COVID-19 updates for co-op students

  • Learn about changes to the Spring 2020, Fall 2020, Winter 2021 and Spring 2021 work terms, including: 
    • Flexible pathways in place to help you complete your work term
    • Updated hiring and interview procedures
    • Current University travel policies and remote work guidelines
    • Resources to help you search for work in light of the current climate
  • Have you been asked to work remotely? We've put together six great tips to help you navigate this transition as a co-op student.
  • For other campus-wide announcements, visit the University's COVID-19 website.

Arranged own international job

Students working on a project together

If you have arranged your own international employment either in the USA or outside of North America, there are a number of steps that you have to take in order to be eligible for receiving credit for your International work term.

Please make sure that you review the 'International Travel Best Practices'.

1. Ensure your destination is approved by Waterloo

  • Before you take any steps towards arranging a job in a foreign country, no matter what your citizenship, you must be aware of the overall level of security risk of that country. These pages provide more information on the GAC (Global Affairs Canada) advisories, and what level must be met for your work term to be considered towards approval.

2. Ensure your employer is eligible to sponsor a Waterloo Intern if going to a USA location

  • It's important to determine if your employer is even eligible to hire before you submit the forms. Please check out host company requirements for both our preferred sponsors' Cultural Vistas and Intrax. You may also want to review the visa sponsors details.

3. Verify that your passport is valid

  • Each person requires a valid passport to leave Canada. A valid passport, in almost all cases, means your passport is good for at least six months upon your return to Canada.
  • For Canadians going on a USA work term, your passport needs to be valid for 30 days after your return to Canada.

4. Before completing the 'Arrange own job' form below confirm the following:

  • The start and end dates of your work term at your company.
  • If you are expected to be working at alternate locations during your work term. 
  • The salary being offered.
  • Clarify information regarding relocation costs such as legal authorization (visa, permits) fees, flights/travel costs, and accommodation. Determine who will pay for these and who will arrange these.
  • For USA locations, which visa sponsor you will be using to obtain your visa from (some new employers to Waterloo may already work with a sponsor).

5. Submit an 'Arrange own job' form

  • Your 'Arrange own job' form will need to be approved and verified prior to applying for any legal authorization that will allow you to undertake the activities on your work term. Please allow 15 days for this to occur. Click here to find more information about arranging your own job.

6. Contact your student advisor (or career advisor if you have not had a work term)

  • In order for your work term to be verified, you must notify Co-operative Education of your work term arrangements within seven calendar days of your first day of employment.
  • Your student advisor or a career advisor will determine whether or not the job is appropriate for co-op credit by reviewing your 'Arrange own job' form.

7. Health insurance coverage

  • You must have health insurance coverage for the entire time you're working internationally.
  • If you're not sure, please confirm this by calling toll-free 1-866-369-8794, or by visiting Waterloo's WUSA/GSA Health and Dental Plan office on-campus.
  • If you are going on an international (non-USA) unpaid work term (no monetary salary) and the work term is not in your home country (country of citizenship) you can choose to opt in for additional workplace insurance. This is not in lieu of the mandatory health insurance ("out-of-Canada" coverage under the WUSA/GSA Health and Dental Plan of the University of Waterloo or an equivalent plan) you must have before travelling abroad. You are responsible for getting all forms correctly filled and delivered to CE (, Manager, International Employment) within the first week of your work term. Please contact them directly if you have any questions specifically about this coverage. Coverage will be activated only after the forms have been correctly completed and processed. Click here for more information.

8. Obtain legal authorization to undertake the activities for which you are going abroad

  • You will need legal authorization (visas, permits) to work in a country other than Canada unless you have a passport to that country.
  • If you found your work term opportunity outside of North America, please continue to obtain the legal authorization.
  • If you found employment in the USA, keep an eye for an email from your international employment specialist about starting the visa process.
  • If there is any paperwork your employer would like to get signed by the university/co-op, please contact the International Employment Specialist at for international (non-USA) jobs, and for USA jobs.

9. Mandatory co-op work term readiness training

  • Regardless if you have done a previous work term abroad or not, you MUST complete the online co-op work term readiness training in LEARN. This is mandatory for all Waterloo students. Instructions will be sent to you once your job is showing on your work term record and the course is open.

10. Arrival information

  • On reaching your destination, you must complete the 'Work-term details' and 'My contact and travel info' sections of your work-term record in WaterlooWorks.

11. Your safety

  • You now have access to Anvil Group’s 24/7 dedicated travel safety assistance phone line or email for help in any emergency medical, security and travel situations that you may encounter. Please contact the following to obtain Anvil’s safety and security assistance phone line and/or email address:
    - Work terms to USA: 
    - Work terms outside of Canada and USA:  

    • Anvil Group's email and phone number is also available in your pre-depature course.

    • At this point, this is an ‘opt-in’ and does not replace any process or deliverable expected by CE for your work term
  • Digital travel safety: Information Systems and Technology has prepared tips on limiting your digital risks while travelling.

Back to top