For the Spring 2022 work term, all co-op degree requirements have returned to regular operations as outlined in the Academic Calendar. This includes the number of required terms, PD course requirements and work term report requirements. Course options for students scheduled for a work term have also returned to pre-COVID processes.
With that said, we know there are still challenges as the situation around COVID-19 continues to evolve. We are working with faculty and campus partners to help you complete your work term and stay on track to fulfill your degree requirements. Please check this page for updates leading up to your Spring 2022 work term. We will also send you a WaterlooWorks message to inform you of any changes to the Spring 2022 work term.
If you have any questions or concerns, please send a message to your co-op advisor via WaterlooWorks.
Learn more about:
Students scheduled for a work term in Spring 2022 will be limited to part-time studies with a maximum of 2 courses (1.0 units) in addition to your PD courses. This is a return to pre-pandemic operations.
If you are employed, you can enrol in a single course with the ability to enrol in a second course if you have your employer’s permission to do so. This is also a return to pre-pandemic operations.
Registration in more than one course will open approximately one week before the start of the term. Please note that registration is prioritized for students who are scheduled to be on an academic term in Spring 2022.
EXPANDED FLEXIBLE WORK TERM REQUIREMENTS
We know that COVID-19 may present unique challenges for you while you search for work. That’s why we’ve expanded our flexibility around our flexible work term requirements to consider a wider variety of workplaces, positions and rates of pay for co-op credit.
You have until June 13 to secure employment for a standard co-op credit (with a September 2 end date) and July 11 to secure employment for a flex term co-op credit (with a September 2 end date).
In order to graduate, all undergraduate co-op students must complete a minimum of three standard work terms, plus 1-3 additional work terms that meet standard OR flexible work term criteria (depending on your academic program’s study/work sequence).
Please note: All work terms for Pharmacy students and Graduate students must be standard work terms.
- Standard work terms: Work terms with a single employer/position that meets the standard work term criteria below.
- Flexible work terms: Work terms with single or multiple employers/positions that together meet the flexible work term criteria below. Flexible work terms allow students to receive credit for a wider range of work experiences that don’t quite fit the standard requirements.
If your position does NOT meet one or more aspects of the standard/flexible criteria below, please speak to your co-op advisor. We review each job opportunity on a case-by-case basis, so we may be able to make an exception depending on your situation and rationale.
|Standard work term||Flexible work term|
|Job type||• Single organization/position
• Job must be related to your academic/ career goals
• Single employer for shorter duration (8-16 weeks, min 280 hours)
• Multiple organizations/positions (2+ job(s) that support your professional goals, or help you develop transferable skills)
• Rationale for how the job(s) will help you meet your career goals is required
|Work term length||
• 12-16 weeks
Note: 8-11 week work terms of at least 280 hours that were considered as standard work terms from Spring 2020 – Winter 2022 are now considered as flex terms
• 8-16 weeks (as long as you work at least 280 hours over the span of your work term)
• Students with work terms with multiple organizations must work 420 hours over the course of 12-16 weeks
• 35-40 hours/week
Note: we are no longer considering part-time jobs for standard co-op credit. They now fall under our flexible work term criteria
• Job(s) can be full-time or part-time
• Single employer: minimum of 280 hours
• Multiple employers: combination of 420 hours
|Pay||• Position must be compensated to at least minimum wage (or usual local minimum practice) for where the organization is located, OR
• Must meet unpaid/underpaid guidelines
|• Position(s) must be compensated to at least minimum wage (or usual local minimum practice) for where the organization(s) are located, OR
• Must meet unpaid/underpaid guidelines
|Supervisor||• You must not be supervised by a family member (can work for a family business as long as your supervisor is not a family member).|
|Performance Evaluation||• Your supervisor/coordinator must submit a Student Performance Evaluation||• Your supervisor(s)/coordinator(s) must submit a Student Performance Evaluation (one per job)|
|Job location||• Work term locations must adhere to current University travel policies.|
ARRANGING YOUR OWN JOB (AOJ)
If you’ve arranged your own job outside of WaterlooWorks, please follow the steps below to determine whether it is eligible for co-op credit:
- Ensure that it meets the work term requirements, the University’s current travel policies and our remote work guidelines.
- Speak with your co-op advisor to let them know that you’ve found an opportunity outside WaterlooWorks.
