Tuition-Free Universities in Canada for International Students in 2023

Posted by

Tuition-free universities in Canada for international students offer opportunities for international students to study at Canadian universities without paying traditional tuition fees.

Canada is one of the top destinations for international students, attracting over 600,000 students from all over the world in 2021.

Let’s get started.

Why Study in Canada?

Canada offers several reasons to study abroad, including the opportunity to work while studying, lower tuition fees, the support of over half a million international students, quality education, and the ability to enter the Canadian workforce.

Canada allows international students to earn while they study, allowing them to pay for their education while gaining crucial work experience.

Additionally, Canadian colleges and universities produce talented graduates who are well-funded and offer courses tailored to the changing economy.

The post-graduation work permit in Canada allows students to work for any employer in Canada and in any location, allowing them to gather more crucial work experience for their Canadian permanent residence application.

Below is a list of the popular courses Canadian universities offer:

  • Business management
  • Information technology (IT) and computer science
  • Engineering
  • Healthcare
  • Media and journalism
  • Accounting and finance
  • Psychology
  • Education
  • Nursing
  • Hospitality management
  • Human resources
  • Agriculture and forestry

List of Tuition-Free Universities in Canada for International Students

Below is a list of 9 tuition-free universities in Canada for International Students:

Tuition-Free Universities in Canada for International Students

1. The University of Calgary

  • Founded: 1966
  • Location: Calgary, Alberta, Canada

The University of Calgary is a public research university located in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. The university offers scholarships for international students through its International Office and Faculty of Arts & Science.

It is a member of the U15, an association of research-intensive universities in Canada established by Prime Minister Trudeau on January 1st, 2015 to promote excellence and innovation among its members through collaborative activities such as joint research projects and other forms of collaboration between member institutions across Canada.

The university offers outstanding educational programs for undergraduate students at all levels, including certificate courses offered online via MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses).

It also offers graduate programs leading towards master’s degrees which include specialized fields like Medical Sciences or Nursing Sciences but also other specialties like Architecture if you prefer this field over others mentioned earlier.

2. Concordia University

  • Founded: 1974
  • Location: Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Concordia University is a public university located in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. It offers a wide range of undergraduate and graduate programs in various fields such as arts, engineering, business, and science.

The university has a diverse student population, with over 8,000 international students from more than 150 countries. Concordia University provides several scholarships for international students who wish to study at the university.

These scholarships are awarded based on merit rather than geography or nationality, which means that students from any country can apply. The International Student Awards for Excellence (ISAE) scholarship program is one such scholarship offered by the university’s Students’ Union.

Additionally, external organizations such as Canada’s Immigration Minister’s Office or Canadian Parents for French Language Schools (CPFLS) administer other awards such as bursaries and prizes.

For non-degree visiting students from various countries, the Government of Canada offers several scholarship programs. Funded by EduCanada, these scholarships are for short-term undergraduate and graduate students who wish to undertake research or course-oriented exchanges at a Canadian institution.

The goal of these scholarships is to help foster understanding among people, develop global citizens, nurture leaders, and contribute to the development of nations.

3. Southern Alberta Institute of Technology

  • Founded: 1916
  • Location: Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SIT) is a public polytechnic university located in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. It was established in 1947 as the Technical Training Institute (TTI). SIT has three campuses: East Campus, West Campus, and Airdrie Campus.

The East Campus is the main campus, while the West Campus offers programs for construction management, and the Airdrie Campus offers programs for automotive maintenance and repair.

SIT offers more than 80 programs at the bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral levels.

The school provides scholarships for international students who are studying at SIT full-time or part-time during their studies at no cost to them.

4. The University of Toronto

  • Founded: 1827
  • Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

The University of Toronto is a highly regarded academic institution in Canada, known for its research-intensive programs and diverse student body.

It has over 43,000 students from around the world, it is one of the largest universities in North America.

The university offers a range of scholarships to international students who wish to pursue undergraduate or graduate degrees at the institution. These scholarships are awarded based on academic merit, financial need, and/or other factors such as community involvement or language proficiency.

The university has several scholarship programs for international students, including the University of Toronto Scholars Program, the President’s Scholars of Excellence Program, and the Lester B. Pearson International Scholarship.

Most admission scholarships for international undergraduate applicants are automatically awarded as part of the admissions review process, and no separate application is required.

The university also offers International Scholar Awards to exceptional international students across its largest divisions and faculties.

