Best Canadian Scholarships for International Students

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Looking to study in Canada but need help paying for it? As a Nigerian student, scholarships can make achieving your Canadian education dreams possible. Canada offers a wealth of scholarship options for international students, including those from Nigeria. This guide covers the top Canadian scholarships available to Nigerian students.

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Why Study in Canada?

Before diving into the scholarships, let’s look at why Canada is a top study destination for Nigerian students:

  • World-class universities – Canada is home to top-ranked institutions like the University of Toronto, McGill University, McMaster University, and the University of British Columbia.
  • Multicultural society – Canada’s diversity and inclusiveness appeal to many international students.
  • Affordable education – Canadian university tuition is more affordable than many other major study destinations.
  • Post-graduation work opportunities – Graduates can apply for a Graduate Work Permit to gain valuable Canadian work experience after completing their studies.
  • Immigration pathways – High-skilled Nigerian graduates have options like the Express Entry system to attain permanent residence in Canada.

These advantages make Canada a prime choice for Nigerian students looking to boost their career opportunities and earning potential.

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Top Canadian Scholarships

Here are some of the best Canadian scholarships available specifically to Nigerian students looking to study in Canada:

Lester B. Pearson International Scholarships at the University of Toronto

The University of Toronto offers around 37 Lester B. Pearson International Scholarships annually to outstanding international students pursuing undergraduate studies. The scholarship covers tuition, books, incidental fees, and full residence support for 4 years of study. To qualify, you must have an admission average of at least 93% (or equivalent). Selection is based on academic achievement and demonstrated leadership skills.

Award Value: approx. CAD $80,000

Africa Initiative Scholarships at Carleton University

Carleton University provides entrance scholarships to students from Africa through its Africa Initiative program. Nigerian students entering any undergraduate program at Carleton can qualify for a one-time CAD $4,000 entrance award. You must have a minimum 80% admission average. Renewable scholarships are also offered based on academic performance.

Award Value: CAD $4,000 entrance scholarship

Middlesex University Dubai Regional Undergraduate Scholarship

Middlesex University has a campus in Dubai and offers scholarships to Nigerian students from the region. The scholarship is for first-year undergraduate students and covers 100% of the first year’s tuition fees. To be eligible you need a minimum 80% grade average and to meet other selection criteria.

Award Value: 100% tuition fees for the first year

York University International Student Scholarship Program

York University provides renewable scholarships to new international students with strong academics who demonstrate financial need. Nigerian students starting an undergraduate program can qualify for awards ranging from CAD 2,500 to CAD 10,000. The scholarships are renewable for up to 4 years based on maintaining a minimum GPA.

Award Value: CAD 2,500 – $10,000 per year based on financial need

Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships

Exceptional Nigerian students pursuing a doctoral degree at a Canadian university can receive up to CAD 50,000 per year from the Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship program. It recognizes academic excellence, research potential, and leadership skills. Check directly with the university’s graduate studies department for eligibility and application details.

Award Value: $50,000 per year for 3 years

Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation Doctoral Scholarships

The Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation offers doctoral scholarships open to all disciplines related to human rights and dignity. It provides up to CAD 60,000 over 3 years to international PhD students studying at a Canadian university. Applicants should demonstrate academic excellence, research innovation, and community leadership.

Award Value: CAD 20,000 per year for 3 years

University of Manitoba Graduate Fellowships

The University of Manitoba provides major funding packages to international graduate students including those from Nigeria. Fellowships for Master’s students provide CAD 14,000 plus a tuition fee waiver. At the Ph.D. level, it provides CAD 18,000 per year plus tuition fee coverage. Minimum admission averages apply.

Award Value: CAD 14,000 – $18,000 per year plus tuition waiver

This covers some of the top Canadian scholarship options specifically available to Nigerian students. Many universities also offer scholarships and funding for international graduate students that Nigerians can qualify for.

We highly recommend all prospective Nigerian students explore scholarship options directly through their chosen Canadian university’s website. The school’s international student office and graduate studies department are the best resources for current scholarship information.

Tips for Scholarship Applications as a Nigerian Student

Here are some tips to strengthen your scholarship applications as a Nigerian student:

  • Start researching and applying early – Scholarship deadlines are often many months in advance of program start dates.
  • Focus on academic excellence – High grades and test scores are key, so maintain your best performance.
  • Craft an outstanding personal statement – Share your background, achievements, financial need, and career goals.
  • Ask for recommendation letters – Choose teachers or mentors who can highlight your strengths.
  • Participate in extracurriculars – Volunteer work, sports, clubs, and other activities showcase your well-roundedness.
  • Ace the interviews – If required, prepare to impress during the scholarship screening process.
  • Apply to multiple scholarships – Increase your odds by submitting several strong applications.
  • Follow instructions carefully – Strictly adhere to all guidelines and documentation requirements.

Preparing a complete, high-quality scholarship application package takes time. But the investment is worthwhile for the opportunity to access funding to achieve your Canadian university goals.

Planning Your Canadian Student Budget

Even with scholarship assistance, studying in Canada involves significant costs. Make sure you budget realistically for expenses like:

  • Tuition fees – For 2023/2024, the average annual undergraduate tuition in Canada is CAD 22,000 – $33,000 for international students.
  • Accommodation – Living costs for housing, food, transport, etc. range from CAD 11,000 – $17,000 per year.
  • Books & supplies – Budget around CAD 1,500 per year for resources like books, stationery, electronics, etc.
  • Health insurance – International students must have comprehensive coverage for medical costs in Canada.
  • Misc. costs – Phone bills, entertainment, clothing, travel expenses, etc. also add up.

Having a clear budget overview will help you plan effectively to cover the costs of your Canadian education. Be realistic about the total expenses you will incur beyond just the tuition fees.

Some strategies like choosing an affordable city, living frugally, buying used textbooks, and cooking at home can help lower your living costs as an international student. Working part-time on campus also allows you to earn extra money.

Finding scholarship funding opportunities should be part of your overall plan to fund your Canadian university studies. Combined with prudent budgeting, scholarships can help turn your Canadian education dream into reality.

Start Your Canadian Education Journey Today

We hope this guide to Canadian scholarships for Nigerian students helps you kickstart your funding search for 2023/2024. Canada wants to attract top international students like you and offers world-class education opportunities. Be sure to visit workliveincanada often for the latest tips and advice for Nigerian students looking to study in Canada.

For more insights, check out these articles:

  • Guide to Canadian Study Permits for Nigerian Students
  • How to Get a Canada Student Visa as a Nigerian
  • Best Part-Time Jobs for Nigerian Students in Canada

Start researching scholarships and programs at your chosen Canadian universities today. With focus and determination, you can absolutely achieve your Canadian student dreams. We wish you the very best!