Scholarships and Awards

According to the Canadian Bureau for International Education, 80% of students identify financial assistance as the greatest barrier to studying abroad. Don’t worry — we can connect you with financial support so you can explore your options through a global opportunity.

Fund your global opportunity

When it comes to financing your global opportunity, you have options. The following scholarships, awards and funding opportunities can help you make your dream of going abroad a reality.

The GEA is now open for virtual opportunities!

Are you an undergraduate or graduate seeking global work or volunteer experience? Consider applying for the Global Experience Award to help make your dream a reality.

About the award

  • Preference will be given to non-traditional cultural experiences.
  • Applications will be accepted all year, no later than one month prior to the opportunity start date.
  • This award is open to returning students completing their academic studies.
  • Opportunities must be at least seven days long.

Note: If you receive the award, we’ll as you to provide a personal reflection on the experience. Also, we may ask you to serve as an ambassador to promote global engagement at McMaster.

Apply

You can apply for the Global Experience Award through AwardSpring. Access AwardSpring by logging into Mosaic and clicking the new AwardSpring tile on the homepage. You will be prompted to sign in with your MacID and password. For more information on the AwardSpring process, visit the Office of the Registrar’s helpful scholarships and bursaries how-to guide, which includes a video.

Have questions?

Please contact us at globalcareers@mcmaster.ca. We’re happy to help!

If you’re going abroad as part of the McMaster Exchange Program, you can still get financial assistance through the Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP).

How it works

Because your exchange is facilitated by McMaster through the Exchange Program, you can apply for OSAP using the normal process. Then, all you need to do is update your status as an exchange student by submitting additional forms to Student Services in the Office of the Registrar. These forms are available on the Registrar’s website.

Get funding for your exchange. Reflect on your experience. Give back to the McMaster Exchange Program. These are just some reasons to apply for an Exchange Ambassador Award.

How it works

Exchange Ambassador Awards provide $1,000 to eligible undergraduate students participating full time in a semester- or year-long exchange. At least 60 awards are given out each year. Preference is given to outbound applicants who reflect the diversity of McMaster’s exchange destinations, academic departments and student community.

As an exchange ambassador, you must agree to participate in the Exchange Buddy Program, the annual Student Exchange Fair and an additional activity of your choice.

  • Exchange Buddy Program: As an award recipient, you must participate in the Exchange Buddy Program as a mentor for future exchange participants. This is a great way to reflect on your experiences while supporting your peers and their global goals.
  • Student Exchange Fair: To be eligible for an Exchange Ambassador Award,  you must also agree to participate in the annual Student Exchange Fair. You will need to provide support at both the McMaster booth and the booth for your host institution.
  • Activity: Lastly, you must participate in one of the following activities:
    • Provide support through exchange peer advising.
    • Host a university information session/webinar.
    • Write about your journey in a Stories From Abroad blog post.

How to apply

You can apply for the Exchange Ambassador Award through Award Spring. Access AwardSpring by logging into Mosaic and clicking the new AwardSpring tile on the homepage. You will be prompted to sign in with your MacID and password. For more information on the AwardSpring process, visit the Office of the Registrar’s helpful scholarships and bursaries how-to guide, which includes a video.

Have questions?

Please contact us at globalcareers@mcmaster.ca. We’re happy to help!

If you’re going on a study abroad opportunity, such as through the McMaster Exchange Program, you may have access to specific awards based on your host institution. These university-specific awards change each academic year.

How to apply

To apply for a university-specific award, contact macabroad@mcmaster.ca for more information.

Travel and exchange scholarships are available through the Registrar’s Office. Applications are open January through March each year.

  • Travel awards: Apply if you’re participating in any global opportunity through McMaster, including the McMaster Exchange Program.
  • Exchange awards: Apply only if you’re going on an exchange through the McMaster Exchange Program.

How to apply

  • Log in to Mosaic Student Center > Financial Aid. Select “Apply for Financial Aid.”
  • Select the “Aid by Application” tab.
  • Read the award terms and check the “Apply” box if you meet all the requirements.
  • Print the required documents list and select “Apply.”

We want you to have as many opportunities as possible to fund your global opportunity, so check out these scholarship programs offered by different organizations and institutions.

