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Prepare for Internships ahead of time

There’s no better way to make an income and to gain Canadian work experience than to participate in internships and Co-op. 

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What are Internships?

It may surprise you that internships are not the same as co-op programs. A lot of students and fresh graduates look for internship opportunities especially in the summer. Most internship opportunities are short-term and can last a couple of months to about a year. 

The style can also vary depending on your employer. Internships can be either full-time or part-time, paid or unpaid. Whatever kind of internship you end up with, your experience during your time will be very valuable. Many people, especially students, use internships to boost their resume.


What is a Co-op?

Co-op is short for cooperative education. Unlike internships, co-ops are done in partnership with the schools you attend. They are always full time and you get paid. While internships usually happen in the summer, co-op can happen at any time during the school year and usually start when the semester does too. Some programs may even require you to complete some co-op terms in order to graduate. Co-op is also a great way to gain professional experience and connect with employers.

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Can International Students do co-op/Internships?

For either option, you will need a Co-op work permit. It’s different from a regular work permit because the requirements are:

  • A valid study permit
  • The co-op/internship is needed to complete your program
  • A letter from your schools that confirms the above
  • A placement that totals 50% less of your study program
  • If you don’t fit this criteria, consider applying for a regular work permit. While co-ops and internships are great ways to study and gain work experience, it is not the only way to success.  
  • Criteria for Co-op and Internships

The specific criteria will vary from company to company and even more so between co-ops and internships. However, the one thing that you should do is always look at the application requirements. You’ll typically need:

  • A certain GPA
  • An application form
  • Language requirements
  • To have finished your first year
  • (sometimes) to have finished training/orientation

Always look into the details before applying. Sometimes, you’ll need to be enrolled into a certain program or degree in order to qualify. Also, applying for these kinds of things aren’t easy; they have deadlines and requirements that you have to meet. You’ll need to put time into searching and applying for a company that fits what’s best for you. You’ll also need to update your resume to a Canadian standard

The school you attend will always provide more information. The process runs differently for every institution, but as long as your grades are good and you’re interested in a position related to your field of study, you should definitely go for it. 

Source: Internship vs Co-op Working as a Student in Canada

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