Study in Canada: guide to scholarships and aid for international students.


Going to study in Canada, an accessible dream but which necessarily represents a cost. Between the file application fees, tuition fees, health insurance , the plane ticket and daily expenses on site, there is enough to depress your bank account!
But rest assured; there are opportunities to take advantage of advantageous tuition fees, apply for a scholarship or even get a financial boost.

When and how to apply for a scholarship for Canada?

1. When? As soon as possible.
It is advisable to start looking for scholarships and financial aid between 10 and 12 months before the planned start date. You will need time to research and select the possibilities available to you and to prepare your file. While some wait until they have received their letter of admission to a specific Canadian institution to apply for scholarships and/or financial aid, others prefer to first select programs offering scholarships or advantageous tuition fees. to choose an establishment.

2. How?
Award criteria Note that most of the scholarships and financial aid offered by Canada to international students primarily concern applicants recognized for their academic excellence , doctoral or post-doctoral students and students from developing countries .
But do not let this discourage you because other criteria are taken into account when examining the files: academic results, of course, financial resources , specific skills and talents .(athletic, artistic, etc.), the quality of the study project, the candidate’s motivation, potential, etc.
In addition, certain private organizations or foundations , which award scholarships and financial aid, may establish criteria based on: gender of the candidate, his personality, his involvement in a particular cause, his associative activities or his appetite for a particular field.

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Studying in Quebec: ways to obtain financial aid

Cheaper university tuition fees for French students

Cock-a-doodle Doo ! Here is very good news! As part of an agreement signed on student mobility between the government of Quebec and that of the French Republic, students of French nationality do not have to pay the same tuition fees chargeable to other international students (who are more students).
French students benefit from an exemption from additional tuition fees and can take advantage of more advantageous rates .

  • For registration in an undergraduate university level : they benefit from the Canadian rate non-resident of Quebec (CNRQ rate) 
  • For registration in a 2nd or 3rd cycle university program (master’s and doctorate): they benefit from the rate applied to Quebec students
  • For technical college training or professional training : they have access to the same rate as Quebecers

Did you know ? French-speaking Belgian students can also take advantage of this exemption from additional tuition fees.

For more information and to know the steps to follow: click here .

Studying in a Cégep: exemption from tuition fees for French nationals

Have you chosen to study in a Cégep (General and Vocational College)? Your bank account will thank you!
Indeed, students of French nationality and not living in another Canadian province at the time of their application for admission are exempt from the tuition fees payable , which are imposed on international students.
However, like all students, they will have to pay ancillary fees (compulsory fees that allow access to the various services offered by the Cégeps).

For example: a German student enrolling in a Cégep will have to pay tuition fees between 6,621 and 10,262 $CA per session/semester (approximately 4,562 and 7,070 €), depending on the program chosen, and 400 $CA (approximately 276 € ) related costs.
While a French student will not have to pay any tuition fees and 400 $CA (about 276 €) in related fees. ( Source Cegeps Quebec website )

Financial benefit of an exchange program with a Quebec institution

Remaining attached to your home institution, as a university exchange student, you do not have to pay tuition fees in Quebec.
Check with the international study office of your home institution to find out about partner Quebec institutions. Also consult the Quebec Student Exchange Program (PQÉÉ) website .

What scholarship opportunities to study in Quebec?

1. Important to know!
Because French students already benefit from a special regime, scholarships granted by Quebec organizations and establishments rarely concern them. They are even often excluded (particularly for Cégeps).
They primarily concern students of other nationalities and/or those with a 2nd and 3rd cycle level.
This should not prevent you from contacting the institution where you wish to study directly to find out about their scholarship and financial aid policy.

2. Some scholarship opportunities

  • Excellence scholarship from the Government of Quebec – University
    For doctoral programs in research , for postdoctoral internships or for a short research and professional development stay. 
    The amount and duration of the scholarship awarded depend on the program chosen.
    For more information, consult the page of the Fonds de recherche du Québec – nature et technologie website . 
  • Gaston-Miron
    scholarship A scholarship in the amount of CA$5,000 (approximately €3,450) allows 2nd or 3rd cycle university students to do a research internship in Quebec literature and culture at a Quebec university.
    To find out more, see the page of the International Association for Quebec Studies (AIEQ) .

