Skip to main content
Michael standing in front of an arch

Michael Welk

SFU Co-op Student
Arts + Social Sciences

empty
Michael smiling in front of broken glass mural
The truth is, no matter why you originally set out to do it, living and working abroad ends up being so much more than just a shiny spot on your resume, or another accomplishment for you or your parents to brag about.

 This article was originally published in the Arts Co-op Newsletter in Spring 2015.

Michael Welk went to Spain to teach English for his co-op and shares about his adventure in a new country.

When I first started applying for jobs overseas, I wasn’t totally sure what I wanted; all I knew was that I needed a change, and some time to grow. So I started taking resume classes, and thought hard about what I wanted in life before applying for several positions teaching English abroad.

As a first year student, I was surprised to get a couple of bites relatively quickly, and after a little nail-biting of my own (not literally, to be clear), I had secured myself an internship in a small village on the coast of sunny ol’ Spain, working with Catalan students on their English skills in a private Catholic school.

It was a dream come true, and boy-oh-boy was I excited. What a job! What a location! I was in for another bitter-sweet taste of life, though not the first one since I’d made the decision to leave home.

Movies, and the stories you hear from acquaintances, tend to gloss over the challenges of living abroad and focus on the good times instead. Don’t get me wrong, the glamour is there, but it can be hidden under piles of official documents, uncomfortable cultural differences, lonely nights, and painful self-reflection. But this is actually the best part. Changing your attitude changes the world – or to be more specific, it changes your world!

The truth is, no matter why you originally set out to do it, living and working abroad ends up being so much more than just a shiny spot on your resume, or another accomplishment for you or your parents to brag about. It can be the start of a new you, an opportunity to begin recreating yourself in a better light. In the end you’ll have a lot more friends to call, tons of great stories to tell, and amazing memories filed away for when you need them.

About the Author

Michael standing in front of an arch

Michael Welk

SFU Co-op Student
Arts + Social Sciences

You Might Like These... Your Next Co-op, International, Personal Development, Culture

Three women posing in front of a building called 'Hospice Pre-School'
Life in Botswana: Jumping in With Both Feet

For four months Jessica Kehler traveled across the world to Botswana, working with Holy Cross Hospice, a non-profit organization that uses a holistic approach to treating terminal HIV/AIDS patients. Upon her return, the OLC sat down to learn about a country known for its diamond mining, tourism, and sadly, HIV/AIDS. Read to find out more about her journey!

View of the city and temple from a height in Japan
Co-op Japan: The Experience of a Lifetime

The Co-op Japan program is more than a way to add an international job to your resume; it can also be a trip of self-discovery.  Two co-op students share their memorable experiences in the Land of the Rising Sun.

Serena in the snow
Serena's Winter Co-op Adventure: Working at Iron Ore Company in Newfoundland

Wondering what it's like to work in HR and in Newfoundland? Read on to learn more about Serena's winter adventure and experience adapting to a new culture, environment and life away from home!

Michael smiling in front of broken glass mural
library_books
Blog
Reinvent Yourself by Working Abroad
Your Next Co-op, During the Work Term, International, Life Experience, Personal Development

Michael Welk went to Spain to teach English for his co-op and shares about his adventure in a new country. Read on to find out about what you can gain from an experience such as leaving your comfort zone and exploring! This article was originally published in the Arts Co-op Newsletter in Spring 2015.

You Might Like These... Your Next Co-op

Three women posing in front of a building called 'Hospice Pre-School'
Life in Botswana: Jumping in With Both Feet

For four months Jessica Kehler traveled across the world to Botswana, working with Holy Cross Hospice, a non-profit organization that uses a holistic approach to treating terminal HIV/AIDS patients. Upon her return, the OLC sat down to learn about a country known for its diamond mining, tourism, and sadly, HIV/AIDS. Read to find out more about her journey!

A woman in business attire smiles confidently for the camera in Blusson Hall.
Samples Required - 5 Tips for Showcasing your Work

As a first-time Co-op seeker with little real-world work experience, it can be daunting to read the words ‘work samples required’ in a job posting. Here are 5 useful tips for showcasing your work at your next interview.

Rachel
The Road Less Traveled: Taking a Chance in Co-op

With co-op, are we better off sticking to our field of study, or should we take a chance at something entirely different? In this article, Rachel reflects on her work term with the RCMP, what she learned about the industry as well as herself in a field that she would have never considered if it wasn’t for co-op.