Outbound Student Mobility Pilot Program

About us

The Government of Canada’s International Education Strategy includes a five-year outbound student mobility pilot program that will provide funding for thousands of college and university undergraduate students to gain in-demand international skills and experience during their studies. 

Funded by Employment and Social Development Canada, the Outbound Student Mobility Program is jointly administered by Universities Canada and Colleges and Institutes Canada (CICan). In addition to giving students international learning experiences, this program is also an important step towards achieving Canada’s trade diversification goals and strengthening international networks. 

Innovation fund call for proposals

Due to COVID-19, the launch of the full outbound student mobility pilot program has been postponed to spring 2021, or as soon as conditions permit. During this delay, Universities Canada is launching a call for proposals to Canadian universities for innovative outbound student mobility projects. This upfront investment is intended to help institutions test new tools and approaches, adapt mobility programming to a COVID-19 environment, achieve progress towards the program objectives, and build the foundation for the launch of the full program.

Please review the Innovation Fund Guidelines for all details about these funds.

The application deadline is October 30, 2020 at 3:00 pm EST. All project activity must be completed by March 31, 2021.


Project proposals must be submitted online via the Universities Canada Portal by October 30, 2020 at 3:00 pm EST. Users will be required to register an account and complete their profile before being able to access the application form. Universities Canada will acknowledge receipt of all complete applications.

Notification of results:

Results will be shared with universities by early November 2020. Successful institutions will enter into a grant agreement with Universities Canada.


Universities Canada will respond to all email enquiries to studentmobility@univcan.ca within one working day if received by 4 pm EST, October 26, 2020. The responses to all enquiries received between the launch for the call for proposal will be published on the FAQ page on a weekly basis. The last update to the FAQ page will be on October 28, 2020.

For more information

Please contact studentmobility@univcan.ca for all questions about the program.

Additional resources

Canada’s 2019-2024 International Education Strategy

Advisory group

Universities Canada and CICan are working closely with multiple stakeholders to design the Outbound Student Mobility Program, and have convened an advisory group of leaders and experts in education, civil society and business to provide high-level strategic advice and guidance on the design and implementation of the program. In addition to informing strategic and policy issues, committee members also serve as ambassadors to build awareness and support for the program across their networks. 

Advisory group members

The Right Honourable David Johnston, chair, Rideau Hall Foundation (chair) 

John Baker, president & CEO, D2L

Perrin Beatty, president and CEO, Chamber of Commerce

Larissa Bezo, president and CEO, Canadian Bureau for International Education

Margaret Biggs, Matthews Fellow in Global Public Policy, Queen’s University

Zahra Dhubow, recent graduate, Saint Mary’s University; coordinator, Stronger Together: Empowering Marginalized Youth, Immigrant Services Association of Nova Scotia

Seren Friskie, student representative, Thompson Rivers University and Douglas College; research assistant, Canadian Mental Health Association

Zabeen Hirji, executive advisor, Future of Work, Deloitte

Sue Paish, CEO, Digital Technology Supercluster

Christian Paradis, senior vice president, strategic development, security service, GardaWorld

Ian Smith, CEO, Clearwater Seafoods 

This project is funded in part by the Government of Canada’s Outbound Student Mobility Pilot.

Logo du Gouvernement du Canada avec la feuille d'érable.Building on Success: International Education Strategy (2019 – 2024)


Universities Canada