International co-op: Supporting sustainable development around the globe

With employers in over 60 countries, Waterloo co-op students travel far and wide in search of experiences that will broaden their horizons and further their careers. But beyond their own professional development, many of our students who choose to go abroad are also motivated by the desire to make a difference by supporting the development of communities across the globe. 

Through their co-op work terms, Waterloo students are helping to support the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in various sectors around the world. Check out the inspiring stories below for a look at how our students' work has helped to alleviate global issues such as inequality, climate change, environmental degradation, education and poverty, to name a few!

For more information on pursuing an international co-op work term, visit the work abroad section of our website.

simone delaney in indonesiaDetermined to develop new perspectives and make a positive change in the world, third-year Architecture student Simone Delaney completed her third co-op work term in Jakarta, Indonesia. While in Indonesia, she worked for Yayasan Peta Bencana, a non-profit organization that delivers strategic emergency response solutions to help manage climate disasters. During her work term, Yayasan Peta Bencana was awarded the United Nations Public Service Award for ensuring integrated approaches in the public-sector institutions and supporting some of UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, specifically those related to climate change.

Learn more about Simone’s experience here.

lana in guatemalaThird-year Political Science and International Studies student Lana Splettstoesser travelled to Panajachel, Guatemala for her third co-op work term. There, Lana worked for Maya Traditions Foundation, a non-profit social enterprise that strives to protect the cultural heritage and livelihoods of indigenous female artisans. By helping to coordinate fundraising efforts as well as local community development and education programs, Lana was able to support Maya Traditions’ mission of empowering female artisans, as well as some of the UN's Sustainable Development Goals related to gender equality, education and poverty reduction.

Stay tuned for more details!