Studying in the rest of Canada: ways to obtain financial aid

Financial benefit of an exchange program with a Canadian institution

If you leave as part of an exchange program between your French university and a Canadian institution, you remain attached to your home institution. You therefore do not have to pay tuition fees in Canada since you have already paid them in France. But you will not be exempted from other costs (campus fees, health insurance, accommodation…) for all that!

Nevertheless, it is still a much cheaper option than enrolling directly in a Canadian university where tuition fees for international students can be very high.

To find out more : contact the international studies office of your home school to find out about the Canadian partner establishments.
If you are enrolled in an establishment in the Île-de-France region , you can also consult the MICEFA website (Interuniversity coordination mission for Franco-American exchanges) which has listed the partner establishments in North America (United States and Canada).

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Apply for a scholarship directly from the institution that interests you

Have you been admitted to a Designated Learning Institution (DLI) or do you have your sights set on a particular Canadian university? Inquire directly with this institution to find out their criteria for awarding scholarships and financial aid for international students.
You will generally find the information on their site under the headings “Finances”, “Scholarship”, “Grant”.

Did you know ? The University of Toronto (#1 university in Canada, according to the QS World University Rankings 2022) awards approximately 30 foreign undergraduate students each year with the coveted Lester B. Pearson International Scholarship .
It finances and covers tuition fees, books, incidental costs as well as full (university) residence assistance for 4 years.
Find out here . 

  • Study abroad insurance

Other opportunities for scholarships and aid to study in Canada?

Scholarships offered by Canadian provinces and territories

Consult directly the website of the Ministry of National Education of each Canadian province or territory to find out about possible scholarship programs for international students. The Canadian Information Center for International Credentials website has listed them.

Scholarship programs for graduate students and non-Canadian researchers

EduCanada, the official website of the Government of Canada that provides information on studying in Canada, has set up a search engine to find the scholarships that are offered to international graduate students and researchers according to their nationality.

Apply for a scholarship from a Foundation

Many foundations or non-profit organizations allocate part of their budget to financial aid for young people wishing to study abroad. The number of scholarships is limited and candidates must present an irreproachable dossier that meets the selection criteria specific to each organization.
Why not try your luck?

1. The PEO International Peace Scholarship : This is a scholarship established by the PEO Foundation (Philanthropic Educational Organization), an international women’s organization whose main objective is to provide educational opportunities for female students around the world . It amounts to a maximum amount of 12,500 US dollars (approximately €10,920) per student and is intended for foreign women (citizens or permanent residents of a country other than Canada or the United States) who wish to pursue graduate studies (2nd or 3rd cycle) in an American or Canadian institution. Find out more about the eligibility conditions . 

2. The Kenza Foundation – Institut de France : its primary mission is to grant scholarships for higher education abroad to students in art and art history from major Parisian or national establishments (École du Louvre, École National Superior of Fine Arts of Lyon, Paris-Sorbonne University, etc.). The maximum amount of each grant awarded is €10,000. The following are taken into consideration when examining the application file: the ambition and objectives of your project, the excellence of your career and your financial situation.

For more information: Kenza Foundation website .

Financial boosts from the French State and local authorities

1. Aid for international mobility (AMI)
This aid is intended for students who benefit from a scholarship based on social criteria or specific annual aid, who are preparing a national diploma falling within the competence of the Ministry of higher education and who plan to pursue higher education abroad. You can receive €400 per month (tariff for the 2021-2022 academic year (source paid over a maximum of 9 monthly installments.
To apply, you must withdraw a file from the international relations departmentof your establishment. Your file will be examined and selected according to the quality and the educational interest of your project as well as its conformity with the international policy pursued by your establishment.

Good to know ! This aid can be combined with other aid. 

2. Grants offered by local authorities
Get closer to the Regional, Departmental Council and/or your town hall to find out about their various financial aid schemes to support students who wish to continue their studies abroad.
Did you know ? The Normandy region has set up the Pass Monde , a financial boost aimed at a wide range of students, all levels and fields combined.


  • Consult the directory of foundations which award grants and which are placed under the aegis of the Fondation de France . Such as that of the Afone Foundation, which awards scholarships, intended to support young people for their studies in France or abroad. Subject to being domiciled in the Pays de la Loire region. 
  • Keep up to date with scholarship program openings for international students by regularly checking the International Scholarships News Hub on the EduCanada website . 
  • Take a tour of the International Scholarships platform . It lists many scholarship opportunities at higher education institutions around the world. You may find a Canadian program or university without even thinking about it!

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