The University of British Columbia International Scholars Program: All You Need to Know

The University of British Columbia International Scholars Program

The University of British Columbia International Scholars Program is a set of 4 undergraduate scholarship programs hosted at the University of British Columbia (UBC) in Canada. Each member of the set has its focus. But, they are all based on both need and merits.

There are about 50 of these scholarships that are awarded each year across the 4 awards. Applicants do not choose which of the awards they want. Instead, the scholarship office at UBC places each successful applicant in one of the awards where they fit in. 

Here Are The Components of the UBC International Scholars Program

  • Donald A. Wehrung International Student Award
  • Karen McKellin International Leader of Tomorrow Award
  • International Impact Award
  • Vantage One Excellence Award

Donald A. Wehrung International Students Award

This part of the award is targeted at outstanding undergraduate students from impoverished or war-torn regions. The scholarship aims to recognize the resilience of students who have achieved highly in academics while living under difficult circumstances. The award, therefore, helps such students who would have been unable to actualize their potentials without financial assistance.

Karen McKellin International Leaders of Tomorrow Awards

This award recognizes students based on three key areas:

  • Academic excellence
  • Exceptional leadership skills
  • Involvement in students affairs and community service. 

Other personal qualities may count.

International Impact Award

This is targeted at exceptional students 

  • Who has demonstrated considerable commitment to social justice issues while proffering solutions to them? 
  • Who has demonstrated concern for climate change
  • Who has been committed to issues of equity and inclusion? 
  • Who have shown practical concern for societal health and wellness, and 
  • Who have also shown concern for freedom of expression

Vantage One Excellence Award

This part of the program is awarded by the University of British Columbia’s Vantage College. It recognizes outstanding incoming students who do not yet meet the English language requirements for direct admission into the university.

How Much Is This Award Worth?

The scholarship amount varies from recipient to recipient. The amount that each recipient gets awarded is proportional to their demonstrated financial need. They receive an amount sufficient to pay for their living expenses and tuition throughout the study period.

If a recipient maintains good academic performance while also demonstrating financial needs, 

the award may be renewed for three more years of undergraduate study. It can be renewed for up to three years or up to a recipient’s degree completion, depending on whichever comes first. 

Another condition required for the renewal of the scholarship is that recipients must maintain their Canadian study permit (student visa). For example, they must not be involved in crimes.

Who Is Eligible for the Award? 

To be considered for the award:

  • An applicant must be a non-Canadian student who will be studying in Canada on a Canadian student visa.
  • An applicant must be entering the University of British Columbia from a recognized secondary school or transferring from their first year at a post-secondary school.
  • An applicant must have left high school no earlier than June two years prior to the academic year when they are applying to study at the University of British Columbia.
  • An applicant must be applying for their first undergraduate degree ever.
  • An applicant must have achieved top academic results in the past.
  • An applicant must demonstrate a level of financial need that would otherwise prevent them from pursuing a degree at the University of British Columbia.
  • An applicant must meet the admission requirements for an undergraduate course of study at the University of British Columbia. 
How to Apply for the University of British Columbia International Scholars Program

The International Scholars Program can be accessed only by candidates who have been nominated by their school or non-profit and who have submitted a reference letter from an academic referee. So, follow these steps to apply if you are interested:

  1. Confirm that your school or a non-profit is able and willing to nominate you. 
  2. Inform your nominating institution and academic referee about your desire to apply for the International Scholars Program and that you would need their endorsement. 
  3. Once you have your academic nominee and nominating institution ready, go ahead and submit your award application while completing the online application for admission to the University of British Columbia. You must do this by the deadline specified on the official webpage

Note: You must meet the University of British Columbia English Language Admission Requirement by the deadline specified on the official web page.


The major details of the UBC International Scholars Program have been outlined above. So, you can do well to take advantage of them if you are interested in the program. However, for current details, dates, and deadlines about the program, you can refer to the official program web page here.

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