Canada is one of the top study abroad destinations with some of the world’s best universities and colleges. But as an international student, the high tuition fees can be daunting.
Thankfully, Canada offers a wide range of generous scholarships to help make education more affordable. Many of these are highly competitive, but some scholarships are easier to get than others if you meet the eligibility criteria.
In this guide, we discuss the most straightforward scholarships for international students looking to study in Canada.
Why Apply for Canada Scholarships?
Here are some excellent reasons to apply for Canadian scholarships as an international student:
- Save on Tuition Fees
Canadian university fees for international students can range from $14,000 to $60,000 per year depending on the program and institution. Scholarships help reduce this major expense.
- Gain Admission to Top Universities
Scholarships boost your chances of admission at renowned Canadian universities like UToronto, UBC, McGill, McMaster, and Waterloo.
- Enjoy a High Standard of Living
The scholarship funds help cover your costs of accommodation, food, transport, and other living expenses in Canada beyond just tuition.
- Fast-track Permanent Residency
Getting a scholarship makes it easier to apply for post-graduation work and permanent residency in Canada.
- Launch Your Career
Graduating from a top Canadian university with generous funding makes your resume stand out. It opens doors for fantastic career opportunities in Canada.
So investing time in scholarship applications is hugely rewarding for aspiring international students.
What are Easiest Canada Scholarships for International Students?
Now let’s examine some of the most attainable scholarships for international students wishing to study in Canada:
1. University Entrance Scholarships
One of the easiest ways to obtain Canadian scholarships is by applying directly to university-specific entrance awards, right after admission. These are based on grades and don’t require extra tests or applications. Some examples are:
- York University Global Entrance Scholarships – $1000-$52,000 for high-achieving international students in undergraduate programs.
- University of Alberta First Year International Student Scholarship – $5,000 awarded automatically based on admission grades.
- McGill Major Entrance Scholarships – $3,000 to $12,000 for top newcomers to undergraduate and graduate levels.
- Carleton University Entrance Scholarships – $2,000 to $8,000 for high school grades above 80% average.
- University of Victoria International Entrance Scholarships – Between $1,500 and $40,000 based on GPA.
So research the university websites to find awards you’re automatically eligible for upon admission without extra applications.
2. Merit-Based University Scholarships
Besides entrance scholarships, many Canadian universities also offer generous in-course scholarships after 1st year for maintaining excellence in academics. These include:
- Concordia University Merit Scholarships – $1,000-$2,000 awarded annually for full-time students with GPA above 3.7.
- University of Saskatchewan International Excellence Scholarship – $4,000/year for undergraduates with GPA above 80%.
- Simon Fraser University (SFU) Awards for International Students – $18,000-$25,000 available based on top academic performance at SFU.
- University of Regina International Scholarships – $2,000 – $6,500 per year for continuing undergraduate and graduate students.
- University of Winnipeg President’s Scholarship – $5,000 per year for maintaining GPA of 3.5 or higher.
Work hard and keep grades up during your studies to become eligible for these prestigious Canadian scholarships.
3. Need-Based Bursaries
Many universities also offer bursaries and grants for international students facing financial challenges. Unlike scholarships, these are:
- Non-competitive and not based on grades.
- Focused on financial need demonstrated through income statements.
Some examples are:
- University of British Columbia (UBC) International Student Bursaries – Up to $1,000/year for undergraduate students who are struggling to cover expenses.
- Western University International Bursaries – $2,500/year for graduate students with proven financial need.
- Queen’s University Reach Bursaries in Canada – $5,000 – $15,000 for first year undergraduate and graduate students facing hardship.
So apply for these if you require urgent financial support during your studies in Canada.
4. Research/Teaching Assistantships
Another fantastic way to fund your education in Canada is through research, teaching, or lab assistant roles offered by universities. These provide a salary/stipend and waive your tuition fees.
Some examples are:
- McGill Work Study Program – On-campus part-time jobs during term-time and summer for undergraduate and graduate students.
- McMaster Teaching Assistant and Research Assistant Positions – Numerous teaching, research, lab work opportunities in all faculties.
- Simon Fraser University (SFU) Teaching Assistant Jobs – 100+ openings every term for grading, labs, tutorials, with average pay of $10,000 per year.
- University of Toronto Research Assistantships – RA roles matching research interests of graduate students available across all departments.
Make sure to apply for these early, as competition is high for limited spots.
5. Institution-Specific Awards
Beyond the universities themselves, various institutions offer awards for studying in Canada:
- Charlottetown Rotary Club Scholarship – Covers up to $20,000/year towards UPEI education for developing country students.
- Helen McRae Peacock Nursing Scholarship – $5,000/year for African nursing students attending Dalhousie University.
