Lifelong Learning for a Brighter World

Monica Bilan standing outside of McMaster University Continuing Education smiling at the camera Monica Bilan standing outside of McMaster University Continuing Education smiling at the camera

McMaster University

Continuing Education

Here when you need us.

Newcomer Information

Are you a newcomer to Canada interested in gaining a Canadian education? McMaster University Continuing Education offers a variety of programs and professional development courses to help you gain the credentials you need to succeed in your career path in Canada. If you need a helping hand with funding, ​you may wish to consider ACCESS Community Capital Fund​ or apply for a loan from Windmill Microlending.


What is ACCESS Community Capital Fund?

ACCESS Community Capital Fund is a charitable Toronto based organization which offers people in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA) low-interest loans to internationally-trained individuals interested in upgrading their skills or starting up a business in Canada. 

Who qualifies for this program?

  • Canadian citizens, permanent residents or convention refugees, 18 or older, who are legally permitted to work in Canada, and who live in the Greater Toronto Area and Hamilton (GTHA)
  • People with credentials obtained outside of Canada (i.e. post-secondary academic or occupational certifications)
  • Individuals looking to get back into their profession, a related profession or pursue a new career in Canada
  • People who demonstrate financial need and are unable to obtain a loan from traditional financial institutions, through government programs such as OSAP or who do not qualify for financial assistance through McMaster University

What programs are included at McMaster Continuing Education?

  • All programs, both part-time and full-time are eligible for this loan.
  • Did you know that McMaster University Continuing Education now offers professional development programs geared to newcomers? 
  1. Professional Communication in the Canadian Workplace program will enhance your communication skills in reading, writing, listening, and presenting to effectively communicate in any business situation.
  2. Employability Skills and Cultural Fluency for the Canadian Workplace is a 12-hour short course designed to help improve your chances of finding employment in Canada as a new immigrant. ​


What expenses can be covered with the funds?

  • Courses and exams 
  • Books and other course materials
  • Qualification assessments and accreditation costs
  • Association and professional fees
  • Professional certifications
  • Short-term bridge training
  • Living and travel costs while enrolled

How much can I borrow?

  • Funded by the Government of Canada's Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC), the Foreign Credential Recognition Loans (FCR) Program offers affordable and low-interest loans of up to $15,000 for career-related expenses with the goal of improving your employability or chances of better employment after completion of your course, certification, or training.

How do I apply?

Contact ACCESS staff directly by email or telephone at 416-462-0496 to find out about the loan application and processing times. 

ACCESS website and links:

For more information on the Foreign Credential Recognition Loans Program, visit ACCESS Community Capital Fund website

Review the Foreign Credential Recognition Loans Program flyer. 

Or watch the Foreign Credential Recognition Loans Program video below:




Windmill Microlending Newcomer Loans

Windmill supports newcomers who arrive with education, skills and experience but face significant barriers to employment. For many immigrants, what prevents them from entering the labour market is a lack of financial support. 

Windmill offers low-interest, affordable career loans of up to $15,000 to help skilled immigrants and refugees pay for the costs of education and training programs, credentials, licensing and more to reach their career goals.

To learn more about eligibility and how you can use your loan visit, please visit