Conduct your co-op abroad

Completing your co-op internationally can mean immersing yourself in a new culture and paving a fresh start for your career.

Students might be opening their eyes to co-op programs depending on when their work terms take place. That said, it is reminded that a co-op position doesn’t need to take place in Canada. Conducting your co-op abroad can be beneficial in a number of ways, according to Co-operative Education Consultant, Lisa Holman.

Conducting your co-op work term abroad can potentially lead to future opportunities for post-graduation. Not to mention, the experience of working for an international company, in which you will be able to carry with you to careers in the future. Completing your co-op internationally could also mean immersing yourself in a new culture and paving a fresh start for your career.

“It’s definitely an excellent opportunity to experience a different culture and have that international experience,” Holman said.

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Here are tips and requirements from Holman that students should consider when looking into a co-op abroad:

1. It is the student’s responsibility to secure their co-op position

2. The requirements for a co-op don’t change as far as the co-op must be paid, program related, and must be a minimum of 12 or 14 weeks (420 hours)

3. To obtain approval, the student must provide their co-op consultant with a link to the company website to confirm that everything meets the requirements for their co-op

4. Once approval has been received, students can go through the international office to guide them through practical predeparture preparation

5. It’s important for students to consider any travel advisories the country may have in place. The co-op may not be approved if there are travel advisories for the country

Holman also mentioned that students can work for an international company remotely if that was more suitable to them.

Manager of international student engagement, Emily Low explained that there are resources that the international office can provide students with to make the transition from one place to another a smooth one.

“When a student does find an opportunity abroad, we do encourage them to go back and speak with their co-op consultant to make sure it checks all the boxes and then from there we can help point them to different resources,” Low said.

She explained that they can assist students with documents that are needed for the specific country in question and can point students in the direction of obtaining all the necessary requirements.

“When students are going abroad it can be more complex and every country is so unique especially when they are asking for requirements when it comes to work,” Low said.

She also reminded students to do their research early if completing their co-op abroad is something they are interested in doing. Low also acknowledged that this would be a great way to improve your resume and to learn different ways of doing business.

Both Holman and Low explained that there are resources at Fanshawe to help students achieve this. Should students be interested in completing their co-op abroad, they should research companies early and speak with their co-op consultant to make sure it aligns with their studies. It’s also important to remember that the Fanshawe International office is there to support you in this process when it comes to country and job requirements.