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International experiences are an invaluable asset to your personal and professional development. SFU provides its students with many opportunities to study, work or volunteer abroad. As these stories show, when you travel internationally, you learn to step out of your comfort zone, embrace risk and become accustomed to different ways of living. Many of our SFU community have seized these opportunities, and in turn authored these stories, tips and strategies on how to prepare for your international trip, developing your cultural intelligence and building international networks.


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Open laptop on black table with google search of "how to co-op?", in between a mug and stack of books. Background of image shows icons of paintbrush, camera, blackboard with math, atom, money, and construction worker.
Blog
What I Wish I Knew When Seeking Co-op Jobs

During my semester of scouring through SFU’s myExperience portal for jobs, I had to learn a lot of things the hard way, which probably led to me getting a job pretty last minute. But I don’t think I’m the only one who has fallen into the trap of destructive habits that creep through the cracks on the road to success. Below is a list of things I wish I had known when I started seeking for Co-op jobs that I hope will help other Communication Co-op job seekers.

Girl standing next to sign that says "Schneider Electric", pointing at sign.
Blog
What it’s Really Like Working at a Multinational Fortune 500 Company

As a Marketing and Communications Intern at Schneider Electric’s Solar Business, I’ve gotten the opportunity to work with so many professionals around the world. Don’t worry, it’s not as stressful as it sounds. In this blog, I'll talk about some of the things I've learned while working for a multinational Fortune 500 company.

A nervous woman
Blog
Why You Should Consider Applying to Co-op Jobs Unrelated to Your Academic Background

Like many other seeking Co-op students, Leslie struggled to find a co-op job that was relevant to her interests. While her friends were all able to eventually land jobs, Leslie started to feel more anxious and insecure about obtaining an opportunity. Here's how she turned the tables and found a job outside of her initial interests.

Landscape image of an Indian fort with a road l
Blog
"Why Would Ever You Choose to Work in India?”

Despite the warnings and worries of her friends and family, Serena set off on an adventure, accepting a co-op position on the other side of the world, in India, and she has no regrets. Sometimes in order to grow we need to challenge ourselves, and Serena did just that.

Claire and her students
Blog
Heat in Catalonia: Lessons from International Co-op

A student desperately wanting to have class outside suggested we put the decision to a vote. An overwhelming amount of hands went up for having class in the sun and I paused to think about how I could adjust my lesson plan without a chalkboard. The students saw my hesitation and said, “but Claire, don’t you believe in our right to have a democracy?”. This was when I knew I would learn a lot more than just how to teach, from my international co-op term in Catalonia.

a black cat sitting next to a laptop with the caption that says uhm...excuse me!
Blog
Handling an International Co-op during a Pandemic

Two months into your international co-op placement, a global pandemic hits. What do you do? Read Victoria’s article for tips on keeping a cool head in tough circumstances, and how to make the best of a precarious situation.

a SFU graduate during convocation holding her diploma
Blog
Go Fund Your Graduate Degree – A Guide to Five Academic Sources of Funding

The prospect of pursuing a graduate degree can be hampered by the inability to fund such studies. Srijani discusses five strategies that can help you pay for a graduate degree without breaking into your bank account!

Nikita and her mentor posing for a picture together
Blog
What I Didn’t Learn in Design School

Accepting a co-op internship, especially internationally, can be tough but once you earn the opportunity it can be a wonderful learning experience. Nikita was accepted for a UX design internship in Amsterdam and faced some unforeseeable challenges. Read on to find out some of the key lessons that Nikita took away from her experience.

Gloria Lai looking at the mountain view in Hong Kong
Blog
Table for One Please!: Solo Travelling Abroad

Have you ever considered travelling alone? Does it make your nervous? Well, you are not alone. There are many benefits to travelling alone and what better way to experience another country and culture than through a short-term International Co-op term? Read on to learn some tips & tricks when travelling alone.

a neon glowing building
Blog
Cultural Competence and Working Abroad

Have you landed an International Co-op work-term and begun preparing for your semester abroad? Surely, you have done your research and are aware of the cultural differences and nuances between where you are going, and your home country? If you haven’t, have no fear! This article is meant to help you understand the basic tips and tricks to adjust to the cultural differences in your new workplace, making your transition much easier.

meeting with a small group of people
Blog
International Co-op: Is Not-For-Profit The Right Fit For You?

Are you looking for an International Co-op with a not-for-profit organization? Are you torn between finding a job you like and something that pays well? Are you wondering whether you will be able to gain valuable skills and knowledge from working for a not-for-profit? Continue reading this article for more information about how to look for International co-op opportunities with not-for-profits, funding scares, and takeaways.

Mik Ho photo is one of the photo spots in Korea
Blog
Real Talk: Is an International Co-op Worth It?

You have seen the emails, read the posters, heard the presentations. The question remains, is International Co-op worth it? Is it worth the planning, cost, and time off-school? Well, you will have to continue reading to find out.

An image of the author on a balcony overlooking Spain
Blog
My Journey to Understanding the Importance of Intercultural Communication

"I realized that as time went on, I was having difficulties connecting and adapting to this new culture I believe this sprouted from the strong language barrier and my inability to communicate with most of my co-workers". Read Aileen's story about how she overcame culture clashing and engage in intercultural communication. 

A student working alone in a library
Blog
Life as an International Student: The Things We Don't Talk About

There are a lot of things your international student friends have never told you. From depression to pressure to stereotypes -  life isn't always easy when you are studying abroad. Read an international students take on life overseas. 

Yasmin on the swings at a beach
Blog
How I Made the Most of my International Co-op Position in the Most Expensive City in the World

An unexpected offer to extend a stay in San Fransisco for co-op turned into the experience of a lifetime for health sciences students, Yasmin Khalili. Read about her incredible summer in sunny California. 

Isabelle and Elisabeth in Nepal
Blog
Providing Free Healthcare to those in Need

On placement with Partnership for Sustainable Development in Kathmandu, Nepal, Health Sciences students Isabelle and Elisabeth decided to extend their contribution to a community in need and enrich their learning experience, by raising resources for a Free Health Camp.

a girl sitting down reading a map of the city
Blog
Why is Risk Relevant?

A willingness to take risks is often what separates the successful from the very successful. But why is risk so relevant and how can you build up your tolerance for making the bold decisions that will lead to better careers? SFU's Business Co-op Manager, Tanya Behrisch shares why the ability to take risks matters. 

map of the world
Blog
Let’s Come Together Right Now

Every culture has a custom or tradition that unites people. Knowing this, international student, Dasha Mezenina set out to interview SFU students from around the world to find out: what tradition unites your nation? 

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