Guide to Co-op Programs in Canada

Guide to Co-op Programs in Canada

Tags: Academics | Careers | Study in Canada | Work in Canada

Are you studying in Canada and wondering what a co-op program is? Are you thinking about adding a work experience program to your education? IBSAR will try and address most of the common questions! IBSAR is the number one education consultant in India.

What is a Co-op term?

Co-op is a term you’ve likely heard thrown around when choosing your program of study. Amongst the many choices, a student can select a program that is classroom-based only, like a Computer Science and Finance Program and one with a co-op placement. So, what exactly is co-op education, and how can you decide if it’s right for you?

What does a co-op mean?

The co-operative (Co-op) education program combines an official paid work term with your school studies. Earning your degree while working in your field of interest is a great way to gain valuable work experience.

So, what does a Co-op involve?

Co-op programs simulate a work-like environment in your area of interest and education. They also affect the application process for jobs and provide real-world interview practice. Depending on your study program, the type of co-op placement you are eligible for may vary.

In collaboration with your school’s co-op office or career center, you will create a resume that impresses potential employers and help you obtain the next interview step. The career centers will also help immensely by conducting mock interviews.

Co-op students are not guaranteed a job. Students must compete against each other just like regular job applicants for a job. The result may be that you interview for a dozen jobs before you’re offered one. Once you’ve landed a co-op position, you’ll begin working in an entry-level role, with supervisors and managers helping you along the way. The purpose of your co-op is to familiarize you with the type of work you would do if you continue in this career.

Suppose you study “Financial planning and wealth management,” for instance. In that case, you might work as a co-op financial analyst in a Bank where you learn how to utilize your classroom knowledge to a personal wealth management situation. A co-op degree requires more dedication than a traditional degree. Fortunately, you will get rewarded for your commitment.

Are International Students eligible for co-op programs?

Yes, International students are eligible for co-op programs if they meet the following Government of Canada guidelines:

  • The International Student has a verified study permit.
  • A co-op term or a Work Term is a part of your study program in Canada.
  • The Letter of Acceptance from the school describes the requirements for a co-op program to complete the diploma or degree; and
  • According to IRCC guidelines, the co-op internship totals 50% or less of your study program.

Is a Co-op program for everyone?

A co-op program may not be for everyone. You can decide that you only want to study during school hours. Here are some negative aspects of Co-op program to think about:

  •  Planning your studies along with co-op may require more organization as some courses are only offered at certain specific times during the academic year.
  •  Doing a Co-op term may take longer to complete your degree.
  • The co-op workload can be demanding, in addition to the school work.
  • Your program may have additional costs when you add a job.
  • You may also be required to travel long distances and move to another area or city to work.

Benefits of Co-op term:

Attending a study program that offers a co-op term has immense benefits, especially for an international student:

  • Students have an opportunity to gain work experience while they are studying, which is one of the best ways to prepare for the job market.
  •   Another added advantage is that Co-op students may get paid for their work.
  • The career exploration process can help you determine whether you are interested in your chosen career path.
  •  It is a great way to have practical hands-on experience and experience life outside the classroom in Canada.
  • Institutions never guarantee co-op opportunities, so students should examine whether the degree programs they intend to enroll in include co-op opportunities or not.


A Co-op term is not guaranteed. That is why students work on their resumes, be at the top of their game in interviews, and continually exhibit excellent professional behavior to increase their chances of finding a co-op job in their field.

Upon graduation from any program, the key to finding a job in Canada is to have a network of friends and potential employers in Canada. Doing a Co-op term along with your education provides an opportunity to network, make those valuable connections and create your pathway. If you have any doubt about the Canada study program, write to IBSAR now.

Ask our experts at IBSAR Study Abroad to guide you to programs that provide Co-op options in Canada.

Ph: WhatsApp: +1.647.761.0649


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