Funding for international students in Canada | AJV Global

Funding for international students in Canada

by AJV Global
Published on: 14/Jan/2022
Studying in Canada as an international student isn’t as hard as you’re thinking. There are many funding options. Read on!


In 2019, there were 638,960 international students in Canada at year-end. Besides the pandemic, in 2020, the number was 530,540 student visa holders. What is it that attracts so many students to Canada as a study destination? It's because Canada is one of the most popular higher education locations in the world. Aside from receiving a world-class education, studying in Canada will expose you to a global culture, build international networks, and learn new skills. Having an international degree from a Canadian university or college will accelerate your career for sure.

The cost of studying abroad, however, is the most common barrier for practically every student seeking an overseas degree. So, if you can't afford the fees, here are some options for funding your studies in Canada. 

What are your funding options to study in Canada?

This article will give you so many different solutions to solve your budget-related issues. Hang on! You don’t have to cancel your study abroad plans for Canada due to cost-related reasons.

Funding Option 1: Scholarships or grants

Scholarships or grants are the most convenient option to fund your studies abroad. There are many different types of scholarships or grants available. Depending on the qualifications, course, and institution, they can be partially or entirely reimbursed. Scholarships or grants are offered by institutions, organizations, governments, private companies, or individuals. 

What are the different types of scholarships available?

Scholarships or grants are usually awarded for outstanding academic or extracurricular achievements, volunteer experience, professional accomplishments, and may also be awarded by specific research areas, especially for graduate students. The following are the different types of scholarships available:

  • Merit Scholarships
  • University/College Scholarships
  • Government-funded Scholarships
  • Country-based Scholarships
  • Privately Funded Scholarships

Funding Option 2: Student Loans

As an international student, you will have to apply for a study permit before coming to Canada. You must demonstrate to Canadian immigration officials that you have the financial resources to cover your tuition, fees, and living expenses in order to get a study permit. Student loans help you to take care of these expenses which include tuition fees, books and supplies, and housing costs. Bank-issued student loans must be paid back over a certain length of time and may require a guarantor to be a backup repayment source for the loan.

Who offers you these loans?

There are many banks and financial institutions offering student loans. Compare the interest rates and check for credibility and acceptance of the bank or financial institution before finalizing the loan. Besides bank loans, you may also like to explore the various financial aids offered by education or ministry for students.

Funding Option 3: Bursaries

Bursaries are financial aids offered by universities and colleges for international students in Canada. While scholarships are based on merit, academic achievement, athletic skill, extra-curricular involvement, or special abilities, bursaries usually take financial needs into consideration. They're usually one-time payments given out by nonprofit organizations or private businesses. You don't need to repay a bursary unless you drop out before you finish your studies. It's critical to investigate bursaries well in advance of your start date in order to give yourself adequate time to apply.

Funding Option 4: Student lines of credit

A line of credit is a type of loan that lets you borrow money repeatedly up to a pre-set limit. You can borrow money from a line of credit, pay it back and then borrow again, up to your credit limit. You only have to pay back the money you borrow. Interest is applied to just the amount that is borrowed and not to the entire amount. The interest rates may be lower than the rates offered on government student loans. However, as soon as you borrow money, you must begin paying interest. Student lines of credit are provided by financial institutions. You may need a cosigner to guarantee your line of credit and you’ll most likely need to show confirmation that you're enrolled full-time or part-time at a recognized post-secondary institution.

Funding Option 5: Financial aid from universities

A number of universities, such as Carleton University, the University of Manitoba, and the University of Alberta, have international student entrance scholarships available to help offset any additional tuition fees. These scholarships are frequently awarded automatically based on qualifying requirements, which typically include a minimum GPA requirement and the condition that applicants be enrolled full-time.

Funding Option 6: Working while studying

One way to pay for your studies, build your savings, and payback debt is working part-time. Before applying for a job, be sure to check if you’re legally eligible to work on- or off-campus before you apply for a job.  Also, ask your employer if they're willing to work around your class and exam schedule before taking a part-time job. Almost all colleges and universities in Canada have Co-op programs and internships that can be viable options you would like to explore.

Funding Option 7: Study Abroad Fundraising Ideas 

There are several education crowdfunding platforms online where you can raise funds for your studies. Popular crowdfunding platforms like Crowdfunder and GoFundMe attract supporters, donors, and millions of well-wishers to pool in funds for your international education. This will help you greatly in meeting your study costs, maybe, even without taking a loan. So, get your creative ideas together and start a magnetic and compelling fundraiser.

Few tips for you

Now that you have insight into the major funding options, start preparing, start planning. Yes, it’s true that sometimes you might get disheartened as a result of the tuition fees and living expenses in Canada, but you need not worry because you can now seek assistance from our team of study advisors for guidance. You're one step closer to realizing your goal of attending a world-class university. Just keep moving ahead! And, remember, we are there to help you.

Partner / Author: AJV Global

AJV Global is a New Zealand based ENZ-recognized company. We are an end-to-end education & migration company, with a highly qualified team of advisers licensed by the New Zealand Immigration Advisers Authority and former immigration officers.

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