International Co-op Work Term

A global co-op work term does more than add an international work experience to your resume. You will gain an increased understanding of other parts of the world, its people and perhaps, most importantly, yourself.

Working abroad is not for everyone, but the unique challenges you face may very well be your best reward. You will find valuable information below that will be helpful in an international co-op job search.

Self-Directed Network Job Search

Most co-op work terms are secured conducting a self-directed international job search tapping into and expanding your network with the support of your Co-op Coordinator.  You can focus your search on a specific country, industry, and type of position; and then introduce University of Guelph Co-op programming and what you have to offer through your qualifications, skills and experience. 

If the position meets the necessary co-op requirements (minimum of 12 weeks in length and 420 hours, paid position in your field with full-time hours), your Co-op Coordinator can help you turn the opportunity into a co-op position.  You will need to complete a Co-operative Education Network Job Confirmation Form for your Co-op Coordinator to review and approve. 

Checklist when looking to secure an international co-op work term:

1.   Ensure the role meets the minimum co-op requirements:

  1. Minimum of 12 weeks in length (consecutive weeks must fall in specific work term periods; January-April, May-August and September-December) and accumulate at least 420 hours
  2. Work is related to your degree program
  3. Paid position

2.   Check the Global Affairs Canada travel advisories website, to ensure the country you are travelling to is approved.  The Experiential Learning Hub adheres to the University of Guelph Safe International Travel Policy for StudentsThe University will not authorize student travel for University Activities to locations rated “Avoid all non-essential travel” and “Avoid all travel”.

3.   In order to approve your position, send the following to your Co-op Coordinator:

  1. Offer letter
  2. Job Description
  3. Completed Job Confirmation Form

4.  It is your responsibility to obtain and adhere to any visa requirements in a timely manner for the position. Visa approval can take from 10 to 12 weeks, depending on your destination.

  1. Some employers have a dedicated internal department that will take care of the process for you. 
  2. For some employers, this may be the first time they are hiring an international student.  For this scenario, the University of Guelph does work with a 3rd party vendor, Cultural Vistas, who, for a fee, assists companies with the visa process, based on specific country, citizenship, length of position etc.  Talk to your Co-op Coordinator about Cultural Vistas, and they can explain the process further.

5.   Once an international work term is registered on Experience Guelph, you will also be registered with the Centre for International Programs.  Their office will be in touch with you regarding mandatory completion of DepartSmart and mandatory purchase of Guard.Me Travel Health Insurance.

Summer Research Programs

Please refer to the Centre for International Programs website for more information on the Provincial Summer Research Programs in France and Germany and other Summer Research Programs.  The ideal work term length is 16 weeks but 12 weeks will be considered.  Students should inform their Co-op Coordinator of their interest in a summer research program and review application instructions and timelines.


AIESEC provides students with the opportunity to gain relevant work experience internationally, with a global presence in over 100 countries! Find out more about the world's largest student-run organization and about the AIESEC Guelph chapter by joining the 'AIESEC Guelph' Facebook page! Develop your leadership, networking, and professional skills with AIESEC Guelph.

Additional International Work Search Resources

For more information regarding international work terms, visit the following university resources and departments:

Travel Grant Information for University of Guelph students: