Preparing for Your First Day

BOL II and/or Bridging International Learning (BIL): Please register and complete BOL II just before you begin your Co-op work or within the first weeks of your placement. 

Students placed outside of Canada will also need to complete BIL. Instructions will be sent to you from the International Co-op office.

Expectations: When hiring co-op students, employers expect productive work and professional behaviour in exchange for salary and training time. As a co-op student, we expect you to be an ambassador for SFU in the community. This means that you will be expected to adhere to company policies and seize the opportunity to learn. You should be courteous and respectful of all co-workers, arrive and leave work according to the norm set by the company, and dress appropriately. If problems involving work arise, you should contact a coordinator for assistance.

Employers also expect students to work full-time, and you may be required to work overtime. If you plan on getting or keeping a part-time job or taking courses while on a work term, the employer and co-op office should be notified of the situation and must agree to it. 

Confidentiality: If your project involves any degree of confidential information, your employer and the School expect you to respect their policies on confidentiality and proprietary information. 

Pre-Departure: Before you begin your work term, there will be a Pre-Departure session held. At this session, you will learn more about expectations on the work term, work term requirements, and the site visit. You will also be offered a Co-op log book for use in documenting your work on your co-op term.

Learning Objectives: These are goals that you set out for yourself to ensure that you are learning, contributing, and gaining what you want from this work term. You are required to complete a minimum of 3 learning objectives or outcomes in your myExperience placement profile in the first month on your work term. Go to Experiential Learning > Experiential Learning Overview > Work Term Details > Goals/ Learning Outcomes > Click Create Record

Site Visits

A coordinator will visit students and supervisors on the job. The purpose of the visit is to discuss the student's progress, performance, work report, and future plans. The coordinator will also wish to learn more about current developments within the company and to explore possible university/industry research links.

A telephone interview or email may be substituted for a site visit if an in-person visit is not feasible. Students working internationally will get an email site visit or a visit from another SFU representative.

Additional Resources for Co-op Success

The Canadian Engineering Accreditation Board’s Core Engineering Competencies 2012:
A: Apply engineering knowledge, methods and techniques
B: Use engineering tools, equipment or technology
C: Protect the public interest
D: Manage engineering activities
E: Communicate engineering information
F: Work collaboratively in a Canadian environment
G: Maintain and enhance engineering skills and knowledge

Work Term Requirements

All Engineering Science students are required to complete 3 items for each co-op work term:

  1. Supervisor Evaluation
  2. Student Self Evaluation
  3. Work Term Assignment (see below)

Work Term Assignment for Burnaby Engineering Science students:  

Work Term #1: Oral Presentation

Work Term #2: Technical Report

Work Term #3: Develop Your Professional Network

Work Term #4: Strategic Planning

Work Term #5: OLC Article

*All ENSC assignments follow the General Work Report Guidelines

Work Term Assignment for Surrey Mechatronic Systems Engineering Science students:  

Work Term #1: Technical Report I (~1500 words) 

Work Term #2: Technical Report II (~1500 words) and Oral Presentation (10 min PowerPoint) 

Work Term #3: Technical Report III (~3000 words) 

Additional Work Terms: Executive Summary


  • Spring Semester: April 10th
  • Summer Semester: August 10th
  • Fall Semester: December 10th

(Oral presentations must be RSVP’d in the Events Calendar on myExperience by this deadline)

Time Away from Work

Since work term placements are short term, employers do not expect to provide time off. Therefore, any request for time off should be discussed with the employer prior to the start of the work term. Generally, students will receive vacation pay (at a current rate of four percent) as part of salary and will be paid for statutory holidays following a thirty-day employment period.

Sick leave or any absence due to illness may mean a loss in pay. If the nature of your illness is such that it will interfere with your work term, notify a Coordinator immediately.

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