Bursaries and Loans

Occasionally, international students have unexpected financial shortfalls. An emergency has occurred that was not budgeted for, a bank draft from home was delayed, and promised funding was not given. To assist students caught in emergencies, International Student Services administers an International Student Emergency Loan and Bursary Fund.

These funds are not intended to cover expenses that should have been budgeted for in advance of coming to Canada. Students applying for an emergency loan or bursary will need to demonstrate how their financial shortfall is outside of their control, and, beyond their budgeting expectations.

Emergency Loans and Bursaries from the International Centre cannot be granted for:

  1. Transportation and other costs involved in returning home at the end of studies
  2. Research expenses and thesis costs
  3. Sending money back home, even in the event of an emergency with your immediate family that has not accompanied you
  4. Cosmetic medical costs (e.g. non-emergency dental care)
  5. Tuition and fees

Only registered University of Alberta students with valid study permits can apply for this fund. Applicants are asked to submit copies of their proof of funds documents, including, bank statements, letters from funders, and letters from parents.

Emergency Loans

The Emergency Loan Fund is a revolving fund which provides interest free loans for specific purposes. Loans are intended to cover short-term essential expenses for which the student expects to be receiving money shortly.

Typical cases of loans are: new students on graduate assistantships arriving from countries where currency exchange controls do not allow them to bring enough money to cover initial expense; students on foreign scholarships whose cheques have been delayed by governments or banks abroad; students who have emergency expenditures they will be able to cover at a later date.

In all of these cases, the student is expected to repay the loan in full when the anticipated funding arrives.

Emergency Bursaries

Emergency bursaries are to cover verifiable emergencies, that is, the student is expected to demonstrate that there has been an unexpected essential expense or an unanticipated cut in funding. Emergency Bursaries are not intended to supplement a student’s income or to pay for items that should have been budgeted for. Emergency Bursaries have been granted for items such as: travel resulting from a death in the immediate family.

Budgeting Considerations

It is unlikely that either the Loan or Bursary Fund will be adequate to provide solutions to long-term financial problems. Before applying for a loan or bursary, students should determine how such financial aid would assist in solving their financial difficulties.

In advance of beginning studies at the University of Alberta students need to have a secure plan in place for funding academic and living expenses for the duration of their studies not just the first year.

Application Procedures

If, after reviewing the above guidelines, you feel you qualify for financial assistance, please fill and print the application form, or you may visit the International Services Centre to request an application form.

You will need to submit the following documents with your application:

  • A photocopy of your Study Permit
  • Photocopies of your sources of funding
  • A copy of your most recent monthly bank statement for all of you accounts
  • A copy of your residence contract/lease agreement 
  • Recent proof of housing payments 

Students in their first year of study will also be asked to submit copies of the proof of funds documents (bank statements, letters from funders, and letters from parents) used in applying for their most recent Temporary Resident Visa and Study Permit.

Return the completed form and supporting documents to the Receptionist (142 TELUS Centre) who will make an appointment for you to discuss your application with an International Student Services staff member.

Note: If your emergency is an urgent one requiring funds in a matter of hours (e.g. you have to travel home immediately to attend a funeral of a parent), ask the Receptionist if you can speak with a staff member right away. Otherwise, please follow the procedures outlined above.