If you are from the Caribbean and are looking at Canada to further your education, you may want to consider the region known as Atlantic Canada. The territory comprises Canada’s four easternmost provinces: New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Labrador, and Prince Edward Island. Known for its smaller, friendly communities, this region is home to many reputable colleges and universities and can be a viable alternative to Canada’s larger, fast-paced cities.
For most international students though, leaving home to pursue higher education is not only a big step, it can also prove to be an expensive one. Finding a scholarship or grant that matches your qualifications and financial needs can sometimes mean a long and tedious search, especially when you are from one of the many small island nations that make up the Caribbean. Many Atlantic Canadian universities and Caribbean entities (public and private) have recognized the need to provide Caribbean students with more financial resources and have developed awards to address these needs.
Here is a list of scholarships that are suited for Caribbean students wanting to study in Atlantic Canada. Some are island-specific whereas others place applicants in competition with the greater pool of international students:
Born in Jamaica, then migrating to Canada, Reverend Phillips obtained degrees from the University of Prince Edward Island (UPEI), St. Mary’s University (SMU) and Dalhousie University. This scholarship is awarded to a student at Dalhousie who is a Nova Scotian resident of Caribbean descent or is applying directly from the Caribbean.
This scholarship is one of Dalhousie’s entrance awards, and the amount is undisclosed. Samara Burton, a Dominican studying Applied Computer Science, is a recent recipient of this award. Speaking to the Caribbean Students to Atlantic Canada Podcast, Samara elaborated on the events surrounding her receipt of this scholarship and described how fortunate she felt that such a funding option existed.
This renewable scholarship is awarded annually to top-ranking international students entering his or her first year at St. Thomas University (STU). Located in Fredericton, New Brunswick, STU is a liberal arts university offering degrees in humanities, social sciences, applied arts and social work. Selection for this international scholarship is based solely on academic excellence, and students need to maintain an annual average G.P.A of at least 3.5 to qualify for award renewal. The amount varies up to a maximum of full tuition and differential fees.
The Butterfield Group is a community bank and provider of financial services around the globe. With offices in Bermuda, The Cayman Islands, and The Bahamas, the company developed a $25,000 USD award for a Master’s or PhD student from one of these countries. The applicant must be pursuing a degree in a field related to the protection and improvement of island environments.
The corporation aims to promote higher education and contribute to the improvement of the islands in which they operate. The successful candidate would have an undergraduate degree and acceptance/enrollment into an accredited university. The applicant’s academic history, environmental focus, and extracurricular achievements will also play a role in the selection process.
If you are a national of Antigua and Barbuda between the ages of 16 and 25 and have been accepted into Saint Mary’s University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, then you may be eligible for one of the awards from the Halo Foundation. Keep in mind, that to be considered for this award, the committee requires three (3) recommendation letters from three (3) different sources as well as a minimum of six (6) CXC subjects (with grades 1 and 2). The three awards range from $17,000 CAD yearly (up to a maximum of 4 years) to $30,000 CAD yearly (for up to four years).
If teaching is your passion and you are interested in obtaining a Bachelors of Education (BEd.) from the University of Prince Edward Island (UPEI), then the Joyce M. Hopper scholarship may be an option for securing some financial assistance. This award was established in honor and memory of Mrs. Andrew, a PEI native, teacher and avid volunteer. Two international students entering the BEd program are awarded this scholarship which can be for sums up to $3,000 CAD.
These renewable scholarships cover expenses up to $8,750 CAD. They are awarded annually to five (5), first-year students (international or domestic) entering full-time undergraduate studies at Acadia University in Nova Scotia. Recipients would have shown a combination of academic achievement, athletic or artistic involvement, community service, and Other scholarships from Acadia that Caribbean students may qualify for include the Dr. Ernest Hayes Scholarship and the Ester Clark Wright International Student Scholarships.
If you are a citizen of the Bahamas, then this particular scholarship may be of interest to you. Both St. Mary’s University (SMU) and the University of Prince Edward Island (UPEI) have formed partnerships with the Bahamian Government’s Ministry of Education, Science and Technology.
The amount of the award can range from $7,500 US to $15,000 US / academic year. To be successful as a candidate, one must be a Bahamian citizen, a public school senior and have a G.P.A of at least a 3.00. The student must also provide a copy of their acceptance letter from a university partner (such as UPEI or SMU).
The number of Caribbean students uncovering tertiary opportunities throughout Atlantic Canada is increasing each year. The schools in the region are constantly trying to increase the financing options and immigration support for its international students.
Another noteworthy point is the fact that the governments of these provinces are willing to help international students live and work once they have obtained their degree. Programs such as the Atlantic Immigration Pilot and the Stay in Nova Scotia Program can help Caribbean students smoothly transition from international student to working professional.
Source: Lakeisha Licencear-Alfred is the creator and host of the Caribbean Students to Atlantic Canada website and podcast and World Education Services