Free Education in Canada for International Students in 2024?

Canada does offer some scholarships, grants, and financial aid options for both domestic and international students, and some of these aids can guarantee studying free in Canada.

However, it is important to note that tuition fees vary depending on the institution, program, and residency status (domestic vs. international).

Canadian citizens and permanent residents typically pay lower tuition fees compared to international students.

However, even Canadian citizens and permanent residents often still need to cover tuition costs, although they may have access to government student loans, grants, and scholarships to help offset these expenses.

For international students, tuition fees can be significantly higher, and they usually do not have access to the same financial aid options as domestic students.

However, some universities and colleges in Canada do offer scholarships and bursaries specifically for international students, which can help reduce the financial burden.

In this guide, aspiring students will be learning a number of admission options and how to get started with early applications for entry and aids.

Read Also: Work and Study in Canada (How to Get Postgraduate Work Permit )

Why Study in Canada?

Canada takes pride in its global leadership in science, fostering an environment of openness and diversity that extends to its education system. What sets Canadian education apart is its remarkable versatility, offering students unparalleled opportunities for personal and academic growth.

In summary, here are some of the advantages of choosing Canada as study destination:

  • Global Leadership in Science: Canada prides itself on its global leadership in science, fostering an environment of openness and diversity within its education system.
  • Versatile Degree Programs: Canadian degree programs are known for their versatility, offering students the flexibility to tailor their educational experience according to their interests and career goals.
  • Flexibility in Class Selection: Unlike other higher education systems, Canadian students have the freedom to choose their classes, giving them a sense of control over their learning journey.
  • Autonomy Over Workload: Depending on their field of study, students enjoy even greater autonomy over their workload and the subjects they wish to pursue, encouraging exploration and interdisciplinary connections.
  • Inclusive Language Education: Education in Canada is typically available in both English and French across most areas, reflecting the country’s commitment to promoting cultural diversity and ensuring equal opportunities for all.
  • Canadian High School System: Canadian high schools typically span grades nine to 12 nationwide, with Québec concluding high school in the eleventh grade, followed by specialized preparation for college or CEGEP.
  • Diverse Post-High School Options: Post-high school, students have a range of options, from vocational schools to universities, providing opportunities for further education and skill development.
  • Progression to Higher Education: At the university level, students can pursue Bachelor’s degrees and advance to higher levels of education such as Master’s or Ph.D. programs, with Canadian universities offering world-class programs and research opportunities.
  • Emphasis on Vocational Education: Even vocational students receive valuable qualifications and diplomas, preparing them for success in their chosen fields through practical, hands-on learning experiences.

Applying for Scholarships in Canada

Several Canadian universities, governmental organizations, non-profit foundations, and private institutions offer fully funded scholarships to attract top talent from around the world.

Some of these scholarships are merit-based, focusing on academic excellence, leadership potential, research achievements, and extracurricular involvement. Others may be need-based, taking into account the financial circumstances of the applicant.

Examples of fully funded scholarships for international students in Canada include the $50,000 worth Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships, which support only the eligible students; the Trudeau Foundation Doctoral Scholarships for doctoral students in humanities and social sciences; and the Lester B. Pearson International Scholarship among many others.

For a full clue, here is the list of top scholarships available for international students pursuing studies in Canada, presented in a formal tone:

