In addition to the regular co-op program, these are other co-op options you may choose to do as well.


International Co-op provides students with a unique opportunity to travel the world, while working in their specified field of study. Students who work abroad expand their career prospects by gaining international experiences in the workplace and beyond. In the past 13 years, SFU students have completed over 1000 co-op work terms around the globe. Click here for more information.

Developing Your Own Co-op Job

In addition to applying for positions from our online Co-op postings, Co-op students are encouraged to create their own Co-op work term specific to their unique interests and career goals with a new employer contact.    

A new contact is an employer who has not previously posted a job with the SFU Co-op program. 

Through creating your own self-directed work term, you will develop targeted job search skills that you will need after graduation.  You will be supported by your Co-op Coordinator through this process.    

We encourage every student to make a self-directed work search a part of their total Co-op experience.  

A $100 SFU Bookstore gift card will be awarded to eligible students in recognition of their role in securing their own Co-op job.

Self-Directed Work Term Criteria

Student must register as a Co-op student to receive Co-op credit.  If you are not already in Co-op, you may be eligible to fast track your entry into Co-op through creating your own Self-Directed Work Term.

  • The employer must be a new contact (see section 1 above for description of new contact)
  • The position must be full time, 12-16 weeks, minimum of 420 hours/semester  
  • The work term must pay at least minimum wage  
  • The employer must provide on-the-job supervision and training
  • The work environment should be one that encourages you to learn new skills and is related to your studies
  • Student must register in the correct Co-op practicum and pay the practicum fees 

Work Term Expectations

Student is required to submit a work report and completed student and supervisor evaluation forms, found on your Co-op program's "Forms" page

 Student will receive a site visit during work term from a Co-op Coordinator  

A four-month paid placement can be extended to eight months  

We expect Co-op students to report any problems or out-of-the-ordinary issues that may come up during the work term to their Co-op Coordinator so that these can be addressed in a timely manner  

Co-op employers to comply with federal and provincial employment standards and human rights codes  

SFU holds its students responsible for the highest level of professional and personal conduct on the job.

Contacting the Employer and Presenting Yourself

    Employers are busy people; respect their time by preparing ahead of time what you will say or discuss. Indicate that you are a Co-op student exploring the possibility of a Co-op position within their organization.  Discuss your approach with your Co-op Coordinator in advance.  They will be able to assist you with ideas of how to approach an employer, provide a letter of support and can follow up with the employer to explain the Co-op program in more detail. If an employer is interested in meeting you, treat it like a formal interview by:

  • Doing research on the organization and industry ahead of time 
  • Dressing as you would for a formal interview
  • Bringing copies of your resume
  • Asking for contact names if there do not appear to be immediate opportunities available
  • Indicating that you will follow up with regard to future possibilities
  • Sending a thank you note/email, acknowledging the time and information they gave you

Accepting a Self-Directed Work Term

Consult with a Co-op Coordinator before this stage

Complete the Self-Directed Work Term Application and submit to your home Co-op program

Review the Student Handbook, paying special attention to Partnership Responsibilities on page 13.  Partners include the student, employer, SFU Co-op and the University 

Eligibility for Self-Directed Work Term $100 SFU Bookstore Gift Card

The student finds and secures his or her own career-related, paid Co-op position with a new Co-op contact (see section 1 above for description of new contact)

The student submits a completed Self-Directed Work Term Application to their home program and obtains signed approval on the form from their Co-op coordinator  

The student registers and pays for their Co-op practicum

The student successfully completes the work term (ie. receives a "pass" for the Co-op practicum)

If the Self-Directed placement is for a double (ie. 8 month) work term, the student will be eligible to receive a gift card at the end of each of the two 4-month terms  

Awards are subject to available funding.


Are you a student entrepreneur, changemaker or team ready to commit to your start-up full-time for a semester? eCoop allows you to receive a financial award while working full-time on your very own start-up—complete with dedicated mentorship and space from Coast Capital Savings Venture Connection.