The University of Waterloo International Experience Awards in Canada

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The University of Waterloo International Experience Awards in Canada

Are you planning to embark on an overseas academic exchange international experience? The University of Waterloo is pleased to announce the International Experience Awards. The programs are open to undergraduate students who have not completed their undergraduate degree.

Approximately 450 awards are available in support of student participation in an international experience. All of these awards are intended to encourage students to pursue opportunities in a new learning environment outside of Canada and to become global citizens.

Who May Eligible:

To eligible, the candidates must be following all the eligibility criteria:

General eligibility:

  • These awards are intended to provide support to eligible undergraduate students for upcoming international experiences, not past experiences.
  • Students who have completed their undergraduate degree are not eligible to apply. Graduate-level students should contact Graduate Studies and Postdoctoral Affairs for information on available international experience awards.
  • The majority of international experience awards are based fully or partially on financial need. To maximize your eligibility for consideration, please complete the student budget on page 3. If you decide not to complete the budget, you will only be considered for a limited number of merit-based awards.
  • Eligible students will normally only be considered for one international experience award per experience. Recipients of other funding (e.g. from your Faculty), may still be considered for a reduced award.
  • Award recipients may apply for consideration for a subsequent new international experience; however, some funding is limited to only one award per fiscal year (May-April).

Eligible international experiences:

  • Full-time/full-term experiences which take place outside of Canada including:
  • approved UW study abroad/exchange program
  • approved international co-op work term providing low or minimal pay
  • international placement is undertaken to fulfill a UW degree requirement (e.g., International Development fourth-year placement)
  • a volunteer experience which is part of a UW sanctioned service learning program (e.g. Beyond Borders)
  • other documented full-term experiences may be considered
  • Shorter experiences may be considered for a reduced award (must be a minimum four weeks in duration).

How to Apply & Competitions Rules:

To be considered for most international experience awards, you only need to complete one general International Experience Award Application Form.

Submit completed application to Student Awards & Financial Aid, 2nd floor, Needles Hall.


  • If you are eligible for funding, the Student Awards & Financial Aid Office will assign the most suitable award to you giving careful consideration to individual award criteria, length of experience, financial need and fund availability.
  • The majority of international experience awards are based fully or partially on financial need.

Supporting Documents:

Attach a letter that briefly describes: the international experience and why you chose this destination; why you require financial assistance (if applicable); and your eligibility based on any additional selection criteria referenced in the award description (if applicable).

Documentation of the intended experience (only if required):

  • If the study, co-op, volunteer, or required placement term has been approved by the applicable UW department (e.g. Student Success Office, Cooperative Education & Career Action, SJU Beyond Borders, PACS, etc.), then no documentation is required with your award application.
  • For all other experiences, you must provide a letter or other documentation to substantiate the experience. For non-co-op work or volunteer experiences, this documentation must be from the employer or agency and it must include the location, start/end dates, as well as any salary and/or compensation that you will be receiving.

Budget and financial need: refer to the instructions and complete the budget on Page 3.


  • Numerous international experience award funds are available to University of Waterloo undergraduate students who participate in an international study, work, or volunteer experience. (Approximately 450 awards)
  • Many of these awards are funded through the generosity of individual donors or foundations, while others are supported by the University of Waterloo.
  • Award values vary, depending on the specific fund, level of need, length of experience, etc.
  • Eligible students will normally only be considered for one travel award per experience. In some cases, students receiving other funding in direct support of the international experience may be considered for a reduced award value.
  • Award selection is based on a variety of factors such as financial need, amount of salary/compensation, academic achievement, type of experience, destination, etc.

Application Deadline:

Apply prior to your departure term by one of the following deadlines:

  • Spring experience – March 15
  • Fall experience – July 15
  • Winter experience – November 15

Note: If the date falls on a weekend or holiday, the deadline is the preceding weekday.

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