Co-op Education in Canada | Eligibility, benefits, negatives, where to work

Introduction to Co-op Education


When it comes to studying abroad, the majority of Indian students flock to Canada. Co-op courses in Canada are a draw, in addition to the greatest student cities and student life. International students can take co-op courses to pursue degrees with alternate work and study terms. Many companies in Canada have affiliations with universities, and students from co-op courses are hired throughout their work term. In exchange for their work, the corporations pay the students. Undergraduate co-op courses last 5 years, whereas graduate co-op courses last 2 to 3 years.

A co-op student earns an average of $21 per hour (1270) per hour. They can earn as much as $5040 (3.06 lakhs) each work term of three months if they work 20 hours per week. This amount is a rough estimate that varies each course.

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Why to choose Co-op Program?

As we’ve seen, there are numerous reasons to choose a CO-OP study programme. However, it’s worth remembering four of them, as they’re the ones that lead many people to choose a CO-OP programme in Canada. Let’s get this party started!

4 reasons to choose a Co-op study program in Canada are:

Discover what career is best for you according to your job opportunities

Choosing a career is not always straightforward; there are numerous possibilities available! Although it is usually a good idea to choose something you enjoy, making a decision might be difficult.

The job opportunities that some educations may have over others is a turning point. Analyzing the many CO-OP programmes available in the subject of interest allows you to make more informed judgments in today’s work market. You will not only be able to study what you enjoy, but you will also be able to live off of it.

Earn money and experience in your area of study

Many overseas students chose Canada as their educational destination because it allows them to train while also working part-time. This is also achievable with CO-OP programmes; in addition, as part of the training process, you will work on something related to your field and, of course, be paid for it! This is a fantastic opportunity to learn how attending a Canadian college can help you increase your income and meet your living expenses. On the other side, you will be able to add field experience to your resume without having to wait till you graduate and get your first job.

There is no doubt that this is something that many students all around the world would like to have, as many employers prefer to recruit experienced candidates. And how will they gain experience if no one hires them due to their lack of experience? That is not going to happen to you! Because you will be prepared to tackle the problems of the present labour market thanks to the teaching technique of a Canadian CO-OP programme.

Making your dream of studying and working in Canada come true

Because of the reasons we discussed in the previous section, the money that a CO-OP programme can provide allows many international students to prolong their stay in Canada.

Furthermore, having previously worked for particular companies means that they may contact you once you finish your studies to invite you to join their team. CO-OP programmes give you the opportunity to form working partnerships with firms and organisations in your industry, which could be crucial in securing your professional future in Canada.

Make key contacts in your job market

In fact, you will not only be able to contact organisations that employ individuals in your sector, but you will also be able to meet other professionals in your field who can advise, guide, and recommend you as you continue to advance in your professional career.

Today, more than ever, networking is critical to professional success. As a result, a CO-OP application allows you to create this type of network based on your profile and industry.

Eligibility to join Co-op Program

If you have a study permission for Canada, you can apply for a co-op work permit to work in Canada as an international student during your co-op courses. Other prerequisites for qualifying include:-

  • Enrolled in a programme that needs you to work in order to graduate.
  • Students from this co-op degree in Canada require job experiences, according to a letter from DLI (Designated Learning Institute).
  • Work terms are limited to a maximum of 50% of the total course time.

If you are enrolled in ESL/FSL or other regular courses, you are not eligible for the co-op work permit.

How to apply for Co-op Program?

The application procedure takes several months to complete and begins months before classes begin.

  • Students must apply for Co-op courses in Canada through the official websites of the various universities.
  • Compile all of your documentation, including SOPs, essays, diplomas, and letters of recommendation, as well as exam scores such as IELTS, TOEFL, GRE, and GMAT.
  • Meet all application deadlines and begin the process of applying for housing, a Canada student visa, and scholarships or student loans.
  • Accept the offer letter and digitally meet your teachers, classmates, and housemates.
  • Get your visa approved and fly to the university of your dreams!

Where should I work in co-op?

