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Guide to Canadian Scholarships for International Students

Canada has emerged as a top destination for international students seeking higher education, but the cost of education can be a significant hurdle for many. Scholarships can be an excellent solution to alleviate the financial burden and make education more accessible. To aid prospective and current international students in Canada, we’ve compiled an ultimate guide to Canadian scholarships. Our comprehensive guide includes various scholarship types, eligibility requirements, application procedures, and tips for success. By utilizing this guide, you can navigate the scholarship application process with confidence and increase your chances of securing financial aid.

Scholarships Available in Canada

Canada has become a favored destination for international students seeking to further their education. Nevertheless, the cost of education can pose a significant obstacle for many students. One way to make education more accessible is through scholarships. The good news is that there are numerous scholarship opportunities available for international students in Canada. These scholarships may be provided by the Canadian government, universities, non-profit organizations, and private donors, covering various expenses such as tuition fees, accommodation costs, and living expenses. It is important to note, however, that each scholarship has its own unique eligibility criteria and application procedures, so applicants must conduct thorough research to understand the requirements before submitting their applications.

Eligibility and Application Process

In order to apply for Canadian scholarships, applicants should be aware that eligibility requirements and application processes may vary depending on the scholarship program. Generally, scholarships are awarded based on academic merit, financial need, community involvement, and leadership skills. Furthermore, international students must hold a valid study permit and passport to qualify for scholarships in Canada.

To apply for a scholarship, applicants typically need to fill out an application form and provide transcripts, letters of recommendation, and a personal statement. Some scholarships may also require essays, proof of financial need, or an interview.

To maximize your chances of receiving a scholarship, it is crucial to thoroughly review all application instructions and deadlines and to adhere to them carefully.

Popular Canadian Scholarships

Canada offers a variety of scholarship opportunities for international students, which can be broadly classified into government-funded, university-funded, privately-funded, and external scholarships. These scholarships can help alleviate the financial burden of studying in Canada and provide opportunities for academic excellence, research potential, and leadership development.

Some of the most popular and competitive scholarships available in Canada include:

  1. Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships: A government-funded scholarship for doctoral students who exhibit academic excellence, research potential, and leadership qualities.
  2. Canadian Commonwealth Scholarship and Fellowship Plan: A government-funded scholarship available for international students pursuing graduate studies in Canada.
  3. Trudeau Foundation Scholarships: A highly competitive scholarship for doctoral students pursuing research in social sciences and humanities.
  4. Ontario Graduate Scholarship: A merit-based scholarship awarded to students who have achieved academic excellence in graduate studies.
  5. Canada Graduate Scholarships-Master’s Program: A government-funded scholarship for master’s level students, aimed at supporting research in various fields.
  6. University of Calgary International Entrance Scholarship: A university-funded scholarship for undergraduate international students.
  7. Lester B. Pearson International Scholarships: A highly competitive scholarship for international students with exceptional academic achievement and leadership qualities.
  8. Humber College International Entrance Scholarships: A college-funded scholarship for international students pursuing undergraduate studies.
  9. IDRC Research Awards: A privately funded scholarship for graduate-level students pursuing research that addresses international development challenges.
  10. Banting Postdoctoral Fellowships: A government-funded scholarship for postdoctoral students in the natural and social sciences, engineering, and health-related fields.

While these scholarships are highly competitive and require strong academic backgrounds, leadership skills, and research potential, there are many other scholarships available that cater to different interests and fields of study.

Lesser-known Scholarships

If you’re an international student pursuing higher education in Canada, you might want to look beyond the popular scholarships and explore lesser-known options. These scholarships might have unique requirements or eligibility criteria, but they can still provide substantial financial support. Here are a few examples of lesser-known scholarships available in Canada:

  1. Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation Doctoral Scholarships: These scholarships provide up to $60,000 per year for three years to support doctoral students pursuing research in social sciences and humanities.
  2. The Mackenzie King Memorial Scholarships: These scholarships are awarded to outstanding students studying in any field of graduate study in Canada. Up to three scholarships are awarded annually, each with a value of $10,500.
  3. The Sobey Art Foundation Scholarship: This scholarship is awarded to a Canadian student pursuing graduate studies in the field of fine arts. The scholarship provides $20,000 over a two-year period.
  4. The C.D. Howe Scholarship: This scholarship is awarded to exceptional graduate students pursuing research in the areas of economic policy and public policy in Canada. The scholarship provides up to $50,000 over a two-year period.
  5. The Killam Fellowships Program: This program provides fellowships to exceptional Canadian and American students and scholars to conduct research in their respective countries. The fellowships provide a stipend of up to $10,000 per semester, as well as travel and research allowances.

These scholarships are just a few examples of the many lesser-known scholarships available in Canada. By researching and identifying all possible opportunities, you can maximize your chances of receiving financial support for your academic pursuits.

Scholarship Tips and Advice

Looking to apply for scholarships in Canada? Here are some helpful tips and advice to get you started:

Research thoroughly: First and foremost, research thoroughly. There are plenty of scholarships out there, but it’s important to find ones that are suitable for your field of study, nationality, and academic level. You can use search engines, scholarship directories, or check with your institution’s scholarship office to find the best options.

Check the eligibility criteria: Once you’ve found some scholarships that interest you, make sure to carefully check the eligibility criteria before applying. You don’t want to waste your time on scholarships that you don’t qualify for. Read through the instructions and requirements carefully to avoid disqualification.

Plan ahead: Plan ahead and give yourself enough time to prepare and submit your application before the deadline. Scholarships often have specific deadlines, so make sure to take note of them and plan accordingly.

Prepare a strong application: To make your application stand out, prepare a strong essay that is clear, concise, and compelling. Tailor your application to the specific scholarship and highlight your strengths and achievements.

Obtain references: Many scholarships also require letters of recommendation, so make sure to ask early and provide your referees with enough time to write a strong letter.

Polish your resume: Polish your resume and ensure that it highlights your academic achievements, extracurricular activities, and community involvement.

Be honest and authentic: Be honest and authentic, and avoid exaggerating or misrepresenting your accomplishments.

Follow up: After submitting your application, follow up with the scholarship provider to confirm that they have received it and inquire about the status of your application. By following these tips, you can increase your chances of securing a scholarship in Canada and achieve your academic goals. Best of luck!


In sum, Canada offers a plethora of scholarship opportunities for international students. The key to success lies in conducting thorough research and applying to as many scholarships as possible. By carefully reviewing eligibility criteria, leveraging available resources, seeking advice, and understanding the application process, students can improve their chances of obtaining financial assistance. With the right strategy, international students can realize their aspirations of studying in Canada without bearing the burden of financial strain.