Do you want to know how to study in Canada for free as an international student? Well, there is only one way. Since there are no universities or colleges that are tuition-free in Canada, you will need to receive fully-funded scholarships in Canada to cover tuition, room, and board. So, how do you do that to study in Canada for free?
Students who want to study free in Canada should consider studying on scholarship. There are a lot of 100% tuition scholarships for students who want to study in Canada.
In this article, we will go over the commonly asked questions, and then delve deeper into how international students can study in Canada for free. We will also discuss on cost of living, how to enrol for studies in Canada and other vital information.
Are there Free Tuition colleges in Canada for International Students?
The short answer is no. Simply put, there are no tuition-free universities in Canada for international students as stated before. There are no tuition-free universities even for Canadian students.
However, you can study without paying the tuition fee by getting a full-tuition scholarship or even fully-funded scholarships. We will go deeper into this later on.
You should know that there are very, very affordable universities in Canada even for international students. Although they are not tuition-free universities, they are close. Check out Affordable Universities in Canada for International Students if you want more info!
Basic Steps in Studying in Canada for Free
Like stated before, the best way to study in Canada for free is by getting a scholarship in Canada. There are universities in Canada that give very generous scholarships for international students. To see the complete list, visit the Canada Scholarships Page.
To get a scholarship in Canada, you will first need to have a great application. Here, we will go over components of a great application that will able you to get fully funded scholarships in Canada. Second, you will need to find those scholarships using a variety of sources. Third, you will need to apply.
Another way is to attend affordable universities in Canada. Although this alone wouldn’t allow you to study in Canada for free, this, with other ways in this article, will definitely help you to do so.
Next, you can fund your studies in Canada is finding work in Canada. International students are eligible to work in Canada for 20 hours a week during academic semester and 40 hours a week during school vacation.
Finally, the next way is finding work online either as a freelancer or operating a business online.
Potential that can help you to Study for Free in Canada
You will need to prepare to meet the requirements for scholarships in Canada
To get a scholarship in Canada, you need to prepare to meet the scholarship requirements. This is the hardest step and needs a long preparation time. Please note that these are not mandatory, but it is good to meet these components of a great application.
Research experience is crucial for graduate applicants, especially in the STEM fields. Having research experience will greatly enhance your scholarship application, which will increase your chances of studying for free in Canada. If you are applying for an undergraduate program and have research experience, you are in great advantage.
Although research is not required to get a scholarship in Canada, it is highly recommended.
A high GPA is important for those applying for undergraduate or graduate programs. It is a key metric that colleges and universities use to measure the success of potential students in a college environment. So, it is essential that you study in your previous program to increase your chances.
If you have internship experiences, this will greatly enhance your application. Also, previous employers can be good people to ask for letters of recommendations, especially if they are related to your field of study.
Community service is another aspect of your application that will make it shine. Students with community service are seen to care for their community and will give back to their community in the future
IELTS and TOEFL are the most English Proficiency Exams. If you are an international student and are not from an English-speaking country, you will need to take one of these to apply. It is needed for both undergraduate and graduate programs, and having a high score on IELTS/TOEFL is desirable.
SAT/ACT and/or A-Level and/or College Entrance Exams in your Country (Undergraduate)
This requirement is for those applying for undergraduate programs. Many universities in Canada accept the SAT and ACT, which are the college entrance exams for undergraduate programs in America. The SAT and ACT are accepted by universities in many countries in lieu of the admission test requirements, and Canada is no exception.
Many universities in Canada will accept SAT or ACT, but you will have to check individual university websites for more specific information.
It is highly recommended that you have a high score in one of these admissions test.
Another alternative to admissions tests is A-Level, which is from a British curriculum. Many Canadian universities accept these as well, and having a high score will be greatly beneficial to your scholarship application.
Other forms of admissions test are accepted by some universities. The requirements differ, so you need to check university websites for specific information.
