Finding a place to live on your co-op work term

studens walking on campus towards housing

Accepting a co-op job in a new location is an exciting opportunity for growth and adventure. However, it can be challenging when considering the complexity of housing for your work term. With the right resources and a positive mindset, finding your home away from home is within reach.

You may want to consider housing before you begin your job search. Waterloo co-op students work across Ontario, Canada and the world. Being open to relocating for your work term will mean more job opportunities are available to you. You can lean on your networks (e.g., peers, other co-op students, family, friends) and use the resources on this page to help you navigate the housing market. The following resources can help you with securing housing for your co-op term. 

When should I start looking for co-op housing?

While many housing resources will encourage renters to start looking 6-8 months in advance, as a co-op student, you may not have that much time.

In most cases, you’ll need to act more quickly. It’s a good idea to research housing throughout the co-op process. However, we strongly recommend that you only sign a lease after you’ve accepted a job offer.

Get a head start in understanding housing options for your upcoming work term including:

  • While searching for jobs
  • Before applying for a job
  • During a job interview
  • Before ranking a job or accepting a job offer

Questions to ask during your housing research: 

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  • What is the cost of living in the area?
  • What is the average monthly cost of accommodation in the area?
  • What is my budget?
  • What salary do I expect?
  • Will my salary cover the cost of living including accommodation?
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  • Is housing accessible from my workplace?
  • If I’m required to work in-person or hybrid, how will I commute to work?
  • How long will the commute take?
  • Is there public transit to my work location? How much does it cost?
  • Can I carpool with other co-op students living in my area?
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  • What type of housing is available in the area?
  • Can I stay in my current rental?
  • Can I live at home?
  • Can I find a short-term lease?
  • Can I live with roommates?

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  • Who can help me find housing?
  • Do I have connections in the area?
  • Am I connected to other students on Co-op Connection Discord server?
  • Am I part of local housing Facebook pages?

Join our Co-op Connection Discord

The Co-op Connection Discord server connects co-op students with other students living and working in the same area during a work term. The channels are arranged by geographical region. Each region has a dedicated forum for students to post about housing. Students use the housing channels to advertise sublets or lease opportunities for other students, find roommates, organize carpools and ask questions to students currently living in other regions. 

External housing resources

We’ve curated a variety of housing resources to help you as a co-op student looking for accommodations for your work term. You’ll find everything from rental listings to tips for finding roommates.

This page includes a list of commonly used third-party websites; this list is not exhaustive. The University of Waterloo does not endorse, inspect or vet these third-party websites, homes or rental properties. Please ensure you make inquiries about suitability. Please beware of rental fraud. During your search, keep track of your housing inquiries using this sheet.

Rental fraud

If you are concerned that the housing you are considering may be a scam, the UWaterloo Special Constable Service resource has tips to help you identify if it is safe. Contact Special Constable Services for more information.

Share your housing tips

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Did you find a great housing resource? Share your tips for finding work term housing with other students.