7 Ways to get a scholarship for international students in Canada

Ways to get a scholarship for international students in Canada

With so many scholarship opportunities available in Canada, international students are fortunate to have numerous chances at getting enough financial aid to cover the costs of their education. However, with so many different scholarships on offer, it can be difficult to figure out how to get scholarship funding and even more difficult to decide which ones will give you the most bang for your buck. Here are seven ways to get a scholarship for international students in Canada.

1) Consider Provinces and Cities:

As you research potential Canadian schools, keep two things in mind: provinces and cities. Each province has its own education system and its own ministry of education, which means that international students can apply for financial aid through different bodies across these boundaries.

Also, when it comes to funding scholarships, geography plays an important role. Some provinces offer more financial aid than others. For example, Ontario awards roughly twice as much money per student as Quebec does.

On top of that, some Canadian cities have much higher populations of international students than others. This may mean that your opportunities for financial aid are greater if you attend school in one of these cities.

For example, Toronto receives more than 20,000 applications from international students each year, whereas Winnipeg has only 750 applicants every year.

You might also consider looking outside of Canada’s urban centers. Some smaller cities — like St. Catharines, Ontario and Waterloo, Ontario — have recently begun offering international student scholarships because they want to attract more students. After all, these locations offer small-town living with plenty of cultural opportunities right nearby.

It’s worth it to explore all of your options and look at more than just size when you’re considering where to study. This can help you make an informed decision about whether an urban or rural location will be best for you.

Regardless of where you choose, remember that scholarships are still available! Take advantage of them by applying as soon as possible. (A lot of funding is only available on a first-come, first-served basis.)

2) Think Outside the Box:

Don’t limit yourself to applying just to Canadian institutions, even if they make up most of your shortlist. Canadian universities work hard on their international recruitment efforts and many have scholarship programs designed specifically for international students.

You might also find local scholarships (in your home country or community) that cover tuition and living expenses. The most important thing is getting started, so get researching and you’ll surely land a scholarship before it’s too late!

As an international student, you can also be competitive for scholarships that are awarded specifically to international students. All you need is an excellent academic record and one or two years of relevant work experience; don’t be intimidated by having no Canadian experience.

Consider these programs if you’re an international student who has already been accepted into one of your top choices. Some schools offer scholarships as part of their financial aid packages, and these are typically awarded on a case-by-case basis. You might be able to negotiate an offer that includes enough funding to cover tuition and living expenses!

Though it might be tempting to think of scholarships as a luxury, you should definitely try and apply for as many programs as possible. There’s no harm in trying, and if you get lucky enough to win one then it will cover your tuition and living expenses!

Consider these programs even if you don’t plan on studying abroad — some organizations offer scholarships specifically for students studying abroad who want to return home after their studies.

If you are looking for scholarships as an international student, it is essential that you consider applying early. Many scholarship programs have rolling admissions and offer deadlines up to several months before your intended date of study.

The sooner you apply, the more opportunities will be available!

Consider these programs even if you don’t plan on studying abroad — some organizations offer scholarships specifically for students studying abroad who want to return home after their studies.

3) Start as Early as Possible:

Most scholarships are awarded on merit, meaning that you will only be considered if you have done well academically. So, if you’re looking at funding your studies by winning scholarships and bursaries, start as early as possible. Building up your grades is also a good way of getting admitted into top institutions, which will help raise your profile for scholarship applications down the road.

If you’re planning on applying for private scholarships and bursaries, get started at least one year before you intend to start your degree. Many scholarships require you complete an application, write an essay and speak with someone from their organization. This can take time, so make sure you plan ahead.

You’ll also want to start researching and contacting potential funding sources as early as possible. As you research, consider these questions

How much funding is available? (you’ll want to contact as many sources as possible) What criteria must I meet to apply? (GPA, skills, personal qualities) Who can I contact at that organization? (And how early do I need to start that process?) Once you’ve figured out who your target scholarships are, you can start applying!

And remember — don’t give up.

Finding funding is never easy, but it’s worth taking time to find money for school. The sooner you start looking, and planning your strategy, the better off you’ll be.

4) Do your Research:

Before you start looking at Canadian scholarship opportunities, do your research and learn as much as you can about education in Canada. The more you know, the better your chances of securing funding — and your future career success!

