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How To Finance Your Studies In Canada as an International Student?

Yocket Editorial Team
How To Finance Your Studies In Canada as an International Student? Image

Canada welcomes more than 90,000 students every year from across the world. This incredible country offers an amazing experience of studying and living in a multicultural and aesthetically beautiful setting. However, the cost of living in Canada can be really high if you do not plan your stay well. That is when the funding options come to your rescue. You must be aware of the various ways to finance your studies in Canada before finalizing anything.

In this blog, we take you through some popular and useful funding options in Canada to help manage your finances wisely. Do also check out the tips that will help you to live on a standard budget as an international student in Canada.

Table Of Contents

  1. Ways to Finance Your Studies in Canada
  2. Tips to Plan a Student Budget in Canada
  3. Frequently Asked Questions about How to Finance Your Studies in Canada


4 Ways to Finance Your Studies in Canada

You need to have a good sum of money from the time you apply for a study permit in Canada. IRCC (Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada) expects all international students to be able to finance their studies in Canada themselves. In order to be eligible for a Canadian study permit, an international student needs to provide proof of having the necessary finances to support him/herself and any family members accompanying them in Canada. This could include written confirmation of scholarships, bursaries, loans or awards as proof of financial security. Other than the tuition fees, a student also needs to deposit 10,000 CAD as a Guaranteed Investment Certificate (GIC) in banks like CIBC or SBI Canada.

As a student, you need to demonstrate that you have enough funding to cover your tuition fees with the addition of 10,000 CAD for a year.

Suggested: Complete breakdown of the cost of studying in Canada for international students

Hence, funding your studies in Canada requires a lot of research and planning. Here is a list of funding options for international students in Canada:

Scholarships to Study in Canada

One of the best ways to finance your studies in Canada is by acquiring a scholarship. There are plenty of government-funded scholarships, as well as scholarships from universities for international students in Canada. Scholarships in Canada are highly sought-after by students. Some types of scholarships for international students in Canada include:

  • University Scholarships
  • Financial Scholarships
  • Merit Scholarships
  • Country-Based Scholarships
  • Government- Funded Scholarships
  • Privately- Funded Scholarships

To get well-funded scholarships in Canada one must research the opportunities and plan in advance. Do check the deadline of the scholarships in Canada and start your application process ahead of time to avoid any hurdles later on.

Here are some top scholarships for international students in Canada:

  • Canada -ASEAN Scholarships and Educational Exchanges for Development (SEED)
  • Lester B. Pearson International Scholarships
  • Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships
  • Banting Postdoctoral Fellowship
  • Carleton Prestige Scholarships


Student Loans to Study in Canada

Another way to finance your studies in Canada is by opting for a student loan. There are mostly two types of student loans for international students in Canada. Let us know more about them:

  • Federal Student Loans

The Canada Student Financial Assistance Program offers various student grants and loans to both full-time and part-time students. This federal loan program is offered

through the Canadian government for international students who need a repayable loan. The amount you receive from federal student loans in Canada depends on factors like your province or territory of residence, family income, tuition fees and living expenses, etc. They are mostly available to international students having protected status such as refugees.

  • Private Student Loans

Student loans for international students in Canada are primarily private loans offered by specialist education loan providers. International students pursuing different courses at approved universities in Canada are eligible to apply for student loans in Canada. To acquire a private student loan there must be a cosigner- someone who will take responsibility for the repayment of your loan if you fail to do so. However, there are organizations like MPOWER Financing that offer student loans to international students without a cosigner.

Do check your loan eligibility, requirements and benefits before finalizing on student loans for international students in Canada.


Part-Time Jobs in Canada

Engaging in part-time jobs is an excellent way to fund your studies in Canada. There are many part-time jobs in Canada for students to help them out with finances. The student visa grants permission to take up different on-campus part-time jobs. After completing six months of study, you may also apply for an off-campus employment permit too. But if you wish to work off-campus without a work permit in Canada, you must fulfill the following requirements:

  • He/she is a full-time student with a valid study permit.
  • Enrolled at a designated learning institution for post-secondary studies or pursuing a secondary-level vocational program in Quebec.
  • Enrolled in a six months (minimum) academic, vocational, or professional training program.

