Loans and Assistance for Canadian Students Who Study Abroad

If you need financial assistance and are enrolled in a U.S. college or university or anywhere else around the world, there are options to explore. These include loans from private lenders, grants, and programs run by the Canadian government.

Government Programs

The Canadian government offers support to international students studying in Canada as well as Canadians who wish to study abroad. There are different opportunities to consider depending on whether you are a professional, researcher, postdoctoral researcher, faculty member, or student. The type of assistance for postdoctoral researchers depends on the country of choice. If you wish to study in the U.S., there are plenty of scholarships to apply for – Canada Graduate Scholarships, NSERC Postgraduate Scholarships, the Canada-U.S. Fulbright Scholarship, and others. They are offered by different councils, associations, foundations, and organizations such as the Trudeau Foundation, Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada, and others. If you are a faculty member or researcher, there are three options to consider: Canada Gairdner International Awards, Canada Gairdner Global Health Award, and the Fulbright Scholarship.

The Canadian government also offers loans to students who wish to study abroad. One option is to apply under the Canadian Higher Education Loan Program. Assistance is offered to students attending colleges throughout the world as well as domestic students.

Loans by Financial Institutions

Another idea is to apply for a loan offered by your bank or a non-bank entity. The difference between grants and scholarships and loans from private providers is that the latter are to be repaid. Some lenders require that a cosigner guarantees repayment. If you are enrolled in a U.S. university, the cosigner must be a U.S. resident or citizen with income history, stable job, and good credit. This helps borrowers to qualify for an attractive interest rate. Eligible candidates are those who are pursuing a license, certificate, or degree. Applicants are asked to provide information such as their school name, state, and more. Borrowers enjoy a number of beneficial features and perks, depending on the lender. These include no prepayment penalties and origination fees, low interest rates, free tuition insurance, web account management, and interest rate reduction. Applicants are allowed to borrow up to 100 percent of their tuition costs. Interest and principal payments begin once the student graduates or leaves school. Loans are offered to students who are enrolled in an eligible program.

Other Solutions

A line of credit is another option for Canadians studying abroad. Big banks such as the RBC offer lines of credit to students attending universities and colleges outside of Canada. Holders benefit from attractive interest rates. The credit limit depends on the program of choice (family practice, psychiatry, business management, law, and so on). It is higher for students enrolled in dental and medical programs. Lines of credit are also offered to students who are enrolled in special programs such as occupational therapy, physiotherapy, and clinical psychology. Applicants are asked to submit information such as their financial resources and sources of income, a list of their education costs, as well and confirmation of enrollment. Postgraduate and undergraduate students are also offered lines of credit but the limit is lower. To qualify, you must have landed immigrant status or be a Canadian citizen.