Co-op Program in Canada for International Students

The Co-op program in Canada, or the Co-operative education program, introduces international students to industry-related work, giving them practical hands-on knowledge during their course of study. The Co-op program in Canada is well-structured allowing students to take up work in any industry as a part of their course curriculum and without the need to apply for a work permit in Canada.  

Benefits of Co-op program in Canada of international students

  • Get paid like an actual professional working in an organization
  • Chance to get a permanent job and settle in Canada
  • Get professional & International work exposure even before you graduate 
  • Develop social networking for better work opportunities in future
  • Not only students but also the employers are benefitted as they have someone to take up the extra workload during busy hours and possibly groom their future employee

Furthermore, take this free assessment to determine your eligibility for the Co-op program in Canada. 

Famous Institutions in Canada offering Co-op programs

The Co-op program in Canada may be slightly more expensive than the regular study program but its benefits are likely to outweigh the costs. Here is the list of some of the famous institutions offering Co-op program in Canada. 

Alberta University of Calgary Nova Scotia Dalhousie University
University of Alberta St. Francis Xavier University
Mount Royal University St. Mary’s University
British Columbia Vancouver Island University Ontario University of Toronto 
University of British Columbia University of Waterloo
University of Fraser Valley McMaster University
Manitoba University of Manitoba Quebec Concordia University
New Brunswick St. Thomas University McGill University
University of New Brunswick Saskatchewan University of Saskatchewan
Newfoundland Memorial University of Newfoundland

A surprising fact to note about the University of Waterloo in Ontario province is that the Co-op program here is the first co-op program in Canada as well as the longest co-op program in Canada requiring you to attain 24 months of work experience during the course. 

How to get a Co-op work permit in Canada?

The Co-op program in Canada includes work experience as part of their usual course curriculum. Most programs are designed each term/semester of study is alternated with a term/semester of work experience. You are eligible to apply for a Co-op program in Canada if: 

  • you hold a valid study permit to Canada
  • A letter from the concerned institution confirming that the chosen study program needs work placements to get a degree
  • Co-op placement or internship should amount to 50% or less of your entire study program


Interestingly, you may become not be able to apply for a Co-op program in Canada for the following reasons: 

  • taking English or French as your second language (ESL/FSL)
  • taking up general interest courses 
  • preparing for another study program while on a Co-op program in Canada


Co-op program in Canada or Internship: which is better for you?

The co-op program in Canada is expected to provide more extensive work experience as the students invest more time in a co-op program, unlike internships. It gives more in-depth knowledge and by virtue of it, an edge over their peers. 

While students invest more time in a co-op program, unlike internships, it doesn’t mean that internships lack value. It is possible to get a sense of certain aspects of the career field in a short span of time. 

Co-op program in Canada is common in engineering and technology disciplines whereas opportunities in business, liberal arts, or other career fields are limited. Internships in such career fields are quite a healthy option. 

How applying through a Canada Education Consultant help you?

  • Help you choose the right study course at any Canadian institution of your choice
  • Your application for a co-op program in Canada may be processed quickly 
  • Personal assistance in filling your Statement of Purpose, resume building, and other relevant documents to avoid rejection 
  • An ICCRC certified Canada education consultant is approved by the authorities to get your visa application processed 
  • Get regular news & updates on Canada education and immigration services