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Co-op is about the exchange of knowledge and ideas. We work with employers from around the world and support students from international pathways as they gain work experience in and outside of Canada.

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See where co-op could take you

A work term outside Canada can connect you with truly unique experiences.

Check out students' stories to see where some of the places they've worked outside Canada.

International students

As a student from an international pathway, you can take part in co-op to gain paid work experience, including roles with Canadian and international companies. 

Co-op work permits

You can apply for a co-op work permit to work legally in Canada if:

  • you are admitted to a co-op program
  • you have a study permit for the length of your work term

Co-op work permits can be used for co-op positions that are part of your degree program—they are different than off-campus work permits.

To apply for a co-op work permit:

Contact UVic’s International Centre for Students for help.

Support at UVic

There are many ways that UVic can support your journey. Consider:

Working outside Canada

Doing a co-op term outside of Canada lets you:

Find work outside Canada: 

Before your work term

Before you leave on a work term outside Canada, you'll need to:

  1. Take the pre-departure course: You'll be registered in this course once you confirm your co-op work term.
  2. Complete UVic's travel checklist.*NOTE - Step 3: 'Sign a UVic waiver' is not required as it is covered in the TakeFlight pre-departure course. 
  3. Get workplace insurance: You'll need to set up workplace insurance whether you'll be working outside of Canada or working remotely.
  4. Get the right work permit: 
  5. Explore and apply for funding opportunities to support your international experience.

Working in the USA

You’ll need to apply for a J-1 visa. You can apply for a reduced rate through Cultural Vistas (answer 'CEWIL' on the question asking where you learned about the rate). Contact Cultural Visas for support.

Resources to support you working outside Canada

After your work term

Within a month after your return to UVic, you'll attend a debriefing session with the international co-op and career coordinator.

Share your story on StoryMap

StoryMaps is an online storytelling tool that allows you to easily create compelling interactive content that combines maps, multimedia and text.

It can be used to share stories about your co-op abroad, capture memories and inspire future student to engage in an international co-op term.

Creating and sharing your co-op abroad story is easy with StoryMaps.

Watch this brief video on how to get started, create a free account and start telling your unique exchange story. You could:

  • Share your job title, organization and tasks
  • Describe some highlights of your work experience – what key skills did you gain?
  • Share any stories of cultural encounters, such as a local tradition, a favourite dish, or a festival that left a lasting impact
  • Share any challenges you encountered (for example, language barriers and cultural differences) and how you applied your cultural intelligence to address them
  • Provide tips to other students considering an international co-op experience
  • Share your biggest takeaway from this experience

Once you have published your story – share the link with us (and your friends and family of course)!

With your permission, we will highlight your StoryMap on our UVic International StoryMap and on social media!

If you have used an alternative mode to capture your experience such as a blog, vlog, padlet or photo diary, let us know - we are happy to link it to our map!

Connect with the international co-op coordinator

Sarah McQuillan is the international co-op and career coordinator. She can help you: 

  • connect with co-op employers outside Canada
  • prepare for your work term
  • secure work permits and visa (for international students)
  • access funding