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Scholarship Opportunities For International Students in Canada

Many people dream of studying in Canada, but not everyone can afford to. However, with scholarship opportunities for international students in Canada, finance is no longer as challenging as it used to be for foreign students. Still, another problem which one may encounter is being able to find these scholarship opportunities and maximize them.

Hence, we have put together some of the top opportunities and fully funded scholarships in Canada for international students that you should look into. There are numerous opportunities out there, however, this list is not exhaustive. Nonetheless, it includes both government-funded and non-governmental scholarships for undergraduate and graduate students.

Government-Funded Scholarship Opportunities For International Students in Canada

1. Study in Canada Scholarships

The Study in Canada Scholarships is a Short-term Exchange Program under Global Affairs Canada’s International Scholarships Program. This means that it does not sponsor full-time students studying in Canada. On the contrary, it sponsors international students studying in their home countries who want to run a short-term program in Canada. This program helps to strengthen bilateral ties and promote diverse engagement between Canadian institutions and their international counterparts.

Canadian institutions interested in welcoming exchange students usually apply for this scholarship on behalf of eligible students. The institution must be a Designated Learning Institution (DLI) that has a valid student exchange agreement with the student’s home institution. The agreement must include a tuition fee waiver for scholarship recipients.


To be eligible for this scholarship, you must be:

  • A citizen of any of the eligible countries below:
    • Asia: Bangladesh, Nepal, Taiwan
    • Europe: Türkiye, Ukraine
    • Middle East and North Africa: Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, Tunisia
    • Sub-Saharan Africa: Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Tanzania, Uganda
  • Enrolled into a full-time post-secondary program in a higher institution in any of the eligible countries
  • Paying your tuition fees at the time of application and throughout your exchange.

You are not eligible for this scholarship if you:

  • Have a pending application for Canadian citizenship or permanent residency
  • Already under any scholarship funded by the Canadian government
  • Are enrolled in a post-secondary school program in any institution in Canada

Scholarship Value and Duration

This scholarship offers different values depending on the duration of the program. Undergraduate, college and graduate programs that last up to 4 months are usually awarded a $10,200 scholarship. While graduate programs (Master’s and PhD) that last up to 5-6 months are awarded $12,700.

2. Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships (Vanier CGS)

Targeted at doctoral students, the program aims to attract and retain the best minds in the social sciences and humanities, natural sciences and/or engineering and health. To qualify, students must demonstrate academic excellence, research potential and leadership ability and attain an average score of at least 3.1 in each of the three criteria.

The Canadian government launched this program in 2008 to help Canada attract the best brains globally. Up to 166 scholarships are awarded yearly and about 500 scholarships are active at a time. Three federal granting agencies are in charge of these scholarships:

  • Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR)
  • Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC)
  • Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC)

Interested students cannot directly apply for a Vanier CGS. They have to apply for their doctoral degree to institutions which have Vanier CGS quota. The institution then nominates the best-qualified candidates. Hence, it is important to know the institutional internal deadlines to avoid missing out. Also, before you apply to an institution, find out whether or not it has a quota for the year you are applying so that you do not end up applying to a school without a quota.


Both Canadian citizens and international students are eligible for this scholarship. But beyond citizenship, you must meet the following criteria to be considered. You must;

  • Be nominated by only one Canadian institution, which has a Vanier CGS quota.
  • Be pursuing a doctoral degree (including a joint program)
  • Have completed no more than 20 months of full-time study in your doctoral degree program. And no more than 32 months of full-time study if it is a joint graduate research program (ie. a joint Master’s and PhD program)
  • Have achieved a first-class average (your institution will decide this) in each of the last two years of study
  • Not have received a previous doctoral-level scholarship or fellowship from any of the agencies in charge of the scholarship (CIHR, NSERC or SSHRC)

Scholarship Value and Duration

These study abroad scholarships Canada are valued at $50,000 per year for three years during doctoral studies.

3. Quebec Government’s Merit Scholarship

These are scholarship opportunities for international students in Canada who are studying in Quebec either in a university, college or vocational training. The government of Quebec sponsors this program with the aim of attracting the best international candidates into programs with good job and research prospects. Selected candidates will be awarded a scholarship, an exemption from the differential tuition fees that international students pay and health insurance and hospitalization coverage provided by the Régie de l’assurance maladie du Québec (RAMQ).


  • To be eligible for this scholarship, you must be enrolled in one of these study programs;
    • Studies or research programs at a Québec university, or be in a doctoral or post-doctoral fellowship program or as part of a short-term research stay or professional development.
    • Full-time studies in a technical training program at the college level leading to a Diploma of College Studies (DCS)
    • Full-time studies in a vocational training program leading to a Diploma of Vocational Studies (DVS) or DVS followed by an Attestation of Vocational Specialization (AVS)
  • You must have been preselected by a university or Synchronex (a CCTT)
  • You must not be a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident of Canada
  • You must have no pending application for permanent resident status under Canadian immigration law.