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You’d go to work for a corporation that specialises in your field of study. Each school has a list of approved corporations and organisations with which it has partnered to provide co-op placements for students. This list will include companies with whom the school has previously collaborated and developed positive ties.

Your placement options aren’t necessarily restricted to the employers on your school’s list. You may be able to obtain a co-op position outside of your school’s list, but the placement must meet the school’s standards and requirements for a work term in order to be authorised.

Benefits of Co-op Program

Let’s have a look at the benefits of taking a co-op course in Canada:-

  • Job experience– In Canada, co-op courses allow you to gain at least 8 months of relevant work experience before you finish your degree.
  • Better career opportunities– When employers realise that you have more work experience than your coworkers, they will offer you higher-paying jobs.
  • Cover basic living expenses– As an international student, co-op companies pay you for the hours you work, which may be enough to cover your day-to-day needs.
  • Learn and apply– In one term, you learn concepts relating to your subject, and in the next, you apply them at your co-op employment.
  • Professionalism– Even before you graduate, you learn how to behave in the workplace, corporate ethics, and communication skills.
  • Developing field-specific skills– If you’re taking a co-op in architecture, your boss will teach you how to read a site during your work term. These types of lessons are only available after you have graduated.

Negatives of Co-op Program

Not everyone is suited to a co-op programme. You can decide that all you want to do is study while you’re at school. Here are some disadvantages of a co-op programme that you should consider:

  • It’s possible that your degree will take longer to complete.
  • Because some courses are only offered at certain periods, it takes extra planning to design your degree.
  • The task might be taxing at times.
  • Adding co-op to your degree may incur some additional charges.
  • For work, you may need to relocate to a different area or city.
  • A co-op position is not guaranteed.
  • After graduation, you are not promised a job.

What is the difference between co-op and internship in Canada?

Internships in Canada
Co-op courses in Canada
Internships last 2 or 3 months. Work terms in co-op courses are collective of 8 to 12 months.
You may or may not get paid. Co-op employers will pay you for the hours you work.
Anyone can apply for an internship and at any time. Only students from the co-op courses are only allowed to work during the work term.
In internships, you only gain work experience. In co-op courses, you learn during your study term and implement it during your work term.

Even though they sound similar, internships and co-op courses are two very different concepts. 

Universities or colleges in Canada that offer co-op program

Canada has one of the most extensive co-op programmes in the world. Universities encourage co-op culture in order to provide a better education for all students. The top ten universities in Canada that offer co-op courses are shown below:


Is co-op beneficial for international students?

In your field, you obtain a lot of experience. As a co-op student, you get compensated for your efforts. You can create valuable connections through networking with employers. You can study more about your future career and determine whether or not you enjoy it.

Is co-op program paid or free for international students?

The typical income for co-ops varies depending on the student’s present educational level, past work experience, and the province in which they work. The minimum wage in British Columbia is CAD 13.85 per hour, while it is CAD 14.00 in Ontario.

Are co-op jobs paid?

Co-op placements vary depending on the company and programme that a student has chosen, but they are usually compensated. Apart from the fact that these are paid jobs, which is a huge benefit for students.

Does co-op program guarantee the job opportunity at the end of semester or year?

Co-op usually refers to a multi-work term agreement with one company, typically involving at least three work terms alternated with school terms, resulting in a five-year degree programme for what would normally take four. Traditionally, co-ops have been full-time, salaried positions.

Do employers get any benefits after hiring a student for co-op?

Co-op students add to the good spirit in our workplace by bringing new ideas, views, and skill to projects. Co-op students have significantly improved employment and technical abilities, and are sometimes two years ahead of their non-co-op peers.


Studying a CO-OP programme in Canada will open doors in the job market in ways that are not possible in other countries. Not only because it is a conventional disruptive training style, but also because it provides teaching, the opportunity to study, and experience in the topic you will be focusing on.

So now you know that through the CO-OP Canada programmes, working as an international student in Canada and improving your professional career is a realistic aim.

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