Before and after you go

Before you leave


Review and complete the Work Abroad Readiness Checklist

The Work Abroad Readiness Checklist will help you ensure that you are prepared to explore working abroad during a co-op work term.

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 Cultural Intelligence (CQ) competencies to plan for a successful international experience.

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

Follow these Travel Safety for Students steps

UVic's International office has put together a list of steps to take when preparing to work abroad.

Make sure you have workplace insurance

If you are completing a work term outside of Canada (including working remotely for an employer outside of Canada), ask your co-op employer about what workplace insurance coverage is included as part of your employment. If your employer does not provide coverage, then you may need to secure other insurance.

Students may have medical coverage through their student societies’ insurance plans (which is separate from workplace coverage). Note: it is a requirement that those on international co-op opportunities maintain emergency travel medical insurance for the duration of their work.

It is your responsibility, as the student, to ensure that you have obtained adequate workplace and health care insurance for the duration of your work term(s).

To prepare for your international co-op, please review these resources

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)

For tax information, please visit the CRA website.