Co-op Connection: making friends in a new city

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

San Francisco skyline.

Paulom Shah - San Francisco sunset

By Tiffany Liu and Tharangi Uthayakumar

Co-op opens up many amazing opportunities all around the world. In the past, students have stayed closer to campus for their work terms in Toronto as well as explored other parts of Canada such as Nunavut. Others have worked in Massachusetts and New York in the U.S. and even overseas in countries such as Kenya.

Living in an unfamiliar place can be very stressful and lonesome. Sure, you are at work for around eight hours a day, but what is there to do after?  How can you find other co-op students in your area? That’s where Co-op Connection comes in.

Co-op Connection is a service run by Feds that helps students who are on co-op in the same area network. Their goal is to provide an easy way for students to meet those around them and make new friends through fun events. These events are planned by city ambassadors who are also co-op students in the city. Events are usually at the beginning, middle or end of the term depending on student interest.   

Some of the events they host include “Restaurant socials, rock climbing, ice skating, board game events, etc.,” says Rhea Jacob, the Co-op Connection Coordinator. She also adds, “Students don’t have to pay so free food!” Rhea found out about Co-op Connection through a friend who was a city ambassador at the time and encouraged her to apply. She stayed on the executive team during study terms and is now the project coordinator in charge of hiring city ambassadors and execs!

Find out if the city you will be working in has a Co-op Connection community. Each region also has their own Facebook page with more location-specific details. Co-op Connection isn’t just for North American cities, international cities have chapters as well. They are created if there’s an influx of students in a certain area so check back every work term!

Co-op Connection encourages students going on co-op to apply to be a city ambassadors, and those who aren’t to apply to be an executive member.

Did I mention free food?