Graduate Student International Experience Award application

All University-sanctioned international travel is suspended until further notice due to COVID-19. As a result, the International Experience Award program is suspended during this time. This web page will be updated when circumstances change.

Graduate Student International Experience Award application (pdf)

Use this form to:

  • Complete this general form to be considered for any of the international experience awards listed below.

Please carefully review the award description, eligibility & selection criteria, application details and deadline for each award that you are interested in, found on the Graduate funding and awards database. You only need to submit one application form in order to apply for any of these awards, however you may need to submit various supporting documentation for each award as outlined in the award descriptions. This application form is for graduate students only.

David Johnston International Experience Awards – for travel anywhere, however several specific awards fall under this broader award, including one for travel to Israel (see Lebovic) and another for travel to developing countries (see McCall MacBain).

UW International Experience Awards – for travel anywhere, but must have demonstrated financial need.

Ellsworth and Karen LeDrew International Experience Award– for students registered full time in any year in the Faculty of Environment for travel anywhere, with preference given to students who demonstrate financial need. Note: this award will be awarded starting in 2022.

General Award Description

Several international experience award funds are available to University of Waterloo graduate students who participate in: an academic exchange, a study term related to their research or an academic requirement, work, or volunteer experience. Award selection is based on a variety of factors such as academic achievement, financial need, length, location and nature of experience, etc. For some awards, preference will be given to students who will be travelling to an unfamiliar country where they will experience a different culture in a new learning environment.


The value and number of awards vary.

General Eligibility and Selection Criteria

  • These awards are intended to provide support for upcoming international experiences, not past experiences while you are a graduate student. (Students should apply as soon as they are able to confirm details of their intended experience by one of the deadlines below).
  • Travel duration:
    • Minimum of 8 weeks (David Johnston International Experience Awards)
    • Minimum of 8 weeks, however travel lasting at least 4 weeks may be considered and awarded at a reduced value (UW International Experience Award)
  • Students must be full‐time and in good academic standing in order to be considered. Some awards require a specific level of academic achievement.
  • Some of these awards are based fully or partially on financial need.
  • Funding is generally limited to one award per student in a given year due to the large number of applications received.


Submit the completed application on or before deadline The Centre (Needles Hall, first floor). Award selection takes place each term. Please apply by the deadline for the term in which you will be travelling:

Spring term travel – March 15

Fall term travel – July 15

Winter term travel –November 15


Graduate Studies and Postdoctoral Affairs will communicate with applicants within four weeks of the award deadline.