A Canadian student visa permits 20 hours per week of part-time jobs in Canada for international students. 


 Student Lines of Credit in Canada

The Student Lines of Credit in Canada lets one borrow money repeatedly upto a pre-set limit. It offers flexibility while extending financial assistance for tuition fees, living expenses and books for post secondary education. Your college/university will set the maximum limit for you to borrow money. This amount will also depend upon the program that you choose.

The set limit for different programs under Student Lines of Credit in Canada are:

Undergraduate Programs

Full-Time Students

Part-Time Students

Upto CAD 20,000 to CAD 80,000 per year for four years of study

Upto CAD 20,000 to CAD 80,000 per year


Graduate Programs




Upto 125,000 CAD for the duration of study


Upto 125,000 CAD over three years of study


Upto 125,000 CAD over four years


Upto 80,000 CAD over four years of study


Professional Programs




Upto 325,000 CAD and $100,000 in first year


Up to 325,000 CAD and 100,000 CAD in first year of study; continued access during residency


Up to 140,000 CAD; access up to 35,000 CAD in your first year of study


Tips to Plan a Student Budget in Canada

Now that we have covered much about financing your studies in Canada, let us move on to some useful tips to manage your finances judiciously as an international student:

  • Living on-campus is undoubtedly a different experience altogether, but there are decent and safe off-campus options for international students in Canada too. You may also get in touch with other student groups and live in a shared apartment. As the rent, food and related expenses are shared, much of your additional costs will be cut off.
  • Cooking your meals or even hiring a full-time cook will help save up a lot of money instead of eating outside. Besides, home-cooked meals are more healthy and hygienic too.
  • The flight fares to and fro Canada to your home country surely costs high. Plan your trips ahead and book your flights in advance to avoid extra charges.
  • Student discounts are very useful for international students in Canada. Once you get your I-Card you can use it at many stores and places to avail attractive discounts.
  • Lastly, to live on a certain budget you must have a budget plan and a track of your weekly/monthly expenses. It is advisable not to spend lavishly if you are on a tight budget.

Living and studying in a new country invites a lot of challenges and adjustments. But overall it is a lifetime experience of growth and learning. Apart from studying in Canada, you also master the art of managing finances and living self-sufficiently. All these take you a long way in life. To know more about living expenses in Canada as an international student do check our blog cost of living in Canada. 

Let us now have a look at the frequent queries of students regarding financing studies in Canada for international students:


Frequently Asked Questions about How to Finance Your Studies in Canada

  1. How can I finance my studies in Canada?

Ans. Acquiring a scholarship is one of the best ways to finance your studies in Canada. Apart from that you may also opt for a student loan or engage in part-time jobs to earn some extra pocket money.


  1. How to get scholarships in Canada?

Ans. The scholarships in Canada are either offered on merit or based on your territory or place of residence. Having any relevant experiences in extracurricular activities may also help you get a scholarship in Canada.


  1. Can I earn while studying in Canada?

Ans. Yes. Many international students in Canada opt for part-time jobs to fund their studies and manage expenses. A Canadian student visa permits 20 hours per week of part-time jobs in Canada for international students.


  1. How does IRCC verify proof of funds?

Ans. IRCC asks for an official letter from the respective bank that includes account details, liabilities, and average monthly balance for the last 6 months.


  1. What are the requirements to apply for a student loan in Canada?

Ans. To get student loans in Canada you must fulfill one of the following requirements:

  • A valid proof of citizenship in a country.
  • You must have secured admission at a recognized foreign university/institution and enrolled in a professional course.
  • You must be above 18 years of age or your parents will have to apply for the loan.