How to Secure a Scholarship to Study in Canada

One of the most popular types of scholarships available to international students in Canada is merit-based scholarships. These scholarships are awarded to students who have demonstrated exceptional academic achievements. They are usually highly competitive, and applicants are required to have outstanding grades and a strong academic background. Merit-based scholarships can cover a significant portion of tuition fees or even the entire cost of education.

In addition to merit-based scholarships, there are also scholarships available for specific fields of study. Many Canadian universities offer scholarships for students pursuing degrees in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) fields. These scholarships aim to attract talented individuals to these high-demand areas and support their education and research in these fields. Students interested in pursuing a career in STEM can take advantage of these scholarships to fund their studies.


Furthermore, there are scholarships specifically designed for students from developing countries. These scholarships aim to provide opportunities for students from economically disadvantaged backgrounds to study in Canada. They often cover not only tuition fees but also living expenses and travel costs. These scholarships play a crucial role in promoting diversity and inclusivity in Canadian universities by giving talented students from developing countries a chance to receive a quality education.

Another avenue for securing a scholarship to study in Canada is through government-funded scholarships. The Canadian government, along with provincial governments, offers various scholarships and grants to international students. These scholarships are usually based on factors such as academic excellence, financial need, or contributions to the community. They can be a significant source of financial support for international students, helping them pursue their studies in Canada.


Lastly, there are scholarships available from private organizations, foundations, and companies. These scholarships can be based on a wide range of criteria, including academic achievements, extracurricular activities, community involvement, or specific demographic groups. Private scholarships can be highly competitive, but they offer a unique opportunity for students to receive financial support from external sources.

In conclusion, scholarships are a valuable resource for international students considering studying in Canada. Whether through merit-based scholarships, field-specific scholarships, scholarships for students from developing countries, government-funded scholarships, or private scholarships, there are various avenues to secure financial support for your education. By exploring these opportunities and putting in the effort to meet the eligibility criteria, you can make your dream of studying in Canada a reality without the burden of excessive financial stress.

1. Research the Available Scholarships

The first step in obtaining a scholarship to study in Canada is to research the available options. There are numerous scholarships offered by Canadian universities, government organizations, and private institutions. Start by visiting the websites of universities and colleges in Canada to explore the scholarships they offer to international students. Additionally, you can search for scholarships provided by the Canadian government and external organizations.

Make a list of scholarships that align with your field of study, academic achievements, and personal circumstances. Pay attention to the eligibility criteria, application deadlines, and required documents for each scholarship.


When researching scholarships, it is essential to consider not only the financial aspect but also the opportunities and benefits they offer. Some scholarships may provide not only financial support but also opportunities for research, internships, or mentorship programs. These additional benefits can greatly enhance your academic and professional development.

Furthermore, take note of any specific requirements or preferences that the scholarship providers may have. Some scholarships may prioritize applicants from certain countries, underrepresented communities, or specific academic disciplines. Understanding these preferences can help you tailor your application and increase your chances of success.

Additionally, consider reaching out to current or past scholarship recipients. Their experiences and insights can provide valuable information about the application process, selection criteria, and the overall experience of studying in Canada. Networking with these individuals can also open doors to new opportunities and connections within your chosen field.

Lastly, keep in mind that scholarship availability and criteria can change from year to year. It is important to stay updated with the latest information by regularly checking the websites of scholarship providers and subscribing to their newsletters or notification services. By staying informed, you can ensure that you don’t miss out on any new scholarship opportunities that may arise.

2. Contact the Admissions Office

Once you have identified potential scholarships, it is crucial to reach out to the admissions office of the Canadian institutions you are interested in. This step is essential as it allows you to gather more information about the scholarships available and gain a better understanding of the application process.

When contacting the admissions office, it is advisable to have a list of specific questions prepared. This will help ensure that you receive all the necessary information and guidance needed to increase your chances of securing a scholarship. Some of the questions you may want to ask include:

  1. What are the specific requirements for each scholarship?
  2. What documents are needed to complete the application?
  3. Are there any specific deadlines for the scholarship applications?
  4. Are there any additional criteria or qualifications that applicants need to meet?
  5. Is there any assistance available for international students in the application process?

The admissions office is there to support you throughout the application process, so don’t hesitate to ask any questions you may have. They have a wealth of knowledge and experience and can provide valuable insights into the scholarships available at their institution.

Moreover, contacting the admissions office allows you to establish a connection with the institution. Building a relationship with the admissions staff can be beneficial as they can offer personalized advice and guidance tailored to your specific situation. They can help you navigate the complex world of scholarships and ensure that you are on the right track to securing funding for your studies in Canada.

