About the International Scholars Program awards for International Students
There are four categories of prestigious need-and-merit-based awards available through UBC’s International Scholars Program.
You won’t select which award you wish to receive when you submit your application – our team will automatically consider you for the awards that you are eligible for.
Karen McKellin International Leader of Tomorrow Award
This award recognizes exceptional prospective international undergraduate students who demonstrate superior academic achievement and exemplary leadership skills that support and empower others through collaboration, empathy and active listening. It recognizes students who have made a positive impact through their involvement in various school and community service projects and initiatives, and attained notable achievement in other academic or extra-curricular pursuits.
Donald A. Wehrung International Student Award
This award recognizes outstanding international undergraduate students from impoverished or war-torn areas who have achieved academic excellence under challenging circumstances, and who would be unable to attend university without significant financial assistance. Students should demonstrate leadership potential and a strong commitment to making a positive impact in their communities.
International Impact Award
This award is offered to exceptional students who have demonstrated leadership as well as commitment to and solutions for sustainability and climate change, natural resource conservation and management, social justice, equity and inclusion, or societal health and wellness. Priority is given to first generation learners and those from diverse lived backgrounds.
Vantage One Excellence Award
This award is offered by UBC Vantage College for academically outstanding international students who do not yet meet the English Language Admission Standard for direct admission to UBC . The awards range in value up to the full cost of a student’s academic program and living expenses. Students should demonstrate leadership skills, impactful involvement in student affairs and community service, and notable achievement in other academic or extra-curricular pursuits.
International Scholars since 2001
countries represented among International Scholars
hours of developmental workshops and one-on-one support available to Scholars over the course of their degree
Eligibility for the Program
- You must be an international student who will be studying in Canada on a Canadian study permit.
- You must be entering UBC from a recognized secondary school, or transferring from your first year at a post-secondary college or other university.
- You must have graduated from high school no earlier than one gap year prior to the academic year you are applying to. For example, applicants for 2024 Winter session must have graduated from high school no earlier than November 2022.
- You must be applying for your first undergraduate degree.
- You must demonstrate superior academic achievement (achieve all As or equivalent standard).
- You must demonstrate a level of financial need that would otherwise prevent you from pursuing a UBC degree. (UBC automatically considers all international students for the merit-based International Major Entrance Scholarships and Outstanding International Student Awards scholarships, totalling a maximum value of $35,000 per year. If this amount does not cover your needs for tuition and basic living expenses, you are eligible to apply for the International Scholars Program.)
- You must meet UBC’s admission requirements, including general and degree-specific requirements and the English Language Admission Standard.
We will consider you for the Vantage One Excellence Award if:
- All previous eligibility criteria apply, except you must not yet meet UBC’s English Language Admission Standard for direct admission to UBC.
- You must meet the UBC Vantage College admission requirements, including the English requirements for Vantage College.
- You must be coming directly from high school
- You must be beginning your undergraduate studies at UBC in the UBC Vantage One Program.
Please note: If you apply for the International Scholars Program, you will not be considered for merit-based awards, including International Major Entrance Scholarships and Outstanding International Student Awards.
How to apply for the International Scholars Program
Applications for the 2024 school year are open.
1. Review the application page for the International Scholars Program.
- When selecting your degree, please note that the following degrees are not eligible for UBC International Scholars Program awards: UBC Okanagan Bachelor of Nursing degree, Bachelor of Dental Science in Dental Hygiene, Bachelor of Medical Laboratory Science, Bachelor + Master of Management degree, dual degrees, joint degrees between UBC Okanagan and UBC Vancouver, and joint degrees with other post-secondary institutions.
3. To apply for the International Scholars Program, you must be nominated by your school or non-profit, and submit a reference from an academic referee.
- Confirm that your school or non-profit is able to nominate you. A single high school, college, or university may nominate up to two students for UBC Vancouver (including Vantage College), and one student for UBC Okanagan. A non-profit may only nominate a high school student who is involved with their organization. This nomination will count towards the total nominations permitted from a student’s school.
- Inform your nominator and academic referee that you’d like to apply for the International Scholars Program and advise them of the November 15 application deadline. Your nominator should be your school counsellor or equivalent, and your academic referee should be someone who is familiar with you and your work – for example, your teacher for your chosen area of study.
4. Gather your required financial information, as well as notes on any extracurricular activities and awards.
5. Apply for the International Scholars Program by submitting the application by the November 15 deadline.
6. Submit your admissions application to UBC by the December 1 deadline.
November 15: You must have submitted your International Scholars Program application.
December 1: You must have submitted your online application for admission to UBC. Although you can specify two degree choices in your application, only your first-choice degree will be considered for an Internationals Scholars Program award.
January 31: Meet UBC’s English Language Admission Standard for direct-entry, or the English language requirement for UBC Vantage College if you have applied to a Vantage One program and are hoping to be considered for the Vantage One Excellent Award.
January 31: Submit any documents required for your admission to UBC. Please submit by this deadline, not the date indicated in your “next steps” email.
Mid-April: You will be informed if you have received an award.
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