How to Earn While You Learn

By Wilfrid Laurier University Modified on February 18, 2020
Tags : Money

Scholarships and employment opportunities for international students in Canada.

Happy international students frolic in the snow at Wilfrid Laurier University, knowing there are plenty of ways to earn money while they study in Canada.

Canada is known for high quality, low cost education. According to the Canadian Bureau for International Education, Canadian tuition fees are some of the lowest in English-speaking countries. The cost of living is also considerably less in Canada than the UK and Europe. Still, thinking about how you'll pay for your education is a stressful part of studying abroad. Fortunately, as an international student at a Canadian university, you'll have many opportunities for scholarships, financial aid, and earning money while you study.


So what do lower cost of living and tuition fees actually look like? To help you plan, we've created a budget outline for a first-year international student in the first two terms of full-time study, including residence, meal plans, and personal expenses like groceries.

Entrance scholarships

At Wilfrid Laurier University, we are committed to ensuring that all students offered admission receive the assistance they need to complete their degree. When you apply to your Laurier program, you'll automatically be assessed for entrance scholarships based on your high school grades. If your average is 95% or higher, we'll award you with the President's Gold Scholarship, valued at $5,000 CAD for your first year. If you maintain the eligibility requirements, you will receive another $5,000 per year for years two through four. You will be notified of your projected entrance scholarship in your offer of admission.

Competitive scholarships

In any year of study, you can apply for competitive scholarships, awards and bursaries by completing an online student profile about yourself. Awards are granted based on the information you provide, including your interests, involvement, financial need, academic achievement and more. You can find descriptions and criteria for our competitive scholarships and awards with our Scholarship and Awards search engine — some are specifically awarded to international students!

Automatic, in-course scholarships

If you do not receive the renewable President's Gold Scholarship, you may qualify for additional scholarships through our in-course scholarship program. These scholarships are valued at $500 to $1,500 annually and are automatically granted based on academic performance at Laurier, so you don't need to apply: you'll be notified by email once grades have been finalized for the appropriate term or year of study.

Part-time employment and co-ops

In addition to scholarships and awards, there are many opportunities to earn money while you study. You will have a four month summer break from May to the end of August where you are allowed to stay in Canada and work full-time, or return to your home country. During the school year, Laurier offers plenty of opportunities for part-time employment as a teaching assistant, residence don, computer analyst, telefundraiser, or through the hundreds of food service opportunities right on campus. We are also located in thriving communities with healthy retail and service sectors that offer employment opportunities throughout the year.

If you are admitted to our co-operative education program, you will complete paid work terms that provide you with valuable contacts, self-confidence, and the experience to help you gain employment after graduation.

Learn more about Wilfrid Laurier University!

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