5. Saint Mary’s University

  • Founded: 1802
  • Location: Halifax, Nova Scotia

Saint Mary’s University (SMU) is a Catholic university located in the Vancouver suburb of Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.

It was founded in 1853 by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Toronto and named after Saint Mary, the mother of Jesus Christ. SMU is co-educational and offers over 40 undergraduate degrees and four graduate programs.

The university has more than 200 full-time faculty and staff members, 35% of whom have PhDs or other terminal degrees.

It also has 700 part-time faculty members and approximately 13,000 students at the main campus in Halifax and 2,500 students at its branch campuses in Sydney and Antigonish.

Most international students at SMU come from Asian countries such as China and Thailand.

The average tuition fee for international students at SMU ranges from $1700 to $3700 per semester depending on their field of study. SMU offers several scholarships for international students coming from other countries such as India.

These students may be eligible for up to $5000 worth of financial aid each semester based on their academic performance alone.

6. Carleton University

  • Founded: 1942
  • Location: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Carleton University is a public research university located in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.

It was founded in 1867 and was the first university in Canada to offer an arts degree. Since then, it has become one of the top-ranked universities in the country.

The university offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in a variety of disciplines, including arts and humanities, business administration, computer science, engineering sciences, and more.

Carleton University offers scholarships for international students who wish to study at their institution.

The Carleton International Scholarship is one such scholarship that is awarded to international students pursuing an undergraduate degree at the university.

The scholarship covers full tuition fees for up to four years, including the summer terms, and is renewable for up to two additional years provided students maintain their academic standing.

7. The University of British Columbia

  • Founded: 1908
  • Location: Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

The University of British Columbia is a public research university located in British Columbia, Canada. It has two campuses: UBC Vancouver Campus (Vancouver) and UBC Okanagan Campus (Kelowna).

The main campus is situated on Point Grey Road, which is just north of downtown Vancouver. It is bordered by Sea Island to the west and Point Grey to the east.

The university offers several scholarships for international students, including the International Student Aid Program, which provides financial assistance to students who meet certain criteria such as having tuition fees covered by other sources/grants or being from low-income families or communities.

If you live outside Canada at least half-time while studying at UBC Vancouver Campus, you can apply through your home country’s embassy or consulate; otherwise, you must apply through your home country’s embassy/consulate once you have arrived in Canada.

8. The University of Waterloo

  • Founded: 1959
  • Location: Waterloo, Ontario, Canada

The University of Waterloo is a public research university located in Kitchener-Waterloo, Ontario, Canada. It was founded in 1957 and has an international reputation for its science and engineering programs.

The university has over 18,000 students studying at undergraduate or postgraduate levels. It offers more than 100 degree programs across 13 faculties and is one of the top research universities in Canada.

The university has a reputation for its strengths in engineering, mathematics, and science. It also has an active alumni network with more than 170,000 graduates worldwide.

The university offers scholarships to international students who want to study there but cannot afford tuition fees or living expenses during their studies.

The scholarships are awarded based on academic merit and financial need. The university also provides a range of other financial aid options, including bursaries and loans.

9. York University

  • Founded: 1959
  • Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

York University is a modern, multi-campus, urban university located in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. It offers over 100 undergraduate and graduate degree programs in various fields, including arts, business, and science.

The university is committed to creating a better future by addressing complex global challenges and building a more innovative, just, and sustainable world.

York University offers scholarships and bursaries to recognize academic excellence, resilience, and community leadership.

These financial supports are available to students studying full-time during their entire course of study. Scholarships are awarded based on financial needs or academic merit (grades).

The university also offers scholarships for some students who want to pursue their studies abroad or take courses online with no additional costs involved at all.

FAQs on Tuition-Free Universities in Canada for International Students

What are the benefits of studying in Canada for international students?

Benefits include a high-quality education system, a multicultural environment, post-graduation work opportunities, and access to a range of academic programs and research facilities.

How can international students prepare for their academic journey in Canada?

Preparation involves securing the necessary visas, budgeting for living expenses, ensuring health insurance coverage, and familiarizing oneself with the Canadian education system and culture.

Is there any advice for prospective international students considering Canada as their destination for higher education?

Prospective students should thoroughly research universities and programs, explore scholarship opportunities, and ensure they have a solid financial plan in place.


To find more information, international students can visit the official websites of Canadian universities, and the Canadian government’s immigration website.

We’ve come to the end of this article, let us know in the comment section, which university caught your fancy.

Share and Help us Reach out to Other Students

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *