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How to Get Financial Assistance as an International Student in Canada

How to Get Financial Assistance as an International Student in Canada

How to Get Financial Assistance as an International Student in Canada
Canada has a world-renowned education system, which is why it is at the top of everyone’s list for international study. 

If you want to study in Canada, you will need financial support. Here’s how you can get financial assistance as an international student in Canada.

Why Do You Need Financial Assistance in Canada?

To study in Canada, you must obtain a study permit. The Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) will issue a study permit to you so you can study at a Designated Learning Institution (DLI) in Canada.

As part of the rigorous application process to get a study permit, you will be required to present proof of sufficient funds. This proof can be in the form of a confirmed student loan or a document stating that you have been granted a scholarship or bursary. 

You won’t be eligible for a study permit if you are unable to produce proof of sufficient financial support or sources. But remember, if you’re only studying in Canada for 6 months or less, you’re not required to get a study permit. Other exemptions to the study permit can be read on the official website of the Government of Canada. 

Financial Assistance Options

There is a wide array of financial assistance options for international students to choose from. These can be categorized into three general classes:

Scholarships – There are different scholarship grants for international students in Canada. Depending on the scholarship program, different eligibility requirements and application process may apply. Scholarships are offered by governments, private or non-profit organizations, individuals, groups or individuals affiliated with your chosen university, or by the university itself. 

Scholarships are often granted to students who have demonstrated and can present proofs of outstanding academic, athletic, and artistic abilities. 

Bursaries – Similar to grants, bursaries are often need-based and requires a student to undergo a needs assessment. Students with low household income can apply for bursaries.

Just like scholarships, students who are given bursaries are not compelled to pay the amount back. This type of financial aid is usually offered by universities and institutions. 

Student Loans – Internationally students usually are not eligible to apply for loans from the federal government of Canada. Loans from private lenders like banks are usually a more viable option. 

Just remember that when taking out loans from a private bank, you will be subjected to the same loan terms as someone who took out a loan for Canadian citizenship or permanent residence. 

Sources of Scholarships and Bursaries

Some need-based scholarships are awarded by universities including the International Leader of Tomorrow Award, and the Wehrung International Student Award from the University of British Columbia. 

York University offers merit-based scholarships including Global Leader of Tomorrow Scholarship and International Entrance Scholarship.

EduCanada will also show you scholarships offered by Canadian Governments, international organizations and non-government organizations. You can also visit UniversityStudy to view scholarships from over 100 universities. 

Getting Loans

Aside from getting loans from a private bank, you can also take student loans from private lenders. You can apply for a student loan without a cosigner only if you’re enrolled in selected Canadian universities. 

Eligibility and application process may vary depending on the terms discussed by the private lender. Remember to take note of the following before taking out a student loan:

  • Maximum loan amount
  • Interest rate (fixed or variable)
  • Repayment period
  • Fund disbursement methods

Canada has one of the world’s best education systems. Make sure you’re equipped with accurate, up-to-date information about studying in Canada by reading our articles here at MSM Unify.


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