- Submit the appropriate AOJ form based on your location:
- AOJ Canada: use this form if you will be based in Canada during your work term (in-person or remote)
- AOJ USA: use this form if you will be based in the USA during your work term working for a Canadian, American or International employer (in-person or remote)
- AOJ International: use this form if you will be based outside of Canada/USA while working for a Canadian, American or International employer (in-person or remote)
- AOJ UWaterloo: use this form if you will be working for the University of Waterloo (in-person or remote)
- For more information, review our Arrange Own Job process.
For tips on how to talk to employers about hiring and supporting the cost of a co-op student, visit our arrange own job webpage and funding opportunities webpage. Talking about funding opportunities can be particularly helpful when talking with potential employers or negotiating job offers as a “selling point” to make it easier and more cost-effective for them to hire you!
ATTENDING INTERVIEWS AND ACCEPTING JOB OFFERS IN SPRING 2022
With the current economic climate around the pandemic, preserving job opportunities and employer relationships to help as many students as possible find employment has never been more important. Declining a job offer or leaving a work term early may result in lost opportunities for other co-op students in the future. As a result, consequences may apply.
To avoid this, it’s your responsibility to read job descriptions carefully and apply only to jobs that you would realistically take if your interview resulted in a match. In addition, be sure to ask questions when interviewing to understand the specifics of a position before you accept a job offer.
We will continue to monitor the situation surrounding COVID-19 in hopes of returning to an in-person interview experience. However, we may continue to utilize the flexibilities of remote interviews.
You always have the options below to give you choice when interviewing for jobs and submitting your rankings through WaterlooWorks:
- Requesting interview relief: If you're feeling overwhelmed with your interview schedule, you can contact your co-op advisor to discuss available options and/or fill out a Request for Interview Relief Form on WaterlooWorks. Depending on your situation, you may be able to choose to be removed from one or more of your upcoming interviews by having your job application(s) withdrawn.
- Request to Withdraw Application: If you have serious concerns about a job or employer immediately after an interview, you can request to have your application withdrawn.
- Ranking a job as “Not Interested”: You can now submit up to three “Not Interested” rankings per term to guarantee that you will not be matched with a job and/or prioritize other jobs of interest. If you decide against a job after attending an interview, consider using this option rather than reneging on a match.
If you decide to decline a job offer or leave a work term early, please see our Roles and Responsibilities webpage for an overview of how we typically handle these situations.
If you have questions about your specific situation, please reach out to your co-op advisor.
Procedures for remote interviews
All co-op interviews arranged through WaterlooWorks will continue to be conducted remotely in Winter 2022 for Spring 2022 co-op employment.
Need a space on campus to conduct your remote interview? The Tatham Centre will be open with limited student space. To book a room for remote interviews this Winter (starting February 7, 2022), submit a "Request room in TC for remote interview" form under "Recruiting Term Support" on WaterlooWorks. Approvals are subject to availability. Please note that students are expected to bring their own interview equipment and on-site technical troubleshooting will not be available until further notice.
Remote interview instructions:
- You will be asked to complete a form in WaterlooWorks to indicate where you are located and how employers can reach you. Please keep this up to date!
- If you are selected for an interview, more detailed instructions will be sent via WaterlooWorks.
- An employer may send you a video link directly if they prefer.
WaterlooWorks integrated webcam feature
With so much of today's hiring happening remotely, we’ve added an integrated webcam feature in WaterlooWorks that makes it easier than ever to attend your interviews remotely.
With this functionality, you won't have to wait for links from your employer - you'll just select a timeslot as usual, and you will be able to join a webcam call directly from within WaterlooWorks at the time of your scheduled interview. To learn more about attending interviews using the integrated webcam functionality, visit the WaterlooWorks Help: Interviews webpage.
Have questions or need help with your interviews?
If you need help with your interview skills, you can access Centre for Career Action services virtually.
In addition, if you have questions about a scheduled interview or interview conflict, select "Send a message" in WaterlooWorks and select "Interviews" as the category. This will direct your message to one of our interview coordinators who can help answer your questions.
Current University travel policy
As of February 28, 2022, the Government of Canada has adjusted the global travel advisory for many destinations around the world. The University, along with Co-operative and Experiential Education (CEE), has reviewed these changes and the implications for student work terms outside of Canada.
For Spring 2022, CEE will approve eligible co-op work terms, including Arrange Own Jobs (AOJ), for in-person or remote jobs where the student is located outside of Canada.
