As part of your 4th year of study, you can spend two terms working with a local development organization or project in a developing country. This experience will allow you to engage your passion and apply your classroom knowledge to practical action!

Student eligibility for field placement

Eligibility is based on the details below
Program requirement Details
Minimum average for core International Development (INDEV) courses 70%
Minimum overall average for courses 65%
Course work All courses completed
WUSC application and interview WUSC reserves the right to approve or decline applicants based on their criteria for successful field placement  
Medical exam Your family doctor(s) must assess whether you are physically and mentally fit for the rigours of living and working in challenging environments

Note: Academically eligible students will be asked to submit an application for field placement and interview with our field placement partner, World University Service of Canada (WUSC) early 3B term. Successful applicants will be matched by World University Service of Canada (WUSC) to WUSC partner organizations. The mandatory WUSC program fee is $8,000, which includes return airfare, predeparture training, accommodation, living allowance, vaccinations, visas and 24-7 support in-country.

Possible placement locations

  • Bolivia
  • Ghana
  • Malawi
  • Nepal
  • Peru
  • Senegal
  • Sri Lanka
  • Tanzania
  • Vietnam

Possible projects you may contribute to:

  • developing income generation projects for urban or rural poor
  • conducting an environmental impact assessment or survey
  • creating a marketing or small business development plan
  • developing urban services such as microfinance or clean water
  • helping communities adapt to climate change
  • working with industry on environmental sustainability
  • addressing social challenges such as child labour and gender equality 

How we organize it

The University of Waterloo’s Faculty of Environment and School of Environment, Enterprise and Development has partnered with St. Paul’s University College and the World University Service of Canada (WUSC) to provide International Development (INDEV) students with eight months of hands-on experience in international development.

To meet the educational goals of the program, you will be matched to a field placement that is designed to help you develop particular skills and contribute to sustainable development within selected geographical areas or communities. Availability of placements may vary from year to year depending upon the needs of local partners. Final matching of students to placements is subject to the approval of the program, WUSC and local partners.

Students are placed only with organizations that are:

  • Capable of providing students with a safe and secure working and living environment
  • Open to collaboration and innovation
  • Participatory and ethical
  • Focused on measurable and lasting impact (i.e., social, environmental, economic); and
  • Engaged with local communities in developing practical solutions to environmental and development challenges

World University Service of Canada (WUSC)

One of Canada’s leading development agencies, WUSC has a long term presence in Africa, Asia and South America and has developed expertise in handling student volunteers and developing lasting partnerships with local organizations. By sending student and professional volunteers overseas through its programs Students Without Borders and Uniterra, WUSC works to promote human development and reduce poverty through innovative partnerships.

INDEV works with WUSC in Ottawa and its offices in developing countries to identify placements that meet the educational goals of the INDEV program, and then matches students with local partners/mandates. One of the key objectives of the program is that selected development projects and/or partners will have a lasting positive impact on local people, their environment, and economies, aided by the placement of INDEV students.

INDEV travel policy

Students are required to travel with their group to the country of field placement on dates determined by the WUSC field offices. Students must depart and return to Toronto Pearson Airport (exceptions may apply to international students residing outside Canada). Departure will typically be during the first week of September returning to St. Paul's University College last week of April.