Canada, renowned as one of the world’s most popular destinations, beckons with enticing scholarships, promising a fully or partially funded journey towards education, career, and life-building.
The Rise of International Scholars
Official statistics from the Canadian Bureau for International Education reveal a staggering surge in international students. In 2022, over 800,000 international students held active visas, a remarkable ascent from a mere 275,000 in 2012.
Canada: A Global Magnet for Education
With its open-armed immigration policies and top-tier universities, Canada is a beacon in international education. It comes as no surprise that it has become a favored destination for global scholars.
Crunching the Numbers: Housing Woes for International Students
The popularity of Canada has led to a housing dilemma for international students, with reports of 25 students resorting to camping in tents along the roadside due to the scarcity of decent and affordable accommodation.
A Contemplated Limit: International Students Facing Unprecedented Measures
In response to the housing crisis, discussions are underway to limit the number of international students entering Canada, marking a groundbreaking development in policy.
Voices of Concern and Support
While Canadian Housing Minister Sean Fraser considers this limit an option, universities express swift concerns, fearing that linking international students to the housing crisis could have detrimental effects.
Canada’s Ambitious Immigration Goals
Canada aspires to welcome 1.5 million new immigrants by 2025, recognizing students’ pivotal role in bringing “tremendous economic, cultural, and social benefits” to the nation.
Success Stories: The Juneja Twins
Nakul and Nishul Juneja, pursuing their MBA at the University of Toronto Rotman’s School of Management, exemplify the success that Canada offers. After completing their bachelor’s degrees at the Georgia Institute of Technology, they ventured to Canada, driven by the prospect of working there after graduation.
Canada Scholarships: Paving the Way for Success
Canada scholarships extend a clear path to success for international students, offering quality education and opportunities to work in Canada for up to three years post-graduation or even immigrate, making it a dream destination for scholars worldwide.
10 Best Canada scholarships for international students: 2023/24
1. University of Waterloo
The University of Waterloo is a public research university that is listed as the eighth-best global university in Canada by US News and World Report.
It offers Canada scholarships to join its undergraduate, master’s, and Ph.D. programs.
- The University of Waterloo International Student Entrance Scholarship is open to any program.
- Twenty scholarships (worth 10,000 Canadian dollars) are awarded annually to outstanding international students entering Year One of an undergraduate program.
- Academic accomplishment and entry scholarship requirements for each faculty will be taken into consideration when choosing recipients.
- Everything is paid for by the University of Waterloo Graduate Scholarship, which is worth up to $10,000.
- Recipients will enjoy benefits such as the International Master’s Award of Excellence valued at CA$2,500 per term for a maximum of 6 times.
The application deadline for these scholarships varies depending on the specific program you are enrolled in.
2. University of Saskatchewan
The University of Saskatchewan proudly holds the top position in Canada for water research.
For international students, the university offers a variety of awards based on academic achievement:
- Awards for International Excellence from the University of Saskatchewan: Worth $10,000 CA.
- International Baccalaureate (IB) Excellence Awards: Valued at CA$20,000, among others.
Postgraduate students pursuing master’s or PhD programs can apply for the prestigious University of Saskatchewan Graduate Scholarship, open to all international students.
What sets this scholarship apart is its comprehensive support for PhD students. It provides up to CA$20,000 in funding over 36 months.
You will be automatically considered for these scholarships upon enrollment at the University of Saskatchewan. The evaluation is based on your academic performance and financial circumstances.
3. McGill University
McGill University ranked 31st globally in the QS World University Rankings for 2023, is committed to expanding access to its esteemed programs, particularly for students facing financial challenges.
- To fulfill this commitment, McGill University provides scholarships designed for international students pursuing undergraduate, master’s, and Ph.D. programs.
- First-time university students embarking on full-time undergraduate degree programs at McGill can receive merit-based entrance scholarships.
- Ph.D. students are also eligible for modest bursaries to help alleviate financial burdens associated with their studies.
Scholarship Application Deadlines
The deadlines for scholarship applications at McGill vary depending on your admission status, ensuring that opportunities are accessible to a wide range of students.
4. University of Montreal
With an impressive enrollment of 36,000 students, the University of Montreal (UdeM) stands as Canada’s second-largest university.
- UdeM’s Exemption Scholarship Program embodies its commitment to ensuring that students from around the globe have the opportunity to attend one of Canada’s premier research institutions.
- This inclusive scholarship program is available to all international students pursuing undergraduate, master’s, or PhD degrees at UdeM.
- The University of Montreal scholarships provide substantial financial assistance, offering up to CA$21,593.35 per year.
For comprehensive information on other available scholarships, please visit the Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies page.
5. University of Toronto
The University of Toronto, currently holding the fifth position in the latest National Taiwan University Rankings, stands as a global academic powerhouse. NTU evaluates universities based on their comprehensive scientific publication output, alongside performance scores in specific fields and subjects.
- The University of Toronto offers a wide range of scholarships catering to both undergraduate and graduate students. These scholarships extend their reach to Canadian citizens, permanent residents, and international students.
