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Scholarships for international students in Canada

  • 6 min read

1. Introduction

Aspiring international students often face financial barriers when pursuing higher education abroad. However, Canada, known for its world-class education system, offers a plethora of scholarships to support international students in achieving their academic aspirations. In this article, we’ll explore the various scholarships available to international students studying in Canada.

2. Government-funded Scholarships

The Canadian government is committed to attracting top talent from around the globe to study in Canada. As part of this commitment, it offers several scholarships to support international students:

2.1. Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships

The Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships are among the most prestigious scholarships offered by the Canadian government. These scholarships aim to attract and retain doctoral students who demonstrate academic excellence, research potential, and leadership skills. Recipients receive $50,000 per year for up to three years to pursue their doctoral studies in Canada.

2.2. Canada Graduate Scholarships – Master’s Program

The Canada Graduate Scholarships – Master’s Program supports outstanding master’s students in various fields of study. These scholarships are awarded based on academic achievement, research potential, and leadership qualities. Recipients receive financial assistance to pursue their master’s degree in Canada.

3. University-specific Scholarships

Many Canadian universities offer scholarships specifically designed to attract and support international students. Here are a couple of examples:

3.1. University of Toronto International Scholarships

The University of Toronto offers a range of scholarships for international students, including the Lester B. Pearson International Scholarship and the President’s Scholars of Excellence Program. These scholarships recognize academic excellence, leadership potential, and community involvement.

3.2. University of British Columbia International Leader of Tomorrow Award

The International Leader of Tomorrow Award at the University of British Columbia is a merit-based scholarship that recognizes students who have demonstrated academic excellence, leadership, and community involvement. Recipients receive financial support to pursue their undergraduate studies at UBC.

4. External Scholarships and Grants

In addition to government and university-funded scholarships, several external organizations and foundations offer financial assistance to international students studying in Canada:

4.1. The Canadian Bureau for International Education (CBIE)

The CBIE offers various scholarship programs for international students, including the CBIE Excellence Awards and the CBIE Academic Fellowship Program. These scholarships aim to promote cultural exchange and academic collaboration among students from diverse backgrounds.

4.2. The Aga Khan Foundation International Scholarship Programme

The Aga Khan Foundation provides scholarships for outstanding students from developing countries pursuing postgraduate studies in Canada. These scholarships cover tuition fees, living expenses, and travel costs, enabling recipients to focus on their academic and professional development.

5. Field-specific Scholarships

Several scholarships cater to students pursuing studies in specific fields or academic disciplines:

5.1. Ontario Graduate Scholarship (OGS)

The OGS supports graduate students in various fields of study, including science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). Recipients of the OGS receive financial assistance to pursue their research and academic goals at Ontario universities.

5.2. Trudeau Foundation Scholarships

The Trudeau Foundation Scholarships are awarded to doctoral students engaged in research related to social sciences and humanities. These scholarships provide financial support and opportunities for academic and professional development, fostering innovative research and community engagement.

6. Diversity and Inclusion Scholarships

Several scholarships aim to promote diversity and inclusion among international student populations in Canada:

6.1. Lester B. Pearson International Scholarship Program

The Lester B. Pearson International Scholarship Program at the University of Toronto recognizes international students who have demonstrated exceptional academic achievement and leadership potential. This scholarship program aims to attract talented students from diverse backgrounds and foster a global community of future leaders.

6.2. Humber College International Entrance Scholarships

Humber College’s International Entrance Scholarships support new international students who have demonstrated leadership qualities and community involvement. These scholarships recognize students’ potential for academic success and provide financial assistance to support their transition to studying in Canada.

7. Research-based Scholarships

Several scholarships specifically support research initiatives and projects undertaken by international students:

7.1. Mitacs Globalink Research Internship

The Mitacs Globalink Research Internship program provides international students with the opportunity to undertake research projects at Canadian universities. This internship program fosters collaboration and innovation, allowing students to gain hands-on research experience in their field of study.

7.2. Canadian Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Scholarship

The Canadian Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Scholarship supports international students participating in research projects that address global challenges. This scholarship program promotes academic excellence and international collaboration, empowering students to make meaningful contributions to society through their research.

8. Application Process

Navigating the scholarship application process effectively is crucial for international students seeking financial assistance to study in Canada:

8.1. Research Eligibility Criteria

Before applying for scholarships, students should thoroughly research eligibility criteria, including academic requirements, field of study, nationality restrictions, and application deadlines. Understanding these criteria ensures that applicants meet the qualifications for each scholarship.

8.2. Prepare Supporting Documents

Applicants should gather necessary supporting documents, such as academic transcripts, letters of recommendation, personal statements, and proof of English language proficiency. These documents provide evidence of applicants’ qualifications and support their scholarship applications.

9. Tips for a Strong Application

Crafting a strong scholarship application requires careful preparation and attention to detail:

9.1. Highlight Achievements and Contributions

Applicants should highlight their academic achievements, leadership experiences, community involvement, and extracurricular activities in their scholarship applications. Demonstrating these accomplishments showcases applicants’ potential impact as scholarship recipients.

9.2. Tailor Application Materials

Applicants should tailor their application materials to each scholarship opportunity, emphasizing alignment with the scholarship’s values, goals, and selection criteria. Customizing application materials increases applicants’ chances of success and demonstrates their genuine interest in the scholarship.

10. Deadlines and Timelines

Adhering to scholarship application deadlines and timelines is essential for a successful application process:

10.1. Calendar Reminders

Applicants should set calendar reminders for scholarship deadlines and allocate sufficient time for researching, drafting, and revising their application materials. Planning ahead ensures that applicants submit their applications on time and avoid last-minute stress.

10.2. Early Preparation

Starting the scholarship application process early allows

applicants to gather necessary documents, solicit letters of recommendation, and refine their application materials. Early preparation maximizes applicants’ chances of submitting high-quality applications and increases their likelihood of receiving scholarships.

11. Follow-up and Feedback

After submitting scholarship applications, applicants should follow up and seek feedback to improve their future applications:

11.1. Thank You Notes

Applicants should send thank-you notes to scholarship committees or sponsors after submitting their applications as a gesture of appreciation for the opportunity. Expressing gratitude demonstrates applicants’ professionalism and interest in the scholarship.

11.2. Request Feedback

Applicants should request feedback from scholarship reviewers or advisors, regardless of the outcome of their applications. Seeking feedback allows applicants to gain insights into their strengths and areas for improvement, guiding their future scholarship endeavors.

12. Conclusion

In conclusion, scholarships for international students in Canada provide invaluable financial support and opportunities for academic and professional development. By understanding the diverse range of scholarships available and navigating the application process effectively, international students can pursue their educational goals and contribute to Canada’s vibrant academic community.