BUTEX Scholarship: United Kingdom

Every year, BUTEX awards scholarships to students studying abroad for either a semester or a whole academic year. These scholarships are available for North American students studying in the United Kingdom. The value of each scholarship is £500, which will be paid to the winners once they have arrived and registered at their host university.

Export Development Canada

Export Development Canada hosts an international business scholarship competition, created and designed to develop the next generation of globally-minded business leaders. This program offers up to 30 scholarships of $4,000 each year — 25 for outstanding undergraduate students in international business, and five for students in programs that combine business with environmental or sustainability studies.

DAAD Scholarships: Germany

Get funding for different opportunities in Germany, including academic study, professional training and development and more.

Swedish Women’s Educational Association (SWEA) Toronto: Sweden

For over twenty years, the Toronto chapter of SWEA has offered travel scholarships to full-time students at Ontario universities with official exchange partnerships in Sweden. SWEA offers $3,000 to students who intend to study in Sweden for a full academic year. Students who are on a single-semester exchange can receive $1,500. Contact macabroad@mcmaster.ca for more information.

GoEuro Scholarship

GoEuro, a European travel company, offers three scholarships for students aiming to complete a study abroad program in Europe.

Special programs funding

Some global opportunities are more expensive than others — but this doesn’t mean you can’t find an opportunity that works for you. Check out these unique programs that include special funding to help you overcome financial barriers.

Through the McCall MacBain International Fellowships, you could spend a year immersing yourself in another culture while working and studying abroad. Up to 10 fellowships of $23,500 are available for McMaster students each year.

McCall MacBain International Fellowships include three terms to provide you with a well-rounded global experience:

  • Language training
  • Academic study
  • Work experience

Information sessions

Attend an information session to learn about the McCall MacBain International Fellowships and get support with your application.

For McMaster’s information sessions, browse OSCARplus > Student Success Centre > Events for dates and registration. Sessions are offered every fall term in October or November.

The Killam Fellowships Program provides an opportunity for exceptional undergraduate students to spend either one semester or a full academic year as an exchange student in the other country. The award covers a significant cost of the exchange, as well as health and travel allowance.

Universitas 21 is an international organization that connects students and staff at universities from 27 universities across the world. By participating in a summer study program through Universitas 21, you are likely eligible for tuition discounts and scholarships. These opportunities could help you save up to 70% on program fees.

With support from the Canadian Friends of Hebrew University (CFHU) and the Ontario Opportunities Trust Fund, you could receive a bursary of up to $12,000 to study at Hebrew University in Jerusalem.

To be eligible, you must be one of the following:

  • A graduate student who would benefit from study at Hebrew University to complete your thesis or pursue language work
  • An undergraduate student who’s interested in a course at Hebrew University that is specifically related to your major or minor subject at McMaster
  • An undergraduate student who wants to attend Hebrew University for general interest, elective courses

How to apply

Contact Student Services or McMaster Department of Religious Studies for a copy of the application form and to find out how to submit your application. In addition to your application form, you need to include:

  • A 500–1000 word statement that outlines your study plan
  • A proposed budget
  • A recommendation letter from a professor
  • Your current course transcripts

Creating a budget

Your budgeting strategy will depend on the type of global opportunity you’re participating in. However, here are some general tips and guidelines to help you effectively manage your money, including how to save up before you leave and how to manage your money abroad.

It’s important to make a budget that includes all your expenses, especially when you’re travelling abroad. The last thing you want is to miscalculate your finances and find that you’re out of money in the middle of your exchange or work term abroad.

Here are some general budgeting tips and strategies to keep your costs low while you’re abroad:

  • Make rational weekly budgets.
  • Expect to spend more money in the first week of your arrival than in the following weeks. Some initial costs include first and last month’s rent, housing supplies and so on.
  • When it comes to food and necessities, search for less expensive alternatives and cook for yourself when possible.
  • Set aside money for miscellaneous or unexpected costs.
  • Set aside extra money for day trips, special occasions, festivals and so on. Remember, being budget-conscious doesn’t mean you can’t have fun!

Want to improve your budgeting skills?

Mac’s Money Centre’s budgeting resources can help. Take the time to understand your spending habits and work to reduce unnecessary costs — your future self will thank you!

Mac's Money Centre is a wealth of financial knowledge. Learn about paying for school, creating a budget and more.

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