CEE will continue with existing policies and will not approve work terms in locations listed on the Global Affairs Canada (GAC) website as high risk (i.e., “Avoid non-essential travel” or “Avoid all travel”)
If you're an international visa student and plan to be working from home at a high-risk location and would like to request an accommodation, please contact your co-op advisor about the petition process.
- In alignment with the University’s international travel guidelines, you must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 to earn credit for your work term outside of Canada.
- There are no changes to Winter 2022 work terms abroad and we’ll continue to follow established guidelines.
- The University’s stance around Spring 2020, Fall 2020, Winter 2021, Spring 2021 and Fall 2021 work term travel remains unchanged, as these decisions were made as a response to the global situation at that time.
If you've been matched or submitted an Arrange Your Own Job (AOJ) form for a job outside of Canada, there are several considerations and actions that you must complete to be eligible to receive credit for your international work term. Review our work abroad checklist to prepare for a safe term abroad.
We will continue to monitor the situation and will be in touch with both our students and employers if there are any changes. Please check your WaterlooWorks mail and connect with your co-op advisor.
Guidelines for remote international work terms
Remote work that crosses borders and jurisdictions can be complicated. We expect that you and your employer will do your due diligence to understand and meet any compliance requirements – not only for your employer’s location but also for your location. We cannot consult or advise on local legislation and requirements, so please be sure to do your own research and avoid taking risks when it comes to safety and legal concerns.
If you are looking to work remotely from outside of Canada for your upcoming work term, you will still need to be mindful of co-op requirements, as noted above, in addition to mandatory risk management requirements. Please review the work abroad checklist for more information.
International visa students working remotely for a Canadian employer
The Government of Canada outlines requirements for international visa students working for Canadian employers:
If you will be located within Canada during your work term or relocate at any point: you will need a co-op work permit to continue working for a Canadian employer.
If you will be located outside Canada for the duration of your work term: due to COVID-19, you are not currently required to have a co-op work permit to work remotely for an employer who is based in Canada.
Some Canadian employers may still require any or all of the following from students who are located outside Canada, depending on their company-specific requirements:
- Valid co-op work permit: Some employers may still require a co-op work permit
- Social Insurance Number (SIN) or Individual Taxation Number (ITN): You cannot apply for a SIN until you enter Canada and have your study permit (with work authorization remarks) and/or co-op work permit. Once you enter Canada, you can apply for your SIN online. If you do not have a study permit (with work authorization remarks) and/or a co-op work permit, you might be able to apply for an ITN. This must be by paper application, but you can apply for the ITN from outside Canada, and get it mailed to an address outside Canada.
- Canadian bank account: Some Canadian banks may allow you to open an account with an ITN or SIN from your current location.
- Since these requirements are directly company-related, co-op cannot consult or advise in any manner.
Remember: Inter-jurisdictional hiring is very complex as the requirements and rules vary by location. It’s important to be clear and transparent with employers about your current location and any travel plans to ensure that you comply with all jurisdictional requirements for employment in both countries/locations. We also expect employers to investigate any inter-jurisdictional requirements and restrictions (e.g., SIN/ITN requirement, COWP requirement, payroll, taxes, workplace insurance, etc.), meet any regulation compliance, and manage risks for the location the student is in. Jurisdictional requirements and restrictions may vary by location.
If you have questions about obtaining a co-op work permit, SIN, ITN or bank account, consult with a Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant, the WUSA’s Student Legal Protection Program or another qualified legal professional.
Note: COVID-19 has impacted immigration services and processing times, so your Canadian co-op work permit could be delayed if you have not already received it. Other factors such as your current location, when you applied for a renewal, etc., could also result in delayed co-op work permits. Contact our International Employment Specialist for support with your co-op work permit.
Questions about applying for a co-op work permit or entering into Canada more generally?
- Contact the Student Success Office’s team of Immigration Consultants.
- Review immigration information for new students and current students, including the Coronavirus frequently asked questions below:
- Review the SSO’s Social Insurance Number (SIN) resource for students.
- Note: A scan of the physical copy of your work permit (or a study permit with certain conditions around eligibility to work) is required to apply for a SIN. The hard copies of these documents are issued only when you enter Canada for the first time. Visit the Government of Canada website to learn how to apply for a SIN and check the current processing time as you will need to account for this when making plans to come to Canada. Please ensure that you arrive early enough to apply and receive your SIN before beginning work in Canada (regardless of whether you will be working in person or remotely in Canada).
