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Laurinda Cheng

SFU Alumni
Volunteer Writer

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picture of a lighthouse in the distance
Maybe Dorothy was right, maybe there is no place like home. And when your home spans 10 provinces and 3 territories, theres reason to want to stick around and experience all the charms this country has to offer.

Like many students, I was in search of an adventure overseas, setting my sights on the fashionable destination of Europe.  Quickly, however, I discovered that the co-op postings for jobs in Europe were few and far between for Arts students.  Maybe it was time to lower the bar a bit?  I decided that Id look for an out of town job in Canada.  And before you know it, I found myself on my first co-op term away from home kickin it in Canadas capital city, Ottawa.  What did I learn from my experience?  That out-of-town co-op terms in Canada rock, and heres why:

  • You dont have to worry about getting a work visa, converting currencies, getting travel vaccinations, and all the other complicated hassles associated with working overseas.

  • The planning involved is minimal: find a place to live, start looking for seat-sales by WestJet and Air Canada

  • You begin to realize just how BIG Canada really is. The diverse lifestyles and unique subcultures youll encounter throughout different provinces/territories will make you rethink what it means to be Canadian.

  • You have the opportunity to visit other Canadian cities in the surrounding areas

  • If you dont have a lot of travel experience under your belt, a co-op adventure in Canada is a great way to wet your feet and get out there.

  • Even after paying for airfare, rent, food, and other travel expenses during your term, youll likely still have saved up some money in the end

So have my powers of persuasion convinced you to leave everything and everyone behind and pack your bags for a Canadian co-op adventure?  If so, then its time to start looking for a job:

  • Each semester SFU Co-op posts numerous Canadian out-of-town jobs based in various cities, such as Ottawa, Halifax, Prince George, and many more.

  • The Federal Student Work Experience Program (FSWEP), a campaign run by the Government of Canada, provides students with an opportunity to work in different federal departments across the country.  There are over 8000 jobs available to students.  All you need to do is become part of the database by creating an online profile and uploading your resume.  After that, youre considered for positions in departments that youve indicated an interest in working for.  Most students are hired for the summer, so be sure to apply as early as January!  Check out the websitefor more details.

  • Check out the websites of large organizations that have offices across Canada.  Many of these organizations may be willing to hire students from out-of-town.

Maybe Dorothy was right, maybe there is no place like home.  And when your home spans 10 provinces and 3 territories, theres reason to want to stick around and experience all the charms this country has to offer.  Good luck and happy travels wherever you end up!

About the Author

Laurinda Cheng

SFU Alumni
Volunteer Writer

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