and resources to help you explore this possibility.

Start at home

Students should first explore scholarships and other funding possibilities in their home country. Contact the depart­ment of education in your country of citizenship.

Contact your chosen university

Get in touch with the financial aid office of the university you wish to attend to ask for information about scholarships for international students and any application guidelines.

Research additional opportunities

Learn about scholarships administered by the Canadian government, provincial governments, private foundations, and not-for-profit organizations.

Here are some sugges­tions and resources to help you get started:

Government of Canada International Scholarships Program

Global Affairs Canada is responsible for the government’s participa­tion in major international scholarship programs. This website enables users to search for awards for study and research by country of origin.

Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships

Open to both Canadian and international PhD students studying at Canadian universities, the Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship is worth $50,000 per year for three years.

Fonds de recheche du Quebec Scholarships and Grants 

The Quebec government offers scholarships and grants through its research funds FRQNT (nature et technologies), FRQs (santé) and FRQSC (société et culture) for doctoral studies, postdoctoral fellowships and short-term research or professional development.

Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation Doctoral scholarships

Each year, the Trudeau Foundation rewards up to 15 outstanding doctoral candidates who are enrolled or about to be enrolled in a social sciences and humanities program. The annual value is up to $60,000 per scholar for up to four years.

Canadian Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Scholarships

The Canadian Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Scholarships (QES) program aims to help develop the next generation of innovative leaders and community builders, both locally and globally. Though primarily directed to Canadian students, scholarships are also available to students from Commonwealth countries to attend a Canadian university for masters or doctoral studies.

University of Waterloo International Awards

The University of Waterloo provides scholarships to international students through International Master’s and Doctoral Student Awards every year. Applicants must be enrolled in a full-time research based graduate degree programmes at the University of Waterloo and hold a valid Canadian study permit.

Ontario Graduate Scholarship

The Ontario Graduate Scholarship (OGS) programme is a merit-based scholarship funded by the provincial government to encourage excellence in graduate studies at the master’s and doctorial levels. The same scholarship application is used to evaluate a candidate for Queen Elizabeth II Graduate Scholarship in Science & Technology (QEII-GSST). International students studying in Ontario with a valid student study permit are eligible to apply.


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