Before and after you go

Before you leave

Take the pre-departure course

All students going on an international work term must take an online (CourseSpaces) pre-departure course called Take Flight With Co-op – Preparing for Your Work Term Abroad. The course content includes managing risks, the logistics of going abroad and using your intercultural competencies to plan for a successful international experience.

To register in the pre-departure course, please contact your co-op coordinator.

Follow these steps

Step 1: Review Government of Canada travel advisories

The Government of Canada (GoC) provides travel advice and advisories for Canadians traveling abroad. Review and monitor this information carefully and check back regularly for relevant updates. Subscribe to GoC's email updates and/or social media channels. Download their Travel Smart App.

UVic’s Off-Campus Activity Risk Management Policy restricts student travel to countries with an official travel advisory stating "Avoid non-essential travel" and "Avoid all travel." 

If your proposed destination is under one of these official travel warnings ("Avoid non-essential travel" or "Avoid all travel"), you (your program or your supervisor) are required to complete and submit UVic's Special Authorization to Travel form to be reviewed for approval. The approval process may take up to six months, as such it is important that you plan your travel and completion of the form accordingly.

Students need to provide a written rationale and set up a plan for pre-designated check-ins with sponsor or leader. Ensure health insurance coverage extends to level 3 risk countries.

Step 2: Complete pre-departure training

Students participating in university-sanctioned international travel must complete a UVic pre-departure orientation. You will learn how to plan for your trip, ensure health and safety abroad, develop intercultural competencies, and prepare for an emergency. 

If your international program (e.g. exchange, co-op) does not provide you with pre-departure training please contact  to get access to the course.

Step 3: Sign a UVic waiver

Your program director or supervisor will provide you with a country-specific waiver for your trip.

If you are travelling independently contact  to obtain a UVic waiver. Please provide the following information:

  • program and course(s)
  • travel dates
  • country/ies

Step 4: Complete UVic's Travel Registry

All UVic students participating in university-sanctioned international activities are required to enroll in UVic’s Travel Registry prior to departing Canada. This information enables UVic to monitor student safety, update students on travel advisories from the Canadian Government, and locate and provide assistance in case of an emergency.

Please login to International SOS with your netlink ID and enter your information in the travel registry as soon as you are able to, and at least 3 weeks in advance of your travel date. 

Note: Even if you don't have all your travel details arranged yet please enter what you have. You can always log back in to add more information.

Students are only required to register their travel details pertaining to their university-sanctioned international activity. Any personal side trips or vacations scheduled around or outside of the university-sanctioned travel are the sole responsibility of the student.

Step 5: Review insurance coverage

All UVic travelers are required to possess out-of-country travel insurance. All full-time UVic students are automatically enrolled in the UVSS Health and Dental Plan (undergraduates) or GSS Health and Dental Plan (graduates) which provide out-of-country travel insurance. If you have opted out of the UVSS/GSS Plans, you need to make sure that you have out-of-country coverage through another plan. 

It is important to review and become familiar with exactly what your plan covers, how long it lasts, and where and how it works, this includes but is not limited to pre-existing conditions, high risk activity, etc. 

Based on your review, you may need to purchase supplementary insurance to meet your individual needs and requirements. Visit the Government of Canada website for more information on the importance of out-of-country travel insurance, and what coverage to look for.

Step 6: Complete the Registration of Canadians Abroad

Registration of Canadians Abroad (ROCA) is a free service that allows the Government of Canada to notify you in case of an emergency abroad or a personal emergency at home. This service also enables you to receive important information before or during a natural disaster or civil unrest.

International students and others holding international passports should check with individual consular services in their home country. 

Step 7: Prepare for an emergency

UVic has partnered with International SOS, the world’s leader in international healthcare, medical assistance, and security services which has 27 alarm centers and 31 clinics around the world. 

Before you leave:

Login to International SOS with your netlink ID.

Complete UVic's travel registry and review country-specific information (i.e., vaccinations, required medication, medical and travel security concerns). Sign up for health and security email alerts and download the ISOS Assistance App.

You will receive your ISOS membership number and ISOS travel cards with important contact information for when you are abroad.

In an emergency abroad:

Call ISOS for any medical, personal, travel, or legal problems that arise while abroad. 

Please note: International SOS is not an insurance company. They are a travel assistance company. So even though you have free travel assistance through UVic's contract with ISOS, you are still responsible for obtaining suitable travel insurance.

Secure a work permit

Work permit resources

  • International Experience Canada offers youth mobility programs in 21 countries by facilitating temporary work permits in participating countries. Check to see if Canada has mobility agreements with your country of interest and then look up the work permit application process for that country. 
  • The Student Work Abroad Program can also help you secure a work permit through these mobility agreements.

Working in the USA

To work in the US, you’ll need a J-1 visa (see J-1 visa sponsors). UVic students qualify for a reduced rate on the J-1 visa (negotiated by the Canadian Association for Co-operative Education with Cultural Vistas). Review this fact sheet and the J-1 Host Company Eligibility Requirements for details.

Working in Australia

To work in Australia, you’ll need an occupational trainee visa. First, your employer must apply, get approval for sponsoring the visa, and send you the approval number. You'll then use this approval number to apply for your Australian visa.

Working in the United Kingdom

To work in the UK, you must apply for a work permit through the Youth Mobility Scheme. For tips, see this fact sheet written by a student who applied for a UK work permit through this scheme.

Consider a few questions

As you prepare to go abroad, it's helpful to ask yourself some reflective questions:

  • Why am I choosing to go abroad?
  • What do I hope to gain from this experience? What specific skills do I want to develop?
  • How do I ensure that I'm successful on this work term? How can I prepare?

After you return

Once you've returned to UVic after your work term, you'll need to:

  • Submit your work term report or alternate submission to your co-op office (learn more about work term requirements)
  • Attend a mandatory debriefing session with the international co-op coordinator within a month of your return (contact  to schedule)