Skip to main content
Beedie School of Business
SFU Co-op student

empty
Image of a Chinese building
Along with all the travel and work experiences comes self-discovery and for Ben, although the skills learned on the job were valuable, it was the "cultural skills" he learned that he found most useful.

Business Administration Co-op student Ben Carson decided to pursue an International Co-op work term last summer and fall because he "wanted a big challenge and to experience something entirely new."Ben applied, interviewed for, and secured a position with CIBT School of Business and Technology Corp. in Weifang, China and spent eight months teaching English to local students, editing, conducting foreign recruitment and executing promotions.

Weifang students

Ben's interview process was typical of many international interviews as it was conducted via web conferencing with Ben in Vancouver and the CIBT interview panel in China. After completing the interview and being offered the position, Ben attended the International Co-op pre-departure session with Co-op Coordinator Amy Lee. Ben says, "Amy was very helpful in giving me suggestions as to what to bring and how to deal with living in a new place."Ben also went to a travel medical doctor to make sure he had all the proper vaccinations.

As some of you may remember, summer 2008 was the time of the Beijing Olympics. Ben's parents "were worried about (him) going to Beijing during the Olympics because of all the political issues...", but with support from in his employer and with the International Co-op office looking out for his best interests, Ben was able to confidently fly out of Vancouver to begin his adventure in China.

An important skill that Ben learned while working at CIBT was to "be patient when working with people from a different culture and take the time to make sure that communication is clear...."-an outlook that will certainly help in future positions and within our increasingly globalized workplace. With regards to teaching style, Ben learned that taking his time and "making it fun"for his students was key to success on his work term.

Weifang University

One fantastic aspect of international work terms is the opportunity to travel. Ben "traveled to Beijing, Qingdao, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Guilin, Yangshuo and Hong Kong. China is truly an amazing, beautiful place,"he said. Along with all the travel and work experiences comes self discovery and for Ben, although the skills learned on the job were valuable, it was the "cultural skills"he learned that he found most useful. When asked what advice he would pass along to students considering pursuing an International Co-op work term, he said that "At times, (adjusting to the local culture) can be exhausting so be easy on yourself".

Beyond the Blog

  • How much do you know about International Co-op? Take the International Co-op Nuts & Bolts Quiz, visit the International Co-op website or attend the International Co-op Information Session.

SFU Co-op student

You Might Like These... Co-op Reflections, Professional Development, Life Experience, Workplace Culture, Workplace Transition

picture of glichelle pondering a though
Surviving Workplace Politics

Ever been peeved with workplace politics? Have you ever been a victim of office politics? One student shares her experiences from the workplace with tips on how to survive.

 

Japan building
Co-op Japan: 9-month Internship at NTT, Yokosuka, Japan

Co-op Japan: 9 months in Japan can seem like a long time away from the comforts of SFU. But as we all know, if you’re having fun, time flies. For Duncan Chan, all he saw was time fly as he experienced life in Japan like no other. He worked his Co-op work terms, developed friendships, and gained new skills he can utilize in the future – everything he did in Japan was that once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and he took it until the very end.

Gateway of India Monument in Mumbai (Bombay)
Sheena Takes On the Mumbai Marketing Scene

In her third year as a Communication major, Sheena Rupani returns home to Mumbai, India and proves that an SFU student has what it takes to compete on the international marketing scene. In a setting where high stakes rely on time management and clear cross-cultural communication, this international co-op celebrity takes self-directed study to the next level.

You Might Like These... Professional Development

Claire standing in front of the SFU building, looking to a distance
Getting Started in a Startup: My Co-op at Coral Health

Thinking about doing a co-op with a start-up company? Read Claire's co-op experience to find out what it was like!

Workplace
Stress in Workplace? Tips for Reducing it

It is easy to become stressed in an unfamiliar and fast-pace working environment, no matter which field you are in. Good strategies not only help you reduce your uncomfortable feeling, but also lead you to learn faster and work efficiently. I spent one year in OSI Maritime Systems as a mechanical engineering co-op student, and I have concluded 4 tips that are essential for anyone who struggling with stress at work!

People working in the office
Growth Opportunities in Not-for-Profit Organizations

After entering the workforce eight years ago, how did I just find out that non-for-profits provide the best learning opportunities for students and professionals looking to diversify their skills? Overtime, I have worked for family businesses, not-for-profits, and corporations, but I always found myself growing and learning more while working for a not-for-profit.