Scholarship Value and Duration

  • For university programs, the value varies depending on the type of program you are enrolled into:
    • Doctoral research programs: The offer is $ 25,000 per year. The maximum duration for this scholarship is three years, with a possible extension of up to 12 months. In the case of an extension, a monthly allowance of $ 1,000 is provided.
    • Post-doctoral fellows: A non-renewable scholarship of $ 35,000 for one year.
    • Short-term research stays or professional development: A $3 000 per month scholarship, for a period of up to four months.
  • For technical training colleges, the merit scholarship is valued at valued at $ 14,000 per year.
  • For vocational training, the scholarship varies between $ 14,000 and $ 26,600, depending on the duration of the training program. 

4. Canada-ASEAN Scholarships and Educational Exchanges for Development

This is one of the selective scholarship opportunities for international students in Canada. It is available only for students from ASEAN member states. The Canadian government launched this program on August 6, 2017, to provide opportunities for students from these states to conduct short-term study or research in Canadian higher institutions. This program aims not just to offer academic opportunities, but also to reduce poverty in ASEAN member states. Even more, it helps to strengthen the people-to-people ties between Canada and the Indo-Pacific region.


You must meet the following criteria to be eligible for this scholarship.

  • Hold citizenship in an ASEAN member state. These states are: Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos (Lao People’s Democratic Republic (Lao PDR)), Malaysia, Myanmar, The Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam
  • Be enrolled full-time at a post-secondary institution in an ASEAN member state
  • pay tuition fees to that institution at the time of application and for the full duration of your exchange.

Conversely, you are not eligible if you:

  • Have a pending application for Canadian citizenship or permanent residency
  • Are already benefiting from a scholarship program funded by the Canadian Government.
  • Are enrolled in a degree, diploma or certificate program at a Canadian institution
  • Received a scholarship under the Canada-ASEAN Scholarships and Educational Exchanges for Development Program in the past.

Scholarship Value and Duration

  • College or undergraduate programs that last up to 4 months are valued at whereas those that last up to 8 months are valued at $10,200.
  • Graduate programs that last up to 4 months are valued at $10,200 while those that span between 5-6 months are valued at $12,700.

Non-Governmental Scholarship Opportunities For International Students in Canada

1. Lester B. Pearson International Scholarship Program

This is one of the Canadian scholarships for international students awarded by the University of Toronto. It covers tuition, books, incidental fees, and full residential support for four years. You have to be a recent secondary school graduate to apply.

2. University of British Columbia (UBC) Scholarships

There are up to four categories of tuition waiver scholarships Canada for international students at UBC. While they are earned on merit, some like the Donald A. Wehrung International Student Award recognize students from impoverished or war-torn areas. While the Vantage One Excellence Award recognizes outstanding international students who do not yet meet the English Language Admission Standard for direct admission to UBC. The International Impact Award and Karen McKellin International Leader of Tomorrow Award are for students who demonstrate superior academic achievement and exemplary leadership skills.

3. Calgary International Entrance Scholarship

This is a renewable scholarship at the University of Calgary. It covers CA$20,000 annually for qualified international students.

4. International Entrance Scholarship

Humber College offers this Bachelor’s Degree scholarship to meritorious international students commencing direct entry from high school. It is a renewable scholarship with varied values depending on the student’s academic performance. Although scholarships for students with a GPA of 80% or higher are renewable, scholarships for those with a 75-79.9% GPA are non-renewable.

5. President’s Scholarships for World Leaders

This is another one of the University scholarships Canada for international students. It is offered at the University of Winnipeg. The value for this scholarship ranges from CA$3,500 to CA$5,000 and interested candidates should have a minimum 80% admission average or equivalent.

6. Dean’s Doctoral Scholarship for International Students

The University of Saskatchewan provides a Dean’s Scholarship for international students in doctoral-level programs. The value is usually around $24,000 per year for two years. To apply, candidates must have a minimum cumulative grade point average of 80.00%.

Final Words

Scholarship opportunities for international students in Canada are quite helpful. They not only contribute to the financial well-being of students but also play a crucial role in fostering a more inclusive and diverse educational environment. When searching for scholarships, take your time to go through the website of the school you are applying to. There is usually information on available scholarships as well as their criteria. Also, you can send an email to the school for further inquiries if you cannot find sufficient information on the website. Some schools may have opportunities not available to the public.


Elizabeth is a well-versed writer who has mastered the art of delivering complex knowledge in simple ways to help readers grasp the information they need without mental stress.

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