January 27, 2024

Study In Canada On A Budget: Explore Scholarship & Bursary Options For New Internationals

Canada is one of the most popular destinations for international students globally, thanks to its excellent educational institutions, international reputation, and work and immigration opportunities. However, another vital reason why Canada is highly sought-after for international education is its tuition fees. The country's favorable exchange rate and comparatively lower tuition fees make studying at Canadian institutions more affordable for international students.

Canada's commitment to supporting international students

In addition to its affordability, the Canadian government actively supports international students through various bursaries and scholarships. Unlike other popular education destinations like the United States, Canada offers financial aid through EduCanada, a government organization equipped with a scholarship search tool. This tool helps determine your eligibility for financial awards from the Canadian government, foreign governments, and third-party organizations.

Important eligibility considerations for scholarships and bursaries

Before diving into specific scholarships, it's crucial to understand the general eligibility criteria for most awards in Canada. While each scholarship has its unique requirements, all of them share these commonalities:

  1. Valid student exchange program: You must be enrolled in an educational institution in your home country with a valid student exchange program with the Canadian institution you'll be attending.
  2. No prior enrollment in Canadian programs: You cannot already be enrolled in a degree, diploma, or certificate program at a Canadian post-secondary institution at the time of applying.
  3. Canadian citizenship or permanent residency: You cannot hold or have a pending application for Canadian citizenship or permanent residency.
  4. Previous scholarship participation: You cannot have previously participated in a scholarship program funded by the Government of Canada, including the specific award you're applying for.
  5. Designated Learning Institution (DLI) attendance: The Canadian institution you'll be attending must be a DLI, as these are the only authorized to accept international students.

Federal scholarships and bursaries for new international students

Now, let's explore some of the federal scholarships and bursaries available for new international undergraduate students in Canada:

1. The Study in Canada Scholarships

The Study in Canada Scholarships aim to diversify and enhance opportunities at Canadian post-secondary institutions by attracting diverse international students for study or research exchange programs. Financial rewards range from $10,200 CAD for undergraduate studies (four months/one semester) to $12,700 CAD for graduate studies (five to six months).

To qualify, you must:

  1. Be a citizen of a valid country or region (specific countries listed in the official program website).
  2. Be a full-time student at a post-secondary institution in any of the eligible countries or regions.
  3. Be responsible for paying tuition fees to the concerned institution at the time of application and throughout the exchange program.

2. The Canada-ASEAN Scholarships

The Canada-ASEAN Scholarships and Educational Exchanges for Development (SEED) program, launched in 2017, offers short-term study and research opportunities at Canadian post-secondary institutions for students from ASEAN member states. The program focuses on areas supporting the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Financial rewards mirror those of the Study in Canada Scholarships.

Eligibility requirements include:

  1. Holding citizenship from an ASEAN member nation.
  2. Being a full-time student at an ASEAN member state post-secondary institution at the time of applying.
  3. Currently paying and continuing to pay tuition fees to that institution throughout the exchange program period.


3. The Emerging Leaders in the Americas Program

Established in 2009, the Emerging Leaders in the Americas Program fosters human capital development and cultivates future leaders in the Americas. Financial awards range from $8,200 CAD for undergraduate studies (four months/one semester) to $11,100 CAD for graduate studies (five to six months).

To be eligible, you must:

  1. Be a citizen from a qualifying country or territory in the Caribbean, Central America, South America, or Mexico.
  2. Be a full-time student in a post-secondary institution based in an eligible country or territory.
  3. Be paying tuition fees to your home institution at the time of application and for the entire duration of your exchange period.

Beyond the federal realm, a treasure trove of scholarships awaits

  1. University-specific awards: Many DLIs offer their own financial aid programs for international students. Explore the websites of your target universities to discover these hidden gems.
  2. Government scholarships for specific regions and fields: The Canadian government offers additional scholarship programs for post-doctoral and graduate students, students from China, the Americas, and more. Dive into EduCanada's scholarship search tool to discover these possibilities.

Remember, scholarships and bursaries are just one piece of the financial puzzle. Consider factors like living expenses, travel costs, and additional fees. Start planning early, research thoroughly, and don't hesitate to contact the relevant institutions or scholarship programs for guidance.

Embarking on your Canadian education journey shouldn't be hampered by financial constraints. With this guide as your compass and a proactive approach, you can navigate the world of scholarships and bursaries, unlocking doors to academic excellence and a fulfilling Canadian experience.

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