Overall, reaching out to the admissions office is a crucial step in the scholarship application process. It not only provides you with essential information but also allows you to establish a connection with the institution and receive personalized guidance. By taking the time to contact the admissions office, you are demonstrating your commitment and dedication to your education, which can further enhance your chances of being awarded a scholarship.

3. Prepare a Strong Application

When applying for a scholarship, it is crucial to prepare a strong application that highlights your achievements, academic potential, and personal qualities. Here are some tips to help you create an impressive scholarship application:

3.1. Personal Statement

Write a compelling personal statement that showcases your passion for your chosen field of study, your academic goals, and how studying in Canada will contribute to your future career. Be sure to emphasize any unique experiences or challenges you have overcome that make you a deserving candidate for the scholarship.

3.2. Academic Achievements

Highlight your academic achievements, such as high grades, awards, and honors. Provide evidence of your commitment to academic excellence and your ability to succeed in your chosen field.

3.3. Letters of Recommendation

Request letters of recommendation from teachers, professors, or employers who can speak to your abilities, character, and potential. Choose individuals who know you well and can provide specific examples of your academic or professional achievements.

3.4. Extracurricular Activities

Showcase your involvement in extracurricular activities, such as volunteering, leadership roles, or participation in clubs and organizations. Highlight how these experiences have shaped your skills, character, and commitment to making a positive impact.

3.5. Financial Need

If you have financial need, be sure to address it in your application. Some scholarships prioritize candidates with limited financial resources, so it is essential to provide accurate and honest information about your financial situation.

Additionally, it is important to tailor your application to the specific scholarship you are applying for. Research the scholarship requirements and criteria thoroughly to understand what the selection committee is looking for. This will allow you to highlight the aspects of your background and experiences that align with their values and goals.

Furthermore, pay attention to the application instructions and ensure that you submit all the required documents and information within the given deadline. Late or incomplete applications may not be considered, so it is crucial to stay organized and plan your application timeline accordingly.

Lastly, proofread your application multiple times to eliminate any grammatical or spelling errors. A well-written and error-free application demonstrates your attention to detail and professionalism.

By following these tips and putting in the effort to create a strong and tailored application, you can increase your chances of securing a scholarship to study in Canada and pursue your academic and career goals.

4. Meet the Eligibility Criteria

Each scholarship will have its own set of eligibility criteria that applicants must meet. It is crucial to thoroughly read and understand these criteria before applying. Some common eligibility requirements for scholarships to study in Canada include:

  • Academic excellence: Most scholarships require students to have a certain grade point average (GPA) or academic achievements in specific subjects. This is to ensure that the scholarship is awarded to deserving students who have demonstrated their academic abilities.
  • English language proficiency: Since the medium of instruction in most Canadian universities is English, it is important for international students to demonstrate their proficiency in the language. Scholarships may require applicants to submit standardized test scores such as IELTS or TOEFL.
  • Field of study: Some scholarships are specific to certain fields of study. For example, there may be scholarships available only for students pursuing STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) fields or for those studying in the social sciences. It is important to check if your intended field of study aligns with the scholarship’s requirements.
  • Country of origin: Certain scholarships may be available only to students from specific countries or regions. This could be due to partnerships between Canadian institutions and foreign governments or organizations. These scholarships aim to promote cultural exchange and diversity among the student population.
  • Financial need: Some scholarships prioritize students who demonstrate financial need. This is to ensure that students who may not have the means to fund their education are given an opportunity to study in Canada. Financial documents and statements may be required to prove eligibility based on financial need.
  • Community involvement: Many scholarships value students who have actively participated in community service or extracurricular activities. This demonstrates a student’s commitment to making a positive impact in their community and beyond. Applicants may be required to provide evidence of their involvement in volunteer work or leadership roles.

Ensure that you meet all the requirements specified by the scholarship provider. If you do not meet certain criteria, it is best to focus on scholarships where you are eligible to increase your chances of success. Research thoroughly and consider reaching out to scholarship providers or university admissions offices for clarification on any eligibility requirements.

5. Submit a Complete Application

Once you have gathered all the necessary documents and prepared your application, make sure to double-check for any missing information or errors. Incomplete or incorrect applications may be disqualified, so it is crucial to submit a complete and accurate application.

Follow the instructions provided by the scholarship provider regarding the submission process. Some scholarships may require you to submit your application online, while others may require physical copies of documents. Pay attention to the application deadlines and ensure that your application reaches the scholarship provider on time.

When submitting your application online, make sure to carefully review each section before clicking the submit button. Check for any spelling or grammatical errors, as well as formatting inconsistencies. It may be helpful to have someone else proofread your application to catch any mistakes you may have overlooked.

If you are required to submit physical copies of documents, take the time to organize them neatly in a folder or envelope. Label each document clearly with your name and the scholarship you are applying for. Double-check that you have included all the necessary documents and that they are in the correct order.

