The Nuts and Bolts of International Co-op


The Nuts and Bolts of International Co-op

By: SFU OLC Host
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This is a myth buster on some of student’s misconceptions about International Co-op. Test your own knowledge with a short true and false quiz and discover the truth about International Co-op!

International Co-op is a separate department from Co-op?

The answer is false. International Co-op is part of the Co-op curriculum that serves to provide you with the opportunities to travel and work abroad. An international work term is equivalent to a local Co-op work term. In addition, if you are a registered Co-op student who is seeking, then you are able and eligible to go on international work terms and use International Co-op services.

Only rich students can afford the cost of an international work term?

The myth buster says NO! On average 20+ International Co-op Awards valued at up to $1000 are given away for students working overseas each term. The International Co-op Award is open to students in all faculties to help subsidize visa fee, work permit, airfare, and relocation costs. In addition, there are also International Co-op Education Bursary and regional specific award such as Hong Kong University BC Alumni Award and BC Bearing Engineers Limited Award for students in Latin America and Mexico. Students should also check out the SFU calendar to allocate other financial resources. So there are financial resources available to support you in participating in an international work term.

I don’t need to be able to speak the country’s required language in order to work in that country?

True. It depends on the types of job and there are flexibilities with different employees as well. Some jobs require language proficiency while others are not restricted by the language requirement. We have placed students in countries where they can barely speak the language. Remember, International Co-op serves as an educational channel for you to immerse yourself in a different culture and to learn a different language.

International jobs can only be found on Symplicity?

That is not true. Apart from Co-op job postings, International Co-op also offers other resources such as Going global that allows you access to research and find your own employers in other countries. Moreover, you have self-directed work term option if you don’t find your dream job on Symplicity. There are a lot of valuable resources for you whether is getting connected with a student who has past international work experience or having one-on-one talks with your department's Co-ordinators. International Co-op takes pride in enriching student’s academic experience through cross-cultural work settings.

All International Co-op work terms are 8 month or longer?

False. International Co-op provides a wide variety of work placements that range from the 2 month EDGE program in Scotland to a year long internship in Hong Kong. Different program duration provides you with the flexibility to plan your travel and academic school year with ease. 

Beyond the Article

All your international questions can be answered at the SFU International Co-op website. Visit the website or email questions to

Posted on May 27, 2012