How to Get a Scholarship to Study in Canada in 2023

Canada has become quite popular as a study-abroad destination. With many highly-ranked, prestigious universities, it's no surprise that thousands flock to the Great White North to pursue their academic goals. So if you'd like to study in Canada, but don't have the budget, you'll find a solution in a Canadian Scholarship.

Which Canadian Provinces Are the Most Popular Study Destinations?

Because it is the second largest country in the world, you'll be spoilt for university choices as an international student in Canada. While all provinces and territories may have their offerings, some provinces are more popular than others. Ontario is still the most popular destination to study in Canada, with almost 50% of the country's international students enrolled in its universities and colleges, followed by British Columbia, Quebec, Manitoba and Nova Scotia.

Take a look at the amount of  international students enrolled at universities across Canada below.

The majority of Canadian study visas issued in recent years went to candidates from India, China, and the Philippines, accounting for a whopping 65% of the combined admissions of international students in Canada!

Costs Associated with Studying in Canada?

Studying abroad can quickly add up to a significant amount. With tuition fees, the cost of your accommodation, textbooks and resources, as well as general everyday expenses, and the current conversion rates to take into account, obtaining a degree in the land of the maple leaf may not be as feasible to some as they are for others. To get a better idea of the expenses you're likely to incur on your student journey, take a look at our breakdown of how much it costs to study in Canada.

The good news, however, is that working hours for international students in Canada have been temporarily lifted from 20 hours per week to 40 hours, giving students a chance to become more financially stable.

How Can I Study in Canada For Free?

Study in Canada on a Scholarship | How to Get a Scholarship to Study in Canada

Canada welcomes thousands of international students to its universities annually, and you could be one of them. Because the Canadian government understands that not all students may be able to afford international tuition fees, they have made scholarship programs available to help welcome the most talented students to study in Canada.

There are various international scholarship programs available from the Canadian government, non-profit and international organizations.

Government Funded Scholarships: Global Affairs Canada (GAC)

Global Affairs Canada (GAC) manages and distributes funding for many scholarship and rewards programs for students from all over the globe. GAC programs are fully funded by the Canadian government and cover expenses such as airfare, tuition, monthly living expenses, study permits, accommodation, health insurance and more. The programs are specifically aimed at single students. If you would like to bring your family or spouse with you for the duration of your stay you would need to be able to provide for them out of your own pocket.

It is also important to note that most programs are extremely difficult to qualify for, as only top tier candidates will be accepted into the program. Most of the GAC programs may also require that students make a formal commitment to return to their country once they have completed their program

As a GAC student, you would not be eligible to apply for a work permit under the Post Graduate Work Permit Program once your studies are complete.

Top GAC Scholarship Programs

Find a scholarship to study in Canada | How to Get a Scholarship to Study in Canada

Check out the top GAC Scholarship Programs for international students below.

Study in Canada Scholarship Program

This program aims to open educational programs to individuals from diverse regions across the globe.

Deadline: Selected students must arrive by February 1, 2023, for the winter/spring semester to avoid cancellation of the scholarship. Submit your visa or study/work permit application as early as possible to avoid delays.

To be eligible, you must be a citizen of:

  • Bangladesh
  • Nepal
  • Taiwan
  • Türkiye
  • Ukraine
  • Algeria
  • Egypt
  • Jordan
  • Morocco
  • Tunisia
  • Burkina Faso
  • Ethiopia
  • Ghana
  • Ivory Coast
  • Kenya
  • Nigeria
  • Rwanda
  • Senegal
  • Tanzania
  • Uganda

Value & Duration of Scholarship

  • College/undergraduate (4 months) - $10,200
  • Graduate (4 months) - $10,200
  • Graduate (5-6 months) - $12,700

The Emerging Leaders in the Americas Program

The Government of Canada established The Emerging Leaders in the Americas Program in 2009 to boost the development of human capital and the next generation of leaders in the Americas. These scholarships provide great exchange opportunities for students from tertiary institutions in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Deadline: Selected students must arrive by February 1, 2023, for the winter/spring semester to avoid cancellation of the scholarship. Submit your visa or study/work permit application as early as possible to avoid delays.

To be eligible, you must be a citizen of one of these Caribbean countries:

  • Anguilla
  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • Bahamas
  • Barbados
  • Belize
  • Bermuda
  • British Virgin Islands
  • Cayman Islands
  • Cuba
  • Dominica
  • Dominican Republic
  • Grenada
  • Guyana
  • Haiti
  • Jamaica
  • Montserrat
  • Saint Kitts and Nevis
  • Saint Lucia
  • Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
  • Suriname
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • Turks and Caicos

Eligible central American countries are:

  • Costa Rica
  • El Salvador
  • Guatemala
  • Honduras
  • Nicaragua
  • Panama

Eligible South American countries are:

  • Argentina
  • Bolivia
  • Brazil
  • Chile
  • Colombia
  • Ecuador
  • Paraguay
  • Peru
  • Uruguay
  • Venezuela

Value & Duration of Scholarship:

  • College/undergraduate (4 months)
  • College/undergraduate (4 months) - $8,200 Graduate
  • Graduate (4 months) - $8,200
  • Graduate (5-6 months) - $11,100

Canada-ASEAN Scholarships and Educational Exchanges for Development

The Government of Canada established the Canada-ASEAN Scholarships and Educational Exchanges for Development (SEED) program in 2017 in a bid to create opportunities for students who are citizens of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) countries. As a result, you will have the chance to conduct short-term study or research in Canadian post-secondary institutions in subjects that will allow you to add value to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development .

This scholarship and exchange program aims to alleviate poverty in the region's developing countries and Scholarships and contribute towards achieving all Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Deadline: Selected students must arrive by February 1, 2023 for the winter/spring semester to avoid cancellation of the scholarship. Submit your visa or study/work permit application as early as possible to avoid delays.

