Your Fall 2020 co-op work term

View of the Tatham Centre during the Fall

Updated May 12 2020.

As the COVID-19 situation evolves, we are continuing to work with faculty and campus partners to help you complete your work term and stay on track to fulfill your degree requirements. Please continue to check this page for updates leading up to your Fall 2020 work term.

If you have any questions or concerns, please send a message to your co-op advisor via WaterlooWorks.

Note: These changes are in place only for the Fall 2020 work term in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and will be reviewed each term until no longer required.

Learn more about:


Flexible Pathways for students with work terms in Fall 2020

We know the Fall 2020 work term will likely present unique challenges for you and your employer. To address that, we’ve developed a number of flexible pathways to help you complete your work term.

Note: If you are a Pharmacy student, please reach out to your program coordinator to learn about the flexible pathways available to you.


Procedures for remote interviews

All co-op interviews for the upcoming Fall 2020 work term will continue to be conducted remotely via phone or webcam. This decision follows the University’s closure of all academic buildings and the provincial government’s emergency orders.

This means that no campus facilities are available to be used for interviews, regardless of the interview type – you can proceed with your interviews remotely from a location where you feel safe.

Remote interview instructions:

  • All students have been asked to complete a remote interview form in WaterlooWorks to let employers know how to reach you directly.
  • All scheduled interviews in WaterlooWorks will show the method listed as “Phone” and the interview room listed as “Contact Direct.”
  • If you are selected for an interview, more detailed instructions will be sent to you via WaterlooWorks.
  • An employer may send you a video link directly if they prefer.

If you need help with your interview skills, please note that Centre for Career Action services continue to be available virtually.

In addition, if you have questions about a scheduled interview or interview conflict, click the "Send a message" button 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.

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Fall 2020 University travel policy: Work terms currently required to be in Canada

To limit the spread of COVID-19, the Government of Canada is currently advising that you avoid all non-essential travel outside of Canada until further notice. In alignment with this advisory, Waterloo has suspended all University-related travel outside of Canada until further notice, including co-op work terms.

This decision follows direction from the University travel policy, the Faculties and our existing travel advisory policy for international work terms. Work terms outside of Canada have always been assessed based on the risk level published by Global Affairs Canada (GAC) travel advisories, in conjunction with any overall directives from our central University leadership.

When the GAC risk level for a country is listed as high ("Avoid non-essential travel" or "Avoid all travel") prior to the start of a work term, the University will not approve a work term for co-op credit. This applies to all individuals, regardless of citizenship or intended destination.

Given Waterloo’s current stance around international travel and GAC’s listing of all countries as high risk, we are required to follow that direction and cannot currently approve work terms outside of Canada for credit for the Fall 2020 term.

Since we cannot confidently predict when this will change, students are advised to prioritize jobs that can be completed from Canada. Fall 2020 work terms with employers based outside of Canada, including an Arrange Own Job (AOJ), can still be approved for co-op credit if employers can relocate you to their Canadian office or allow you to legally work remotely from within Canada.

Of course, students can still choose to work outside Canada but will not receive a co-op credit from the University as this goes against the University’s current policies. To accommodate for situations such as this, we worked with the faculties to establish the flexible pathways above which allow for a reduction in the number of work terms required to graduate for students unable to obtain a co-op credit in Spring/Fall 2020.

If you will be working remotely from Canada:

  • Your employer is expected to do their due diligence about the legality of remote work and investigate any inter-country restrictions (e.g., payroll, workplace insurance). Although rules vary by location, we’ve collected some key questions that employers should consider when hiring a remote worker from Canada. The University cannot consult or advise in any manner. If your employer has questions, they need to seek their own independent legal counsel.
  • For students who are new to working remotely, we’ve put together some tips to help you navigate the transition.

The University continues to monitor GAC travel restrictions. If the University lifts this current travel ban and the GAC’s country-specific travel advisories are relaxed prior to the start of the Fall 2020 work term, we will be in touch with both students and employers.

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Job search resources for your Fall 2020 work term

If you’re searching for a Fall 2020 co-op job, you still have time – the last day to start work to receive co-op credit is November 2, 2020 for an 8-week work term.

To increase your chances of finding a job, here are some things you can do:

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