Complete guide for the CO-OP Program

24 February, 2021

Complete guide for the CO-OP Program

The CO-OP program is one of the most popular with international students.  Not only can you study in a chosen field but also earn additional income by gaining real-life experience in the field of your studies.   


Co-op, short for cooperative education, is a program that balances classroom theory with periods of practical, hands-on experience prior to graduation. Through the co-op program, students are able to alternate academic study with full-time employment, gaining real-life experience in their field of study.


Can international students do CO-OP?

International students who meet the co-op admission requirements for their degree program can do the co-op program.

As an international student, you can apply for a co-op if:

  • you have a valid study permit

  • work is required to complete your study program in Canada

  • you have a letter from your school that confirms all students in your program need to complete work placements to get their degree, and

  • your co-op placement totals 50% or less of your study program


How do students get their co-op jobs?

The student can search out for a job on their own, however, If you've found a place you'd like to work, the placement service or co-op department at your school may have to determine if the job is suitable for the co-op.

Some schools with co-op programs have departments or services that look for opportunities while others guarantee placement to the student - talk to our educational consultants to know more about it!

How many hours can I work on a co-op work permit?


Your study permit will indicate if you are able to work off-campus. If so, you are allowed to work:

  •  for up to 20 hours per week while your program is in session, and

  • full-time during scheduled breaks in the academic calendar

Do you get paid in a co-op job?

Yes, university and college students are paid for their work.


Example of a  co-op term:

If you are pursuing a degree in marketing, you might be referred to a marketing firm, where you might write posts for social media clients or help to do a marketing plan, or even assist a full-time employee.


At the end of the work term, employers are asked to fill out a form evaluating the performance of the co-op student. This report is handed to the co-op coordinator and it's an important part of the student's grade and evaluation.


Some benefits of co-op :


  • Earn practical experience in your field of study


  • Apply classroom theory to real-life work settings


  • Establish contacts and network with future employers and co-workers


  • Earn money to help pay for tuition and costs of living.

Would you like to study in Canada and have a co-op experience?   Our team of education advisors can assist you with the enrollment process for Canadian education institutions that offer co-op courses.  Make sure to contact us if you are interested so we can have you started on the right path.



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