Skip to main content
Communication, Art + Technology › Communication › Marketing
International Co-op Assistant

United Kingdom
The UK is evolving and modernizing while some of the world’s most famous locations remain untouched and permanently historic.

“I am so convinced of the advantages of looking at mankind instead of reading about them, and of the bitter effects of staying at home with all the narrow prejudices of an Islander, that I think there should be a law amongst us to set our young men abroad for a term among the few allies our wars have left us.”

- Lord Byron (English Romantic Poet and Satirist)

International Co-op Student Experiences

“It was my first Co-op term, and the greatest work experience I've ever had. I got to do a little bit of everything: genetic analysis, dissections, pressing scales, electrofishing, data entry, hydroacoustic surveys, boat driving. And my favourite part was all the exploring I did in the highlands of Scotland.”

- Hamid Akbarishandiz from Science and Environment
Field Biologist for Fisheries Research Services, Pitlochry, Scotland
Summer 2007

“One thing is for certain, I would not trade the experience for anything. I had the opportunity to learn about business and business consulting, meet with a number of experts in the business field, experience Scotland as one can only do on EDGE, and see a lot of Scotland's sights. The best part of the experience is that I now have new friends from SFU, Glasgow, New York, Ontario, and Poland.”

- Kevin Inouye from Science and EnvironmentBusiness Consultant for Scottish Enterprise (EDGE) in Glasgow, United Kingdom

“It was such an adventure and a rewarding experience. Not only have I learned about European job markets, cultures and business opportunities, but I have also become confident about my adaptability and skills I can take to my future employers.”

- Lucy Li from BusinessE-Marketing Assistant, Global E-Business for AXA Investment Managers in London, United Kingdom

Interesting London Facts

  • London is in England. England is in Great Britain. GB is in the United Kingdom (UK).

  • London used to be the largest and most influential city in the world. With a population of 12 million, it remains the largest city in Europe

  • Heathrow Airport is the world's busiest international airport

  • London is the world's largest financial centre

  • Inner London has the highest GDP per capita (€ 88,761) of any European city.

Customs around the Office

  • It is not uncommon to socialize in a nearby pub after the workday with office colleagues for an hour or more. The pub is a place to wind down, where formality and rank differences disappear.

  • When first arriving in the office, it is proper to greet each acquaintance with a "good morning," but there is no need to shake hands. Shaking hands when meeting or being introduced to a new acquaintance is expected, but there is no need to greet or shake hands again with anyone who has been previously greeted in the course of a business day


  • If you are a guest, it is polite to wait until your host(ess) starts eating or indicates you should do so. It shows consideration

  • Always chew and swallow all the food in your mouth before taking more or taking a drink; never chew with your mouth open

  • Say thank you when served something. It shows appreciation

  • When you have finished eating, and to let others know that you have, place your knife and folk together, with the prongs on the fork facing upwards and the knife blade facing outward, on your plate

  • It is impolite to have your elbows on the table while you are eating

  • Don't reach over someone's plate for something ask for the item to be passed

  • Never blow your nose on a napkin (serviette). Napkins are for dabbing your lips and only for that

About the UK

The UK is evolving and modernizing while some of the world’s most famous locations remain untouched and permanently historic. The tearooms and cafés are popular in Scotland. However, though the locals love their coffee, they will never give up their beloved tea. While in the UK, embrace the love for tea while enjoying some biscuits, scones, Scottish shortbread cookies and meat pies, and of course, haggis!

Work Abroad and Explore!

Where to go...

London: Westminster Abbey, Buckingham Palace, St. Paul's Cathedral, Tower of London, Shakespeare's Globe Theatre, Greenwich Meridian Line, Hampton Court Palace, London's central parks.

Scotland: In the highlands visit Nessie, the Loch Ness Monster! Arthur's Seat for the view of all of Edinburgh, Edinburgh Castle, Princes Street with the best shops in Edinburgh and beautiful gardens, Writer's Museum dedicated to Robert Burns, Walter Scott and Robert Louis Stevenson.

Beyond the Blog

  • Find out all you need to know about UK living with Goinglobal

  • Check out the International Profiles to see all the other places our students have visited.

  • Take a look at last year's Encouraging Dynamic Global Entrepreneurs (EDGE) Discussions to learn about how the program has helped students learning around the world.

  • Be sure to check out the International Spotlight articles for Germany, China, Australia, France and India!

International Co-op Assistant

You Might Like These... Co-operative Education

Courtney smiles next to a caption that reads, "Courtney Novotny during her work term with Health Canada".
A Second Term in Government: More of the Same?

How do Communications Co-op jobs differ between federal departments? Read all about Courtney's experiences as she compares her first co-op with Health Canada to her second co-op with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada.

International Spotlight: Korea

Bordered by China, Russia, and separated from Japan by the Korea Strait, Korea makes for a strong international hub of Asia.

Iris at her workstation in the lab
Student Spotlight: Iris Eom

The OLC talks to Iris Eom, 3rd year MBB, Computing Science joint major. Keep reading to learn about her experience at the UBC James Hogg iCAPTURE Centre at St. Paul's Hospital.

You Might Like These... Co-op Reflections

A researcher's hand touching lab equipment
The Lowdown on Microplastics | Part Two

Graduate student, Stephen Chastain spent two co-op terms conducting research into microscopic pollution in our oceans. Here, he shares what he learned about this pressing issue and its global implications. 

An array of fruits laid out on the ground while a man on the side bends down to pick an apple up
Our Neighbourhood: Gariahat, Kolkata

Martyna provides a quick tour of the neighbourhood where the SFU Health Sciences Co-op Team is living in. From fresh fruit stalls to unusual afternoon traffic, take a look at what the girls have been up to in India. 

International Co-op In France
Finding a Balance Between Work and Life During an International Co-op

International Co-op positions provide the opportunity to discover the world while developing professional skills and contacts. But there’s a conundrum: all work and no play or no work and all play? Read Mallory's blog on how to find balance between work and life during your international co-op!