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Scholarships for International Students in Canada: All You Need to Know

Do you wish to study abroad? Worried about the expenses? Along with the tuition fees, you will also have to take into account your living expenses, money to be spent commuting to and from your university, food, lodging, and other miscellaneous expenses. Education loans are a way of meeting the expenditure. Securing a scholarship is another. 

Here, we shall be discussing the different scholarships for international students in Canada. 

So, what exactly is a scholarship for international students and how far can you expect your expenses to be met.

What is a Canadian scholarship for international students?

A financial award that you don’t have to pay back, a scholarship for international students can help finance your studies in Canada. Generally, a scholarship is granted to students that have a demonstrable record of good academic achievement. In some cases, work experience or volunteer work in specific areas might also be considered. 

Can I get a scholarship to study abroad in Canada?

Scholarship funding for international students that want to study in Canada is highly competitive. You might be able to secure a scholarship provided you fit the requirements and can make the mark. Several scholarships are available for international students in Canada. 

Financial awards for foreign students are offered by - 

  • The Canadian government, 
  • International organizations, 
  • Foreign governments, and 
  • Non-governmental organizations. 

Major international scholarship programs are managed by Global Affairs Canada on behalf of the Government of Canada. 

How can an international student get a full scholarship in Canada?

Begin by researching the Canadian universities shortlisted by you. Get to know in-depth as to what all is in store for an international student. Scholarships available can at times be limited, based on the country of citizenship of the applicant. 

Now, a scholarship can either be a full scholarship wherein your full tuition fees is waived, or it can be in the form of a specific annual grant instead. Scholarships might be renewable or nonrenewable. 

How to get a Canadian scholarship for study abroad?

There are some general tips to be followed to secure a scholarship from a Canadian university or college. Ideally, you must - 

  • Do your in-depth research from the university’s official website. 
  • Apply as early as you can. Only a limited number of scholarships can be availed in any given year. 
  • Make a point to apply to multiple universities at a time. 
  • Always write your Statement of Purpose (SOP) keeping your targeted university and study course in mind.  

Keeping to the specified deadline is critical to be able to make your intended intake. Maintain and regularly update a calendar of deadlines. 

What grades do you need to get a scholarship in Canada?

Generally, you will be required to have a good academic background for applying for a scholarship to study in Canada as an international student. A majority of the scholarships offered at the Designated Learning Institutions (DLIs) in Canada are merit-based

Which university in Canada gives full scholarships?

A scholarship can either be fully-funded or involve the payment of a set amount annually for a specific period.  

Top 7 Canadian Universities that Offer Full Scholarships to International Students 

McGill University 

Dalhousie University 

University of Alberta 

University of Waterloo

University of Saskatchewan 

University of British Columbia

Montreal University


Note. It is comparatively easier to get full scholarships for PhD than for Master’s degree in Canada etc.

What are the top Canadian scholarships for Indian students?

Many Canadian colleges and universities offer scholarships and grants for international students. 

Top Canadian scholarships for Indians 

University / College 


Lakehead University 

Undergraduate Entrance Scholarships 

Graduate Scholarships 

Lakehead-Georgian Scholarships

Concordia University 

Concordia Presidential Scholarship

Concordia International Scholars 

Quest University 

Presidential Scholarships 

Douglas College 

Dr. Guangwei Ouyang International Education Entrance Scholarship

McGill University 

Entrance Scholarship Program

Carleton University 

Undergraduate entrance scholarships 

In-course scholarship (for the following year, if achieved an A- standing)

St. Lawrence College (SLC)

Academic Excellence Entrance Scholarship 

IEOP Academic Achievement Scholarship 

SLC Loyalty Scholarship 

Canadian Experience Scholarship 

York University

York Science Scholars Award

Faculty of Science Entrance Scholarship

York University Talent Entrance Scholarships 

Liberal Arts & Professional Studies International Undergraduate Leadership Scholarships

Liberal Arts & Professional Studies International Student Entrance Scholarship

Trent University 

Trent University Entrance Scholarships 

Trent International Global Citizen Scholarships and Awards

Trent International Program Tuition Levy Scholarship

Trent-United World Colleges (UWC) Scholarships

Justin Chiu International Scholarships 

Maple Leaf Leadership Award

University of Waterloo

University of Waterloo International Student Entrance Scholarship 

Dalhousie University 

Dalhousie University Entrance Awards

Donor-Funded Entrance Awards

Dalhousie In-Course Scholarships.

Humber College 

Degree Entrance Scholarships 

Government of Ontario 

Ontario Trillium Scholarships 

University Canada West (UCW) 

Scholarships for Academic Excellence

Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) Regional Grant

Southeast Asia (SEA) Regional Grant 

Brock University 

Brock Scholars awards 

Ryerson University 

President’s Entrance Scholarships 

International Secondary School Merit Scholarship 

International Student Winter Merit Scholarship 

Simon Fraser University 

SFU Undergraduate Scholars Entrance Scholarships 

Graduate Entrance Scholarships 

University of Toronto 

Lester B. Pearson International Scholarships

University of Calgary 

University of Calgary International Undergraduate Award

University of Calgary International Entrance Scholarship

University of Calgary International Entrance Award


What are the Canadian research scholarships available for Indian students?

Based on the official data with EduCanada, there are the following Canadian scholarships available for international students from India. These scholarships are awarded by the Canadian government, non-profit and international organizations for foreign students that want to study in Canadian universities, colleges, and institutes. 

