Skip to main content


group of people walking

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.

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.

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