If possible, make sure to visit universities where you are applying for admission. Gather information from both current students and alumni on what it’s like living and studying there.

#Students looking for scholarships don’t need to worry about how they’ll pay for school. There are multiple scholarship opportunities available — and quite a few may be right in your backyard! Canadian students should start with local organizations or companies that are seeking employees and trainees. There are also individual scholarships which don’t come from institutions, but instead from people or organizations who want to support students who share their interests and values.

#Regardless of what country you’re coming from, there are Canadian scholarships that could support your dream of studying abroad. Go through scholarship listings on Canadian universities’ websites and reach out to your local embassy if you don’t see anything relevant. Keep in mind that all application requirements may vary, so make sure you have proof that you can meet their demands!

#It’s also helpful to look at how others are funding their studies. If you know any alumni, reach out and ask them about their student loans and scholarships. Did they get paid well? Did they find employment after graduating? These questions will help you make an informed decision about where to study and which jobs you can aim for.

#Now that you know how you’ll pay for your studies, it’s time to turn your attention towards funding. Luckily, there are plenty of scholarships available! Start by applying through Canadian institutions and working your way down. If you find that none of them suit your needs, look through websites from other countries as well. Do be sure to check on application requirements (language tests and residency status) as these factors can impact what type of scholarships you qualify for!

#Once you’ve found scholarships that might suit your interests, it’s time to start writing your application. Try and include all of your best qualities and skills — after all, you have everything to gain by impressing scholarship committees! If writing doesn’t come easily, you may want to consider working with a third party who can help you with crafting a winning application. Do consider your target audience: what kind of person are they looking for? What do they value?

#When you’re writing your application, keep it short and sweet! You don’t want to bore them with too much text, but you also don’t want to make it seem like you didn’t put any effort into it. Keep your essay focused on your unique strengths, what obstacles have you overcome, and how that is relevant for applying for funding. Remember: less is more!

#Once you’ve sent your application off, you’ll need to wait — and that can be difficult! Some scholarship organizations will notify you of whether you have been awarded immediately, while others will take longer. Keep in mind that many scholarships are awarded based on merit, meaning that there may be some stiff competition. Don’t give up hope! It’s not uncommon for awards to be extended until later deadlines, and many scholarships change hands each year.

#Before you start your studies, don’t forget about insurance. Find out if your country has any arrangements with Canadian institutions and whether you’ll need to buy additional medical or travel insurance. Most importantly, take a look at your own health and make sure you feel ready for studying abroad! Do some research on other international students — are they happy? What are their biggest complaints? This will give you an idea of what living as an international student is really like.

#Are you ready to study abroad? This is one of the biggest decisions you’ll make as an international student, so don’t take it lightly! If you’re nervous about making such a big decision on your own, do ask friends and family what they think. For many students, taking time off between school and starting their career can be invaluable — it gives them more time to develop skills or connections that will make them more competitive when it comes time to find employment.

#Do you have any questions about studying abroad? Great! There are tons of different organizations that help students move overseas, so why not reach out to them and ask them how their program works? Getting familiar with all of your options will give you more confidence when it comes time to apply — and who knows? You might even find an organization that helps you get involved with an international student community that really resonates with you.

#Even though you’re going abroad, it’s important that you don’t forget about friends and family back home. There are many ways to stay connected with your loved ones — what do they prefer? Are they up for Skyping? Emailing? Facebook messaging? Whatever works best is what you should use!

#Of course, studying abroad is an incredible experience. But it can also be stressful! Don’t forget that there are plenty of resources available to you — as well as other international students going through similar experiences. Remember that you’re not alone and reach out when you need advice or support! Do your research ahead of time so you know where to look when help is needed.

5) Pick Programs Carefully:

When you’re an international student applying to school in Canada, your tuition will be much higher than domestic students’ — so scholarships are extra important. Whether you’re choosing between several schools or just trying to figure out how much savings you’ll need before heading north, it helps if you know which programs have free/reduced tuition fees and can help you reduce your student debt. It also never hurts to double-check with each school whether they offer scholarships specifically for international students!

It never hurts to ask! A little research now can save you thousands of dollars later. Some programs have set policies and deadlines, so if you know what you want, get on it early. Even if schools don’t specifically offer scholarships for international students, they might make exceptions or offer special consideration when extenuating circumstances arise — but that happens less often than one might hope!