  1. Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships: Sponsored by the Canadian government, the Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships are prestigious awards granted to international doctoral students who exhibit exceptional leadership qualities and demonstrate outstanding scholarly achievements in fields such as social sciences, humanities, natural sciences, engineering, or health research.
  2. Canada Graduate Scholarships-Master’s Program (CGS M): Administered by esteemed organizations like the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC), the CGS M supports international students pursuing Master’s degrees at Canadian institutions.
  3. University-specific Scholarships: Many reputable Canadian universities extend scholarships tailored specifically for international students, typically awarded based on academic excellence, leadership prowess, extracurricular engagement, and other distinguished merits. Notable examples include the University of Toronto International Scholarships, University of British Columbia International Leader of Tomorrow Award, and McGill University’s Entrance Scholarships for International Students.
  4. The International Tuition Award: Various Canadian universities offer the International Tuition Award, which provides partial tuition waivers or reductions to international students, alleviating the financial burden associated with studying in Canada.
  5. Banting Postdoctoral Fellowships: The Banting Postdoctoral Fellowships program is designed to support exceptional international postdoctoral researchers conducting groundbreaking research in natural sciences, social sciences, health sciences, or engineering disciplines at Canadian academic institutions.
  6. Mitacs Globalink Research Internship: The Mitacs Globalink Research Internship program provides fully-funded research opportunities for international undergraduate students to engage in research projects at Canadian universities for periods ranging from 12 to 24 weeks.
  7. Ontario Trillium Scholarships (OTS): The Ontario Trillium Scholarships program extends substantial financial support to outstanding international PhD students pursuing doctoral studies at eligible Ontario universities.
  8. Alberta Innovates Graduate Student Scholarship (AI-GSS): The AI-GSS aims to support international graduate students pursuing Master’s or Ph.D. studies in health-related fields at eligible institutions in Alberta.
  9. Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation Doctoral Scholarships: These prestigious scholarships offer financial assistance and leadership training to international doctoral students pursuing studies in humanities and social sciences disciplines at Canadian universities.
  10. Lester B. Pearson International Scholarship Program: Administered by the University of Toronto, the Lester B. Pearson International Scholarship Program is a highly competitive award that provides full financial support, including tuition, accommodation, books, and incidental fees, to exceptional international students who exhibit outstanding academic achievements, creativity, and leadership skills.

These scholarships represent just a fraction of the extensive range of prestigious opportunities available to international students pursuing studies in Canada.

It is imperative for prospective applicants to meticulously research and ascertain their eligibility for these scholarships before embarking on the application process.

To access the list of other fully funded scholarship programs in your study destination, kindly leverage the scholarship category of, an eLearning community that focus on helping you tap into global career opportunities.

Studying Free with Scholarships in Canada

Here is a step-by-step method that you can leverage today while applying for scholarships, with a focus on landing your dream academic funds in Canada:

  1. Research Scholarship Opportunities: Begin by researching fully funded scholarship opportunities available for international students in Canada. Explore scholarship databases, university websites, government portals, and reputable scholarship search engines to identify scholarships that align with your academic interests, field of study, and eligibility criteria.
  2. Review Eligibility Criteria: Carefully review the eligibility criteria for each scholarship to ensure that you meet all requirements. Pay close attention to criteria such as academic performance, standardized test scores, language proficiency, extracurricular activities, leadership experience, and financial need.
  3. Prepare Required Documents: Gather all required documents for the scholarship application, which may include academic transcripts, letters of recommendation, statement of purpose or research proposal, curriculum vitae (CV) or resume, standardized test scores (such as TOEFL or IELTS for English proficiency), and proof of financial need (if applicable).
  4. Write a Strong Personal Statement: Craft a compelling personal statement or essay that highlights your academic achievements, career goals, research interests, leadership experience, and contributions to your community. Tailor your statement to each scholarship application and demonstrate your passion for your chosen field of study.
  5. Request Letters of Recommendation: Reach out to professors, mentors, employers, or other individuals who can provide strong letters of recommendation attesting to your academic abilities, character, and potential for success. Provide them with ample time to write and submit their letters before the application deadline.
  6. Complete Application Forms: Fill out the scholarship application forms accurately and thoroughly, ensuring that all required fields are completed, and all supporting documents are attached as per the instructions provided. Double-check for any errors or omissions before submitting your application.
  7. Submit Application Before Deadline: Submit your scholarship application well before the deadline to avoid any last-minute technical issues or delays. Keep track of important dates and deadlines for each scholarship opportunity and plan your application timeline accordingly.
  8. Follow Up: After submitting your application, follow up with the scholarship committee or university admissions office to confirm receipt of your application and inquire about the selection timeline and process. Be proactive in seeking updates and clarifications as needed.
  9. Prepare for Interviews (if applicable): If shortlisted for further consideration, be prepared to participate in interviews or additional evaluation processes as part of the scholarship selection process. Practice your interview skills and prepare thoughtful responses to potential questions related to your academic background, research interests, and future goals.
  10. Stay Positive and Persistent: While waiting for scholarship decisions, remain positive and continue pursuing other opportunities for financial aid and funding. Keep track of any correspondence from scholarship committees and be prepared to respond promptly to any requests for additional information.

By following these steps and putting forth a strong and well-prepared application, you can increase your chances of securing a fully funded scholarship to study in Canada.

Remember to stay organized, focused, and proactive throughout the application process, and don’t hesitate to seek guidance and support from mentors, advisors, and university staff along the way.

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