Canadian Research Scholarships Available for Indian Students

Managed / Funded By


Government of Canada 

Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships 

Banting Postdoctoral Fellowships 

Canadian Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Scholarship 

Global Affairs Canada 

Commonwealth Scholarship Program 

Trudeau Foundation 

Trudeau Doctoral Scholarships 

Trudeau Research Fellowships 


Mitacs Globalink Research Internship 

Mitacs Elevate 

Mitacs Accelerate International 

Canadian Institute for Advanced Research 

CIFAR Global Scholars 

Canadian Institutes of Health Research 

CIHR Fellowship 

International Development Research Centre

IDRC Research Awards 

National Research Council Canada 

Research Associate Program 

Sauvé Scholars Program

Jeanne Sauvé Youth Foundation

Participating government departments and agencies

Visiting Fellowships in Canadian Government Laboratories Program 


1. Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships 

Valued at $50,000 a year for three years during doctoral studies. 

Highly-qualified doctoral students can apply for the Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship (Vanier CGS) program. 

Main criteria of selection - 

  • Academic excellence
  • Research potential
  • Leadership 

Candidates will have to secure a nomination by the Canadian institution at which they intend to study.

2. Banting Postdoctoral Fellowships

Valued at $70,000 per year, for two years (non-renewable). 70 fellowships are awarded annually. 

Funding is provided to the very best postdoctoral applicants that have the potential to positively contribute to social, economic, and research-based growth of Canada. The Banting Postdoctoral Fellowships program aims at - 

  • Attracting and retaining top-tier postdoctoral talent, nationally and internationally, 
  • Developing their leadership potential, and 
  • Positioning them for succeeding as the future research leaders. 

3. Canadian Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Scholarship 

Aiming to mobilize a dynamic community of young global leaders that can make an impact, the  Canadian Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Scholarship platform has awarded 2,200+ scholarships to date. The QES program is a project-based scholarship program, allowing stays of up to three years to students coming to Canada from other countries. 

4. Commonwealth Scholarship Program 

Targeted at talented and motivated individuals, Commonwealth Scholarships are offered to citizens from Commonwealth countries. 54 independent countries - in Asia, Africa, Europe, the Americas, and the Pacific - comprise the Commonwealth. 

Commonwealth scholarships offered - 

  • Commonwealth Professional Fellowships
  • Commonwealth PhD Scholarships (for high income countries)
  • Commonwealth PhD Scholarships (for least developed countries and fragile states)
  • Commonwealth Split-site Scholarships (for low and middle income countries)
  • Commonwealth Master’s Scholarships 
  • Commonwealth Shared Scholarships
  • Commonwealth Distance Learning Scholarships 

5. Trudeau Doctoral Scholarships 

Up to $40,000 per year for three years, with no possibilities of extension. 

The Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation Scholarship program is intended for students at the doctoral level only. No funding is provided for undergraduate or master's programs. 

6. Trudeau Research Fellowships 

With an important role to play in developing doctoral scholars as leaders, fellows act as intellectual guides to scholars over a three-year period. 

7. Mitacs Globalink Research Internship 

A competitive initiative for international undergraduate students, the Mitacs Globalink Research Internship (GRI)  involves the top-ranked applicants participating in a 12-week research internship under the supervision of Canadian university faculty members. 

8. Mitacs Elevate 

$55,000 minimum annual stipend given. 

A postdoctoral fellowship, Mitacs Elevate helps fellows address complex challenges through a two-year research project with a partner organization requiring high-level expertise. 

9. Mitacs Accelerate International 

Supports bilateral research collaboration between universities, interns, and industry partners, both in Canada and abroad. Interns at Canadian universities can take up projects in the partner countries of Mitacs. 

10. CIFAR Global Scholars

Scholars get $100,000 in unrestricted research support. 

CIFAR Azrieli Global Scholars are given research funding and take part in a CIFAR research program over a period of two years. The research funding will be administered through the recipient’s institutional department. CIFAR Azrieli Global Scholars remain at their home institution and country all throughout their two-year term

11. CIHR Fellowship 

The Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) is the Government of Canada’s health research investment agency. The CIHR supports excellence in health research. 

12. IDRC Research Awards

Duration of 12 months, from May to April next year. Salary between CAD 42,033 to CAD 48,659 to undertake research on the topic submitted. 

13. Research Associate Program 

Provides promising engineers and scientists an opportunity to work in a challenging research environment towards the early stages of their career. Competitive selection process. Appointments offered to be on the staff of the National Research Council on a term basis. 

14. Sauvé Scholars Program

Targeted at highly-motivated individuals of demonstrated leadership potential. 

15. Visiting Fellowships in Canadian Government Laboratories Program

$53,077 per year for one year, renewable for up to two more years. 

Administered by NSERC on behalf of Canadian government research institutions and laboratories. 

In conclusion

Canada is a more affordable study abroad option when compared to the US, the UK, or Australia. Along with the tuition fees, the overall cost of studying in Canada as an international student will also include various other expenses, such as - food, lodging, commute etc. Securing any of the fully-funded scholarships for international students in Canada can indeed make all the difference in terms of the total expenditure. 


What is Global Affairs Canada?

Global Affairs Canada comes under the federal government of Canada and is responsible for - 

  • Managing Canada’s diplomatic relations, 
  • Providing consular services to Canadians, 
  • Promoting Canada’s international development and humanitarian assistance. 

The International Education Division of Global Affairs Canada promotes Canada as a study destination to international students. 

Global Affairs was originally established - as the Department of External Affairs - on June 1, 1909. Renamed on many subsequent occasions, it was on November 4, 2015 that the department came to be Global Affairs Canada. Officially, however, the department is known by its legal name of the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development. 

What is the difference between scholarship and bursary?

A key fact to note for study abroad in countries like the US and Canada is the difference between a scholarship and a bursary. While your academic excellence determines your eligibility for a scholarship, a bursary is a “need-based” financial grant and awarded to those coming from a challenging financial background.

Topics: Study, Migrate, Canada-Immigration, Study-in-Canada