Do you consider studying in Canada and looking for ways to fund your education free? First things first, you want to approach the situation with the right mindset. You need to show your academic excellence and apply for scholarships at private universities. This shows that you’re committed to putting in the work to study in Canada for free.
In Canada, there is a unique opportunity for qualifying students to obtain landed immigrant status. This process can take a couple of years depending on your nationality and other factors. Nevertheless, Canada is generous towards international students.
There is no completely free education in Canada. Canadians pay taxes to support the education system, and coming in with the expectation of receiving a free education can be seen as disrespectful. Instead, consider giving back to the community, even if you receive financial assistance in the form of scholarships.
Canadian institutions value international representation. They often look for students eager to learn, rather than those who are simply looking to take advantage of the system. So, approach your studies in Canada with a positive attitude, and make the most of the opportunities available to you.
Apply for Scholarships to Study in Canada for Free
Getting a scholarship is the surest way to study in Canada for free. Many Canadian universities offer full scholarships to students.
Here are three scholarships in Canada that give free education in the form of scholarships.
1. Lester B. Pearson International Scholarships, University of Toronto
At the University of Toronto, you can become a Pearson Scholar and immerse yourself in a unique community of students and brilliant professors. As a Pearson Scholar, you will gain a global perspective on issues that matter most to you.
The scholarship to study in Canada for free is named after Lester B. Pearson, one of Canada’s greatest prime ministers and the only Canadian ever to win the Nobel Prize for Peace. Pearson graduated with a BA from the University of Toronto in 1919.
2. University of British Columbia Scholarships
The University of British Columbia (UBC) recognizes the academic achievement of outstanding students from around the world.
They devote more than $30 million annually to awards, scholarships, and other forms of financial support for international undergraduate students.
When you receive an award or scholarship at UBC, you join a community of engaged and supportive young leaders who enrich UBC with their diverse perspectives, involvement, and innovation. UBC offers a wide range of opportunities inside and outside the classroom to help you contribute to the university’s thriving community.
3. York University Scholarships
At York University, students have the opportunity to receive financial aid through a variety of scholarships. These scholarships are a form of merit-based aid, meaning they are offered based on achievement in specific areas such as academics, athletics, and performing arts.
The university offers academic scholarships for those who excel in their studies, athletic scholarships for those who excel in sports, and performing arts scholarships for those who excel in arts such as music, dance, or theater.
For the academic year 2023-2024, York University is offering a range of scholarships, including program-specific scholarships and need-based aid, in addition to academic, athletic, and performing arts scholarships.
This means that there are opportunities for students from all walks of life and with various talents and achievements to receive financial support for their education.
Study in Canada for Free by Applying for Scholarships from Government
With aid from the government, you can study in Canada for free. These can be offered by the Canadian government or the government of your home country.
Many governments around the world provide scholarships to students who have strong academic records and are interested in studying in another country.
Here are some scholarships you might want to consider:
1. Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships (for PhD students)
The Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships (Vanier CGS) program is a prestigious scholarship that helps Canadian institutions attract highly qualified doctoral students. With a value of $50,000 per year for three years during doctoral studies, the scholarship considers three equally weighted selection criteria:
- Academic Excellence
- Research Potential, and
- Leadership (potential and demonstrated ability)
You must be nominated by a Canadian institution with a quota to host Vanier scholars and should seek a nomination from the institution at which you want to study.
The term “quota” refers to the maximum number of nominations an institution can forward to the national competition. Eligible candidates include Canadian citizens, permanent residents of Canada, and foreign citizens. The areas of research covered by the scholarship include health research, natural sciences and/or engineering, and social sciences and humanities.
2. Canada-ASEAN Scholarships and Educational Exchanges for Development (SEED)
The Canada-ASEAN Scholarships and Educational Exchanges for Development (SEED) program is a fantastic opportunity for ASEAN faculty members to further their education in Canada.
This program, which was available for the 2022-2023 academic year, aimed to foster a vibrant community of scholars and professionals who can contribute to the development of their home countries and strengthen the bond between Canada and ASEAN nations.
Study in Canada at Universities with Application Fee Waivers
In Canada, you won’t find universities that are completely tuition-free, but some don’t charge an application fee for international students.
1. University of British Columbia (UBC)
UBC is a top-notch university, ranking third in Canada and within the top 50 universities worldwide according to the QS World Rankings 2023.
For international students, especially those from the 50 least developed countries in the world, UBC offers a waiver for the application fee.
2. University of New Brunswick (UNB)
At the University of New Brunswick (UNB), a range of scholarships are available to support students financially throughout their academic journey.