- Students can check processing times for permits on the Government of Canada website.
- Please take time to carefully review all the immigration information on the international student resources website.
Working remotely for the University of Waterloo from outside of Canada
Remote work terms for the University of Waterloo outside of Canada may be possible for students who are unable to travel to Canada. To qualify, you must have an operational Canadian bank account as well as a Social Insurance Number (SIN) at the time of applying for the job.
Please follow our remote work guidelines when searching for work, and remember that co-op credit eligibility will be assessed on a case-by-case basis depending on factors such as the ones below:
- Whether you have the following (all required):
- A Canadian Social Insurance Number (SIN): You cannot apply for a SIN until you enter Canada and have your study permit (with work authorization remarks) and/or co-op work permit. Once you enter Canada, you can apply for your SIN online.
- A Canadian bank account: Some Canadian banks may allow you to open an account with an ITN or SIN from your current location.
- Safety considerations for the location you will be based in:
- Work terms where students will be located outside of Canada may only be considered for credit if the locations are not subject to Level 3 or Level 4 travel advisories that are unrelated to COVID-19, as per the Global Affairs Canada website.
- You have a valid reason for being unable to travel to Canada to perform the job in person
- Whether the job meets our current work term requirements
If you meet the factors above and accept an offer from a UWaterloo employer, you are acknowledging the following:
- In accepting this co-op position, you acknowledge that in the Spring 2022 term you will be in Canada or you would have been in Canada if not for pandemic-related challenges. The University of Waterloo will apply Canadian income tax withholding in providing payments related to your co-op position and Canada Pension Plan (CPP) and Employment Insurance (EI) applies to these payments. The University of Waterloo will provide a Canadian T4 tax slip for the calendar year 2022 and you will be responsible for filing a tax return in Canada or any other country where you have an obligation to do so for 2022 to report this income. Those working from locations outside of Canada are encouraged to seek tax advice in their jurisdiction of residence.
Also, please note that you will not be eligible for UWaterloo benefits and are required to have provincial healthcare/UHIP upon relocation, or if already at the location. If working from outside Canada, you will also be required to attest that you have WUSA/GSA health and dental insurance or equivalent.
If your job is approved, you’ll receive a message asking you to complete enhanced risk management training (can be completed online from wherever you are located). This step is mandatory to receive co-op credit for your work term even if you’ve never come to Canada or have been in your home location for a long time. For more information on next steps, please see our Work Abroad Checklist.
If you have questions about working remotely for the University of Waterloo, please reach out to your co-op advisor.
Traveling between your home country/current location and Canada
If you’re currently located outside Canada and find a job with a Canadian employer:
- Please take time to carefully review the Student Success Office (SSO)’s immigration documents resource.
- If you are planning to come back to Canada, and the SSO Immigration Consultants advise you to get an offer letter from your employer for the work term, please:
- For co-op work terms with other employers: Reach out directly to your employer. If your employer cannot provide one, print your work term record in WaterlooWorks, the official system of record. Co-op does not issue offer letters.
- For co-op work terms with the University of Waterloo: Print your work term record in WaterlooWorks, the official system of record, as the proof required that you are on a co-op work term in a UWaterloo job.
- Review the Student Success Office’s Guide to COVID-19 and Quarantine Checklist for advice on how to enter Canada, including what to do before leaving your country, on the day of your flight and after you arrive in Canada.
- Be sure to anticipate restrictions in flight availability, changing border restrictions in Canada, quarantine requirements and any other factors that may impact your re-entry to Canada.
- Register for the University subsidized Waterloo Student Quarantine Package for international students if you're arriving in Canada to study at UWaterloo. You can register for this time-limited package (pay close attention to the eligibility time period) or arrange your own quarantine plan.
- Remember: It’s important to be clear and transparent with employers about your current location and travel plans. When making your decisions, be sure to consider any travel, safety, security immigration and legal implications that you may have to navigate.
Guidelines for remote work terms
Given the current situation, we understand that some of our students and employers may prefer to work remotely during their Spring 2022 work term. This is perfectly fine, as long as you and your employer agree and follow the guidelines below.
Many destinations and jurisdictions require individuals to work in the country/location where the employer is located, or there may be specific regulatory requirements to work across borders that you and/or your employer must understand and comply with.
