Am I Ready to Work / Intern Abroad?

Taking a work-term abroad is an exciting experience! Our survey results tell us the students gain and enhance several co-curricular skills. With all the rewards that international experiences can bring, you should also know that taking a work term abroad requires planning and a systematic approach to ensure a satisfying and worthwhile experience.

Remember that at every step, the international co-op team is available to guide you and provide help, as needed. You just have to reach out to your Work Term Support (WTS, also called, Student Advisor (SA)) with your questions, and they will point you to the right person on the team. You may also contact cecaintam@uwaterloo.ca directly with your questions. All relevant information is also on our website.

Here are a few points to get you started as a first step to assessing your readiness to go abroad for a co-op work term.

Getting there …

  • I am excited and ready to experience a new language and cultural experiences
  • I have consulted with significant people in my life (parents, partners, etc) about their support of my work term abroad
  • I will review WaterlooWorks and the additional opportunities while looking for an opportunity to my preferred destination
  • I am aware that I can scope my own job, and submit it for approval and verification via the ‘arrange own job’ process
  • I am ready to plan my travel: flights, housing, insurance, vaccinations, etc
  • I am ready to research my employment opportunity: company, workplace expectations, paperwork needed for permits / visas, etc
  • I will find out more about the type of visa / permit I require to legally undertake my work term in the destination country
  • I am interested in applying for grants and scholarships as additional funding for my work term abroad, as I am aware that several opportunities are compensated only at local wage and workplace culture norms
  • I will follow-up on the requirements of an international work term whether I am matched with a job, or I arrange one on my own: risk management form, pre-departure course, contact information on arrival, etc.
    • The international team will follow up with you about the necessary requirements once your international work term has been confirmed

Once there …

  • I will be able to be in touch with family and friends regularly to keep away loneliness and ensure my well-being. I am also comfortable with getting to know new people in new environments
  • I am aware that my WTS will check in with me regularly right from the start of the term, and provide guidance and support if I face any challenges on my work term
  • I know that my WTS and the international team can work with my employer to provide guidance on health and safety, orientation, and supervisor mentoring and feedback, as needed

Once you are back …

Talk to your WTS who supported you on your international work term about how to communicate the VALUE of the experience to future employers. You may also work with career advisors at the Centre for Career Action on this.