Most Wanted Scholarships in Canada for International Students

Canada is a choice destination for international students, but studying in Canada could be very expensive.

To lessen expenses, international students seeking to study in Canada apply for various scholarships for some financial aid.

In this article, we have listed some of the most sought-after scholarships in Canada for international students. The Canadian government, educational institutions, and other corporate organizations provide some scholarship funding.

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Government-Sponsored Scholarships in Canada for International Students

Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship

Scholarship Value: $50,000 per year.

Duration of Scholarship: 3 years (non-renewable).

In 2008, the Canadian government initiated the Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship in honour of George Philias Vanier, the first francophone Governor General of Canada.

The Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship is a fully funded Canadian government scholarship program for Canadian and international citizens as well as permanent residents of the country.

Candidates vying for this scholarship must be nominated by the Canadian institution in which they are seeking to study. Close to 166 scholarships are awarded yearly from a pack of 500 scholarships, which can be activated at any time.

Banting Post-doctoral Fellowship

Value: $70,000 per year (taxable)

Duration: 2 years (non-renewable)

Every year a total of 70 fellowships are awarded annually. The Banting Post-doctoral Fellowship provides a lot of financial support to foreign students in Canada.

Canada Graduate Scholarship Masters Program

Scholarship Value: $17,500

Duration of Scholarship; 12 months, non-renewable

The  Graduate Scholarship Master (CGS M) Program, currently provides aid to about 3,000 students yearly. It is intended to develop research skills and assist in training highly qualified personnel by supporting students who demonstrate a high standard of achievement in undergraduate and early graduate studies.

University Scholarships in Canada for International (Foreign) Students


The University of Montreal International Student Scholarship

Scholarship Value:  Up to $19,339 per year

Duration of Scholarship: Duration of study

The University of Montreal, Canada offers scholarships annually to its international students at the undergraduate and postgraduate (Masters and PhD) levels.  The scholarship program seeks to assist the best talents from different countries to attend one of the best francophone research universities in the world.

Carleton University Award for International Students

Scholarship Value: Up to $8,000.

Duration of Scholarship: 1 year for Graduate students and 4 years for undergraduate students.

The university offers scholarships to newly admitted international undergraduate and graduate students, Canadian citizens, permanent residents, and immigrants.  The admission process into Carleton University’s graduate programs is competitive.

Western University International President Entrance Scholarship

Scholarship Value: $50,000

Three scholarships worth $50,000 each are available to exceptional foreign students. The criteria for selection are outstanding academic performance, creative and innovative thought, and significant achievement in extracurricular activities. The application for the scholarship usually opens in mid-November.

The University Of Waterloo Hira & Kamal Ahuja International Scholarships

Scholarship Value: $20,000

The selection process is based on academic achievement and other faculty-specific entrance scholarship criteria.

This scholarship program does not require an application.

University of British Columbia MasterCard Foundation Scholarships

Scholarship Value: Full-funding

This scholarship is designed for international students of the sub-Saharan African region to study at the University of British Columbia. The funding for the scholarship is provided by MasterCard Foundation. The Program offers access to education for academically exceptional young students, who are economically disadvantaged.

Carleton University Entrance Scholarships

Scholarship Value: 20,000

Duration of Scholarship: 4-year

The program is structured to assist scholars to look beyond their areas of expertise and develop a desire to engage with people, issues, and ideas, outside their academic specialty. Every student admitted to Carleton University will automatically be considered for a renewable entrance scholarship.

York University International Entrance Scholarships

Value: Up to $35,000 per year

This scholarship is awarded to outstanding international applicants from secondary school (or equivalent) who present a minimum admission average and are applying to a direct-entry undergraduate program. This scholarship can be renewable for an additional three years, provided the recipient maintains full-time status.

The University of Toronto Need-Based Grants for International Students

Scholarship Value: Depends on the student’s need

The University of Toronto grants are designed to assist students with unmet needs concerning their educational expenses.  Before applying for this grant, it is expected that students will have explored all sources of funding such as family support, savings summer and study period income, OSAP or other government assistance programs, daycare subsidies, and bank lines of credit as appropriate.

The University of Toronto International Scholar Award

Scholarship Value: $80,000 – $180,000 over four years.

The elite University of Toronto offers the International Scholar Award scholarship. The University of Toronto International Scholar is an award for international students admitted to the university.

The University of British Columbia International Award

Scholarship Value: Up to $3,200 per year

Duration of scholarship: period of study

The University of British Columbia offers an international tuition awards program to assist international graduate students with their tuition fees if they are enrolled in a full-time research-oriented doctoral (Ph.D.) or master’s program.

Lester B. Pearson International Students Scholarship

Scholarship Value: covers tuition fees, books, incidental fees, full residence support for four years

The Lester B. Pearson program is one of the top scholarships in Canada. The University of Toronto also offers it. It is provided to secondary school leavers with exceptional leadership and academic and creative achievement who demonstrate the potential to contribute positively to the international community.

University of Montreal International Student Scholarship

Scholarship Value: $19,339 per year

The University of Montreal International Student Scholarship is offered to international students at undergraduate, masters and Ph.D study levels. Beneficiaries could be exempted from the tuition fees normally charged to international students.

General Eligibility for Canada Scholarships

Most or all scholarship programs listed above have the eligibility criteria below in common. To be eligible to apply, you should:

  • Be an International Student, a Canadian citizen or permanent resident of Canada.
  • Be enrolled, have applied for, or will apply for full-time admission to a graduate program at the master’s or doctoral level at a Canadian institution.
  • Respect the internal deadline to apply for admission to your intended program of study.
  • Contact the faculty of graduate studies (or its equivalent) at the selected Canadian institution(s). Advisably, between zero and 12 months of full-time studies (or full-time equivalent) in the program for which you request funding.
  • Not have previously held a CGS M, have achieved a first-class average as determined by the host institution, in each of the last two completed years of study (full-time equivalent).
  • Submit a maximum of one scholarship application per academic year to CIHR, NSERC, or SSHRC.

Note that the eligibility criteria listed (above) may vary with each scholarship program.