Gardiner Scholarships: Overview, Score Indexing, Eligibility, Application, Benefits, Award

The Gardiner Foundation runs the Gardiner Scholarships, helping Canadian undergraduates with international exchange programs. It began in 1992 and was created by John and Margaret Gardiner in 1985.

These scholarships are for Canadian citizens and permanent residents in full-time undergraduate studies at a Canadian university. They support various international exchange programs, including:

An image illustration of Gardiner Scholarships
Gardiner Scholarships aid in preparing students for global careers [Photo: Governor Ron DeSantis].

About Gardiner Scholarships

The Gardiner Foundation provides Gardiner Scholarships to help Canadian undergraduates study or intern abroad.

These scholarships go to full-time students at Canadian universities who show academic excellence, participate in extracurricular activities, and are committed to understanding international perspectives.

Score Indexing

The Gardiner Scholarships are competitive, and they evaluate applicants based on academic achievement, extracurricular activities, recommendation letters, and personal statements.

Alongside academic performance, the foundation considers:

  1. Extracurricular Activities: They seek students who are active in their communities, showing leadership skills.
  2. Letters of Recommendation: Two letters are required, vouching for academic abilities, personal qualities, and commitment to global understanding.
  3. Personal Statement: This is a chance to explain your story and reasons for studying or interning abroad. Craft a clear, well-written statement outlining your goals.

To increase your chances:

  1. Academic Excellence: Maintain a high GPA and tackle challenging courses.
  2. Extracurricular Activities: Engage in community activities, showcasing leadership.
  3. Letters of Recommendation: Ask two people who know you well to vouch for your academics and commitment to global understanding.
  4. Personal Statement: Write a thoughtful, well-articulated statement expressing your goals.

Eligibility Criteria

To qualify for the Gardiner Scholarship, you need to:

  1. Be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident.
  2. Be enrolled full-time in undergraduate studies at a Canadian university.
  3. Maintain a minimum GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale.
  4. Show a strong commitment to international understanding.

Additionally, you must apply to an international exchange program that is:

  1. At least 12 weeks long.
  2. For academic credit (for study abroad programs) or paid (for international internships).

Application Process

  1. Review Eligibility: Ensure you meet all  criteria before starting your application.
  2. Complete the Form: Find the application form on the Gardiner Foundation website. Fill in all necessary details and attach required documents, like your transcript and proof of acceptance to an international exchange program.
  3. Write a Personal Statement: Use the personal statement to share your story and reasons for studying or interning abroad. Highlight academic achievements, extracurricular activities, and dedication to international understanding.
  4. Get Recommendation Letters: Request two individuals who know you well to provide letters of recommendation, confirming your academic abilities, personal qualities, and commitment to international understanding.
  5. Submit Your Application: Check the Gardiner Foundation website for the current deadline and submit your application accordingly.

Tips for a successful application:

  1. Start Early: Begin the application process early to allow ample time for completion.
  2. Be thorough. Answer all questions thoroughly and accurately. Use specific examples and supporting evidence whenever possible.
  3. Seek Feedback: Have a friend, family member, or professor review your application for feedback on your personal statement and to ensure completeness and accuracy.


The deadline for the Gardiner Scholarship application changes each year. For the 2023-2024 academic year, it’s March 1, 2023.

This deadline is specifically for submitting your application to the Gardiner

Foundation. Remember, you must also meet your home university’s deadline, which might be earlier than the Gardiner Foundation deadline.

I suggest checking the Gardiner Foundation website often for updates on the application process and deadline.

Benefits of Gardiner Scholarships

  1. Financial Assistance:
    • The scholarship can cover the entire cost of an international exchange program, including tuition, living expenses, and travel. This is especially helpful for students facing financial constraints.
  2. International Experience:
    • Students gain valuable international experience, enhancing their academic and professional paths. Studying abroad fosters language and cultural skills, exposes them to diverse perspectives, and shapes them into more global citizens.
  3. Academic Opportunities:
    • International exchange programs offer unique academic prospects that are not available at home. Students may study with renowned professors, conduct research abroad, or take classes in languages not offered at their home university.
  4. Professional Development:
    • The scholarship aids in preparing students for global careers. Employers increasingly seek candidates with international experience. Studying abroad equips students with the skills and knowledge necessary for success in the global job market.
  5. Personal Growth:
    • Studying abroad is a transformative experience, fostering independence, confidence, and self-awareness. Students gain a deeper understanding of themselves and the world, contributing to significant personal growth.

Awards of Gardiner Scholarships

The Gardiner Foundation awards scholarships to Canadian undergraduates keen on studying or interning abroad. These scholarships consider academic excellence, extracurricular engagement, commitment to international understanding, and financial need.

Covering the full cost of international exchange programs, including tuition, living, and travel expenses, the scholarship amount varies based on program costs and individual financial needs.

In the 2022-2023 academic year, the Gardiner Foundation granted over $1 million in scholarships to Canadian undergraduates, averaging $4,000 per award.

Since 1992, the Gardiner Scholarships have aided 3,000+ Canadian undergraduates in studying or interning in 60+ countries globally. These scholarships are a crucial opportunity for Canadian students to gain international experience and prepare for global careers.

Gardiner Scholars have received notable awards, including:

  1. Gardiner Foundation International Scholar of the Year Award:
    • Given to the scholar demonstrating outstanding academic achievement, extracurricular involvement, and commitment to international understanding.
  2. Gardiner Foundation International Internship of the Year Award:
    • Presented to the scholar completing the most exceptional international internship.
  3. Gardiner Foundation International Community Service Award:
    • Awarded to the scholar making the most significant community contribution through their international experience.

The Gardiner Scholarships program is highly competitive and reflects the academic excellence, extracurricular involvement, and commitment to international understanding of its scholars.

Quick Facts

Quick Facts about Gardiner Scholarships:

  • Program Name: Gardiner Scholarships
  • Administered by: Gardiner Foundation
  • Eligibility: Canadian citizens or permanent residents enrolled full-time in undergraduate studies at a Canadian university, with a minimum GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale, and a demonstrated commitment to international understanding.
  • Benefits: Financial assistance for studying or interning abroad
  • Average Award: $4,000
  • Application Deadline: March 1
  • Number of Scholarships Awarded: Over $1 million awarded to Canadian undergraduates in the 2022-2023 academic year
  • Countries Visited by Gardiner Scholars: 60+ countries worldwide

The Gardiner Scholarships provide a valuable opportunity for Canadian undergraduates to gain international experience and prepare for careers in the global economy.