These scholarships are designed to recognize academic excellence, leadership, and other achievements. The “Money Matters” section on the UNB website provides comprehensive information on the types of scholarships available, eligibility criteria, and the application process.
UNB holds the title of the first English-language university in Canada and is one of the oldest public universities in North America. They have a special offer where the application fee is waived, but it’s only for Canadian high school students or international students who are already studying in a Canadian high school.
Work While Studying in Canada for Free
If you can’t secure a program to study in Canada for free, you can work in Canada to support your means. Bills start to add up quickly, so working part-time will help you manage those costs.
This is a big reason why many international students look for jobs while they’re studying in Canada. Canadian student permit lets you work part-time while taking classes.
During the school term, international students can work up to 20 hours a week, and then full-time during breaks and holidays. Below are part-time jobs that are popular in Canada right now:
A lot of international students in Canada choose to work as tutors. It’s a great job because you can pick what subject you want to teach based on what you know.
The hours are usually pretty flexible, so you can work around your class schedule. On average, part-time tutors in Canada make about US$15 an hour.
2. Dog Walk
How cool would it be to hang out with dogs and get paid for it? That’s exactly what you can do as a dog walker!
In Canada, lots of students have started walking dogs as a part-time job. On average, dog walkers make about US$20 per hour, which is pretty great for a part-time gig.
It’s not hard to find a dog-walking job in Canada. There are plenty of businesses that specialize in dog walking. One of the most popular ones is Rover. They’re known for being a top choice for dog walking services in the country.
Apply for Virtual Programs in Canada
Even though you have to pay tuition for online programs, they can help you save a lot of money.
Online learning means you don’t have to move or travel to go to university, which saves you time and money.
Studying online is also cheaper because you can access textbooks and other materials on the internet, instead of buying them.
More people have been choosing online education in Canada. This way, students from around the world can take courses at Canadian universities without having to actually go to Canada.
The great thing is that even if you do your whole degree online, you can still get a Post Graduate Work Permit (PGWP) when you graduate, as long as you have a student permit.
Here are two Canadian universities that offer online courses for international students:
1. Laurentian University
Laurentian University is a top-notch online university located in Canada. It provides students with a wide range of options, offering more than 27 degree programs and over 350 courses. These programs cover various fields such as criminology, sociology, and business administration, to name a few.
Students have the flexibility to complete their programs entirely online.
Alternatively, you can enhance your learning experience by spending a year on campus. This allows international students to fully immerse themselves in the university’s vibrant community.
Queen’s University holds the distinction of being the first educational institution in Canada to embrace online learning, having introduced courses via mail as far back as 1889.
Today, Queen’s University offers a diverse range of more than 140 online courses. These courses span various disciplines including engineering, law, arts and science, education, and health sciences.
The university’s online learning environment is designed to be flexible, allowing students to learn at their own pace since all classes are recorded. However, it’s important to note that there are set deadlines for submitting assignments and coursework.
Requirements to Study in Canada as an International Student
As an international student who wants to study in Canada, there are a few things you need to have ready. Here’s a list of documents you might need to show:
- Letters from people who can say good things about you (like teachers or bosses).
- A resume, which is a list of your jobs, education, and skills.
- Transcripts, which are records of your grades from school.
- Proof that you have enough money to live and study in Canada.
- Proof that you can speak and understand English well.
- A passport that won’t expire for at least 6 months after your classes.
How Do I Apply for My Canadian Student Visa?
Applying for a student visa in Canada might seem a bit overwhelming, especially if it’s your first time. But don’t worry, here are the steps you should follow:
- First, apply to the university you want to attend.
- After you get your acceptance letter from the university, you can start applying for your Canadian study permit.
- Make sure you have all the necessary documents for your permit. Once you have everything, you can upload them to the online application portal.
How Can I Get Permanent Resident in Canada While Studying?
After you finish your program, you can apply to become a permanent resident (PR). If you’re thinking about staying in Canada permanently after graduation, here are four ways you can do it:
- Provincial Nominee Programme (PNP)
- Express Entry
- Family Sponsorship
- Post Graduate Work Permit (PGWP)
To be eligible for PR, you need to have completed a program that lasted at least two years.
You also need to have some work experience and be able to prove that you’re proficient in English.
How Hard is it to Get a Scholarship in Canada for International Students?
Getting a scholarship in Canada can depend on a few things, like what the scholarship is for and if you’re eligible. But, most of the time, scholarships are given to students who have really good grades. If you’ve worked or volunteered, and you can show that, your chances of getting a scholarship can go up.