To be eligible, you must be a citizen of one of these ASEAN member states:

  • Brunei Darussalam
  • Cambodia
  • Indonesia
  • Laos (Lao People's Democratic Republic)
  • Malaysia
  • Myanmar
  • The Philippines
  • Singapore
  • Thailand
  • Vietnam

Value & Duration of Scholarship:

  • College/undergraduate (4 months) - $10,200
  • College/undergraduate (8 months) - $15,900
  • Graduate (4 months) - $10,200
  • Graduate (5-6 months) - $12,700

Canada-China Scholars' Exchange Program (CCSEP)

Running since 1973, the CCSEP resulted from an agreement between then-Chinese premier Zhou Enlai and Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau. It is an official exchange program between the two countries that was put in place in a bid to increase Chinese scholars' and professionals' knowledge and understanding of the Great White North.

Other Scholarships For International Students

Experience Canada on a Scholarship | How to Get a Scholarship to Study in Canada

You'll find a wide range of other scholarships that could help you become an international student in Canada. Here's just a handful to explore.

Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation Doctoral Scholarships

This three-year leadership program is designed to provide leading doctoral candidates with the skills to bring their ideas to life and translate them into action. This is all in aid of improving the lives of their communities. Candidates are chosen every year and are given training.

The Ontario Trillium Scholarships (OTS) Program

The Ontario Trillium Scholarships (OTS) program is an initiative that the province of Ontario funds. The aim is to draw top international doctoral candidates to the province to complete their research efforts. There are around 15 Trillium Scholarships up for grabs each year at the University of Toronto.

FINCAD Women in Finance Scholarship

FINCAD, the Capital Markets Group of Zafin, supports talented women in the world of Finance with their annual Women in Finance scholarship. Each year an award of US$20,000 is given to a qualifying woman to help support graduate-level studies in Finance. Half the award goes to the recipient, while the other half is paid directly to the educational institution to cover tuition.

The Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship (Vanier CGS) Program

The Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship (Vanier CGS) program, which takes its name from the Great White North's first francophone Governor General, Major-General Georges P. Vanier, allows Canadian universities to attract some of the best doctoral students in the world. International doctoral students get up to $50,000 per year

Banting Postdoctoral Fellowships

If you are in the field of healthcare you could apply for the Canadian Institutes of Health Research's (CIHR) Banting Postdoctoral Fellowships (PDF) program. This fellowship is a stipend, so you will not receive a salary and not a salary. This fellowship is worth $70,000 per year.

Universities That Offer Scholarships to Study in Canada

Canadian Universities | How to Get a Scholarship to Study in Canada

The Benefit of a Scholarship From a Designated Learning Institution

The best part about studying on a scholarship program that is acquired from your Designated Learning Institution (DLI) and not the GAC, is that you may be eligible to apply to stay and work in Canada once you have completed your study program! Gaining Canadian work experience will then also increase your chances of getting permanent residency in Canada.

How do I Apply For a Study Permit in Canada?

How to apply for a Canadian student permit | How to Get a Scholarship to Study in Canada

Whether or not you have a scholarship to study in Canada, you will still need a Canadian study permit. This allows you to stay in Canada legally for the duration of your study program.

Below are the steps you'll need to take to apply for a permit as an international student in Canada.

Step 1: Eligibility and Preparation

Before you apply for your study permit to study in Canada, it's best to ensure that you have all your necessary documentation ready, the most important of which is your acceptance letter from your DLI. There are over a thousand universities to choose from, so you may want to consider enlisting the help of a professional at this point to help you make the right choice. At, we have a dedicated academic advisor who will support and guide you through the entire process.

You will also need to prove that you will be able to support yourself financially along with any family members joining you. Other documentation includes your medical exam results, police clearance certificate and language tests.

Top Tip: Ensure that you are prepared for your IELTS test. Not meeting the necessary language level requirements could result in your study permit being rejected, even though you may have an acceptance letter.

Step 2: Application

Once you have all your documents in order, you can submit your application and pay all relevant fees. The processing times can vary depending on where you are applying from.

Step 3: Travel Arrangements

If accepted, you will receive a letter of introduction. This is not a study permit but a document stating that your study permit has been approved. You will need this document when you arrive in Canada.

You will also need a travel visa. This allows you to enter Canada legally. A single entry allows you to enter and leave the country once, and a multiple entry will allow you to come and go as you please for a certain period. So if you're planning to go to your home or vacation over your break, you may want to opt for a multiple entry visa.

How We Help You Achieve Success

Navigating the Canadian immigration system can be very complex. With a copious amount of forms and documents to complete and strict submission dates, we wouldn't blame you if you felt apathetic about getting started on your application. Making the slightest error on your application form or forgetting to submit a supporting document could result in rejection and delay the application process to study in Canada by 6 months or more. Why take that risk?

At Canadian Visa, we take the stress and hassle out of the application process. Our accredited Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultants (RCIC) are legal immigration representatives ready to evaluate your eligibility and review and submit all documentation on your behalf. Using an RCIC gives you the best possible chance of success and will make the entire process simple and stress-free.


What Should I do if my GAC scholarship application is refused?

Should you be found to be inadmissible, you'll need to query this with GAC.

Can I stay in Canada once my GAC scholarship period has come to an end?

According to the IRCC, GAC scholarship programs have been put together to either push scholars to go back to their home country or draw them to Canada. If your needs change, you'll have to find out what your options are with the IRCC.

Will All my Expenses be covered With a Canadian Scholarship?

Unfortunately, not all scholarship programs cover every aspect of your student journey. You can, however, inquire about the financial options available.