Skip to main content
Kelsey Newsham

Kelsey Newsham

SFU Student
Communication, Art + Technology › Communication

empty
different countries flag against the sky
Credit
unsplash.com
Having a resume marked with international work experience primes students for full time, permanent positions around the world.

As international job postings pop up on myExperience, SFU's Co-opVolunteer and Career Services job site, many wonder whether to go abroad as part of a Co-op or on their own. The question is a common one. As students contemplate the warm waters of Africa and India or the cultural hubs of Europe and Asia, the benefits of counting a trip overseas as a Co-op can be overlooked.

So before you begin your international exploration, uncover the treasures lurking behind an international Co-op with our five quick benefits of going internationally...with Co-op.

Safety and Security

Last November the world watched as India's financial capital experienced inner turmoil resulting in airport closures, structural damage and civil casualties. While no where near the capital, three SFU students were on Co-op work terms in India at the time. Because the students were on an official Co-op with SFU, International Coordinator, Amy Lee was able to contact them regarding any travel plans to the capital, their overall safety and provide open lines of communication. As all of the students were vast distances away from the questionable area, the threat to their safety was relatively low, but the situation highlights the safety and security SFU International Co-op provides.

Prior to departure, International Co-op collects information about your location. This combined with an emergency card to be filled out by students and a pre departure session, ensures SFU knows where their students are at all times. As a large institution, SFU also has unique resources should students find themselves needing to get out of a sticky situation.

Employer Treatment

Part of the Co-op department's focus is to make partnerships with international employers. By agreeing to this partnership, employers commit to work guidelines regarding training, supervision, salary, etc. set out by SFU. These guidelines enhance the employee/employer relationship help make the students overall work experience a learning success.

For self-directed International Co-ops, SFU provides contract forms and guidelines for the soon-to-be employer. On the student side of the tracks, Coordinators encourage students to develop smart business skills such as having written information on salary, hours of work and learning objectives to ensure both employer and student are on the same page.

Visas

"Oh no, I just found out my visa will take two months and I leave in four weeks, help!"Anyone who has traveled overseas understands the above very real situation. Medical and travel documents, visas and passports are an array of forms and unknown turnaround times to the untrained eye. Luckily, the International Co-op office will help guide you through all these.

Finances

Going to school, and working and preparing to go abroad is tough and international travel can be expensive, no doubt about it. But there are ways to supplement those living and traveling expenses when traveling with Co-op. The following awards are available to Co-op students going internationally.  You can find out more at:

SFU International Co-op > Financial Asssistance

  • SFU International Co-op Award

  • SFU International Co-op Education Bursary

  • C.A.R.E. SFU Global Travel Award

  • BC Bearing Engineers Limited Award (for students working in Latin America and Mexico)

  • Hong Kong University BC Alumni Award (students working in Hong Kong)

  • Student International Mobility Fund

Check with your own home Co-op program for support they may provide to students working in specific areas.

International Permanent Jobs

Meet Tiffany Glover. A former SFU student, Tiffany worked in Vancouver as a recruiter for CIBT, a company located in China, after graduation. Tiffany started with CIBT as a student on an International Co-op work term in China. Once graduated, Tiffany heard about the Vancouver position and went for it. This experience is not uncommon, similar to Co-ops in Canada; International Co-ops give student access to post graduate jobs overseas. Having a resume marked with international work experience primes students for full time, permanent positions around the world.

So whether it's Greece, Greenland or Ghana, go abroad with Co-op to travel, earn and learn.

About the Author

Kelsey Newsham

Kelsey Newsham

SFU Student
Communication, Art + Technology › Communication

You Might Like These... International, Life Experience, Co-operative Education

Korea
International Spotlight: Korea

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

California
International Spotlight: California

Sunny California is not only one of the favorite tourist destinations but also a state with a variety of opportunities.

Kaleigh sitting on a cliff staring out to the wilderness
My Co-op Work Term in Gaborone | Part Two

In Part 2 of her series, Health Sciences Co-op student Kaleigh Banister gets into the local Gabarone culture and takes a bit of time to explore the natural wonders she’s surrounded by.

You Might Like These... Co-op Reflections

five friends on the bikes
Develop Your Career in Hong Kong
Consider going abroad for your co-op. When Alan did his co-op in Hong Kong, he not only got first hand experience with a new culture but he also developed new skills.
volunteering
5 Tips for Volunteering Abroad

In 2011, five SFU students traveled to Cape Town, South Africa to support humanitarian projects. All five were supported by the C.A.R.E. SFU Global Travel Award, a program that funds SFU students participating in humanitarian work in developing countries with donated air mile points.

Terracotta Warriors
Working and Playing in China

One of the perks of working internationally is travelling internationally! Read more about Communication Co-op student Carlie Thauvette as she and some other Co-op students take a break from their work term at CIBT to travel to some of the cities outside of Weifang, China.