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Scholarships For International Students In Canada
Law schools around the world and especially in Canada do not want academically able students to be unable to accept places on their courses because of funding issues.
This often means that there are substantial scholarships for international students in Canada who wish to study an LLM, particularly because at most Canadian law schools the LLM tuition fees are more than double the cost of the LLM tuition fees for domestic students.
The costs associated with studying an LLM in Canada are not unreasonable when compared with the rest of the world, and searching for funding in Canada doesn't need to be arduous as plenty of the law schools will help you with your quest.
Where to search
For most LLM students in Canada, the first place to start looking for scholarships is through the law school once you have been accepted on a place. Universities and law schools in Canada publish lists of applicable scholarships, and all LLM students need to do is spend the time sifting through all of the scholarships that they could qualify for and then apply for them.
Other places to search for scholarships as an international student in Canada are educational and legal magazines and websites. Again, your law school should direct you to the most useful publications in your area.
Some provincial governments also offer scholarships to international students in Canada, so you should also turn to the educational funding department in the province you will be studying in. Each Canadian province is a little different when it comes to student funding, so it is best to check with the province you are resident in to see what you might be able to borrow from them.
The Canadian federal government produces lists of scholarships that they are awarding to international students through Global Affairs Canada.
Information you will need
To apply for most scholarships for international students in Canada you will need to provide details and evidence of your academic record, so you'll need to provide your university transcripts for previous courses, examples of your academic work and letters of acceptance or enrolment at your law school.
Before applying for a scholarship you should check that the law school you are attending participates in the scholarship if you have found out about it outside of your law school. The scholarship board may also wish to see proof that you are a citizen of the country you say you are as many scholarships in Canada for international students are nation specific.
Most scholarships will also require a personal statement and details about any research you're undertaking if you are enrolled in an LLM by Research. Many scholarships encourage skills such as leadership or humanitarian work, so if this is the main thrust of the scholarship, then you should provide evidence that you have these skills. You can do this by giving examples of skills you have like leadership in extra-curricular activities, volunteering or in your current work.
Popular Canadian scholarships
The provincial and federal government scholarships are among the most popular with all students, for example Ontario Graduate Scholarship are a popular choice for international students studying in Ontario. Many scholarships for graduates from the Canadian government are open to both Canadian students and international students, so these scholarships are very popular.
At individual law schools in Canada, there will be some scholarships that are more popular to apply for than others and these tend to be the scholarships that are open to the most students. It pays to search through the conditions to find a scholarship that has a specific set of requirements that you meet.
University scholarships & bursaries
Every law school in Canada will produce a list of scholarships and bursaries that students are welcome to apply for. They will also alert their students to any new scholarships or bursaries that come up and usually offer assistance to find help with funding. There is often a separate list of scholarships and bursaries specifically for international students, such as this one at the University of Toronto.
For many university-based bursaries financial need is a qualifying factor, so you might find you must disclose your financial circumstances. Many scholarships at the university level in Canada are offered to students automatically, so check when you are making your application as to which scholarships you will be considered for along with your application.
Scholarships at Canadian law schools
Here is a table of the number of different scholarships currently available at Canadian law schools.
Canadian Law School
Number of Scholarships
University of Toronto
University of British Columbia
University of Calgary
Other funding methods
Bank loans – for many LLM students in Canada, a private bank loan is a necessary part of financing their studies. Some banks, like the CIBC, will offer an Education Line of Credit which is a loan of up to $60,000 over 10 years and can be paid back over 20 years in instalments or lump sums. There are also options for professional students, like law students, who can borrow up to $100,000 and don't need to begin paying this back until they have completed their training Articling to become a lawyer.
Canadian government student loans – in some provinces, federal student loans and grants are offered in addition to provincial level student loans and grants to help with LLM tuition fees, and in other provinces, the government student loans and grants are offered together by the province. In other provinces only provincial-level student loans and grants are available.
Law firm sponsorship – many law firms in Canada offer sponsorships through specific law schools directly to students. But, if you are lucky enough to already be working for a law firm or practising law in the law department of an organisation or business, then you might find that they are willing to fund or part-fund your studies.
Part-time work – some universities in Canada restrict their full-time students to working no more than 10 hours a week during term-time in any outside activity, including paid employment. At the University of Toronto, like other institutions, if you find yourself needing to work more hours than this you must gain permission from the Dean. This is because most universities strongly discourage full-time students from working outside of their studies and would recommend part-time study to anyone who needs to work and study at the same time. International students will probably have a study permit and are likely to be restricted to no more than 20 hours of paid employment a week while they are studying and living in Canada.
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