2020 co-op work term updates

Three University of Waterloo students chatting on campus

Updated as of May 12, 2020.

In response to the global COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve made some adjustments to our Spring (May to August) and Fall (September to December) 2020 work terms.

The next few terms may present unique challenges for you and the co-op student(s) you employ. That’s why we’ve increased our flexibility to help you tap into the best available talent from Waterloo. These changes are in place only for the Spring and Fall 2020 work terms and will be reviewed each term until no longer required.

If you’ve already hired co-op students for Spring or Fall 2020, thank you! This page may help you find additional funding or adjust your work term dates, if necessary. We’ve also collected some best practices to help you support your co-op student(s) if they’ll be working remotely. Generally speaking, our process will continue to run as usual for the co-op term. You’ll still receive messages and support to help guide you through the term.

If you haven’t hired co-op students for Spring or Fall 2020 yet, or have more roles to fill on your team, it’s not too late to hire for the spring, summer and fall months.  Take a look at our flexible approach below for ideas on how to hire (and fund) Waterloo co-op talent.

On this page, you can learn more about



Additional info and resources



A flexible approach to bring co-op talent into your organization

Whether you’re a long-standing employer or brand new to hiring, we’ve outlined some flexible approaches (and resources) to help you to bring Waterloo talent into your organization.

Please note that all co-op interviews for the Spring and Fall work terms have been moved to phone and webcam – there won’t be any in-person interviews taking place at the Tatham Centre.


Current travel limitations due to COVID-19 - all Spring and Fall 2020 work terms are required to be within Canada

To limit the spread of COVID-19, the Government of Canada is currently advising against 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, including co-op work terms.

This decision follows direction from the University’s 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.

We understand that this is a dynamic situation. The University is monitoring the Global Affairs Canada (GAC) website closely to gauge when international travel restrictions may be lifted. Depending on how the situation progresses, any changes to agreed-upon work term arrangements would need to be discussed with your Account Manager.

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 decision to suspend all University-related travel and GAC’s listing of all countries as high risk, we are required to follow that direction and can’t approve work terms outside of Canada for credit for the Spring and Fall 2020 work terms.

Spring and Fall 2020 work terms with employers based outside of Canada can still go ahead if you can relocate students to your Canadian office or allow them to legally work remotely from within Canada.

  • You’re expected to do your 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 you have questions, you need to seek your own independent legal counsel.

Wondering how to manage co-op students working remotely? 

We've connected with co-op employers and students to collect 
best practices to help transition your co-op students to work from home.


Completing your Student Performance Evaluations

Near the end of every work term, supervisors are asked to assess their co-op student's job performance by completing a Student Performance Evaluation (SPE). If a student’s work term is shortened due to the current global situation, you will still be asked to complete their SPE. This is required for students to receive credit for their work term.

You are asked to please evaluate your student(s) based on the work they complete before the end of the scheduled work term. You will receive reminder messages from WaterlooWorks with a link to complete the SPE.


Changes to Employer Information Sessions

Until further notice, the Employer Information Session (EIS) team is not booking any new events on-campus, processing event registration forms, or rescheduling events that require new arrangements. The EIS team will support Virtual Employer Information Sessions for the time being and can help employers promote their sessions on social media.

At this time, we will not be accepting EIS registration requests for Fall 2020. Employers who have engaged with the EIS team within the last 16 months will be informed of any applicable changes via email.

Please reach out to infosessions@uwaterloo.ca if you have further questions.