Just as important as finding scholarships is finding ways to offset tuition costs. Some international students choose cheaper schools or programs that may not be their first choice, but can offer significant savings. The majority of institutions do expect international students to pay tuition fees up front, which can be a sizable amount of money! So make sure you have adequate funds to cover your education before you enroll. If you don’t, contact your chosen university and see if they have any other funding options that might fit into your budget.

While some programs might be cheaper or offer other benefits (such as free healthcare), don’t forget about things like weather, distance from home, and local culture. The quality of your education matters more than anything else, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have other priorities too! For example, if you want to work for an international company that offers employees year-round housing options, you may have to go with a school in one location over another with cheaper tuition fees.

You should also consider how much time you’ll have to study, both during and after school. One year of evening classes five days a week may be cheaper than three years of full-time study, but will it be worth it if you can’t spend as much time with your family or working full-time? Consider all your options carefully before choosing which programs to apply for.

6) Network Like Crazy:

The more you engage with people around you, and make it clear that you’re looking for opportunities, the more likely it is that someone will steer an opportunity your way. LinkedIn is an obvious choice; connecting on social media can also help. Finally, reach out to friends of friends directly, we worked together at. You never know where opportunities might be hiding!

If you’re hoping to get scholarship money, then it’s very important that you use those skills. Put yourself out there at every opportunity and make sure that people know about your ambitions and passion. When someone does get in touch with you — either about a scholarship or something else — you’ll be ready!

If you’re searching for scholarships, then you need all of your personal and professional contacts — beyond just your network of friends! Attend events and conferences; reach out to former coworkers and mentors; create new relationships with people in your social circles. It all helps!

Once you’ve found some opportunities, start following up! This might be intimidating, but it’s something you have to do. And if you want your dream scholarship, then you need to take action and make it happen. There’s no other way around it!

7) Follow Up on Applications:

Following up on scholarship applications (as well as internship and job applications) is one of those things that many people tell themselves they’ll do, but few actually take care of. You should take some time before you apply for scholarships to create a schedule for yourself about when and how you will follow up on them. If you have three or four weeks before your application deadline, you can expect that it will take about 10-15 minutes each day during that period of time.

If you start your applications early enough, that should give you plenty of time to follow up on each application before your deadline. If not, be sure to build that into your schedule as well. When you receive an email from a scholarship provider, be sure to follow up as soon as possible. The sooner you can provide additional information or clarification (if they’ve requested it), the better chance you have of receiving a scholarship.

Once you’ve applied, don’t forget about your applications! You should be following up on each one by checking back every few days and staying updated. If there are any questions or clarifications you need, be sure to reach out right away so that you can secure funding when it becomes available. If possible, follow up with one more email before your deadline. The earlier they receive an application from you, the better chance they have of awarding it.

Don’t get discouraged if you aren’t awarded a scholarship on your first try. Keep applying and keep following up, and you should be able to secure funding before you know it! Just remember that scholarships can often be very competitive. If you have any doubt about whether or not your application is strong enough, consider spending some time with a tutor or someone who has experience helping students with these applications before submitting.

If you’re applying for a specific program or course, be sure to let your scholarship provider know so that they can assess your chances of receiving funding. For example, if you’re applying for an engineering scholarship, but have no experience with programming, it might be a good idea to ask them about their level of interest and what they’ll be looking for during their review process. You can also ask about any additional information or qualifications that will help your application succeed.


Scholarships are hard to come by and competition is stiff, but there are several ways you can increase your chances of getting one. Start off by focusing on your grades: school grades matter more than standardized test scores because they give admissions officers a sense of what you’re capable of achieving at university.

The only way you’ll find more scholarships is by applying for them, so get started today! Make a plan and set yourself up for success. Save money to pay your tuition fees and living expenses before applying. While some scholarships can be used at any university, you may want to apply specifically at schools which will give you access to grants and bursaries specific to international students. Plan ahead and make scholarship hunting part of your application process — not an add-on.

Although applying for scholarships isn’t easy, it is worth it. Find free money and save thousands of dollars while improving your chances of getting into your dream university.

Whether you have your heart set on a post-graduate program, or you want to get your degree in Canada and then go on to live and work abroad, there are tons of great opportunities out there. Keep reading our articles about scholarships for international students—including detailed guides on how to get scholarships.


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