Students completing a Minor or Option or Research Specialization in International Development are required to acquire practical experience with an organization or initiative that identifies with the mission of the INDEV program: building a fairer, more equitable and environmentally sustainable world. Pre-approval is required from the INDEV Manager of International Work Experience ( Students are responsible for arranging his/her community service and at his/her own expense.

Community service may consist of:

  • a minimum of three weeks full-time community service (or equivalent hours) with an organization in Canada or internationally
  • participation in a 2-3 week international seminar addressing global development issues; or
  • a co-op work term relevant to international development.

Going abroad

If you wish to complete your community service abroad, check out the My World Abroad website, My World Abroad. This is a free resource available to UW students and provides a great orientation to the world of working and living abroad. To access the site, register using your Waterloo student ID number.

Students completing the community service requirement outside Canada are required to review and comply with all University of Waterloo's pre-departure requirements. Pre-departure forms submitted to Waterloo International must be copied to the INDEV field placement manager ( See Waterloo International's website for more information and to download the required pre-departure form(s).

Going local

A quick online search will give you an extensive list of volunteering opportunities in Canada. If you have a special interest in a particular issue or organization engaged in community development, social justice or environmental sustainability, but don't see any volunteer positions advertised, you are encouraged to contact the organization directly and offer your time. If you have a small project or activity in mind that you think might contribute to the organization, you can propose it and see where this leads.


When you have identified the organization or program you wish to work with, complete and submit the online Community Service Application Form. For community service within Canada, complete and submit your application at least one month in prior to your start date. For international community service, complete and submit at least three months prior to your start date. Once this has been approved by the INDEV Manager, International Work Experience, you may proceed with confirming your application with the organization(s) of your choice.

Final report

After completion of your community service experience, you are required to complete and submit the Community Service Final Report (word) to the INDEV Manager, International Work Experience. Once reviewed and approved, your experience will be recorded as a milestone on your academic record. Final reports are normally due the first week of term following your experience.

Sample placement links

Big Beyond

City of Kitchener

Global Youth Volunteer Network

Kitchener-Waterloo Multicultural Centre

Ontario Council of International Cooperation

Red Cross

Region of Waterloo

Students Without Borders

World University Service of Canada International Seminar

Youth Challenge International