To ensure you understand an employer’s expectations, it’s important to review job descriptions carefully and ask good questions during interviews so you can make informed and safe employment decisions. It’s also important to be transparent about YOUR location in case there are any implications to your work term (e.g., where you will be located, what are your intentions for the entire work term, whether travel or a quarantine period would be required if returning to the employer’s location, any specific legal considerations that should be taken into account, etc.).
Satisfying these requirements will take additional time, so be sure to complete the requirements well in advance of the work term, or your co-op work term may not be approved.
If your job involves remote work, here’s what we expect from both you and your employer for your job to be eligible for co-op credit:
- You must discuss working remotely from another location/country with your employer and ensure that they comply with all jurisdictional requirements for employment in both countries/locations. For all students who are new to working remotely, we’ve put together some tips to help you navigate the transition. You can also read another UWaterloo student's blog on maintaining professionalism while working from home.
- Employers must investigate any inter-jurisdictional requirements and restrictions (e.g., payroll, taxes, workplace insurance, etc.) and meet any regulation compliance and manage risks for the location you're in. Jurisdictional requirements and restrictions may vary by location.
- We’ve collected some key questions that employers should consider when hiring a student who will be working remotely from Canada for the duration of the work term. Beyond providing this resource, the University cannot consult or advise in any manner. If your employer has questions, they should seek their own independent legal or expert counsel.
- For students who will be working as independent contractors: You must be physically located in Canada for an Independent Contractor job to be eligible for co-op credit. International students will need a valid Canadian co-op work permit to work for a Canadian employer (learn more).
Job search resources for your Spring 2022 work term
The last day to start work to receive a standard co-op credit is June 13, 2022, for a 12-week work term ending September 2, 2022. The last day to start work to receive a flex term co-op credit is July 11, 2022. Take a deep breath and let that sink in. You have lots of time!
Employers will be posting jobs throughout the recruiting term, so keep applying until you have a match! Whether you end up finding a job at the start of the term or later in the recruitment process, great jobs will be available and we’re here to support you every step of the way.
To increase your chances of finding a job, here are some things you can do:
- Continue monitoring the Hire Waterloo Co-op, Hire Waterloo: Other and External Job Boards in WaterlooWorks for new postings. Remember: jobs found in the Other/External boards may be eligible for co-op credit through our arrange your own job process and adjusted work term requirements!
- Tap into your personal network: think about who you know (and who they might know) to see if anyone is hiring, and follow the arrange your own job process.
- Book a phone/webcam appointment or attend a virtual workshop with a career advisor from the Centre for Career Action (CCA) who can help you with your work search, networking strategy, self-introduction and application documents.
- Check out the CCA’s “Skill up” resource for tips on finding work in the current climate, including work search strategies, resources for students and other things you can do to develop skills if your plans to find work change.
- Learn how to make informed and safe employment decisions by asking the right questions during your interviews. This resource contains tips from the CCA's team of career advisors, as well as sample questions you can ask about remote positions, in-person positions and interview logistics in light of COVID-19.
- Develop skills to help you transition to a digital workplace through accessing online courses, a webinar series and resources provided by UWaterloo!
- If you’re an international visa student who is looking for work in your home country/location, please see the guidelines for international students section above for resources that can help you with your search.
- If you think you might be working remotely, check out our Tips for working remotely as a co-op student as well as this student blog on Maintaining professionalism while working from home.
- Access COVID-19 wellness information compiled by Waterloo's Campus Wellness team to help you navigate the present situation.
- For tips on how to talk to employers about hiring and supporting the cost of a co-op student, visit our arrange own job webpage and funding opportunities webpage. Talking about funding opportunities can be particularly helpful when talking with potential employers or negotiating job offers as a “selling point” to make it easier and more cost-effective for them to hire you!
We understand that this is a challenging and uncertain time for everyone, including our students. We know that your academics and co-op experiences are important and meaningful to you, as every class and work term brings exciting new experiences and challenges that help you grow both personally and professionally.
If you feel anxious or uncertain while searching for a job or on a work term, please feel free to reach out to your co-op advisor, or a career advisor if you’re going into your first work term. We have designated co-op student mental health advisors on every regional team across Canada (10 advisors today) to help support you no matter what time zone you’re currently in. These advisors work directly with our central Campus Wellness team to ensure you can access the best resources for your situation.
You can also access resources through Campus Wellness such as Empower Me, a confidential mental health and wellness service that students can access 24/7, 365 days a year by phone, video, online or in-person sessions.