- CN Rail Scholarship for Women – Up to $3,000 annually for female students in engineering and rail transport at uWaterloo, McGill, U of Alberta.
- Arthur Labatt Family Engineering Scholarships – Over 15 awards across 7 Canadian universities for international students studying engineering.
Search for such external scholarships associated with your target school and program.
6. Scholarships by Foreign Governments
Some countries have special scholarships to fund nationals for studying in Canada. Examples:
- Excellence Scholarships for Africans – Awarded by the Canadian Bureau of International Education for African students. Covers up to $20,000 for undergrads and $35,000 for post-grads.
- Kuwait Scholarship Program – Generous scholarships from Kuwaiti government covering tuition fees, living expenses and healthcare for studies in Canada.
- CARICOM-Canada Scholarships – Awards from Global Affairs Canada for students from the Caribbean Community. Value up to $20,000 per year.
- Switzerland – Canada Scholarship Program – Fully funded scholarships for Swiss nationals interested in Master’s or PhD in Canada.
So find out what special Canada scholarships your home government or organizations may offer.
7. Subject-Specific Scholarships in Canada
Certain scholarship providers target specific programs and research areas:
- Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships – $50,000 per year for exciting doctoral research at Canadian universities – one of the most prestigious awards.
- Irving K Barber British Columbia Scholarship – $5,000 – $10,000 for students from developing Commonwealth countries studying at BC universities.
- Schulich Leader Scholarships – $80,000 – $100,000 for Science, Tech, Engineering, Math students attending designated universities.
- Li Green Energy Entrepreneur Scholarship – $25,000 award for international students pursuing entrepreneurship and green technology studies in Canada.
Find awards matching your field of study by searching scholarship databases.
8. Awards from Student Organizations
Student societies, clubs and communities also offer scholarship opportunities in Canada:
- Philanthropic Educational Organization (PEO) Scholarship – $15,000 over 2 years for women from foreign countries at Canadian universities to complete their program.
- Chinese Students Scholarship – Over $1 million awarded annually by Federation of Chinese Canadian Students across schools.
- Student Life Network International Scholarships – $500 – $3000 scholarships for undergraduate and graduate international students from StudentLife.com.
- Students of Caribbean and African Ancestry (SOCA) Awards – $1000 – $2000 for Black students from the Caribbean and Africa studying in Canada.
Consider these to supplement other funding options during your stay in Canada as an international student!
How to Increase Your Chances for These Awards?
Follow these tips to strengthen your scholarship applications for studying in Canada:
✔ Start researching and applying early, at least 8-12 months before desired enrollment.
✔ Focus on merit-based scholarships and assistantships to avoid the effort of proving financial need.
✔ Craft an outstanding admission application for top grades to qualify for university academic awards.
✔ Obtain impressive recommendation letters from teachers and supervisors.
✔ Demonstrate passion through essays and interviews. Let your personality shine.
✔ Apply directly on university websites, targeting in-house opportunities.
✔ Create a well-rounded profile – academics, sports, arts, community service, leadership roles.
✔ Contact scholarship offices for advice and to help you identify specific suitable awards.
✔ Don’t limit yourself to national or local scholarships. Look internationally across public and private sectors.
With ample preparation and a strategic approach, you can secure these simpler scholarships to fulfill your Canadian education dream!
FAQs on Easy Canada Scholarships for International Students
What are the easiest scholarships for international students in Canada?
Some of the most attainable awards are university entrance scholarships, in-course academic awards, research/teaching assistantships, university-specific scholarships, and scholarships by student organizations.
How to get scholarships in Canada for international students?
Strong grades, early research, outstanding essays/interviews, and broad applications are key. Tap into university-based awards, government and external scholarships worldwide for your profile.
What are the best scholarships for international students in Canada?
Top scholarships include Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships, University of Toronto International Scholarships, Concordia University Entrance Awards, and Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation Doctoral Scholarships.
Do Canadian universities offer full scholarships for international students?
Yes, many Canadian universities provide full or very generous scholarships that cover tuition, residence and living costs for international students with exceptional merit. Examples are University of Winnipeg President’s Scholarship and Humber College International Entrance Scholarships.
How much scholarship can an international student get in Canada?
Scholarship amounts can range from $500 – $100,000 based on the award. The average university entrance scholarship is $2,000 – $10,000. Highly competitive national awards like Vanier can offer up to $50,000/year.
Canada offers a wide range of generous scholarship opportunities for international students from first year through doctoral level. By focusing your applications on entrance awards, university academic prizes, assistantships and targeted external scholarships, you can maximize your chances of success. With early research, academic excellence, passion and persistence, international students can win these easier Canadian scholarships to fulfill their academic and career aspirations.