- The university’s scholarship portfolio encompasses various criteria, including merit, leadership, financial need, and more.
- A notable admission award for undergraduates is the University of Toronto Scholars Programme, valued at CA$7,500.
- PhD students enjoy a substantial base funding package that covers up to five years of their study duration.
International PhD recipients, if selected, receive CA$28,970, which includes enrollment in the University Health Insurance Plan (mandatory health care coverage for registered international students), amounting to CA$756.00.
6. University of Ottawa
The University of Ottawa extends scholarship opportunities to students at the undergraduate, master’s, and PhD levels.
- Undergraduates and master’s students enrolling in a bachelor’s or master’s program in French or the French Immersion Stream automatically qualify for the Differential Tuition Fee Exemption Scholarship. Eligible students receive this scholarship upon enrollment.
- PhD students can access the International Doctoral Scholarship, designed for full-time international students. This prestigious scholarship carries a value of CA$45,000, disbursed over a span of five years. Eligible students can apply for this scholarship when pursuing a Ph.D. program at the university.
7. Concordia University
Concordia University, renowned as one of the leading public universities in French-speaking Montreal, is dedicated to supporting its students through various awards and scholarships. These opportunities are open to all individuals pursuing undergraduate and graduate programs.
- Concordia University offers Entrance Scholarships tailored for full-time students embarking on their first university experience. An automatic assessment process determines eligibility by considering factors such as academic excellence and other relevant criteria.
- For detailed information regarding undergraduate scholarships, please visit the dedicated section here.
8. The University of Lethbridge
The University of Lethbridge stands tall among Canada’s top three research universities, proudly ranking within the top 6% of world universities for research performance.
- The university offers a range of external scholarships for undergraduate and graduate programs, with values reaching up to CA$10,000. To explore these scholarships tailored for undergraduates, please click here.
- For graduate students in pursuit of financial assistance, the Graduate Research Award provides valuable support. This opportunity is open to all students except those enrolled in the Faculty of Education.
Eligible applicants will automatically be considered during the admission process and have the potential to receive financial support of up to CA$21,000.
9. University of British Columbia
The University of British Columbia (UBC) is globally recognized as a premier educational institution, securing the 40th position in the 2023 Times Higher Education rankings.
- UBC supports international students and automatically evaluates them for prestigious merit-based awards, including the International Major Entrance Scholarships and Outstanding International Student Awards. These scholarships collectively offer a maximum value of CA$35,000 annually.
- Should your financial needs extend beyond the provided scholarships, UBC offers the International Scholars Programme, ensuring you can access the necessary resources to cover tuition and basic living expenses.
- The Four Year Doctoral Fellowship (4YF) presents an exceptional opportunity for those pursuing a PhD. This program guarantees annual financial support of at least CA$18,200 for students with a proven track record of academic excellence.
Inclusive Scholarship Opportunities for International Students
The University of British Columbia extends these scholarship opportunities to all international students, with applications considered alongside the admission process, providing ongoing support for eligible recipients.
10. University of Alberta
With a rich history dating back to its founding in 1908, the University of Alberta has emerged as a prominent academic and research powerhouse.
Consistently ranked among Canada’s top choices for international students, the University of Alberta’s appeal lies in its numerous funding opportunities for aspiring scholars worldwide.
Admission-Based Scholarships for International Students
International students applying for admission to the university automatically become eligible for a range of admission-based scholarships, including:
- International Admission Scholarship: Valued up to CA$5,000.
- Regional Excellence Scholarship: Valued up to CA$5,000.
- Gold Standard Scholarship: Valued up to CA$6,000.
Graduate Entrance Scholarship for Master’s and Doctoral Programs
Students pursuing master’s or doctoral programs can benefit from the Graduate Entrance Scholarship.
PhD Stipend and Fee Support
Recipients of this scholarship pursuing a Ph.D. will receive a stipend of CA$21,000, accompanied by an additional CA$10,000 designated to assist international students in covering their fees.
Scholarship Application Deadlines
The scholarship application deadlines vary throughout the year, contingent upon your specific admission period, ensuring these opportunities remain accessible to all eligible candidates.
Proven Scholarship Tips from a Scholarship Winner
If you’re seeking scholarships, take note of Sutherland’s tried-and-true strategies for scholarship success:
1. Start Early: To secure a competitive scholarship, begin your preparations well in advance. The early bird often catches the scholarship worm.
2. Keep Track of Deadlines: Organize your scholarship applications meticulously by maintaining an Excel document with all the essential deadlines. Some applications require as little as 15 minutes, while others demand more time and attention.
3. Diversify Your Pursuits: Explore scholarship opportunities related to your various roles and affiliations. For instance, organizations like the United Nations may offer scholarships or job opportunities to their members. Some companies even provide the perk of a free master’s degree for their employees.
4. Craft a Unique Application with Efficiency: Tailor your scholarship application to reflect your current career development and the prevailing context. If you’re engaged in political movements, activism, or public service relevant to a specific scholarship, be sure to highlight these aspects.
Strive for uniqueness without unnecessary duplication of effort. Your application should resonate with the times and your personal journey.