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Global Skills Opportunity (GSO) Student Travel Grants are funded through the Government of Canada’s Outbound Student Mobility Pilot Program. These grants are designed to increase participation in study/work abroad experiences (particularly to non-traditional destinations) and reduce barriers for underrepresented groups including Indigenous (First Nations, Inuit, Métis) students, students with disabilities and students with financial need.

Applicants must meet the following eligibility benchmarks:

▪ Be Canadian citizens or permanent residents; International students are ineligible for funding

▪ Be in good standing with VIU

▪ The program is only open to undergraduate students

▪ Be 18 years of age or older; there is no upper age limit to participation

▪ Be accepted to participate in a VIU Study/Work Abroad program (Exchange; Internship; Practicum; Research Abroad; or GSO designated Field School*).

*Contact for more information on GSO designated Field Schools.

GSO Student Travel Grants are available to eligible VIU students, pursuing exchanges, internships abroad and GSO designated field schools.

Grant Amounts

Applicants declared as Indigenous, Low-Income and/or Persons with Disability

• Up to $10,000 (CAD) for Physical Short/Medium Term participation.

Other Eligible Students

• Up to $5,000 (CAD) for Physical Short/Medium Term participation.

Duration of Study/Work Abroad Program

Note: Duration of the program must be at minimum of 1 week (7 days).



Short Term
(i.e., Practicum/GSO designated Field School)

1 - 4 weeks

Medium Term
(i.e., Exchange/Internship)

5 - 16 weeks


Applications are accepted on a continuous basis. Applicants may apply up to one semester in advance of their departure on an Education Abroad program. The Education Abroad office will review applications three times per year: 

October 25 and February 25 (for Summer internships, apply by the February deadline). 

Please be advised that only complete applications can be considered.

Step-by-Step Guide to Successful Submission

Step 1   Meet with the Education Abroad Office (contact to book a meeting!) 
Step 2Download the GSO Student Travel Grant Application Package
Step 3Read all information contained in the package guidelines; contact our office if you require any clarification 
Step 4Gather all necessary supporting documents applicable to your circumstances 
Step 5Email your completed application form and supporting documentation to: 

Supporting Documentation for Low Income Students

Attach relevant loan/grant document(s) to your application, confirming the total government funding received. (If these are unavailable, you will be invited to explain why).

Supporting Documentation for Indigenous Students

No documents required. You will be invited to provide a self-declaration of your status, that may be verified with your Student Record by the Education Abroad office.

Supporting Documentation for Students with Disabilities

a. If you are registered with VIU Accessibility Services and consent to Education Abroad verifying with their office, you must attach your Accommodation Letter with your application.


b. If you do not wish to register with VIU Accessibility Services for the sole purpose of participating in a study/work abroad experience, but still wish to be considered under this category, you must complete and submit the fast-track VIU Education Abroad Accessibility Accommodation Form with your application (see below)

Application Package

Download the fillable GSO Student Travel Grant application form: 

VIU Education Abroad Accessibility  Accommodation Form

The VIU Education Abroad office will assess student applications through both needs and character-based criteria, rather than a merit-based approach.

Funding is to support students who demonstrate a high desire to learn and a need for financial assistance, rather than those with the highest GPA. 

  • The GSO Student Travel Grant is available for VIU students participating in an approved study/work abroad program outside of Canada. Please note, applications to non-traditional destinations (countries outside of Australia, United Kingdom, USA, and France) may be prioritized.

  • Students may choose to declare more than one personal status under the Self-Declaration, in which case the supporting documents should be provided for all applicable categories.

  • Students can only receive a GSO Student Travel Grant once during their academic career as an undergraduate student at VIU.

  • Passport application and renewal fees are not eligible expenses under the GSO program.

  • GSO Student Travel Grant funding should not have an impact on a student’s eligibility for Canada Student Loans or Grants. Employment and Social Development Canada is working with Provinces and Territories with the intention of ensuring that similar exemptions are in place for similar provincial or territorial administered financial assistance programs. Student are encouraged to explore any potential financial impact on their situation to be better informed and prepared. 

  • Although receiving this award should not affect a student’s eligibility or funding amount under the provincial loan system, students are advised that they may need to reassess their student loan to reflect increased income, should they be successful in their application for GSO Student Travel Grant funding.

Income Tax Reporting

It is intended that GSO funding will be exempt from income tax reporting. While this exemption is finalized, it is possible that the inclusion of a GSO Student Travel Grant in students’ total income could have a small impact on their financial assistance in a subsequent year. In these instances, a student can request a reassessment or to have their current (not previous) year’s income assessed to ensure their federal student financial assistance is not impacted. Please also bare in mind: 

  • Tax situations vary for each individual; reach out to tax experts for advice.
  • Student loans and grants vary from province to province, for more information connect with the National Student Loans Service Center (NSLSC) and your Provincial student loan provider to confirm if there is any impact on student loans and/or grants.