Western Graduate & Postdoctoral  Studies

Sponsored Applicants - Frequently Asked Questions

A ‘sponsored student’ is an international student who has full or substantial funding provided by a third party of the student’s home country, to cover tuition and living expenses during the student’s studies at Western.

Desiring to promote, develop, and strengthen the relationships between Western and other countries, and recognizing the contribution international graduate students bring to the university, Western has entered into a number of partnership agreements with government organizations and programs around the world to bring in qualified international students to pursue their graduate degrees at Western on scholarship and/or grant funding.

Western has agreements with multiple funding agencies and each one is different and has its own funding model. For more information please visit http://grad.uwo.ca/prospective_students/international/index.html

If you are sponsored or potentially sponsored applicant please email Olga Paladi, Manager, International Graduate Recruitment, at opaladi@uwo.ca so that she can guide you through the application process.

I am a potential sponsored student and I am interested in a Western graduate program. Can you help me find a supervisor?

Yes, we would be very happy to guide you in the process of finding a supervisor. A list of faculty and their research areas is provided under program pages. For example, if you are interested in the graduate program in Electrical and Computer Engineering, you will find the faculty list here http://www.eng.uwo.ca/electrical/people/faculty/index.html . Since you know best the research that you want to conduct, it is recommended that you look through the list of faculty and identify one or two potential supervisors based on your area of interest.

What is the best way to contact a supervisor?

Once you've identified one or two potential supervisors, you should contact them by email. Here are some items to consider to include in your initial email introduction to your potential supervisor:

  • Your name
  • Whether you are a sponsored student and your sponsoring agency
  • Program you are applying to and the start date (Fall, Winter or Summer Term)
  • Your academic background (your GPA must be over 3.0, or equivalent)
  • TOEFL/IELTS scores (if applicable)
  • Academic awards or highlights
  • Research background, including publications if you have any
  • Reasons for applying to graduate school
  • How the faculty member's area of research will match with your research goals (cite the faculty member's publications if relevant)
  • Make it known that you are familiar with their work and how their research interests align with your own
  • A research proposal, if appropriate
  • Ask them if they are accepting new graduate students for the coming academic year
  • Mention to them that you are a sponsored student or planning to apply for sponsorship and include the Financial Guarantee letter from your sponsor, if available.

Advice for the First Contact Email

  • Address your letter carefully. For example, if you are sending a letter to "John Smith, PhD", address as "Dear Dr. Smith" or "Dear Professor Smith." (Salutations such as "Respected sir" or "Dear Mr. Smith" will demonstrate that you haven't done enough research to find out their gender or professorial rank)
  • Try to keep it as brief as possible. For example, in your first contact, you probably don't need to include your transcript, but do mention your GPA
  • Make sure to proofread your letter and have someone else proofread it for you. Poor grammar and spelling errors will reveal quite a bit about your academic abilities and attention to detail.

Your relationship with your supervisor forms the foundation of your graduate school experience. It's best to start building it even before you begin the application process.

Does my program require a supervisor?

Most thesis-based graduate programs require a supervisor. However, to check whether your program requires securing of a supervisor prior to applying online for admission, visit the program’s website (a list of all graduate programs and program contact informationare listed here http://grad.uwo.ca/prospective_students/programs/index.cfm) and/or contact the graduate program advisor/program assistant to inquire further.

Professional and course-based programs do not require a supervisor.

Is it important to mention to my potential supervisor that I am a sponsored or potential sponsored student?

Yes, please mention this in your first point of contact with the potential supervisor. Include information about your sponsor and if you have a Financial Guarantee letter from your sponsor, please also include it as an attachment in your email. If you are planning to apply for sponsorship, mention which one it is. Western has formalized a number of agreements with government organizations and programs around the world. For more information please visit http://grad.uwo.ca/prospective_students/international/index.html and select International Sponsorship and Partnership Programs. If your sponsor is not listed here, please contact Olga Paladi at opaladi@uwo.ca for further information.

I contacted a potential supervisor, however, I haven’t heard from them, what should I do?

If two weeks have passed since you sent the email and you haven’t received a response, please send a reminder email gently prompting the faculty member to see if they have had a chance to read your email. If you don’t hear from them again, please email Olga Paladi, Manager, Int’l Graduate Recruitment at opaladi@uwo.ca and she will be happy to guide you further.

Once I have secured a supervisor what are my next steps?

Once you have a supervisor, you should apply to Western University online. Instructions on how to apply are here http://grad.uwo.ca/prospective_students/applying/index.html

In order to apply for sponsorship in my country, I need an official offer of admission from the University. What do I do in order to get the offer letter of admission from the University?

If your program requires a supervisor, you would likely want to secure a supervisor prior to submitting your application online. After you apply and submit your online application for admission, it will go through a review by the graduate admissions office, prior to being submitted to the program for their final review.

My sponsor requires an unconditional offer of admission, can I obtain one?

Most sponsors will allow an offer with admission on condition that the student obtains the scholarship and/or in some cases meet the program’s English Language requirement.

In order to apply for my sponsorship, in addition to the offer of admission from the University I am required to provide my future supervisor’s academic CV. How do I go about getting one?

You can inquire regarding the professor’s academic CV by directly emailing them to request this information. Please ensure to mention that this is required as part of your application by the sponsoring agency.

Is there a place on the application for admission where I can notify that I am a sponsored student?

Yes, you can identify yourself as a sponsored or potential sponsored student on the online application for admission.

What are tuition costs and approximate living expenses?

For detailed breakdown of tuition and living expenses please visit http://grad.uwo.ca/prospective_students/finances/index.html.

My sponsor will be paying for my tuition and would like the university to invoice tuition directly. Is this possible?

Bev Zupancic, Financial Advisor at the Registrar’s Office at Western University, is responsible for invoicing the agencies. For more information please do not hesitate to contact her directly at bzupanci@uwo.ca.

If I have any questions about sponsorships, who do I contact?

Please contact Olga Paladi, Manager International Graduate Recruitment, by email opaladi@uwo.ca or phone 1-519-661-2111 ext. 84643 or skype sponsored.students_WesternUniversity.

Are there sponsored student testimonials about their studies at Western University?

Please visit http://grad.uwo.ca/prospective_students/international/index.html and select International Sponsorship and Partnership Programs to read testimonials from our students who are sponsored by different agencies.

How do I go about applying for housing?

You have an option to live on or off campus. For on-campus housing options please visit http://residenceatwestern.ca/exchange_international.cfm. Residence living at Western was rated #1 by students for the 2017 Maclean’s University Ranking.

As a graduate student you have many on-campus housing options. Both residence accommodations and University-owned apartments are available (furnished and unfurnished). For more information please visit http://residenceatwestern.ca/beyondfirstyear.cfm.

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Services provided for International Sponsored Applicants:

Guiding students applying to Western University

This includes admission requirements, application procedures and finding a potential supervisor.

Individual Student Advising

We provide one-on-one assistance with areas such as sponsorship, arrival assistance, academic and personal matters.

ESL Partnership

We work with Western English Language Center and Culture Works to help sponsored students taking ESL courses to apply and transition to academic programs at Western University.

International Sponsored Student Orientation

We host a special orientation session for international sponsored students.

Connecting students

We liaise between university departments/faculties and sponsoring agencies to ensure effective communication. We connect students with academic supports and other student services provided on campus to help ensure student success.

Provide regular academic progress updates

We will provide updates to sponsors at the end of each semester and issue transcripts when needed.