In addition to your application, you may also be required to submit a personal statement or essay. Take the time to carefully craft your response, ensuring that it addresses the prompt or question provided by the scholarship provider. Proofread your essay for clarity, coherence, and grammar. Consider seeking feedback from a teacher, mentor, or friend to help you refine your essay and make it as strong as possible.

Finally, keep track of the application deadlines and make sure to submit your materials well in advance. This will give you enough time to address any last-minute issues or complications that may arise. Remember, submitting a complete and well-prepared application is crucial in maximizing your chances of being awarded the scholarship.

6. Seek External Scholarships

In addition to scholarships offered by Canadian institutions, there are also external scholarships available for international students. These scholarships are provided by organizations, foundations, and governments from various countries. Explore scholarship opportunities in your home country or through international scholarship databases.

Some external scholarships may have specific requirements or restrictions, so carefully review the eligibility criteria and application process. Be aware of any additional documents or steps required for external scholarship applications.

One popular source of external scholarships is the government of Canada itself. The Canadian government offers a range of scholarships for international students, including the Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships, the Banting Postdoctoral Fellowships, and the Canada-ASEAN Scholarships and Educational Exchanges for Development (SEED) Program. These scholarships provide financial support to outstanding students who wish to pursue their studies in Canada.

Additionally, many countries have their own scholarship programs specifically designed for international students. For example, the Australian government offers the Australia Awards, which are prestigious scholarships that aim to promote knowledge, education, and links between Australia and other countries. The United Kingdom also has several scholarship programs, such as the Chevening Scholarships, which are awarded to exceptional individuals with leadership potential from around the world.

Furthermore, various organizations and foundations offer scholarships to international students based on specific criteria. For instance, the Fulbright Program, sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, offers scholarships for students, scholars, and professionals to study, teach, or conduct research in the United States. The Gates Cambridge Scholarships, funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, provide full-cost scholarships to outstanding applicants from outside the United Kingdom to pursue a postgraduate degree at the University of Cambridge.

When searching for external scholarships, it is important to use reputable scholarship databases and websites. Websites like ScholarshipPortal, International Scholarships, and Studyportals provide comprehensive information on scholarships available to international students. These platforms allow you to filter scholarships based on your country of origin, field of study, and level of education.

Before applying for any external scholarship, carefully read the scholarship guidelines and requirements. Some scholarships may require you to submit additional documents, such as letters of recommendation, personal statements, or proof of language proficiency. It is crucial to meet all the application deadlines and provide accurate and complete information in your scholarship application.

Securing an external scholarship can greatly alleviate the financial burden of studying abroad. It not only provides financial assistance but also enhances your academic and professional profile. Therefore, make sure to explore all possible external scholarship opportunities and put in the effort to submit strong and compelling applications.

7. Consider Work-Study Programs

Another option to fund your studies in Canada is through work-study programs. These programs allow students to work part-time while studying to cover their living expenses. Canadian institutions often offer work-study programs that provide on-campus or off-campus employment opportunities.

Work-study programs not only help with financial support but also provide valuable work experience and networking opportunities. Research the work-study options available at your chosen institution and inquire about the application process and eligibility requirements.

Participating in a work-study program can be a great way to gain practical skills and enhance your resume. Many Canadian universities and colleges have partnerships with local businesses, allowing students to work in fields related to their studies. For example, if you are studying business, you may have the opportunity to work in a corporate setting, gaining real-world experience and making professional connections.

Moreover, work-study programs can also provide you with a chance to explore different career paths and industries. By working part-time while studying, you can get a taste of what it’s like to work in a specific field and determine if it aligns with your interests and goals. This firsthand experience can be invaluable in helping you make informed decisions about your future career.

Additionally, work-study programs often offer flexible schedules that can accommodate your academic commitments. Universities and colleges understand that your studies are a top priority, so they strive to provide work opportunities that do not interfere with your classes or exams. This flexibility allows you to earn money while still dedicating enough time and energy to your academic pursuits.

It’s important to note that work-study programs have limited availability, and the number of positions can vary depending on the institution. Therefore, it’s advisable to apply early and be proactive in your search for work-study opportunities. Visit your institution’s career services office or check their website for job postings and application instructions.

Lastly, keep in mind that work-study programs typically have eligibility requirements, such as being a full-time student and maintaining a certain GPA. Make sure you meet these criteria before applying and be prepared to provide any necessary documentation, such as academic transcripts or letters of recommendation.

In conclusion, work-study programs can be a beneficial option for funding your studies in Canada. Not only do they provide financial support, but they also offer valuable work experience, networking opportunities, and the chance to explore different career paths. Take advantage of these programs by researching the options available at your institution and applying early to secure a position that aligns with your interests and goals.

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