GRE is an standardized test for graduate programs, which Canadian universities accept. If you are applying for a graduate program, a high GRE score is a must.
Published Journal (Graduate)
Students applying who have previously published in an academic journal will be viewed on favorably. If students applying for undergraduate programs have published in a journal, then this will be greatly beneficial.
This list is just a start of many things that you can put in your application. Having few or several of these components will help you to succeed in studying in Canada for free.
So, months or even years before your application, start preparing these essential parts of the application. So start early to prepare your application!
Search for Fully Funded Scholarships
This is an essential step in studying in Canada for free. There are many resources that you can use to find fully funded scholarships.
First, I recommend you to go to Canada Scholarship Page on this website to find fully funded scholarships there. All the scholarship articles in that page have links to the official scholarship website. So, you can be sure that the information on these scholarship pages are correct.
Apply for those Scholarships to Study for Free in Canada
After searching for these scholarships, you will need to apply for several of them. It is very difficult to get those scholarships, so you will need to increase your chances by applying for several. So, carefully read the application instructions, complete the application and the required documents, and apply!
If you are unsure about the application process, we’ve covered in detail in the guide on How to Apply to Universities in Canada. So, read the guide carefully, follow the steps, and apply!
Attend Affordable Universities to Cut the Cost of Tuition
Although by doing this one step alone would be impossible for you to cover the whole cost of studying in Canada, it will definitely help. There are universities that provide great education with an affordable price. Check the Affordable Universities in Canada for International Students.
You will need to incorporate this method with other ways in this article for you to be able to completely finance your education in Canada.
International students can work 20 hours a week during academic semester and 40 hours a week during breaks. Many international students either work on-campus or off-campus to fund their studies. It is a good way to fund your studies.
There is a big misconception among international students about this method. Many international students believe that they can cover the entire cost of study just by working. This is a BIG misconception!
You can cover only a fraction of the cost just by working. You will need to do other steps listed in this article such as getting scholarships (which is the best option) and attending affordable universities to be able to completely cover the finances.
You can either work as a freelancer or operate a business. There are platforms like Upwork and Fiverr where you can earn money through various tasks like Virtual Assistants or Writing. You should definitely consider this as an option!
Tuition Fees in Canada
If you’re a Canadian citizen studying in Canada, you can hope to pay an average of CA$6,571 per year for an undergraduate degree, and CA$6,907 per year for a graduate degree.
That of international students is estimated at CA$25,180 (~US$20,540) per year.
Since provinces in Canada are mainly autonomous, there is no one-size-fits-all school system and curricula in Canada.
Public primary education and high schools are free of charge but not the universities. The Canadian education system is ranked among the best in the world
Cost of Living in Canada
Cost of living is the total amount of money it will take a student to survive for one month taking into consideration all expenditure apart from tuition fees. This can be accommodation, bus fare, feeding, internet service charges, leisure expenses, clothing, books etc.
In Canada, it is relatively affordable compared to what is obtainable in Australia, USA or UK.
Total cost of living can be estimated at $600 to $1000 a month.
Cost of living breakdown for International Students in Canada;
- Accommodation (one bedroom apartment) – $400 approximately per month.
- Books and supplies – $1000 per year
- Movies – $8.50 – $13
- Average restaurant meal – $10 – $25 per person
- Groceries – $150 – $200 per month
A student can spend more or less. This list is just an estimate and strongly depends on one’s spending habits.
Admission Requirements and How to Apply
Please for specific admission requirements and application process, visit the school website and follow the information there strictly as this varies from school to school.
If you want to apply for graduate studies in Canada, you will have to pass through these steps below;
- Complete an online application form
- Upload your credentials and transcript
- Upload proof of proficiency of the language of study for your program
- Upload your letters of recommendation
- Write statement of purpose; follow the scholarship or school’s guidelines on how to do this where applicable
- If you did not study in Canada, you may need to pay international evaluation fee to get your certificate valid.