Field placement policies

These policy guidelines were prepared to assist in the understanding and administration of International Development (INDEV) field placements, and to promote the safety, security and success of students while on field placements abroad. The guidelines are consistent with University Policies, Guidelines, and Academic Regulations and the university’s commitment to fairness for all students and academic integrity. In case of discrepancy or disagreement between these program guidelines and the university’s, the university policies and guidelines will apply. The guidelines below are also consistent with our primary placement provider norms and policies for student-volunteers overseas.


The 8-month field placement is a mandatory component of the Bachelor of Environmental Studies – International Development, Practice Specialization. INDEV is delivered by the Faculty of Environment’s School of Environment, Enterprise and Development (SEED) in partnership with St. Paul’s University College.

The day-to-day responsibility for arranging and overseeing student field placements is managed by John Abraham, INDEV Lecturer and Manager, International Work Experience, (Email hereinafter referred to as the Field Placement Manager (FPM).

The field placement offers students the opportunity to develop his/her knowledge and skills within the multi-disciplinary field of international development. Students must meet certain academic, health and skill-level requirements to be eligible for field placement and obtain final clearance in the pre-departure term.

Eligible students spend 8 consecutive months or the equivalent of two academic terms in an unpaid placement with a local organization in a developing country. At the end of the placement, students return to St. Paul's University College for a mandatory Capstone program normally held during the last week of April. Students are required to complete INDEV 401 and 402 field placement courses while overseas. Please note that due to the current restrictions around university sanctioned travel in response to the global Covid-10 pandemic, students will be undertaking placements by working remotely from Canada until further notice.

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Eligibility for field placement

To be eligible for field placement, INDEV students must meet the following requirements:

  • Maintain a good academic standing which is defined as a minimum 70% major average and a minimum 65% overall average
  • Apply and interview successfully with World University Service of Canada (WUSC)
  • Complete all core coursework by end of 4A term
  • Pass a medical doctor's assessment of physical and mental fitness for living and working in challenging environments
  • Successfully complete the WUSC pre-departure training

Please note that International visa students may be ineligible for WUSC placement in some countries. Please consult your FPM for further details.

Students anticipating or experiencing difficulty meeting academic or WUSC eligibility requirements are advised to consult the INDEV FPM John Abraham ( and/or, INDEV Undergraduate Program Coordinator.

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Primary field placement provider

Students are normally matched to a field placement with a local host organization in the Global South through the program’s primary field placement provider, Ottawa-based World University Service of Canada (WUSC).

INDEV works with WUSC to match students to local development organizations and maintain relationships with those development actors working towards sustainable development.

WUSC has offices in a number of countries in Asia, Africa and South America. The organization has more than 40 years of experience sending Canadian professionals and university students to work with its local partner organizations under broad development themes such as social justice, economic development and environmental sustainability.

WUSC shares the INDEV commitment to building greater human capital for sustainable development and believes that intercultural experiential learning is an essential component of preparing students to build a more better world.

Note: In exceptional circumstances, students who wish to pursue other options for placement apart from those available through WUSC (e.g. in a country in which a student has a particular interest) and that meet the program's requirements, may inquire with the FPM on the eligibility of their proposed placement. There is no guarantee that such proposals will be successful - each proposal will be vetted individually on a case-by-case basis.

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Location of WUSC field placements

Students are matched to field placements in countries where WUSC has offices and partners. Countries available for placement vary year to year and are subject to change without notice.

Field placements will normally not be arranged in any country or region with a security risk level of 3 or 4 issued by the Government of Canada. Consult the Government of Canada’s travel advisories and security risk assessments.

Travel advisories are based on an overall assessment of the security risk in particular regions and countries, and are expressed in terms of the following:

  • Level 1: Exercise normal security precautions
  • Level 2: Exercise high degree of caution
  • Level 3: Avoid non-essential travel
  • Level 4: Avoid all travel

Please note that due to the current restrictions around university sanctioned travel in response to the global Covid-10 pandemic, students will be undertaking placements by working remotely from Canada until further notice.

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WUSC partner organizations

Students are matched to field placements by WUSC and its local partner organizations, in consultation with your FPM.

WUSC partner organizations focus on addressing development and environmental challenges with and within rural and urban communities, or at a national or regional level. Areas of interest may include: environmental sustainability; business or social enterprise development, sustainable tourism, climate change adaptation, and support services for low-income women and youth.

WUSC local partner organizations receiving INDEV students sign an agreement with WUSC to provide the following:

  • a safe and secure workspace (when the student is working in-country)
  • orientation to the workplace and organizational culture
  • work experience in an international development context
  • some degree of responsibility assigned to the student for a specific job or task; and
  • a supervisor and coworkers(s) assigned to work with the student

Once the local partner organization approves a student for a particular volunteer placement, WUSC issues a letter of acceptance to the student with a short profile of the host organization. Prior to departure, the student signs a detailed contract which governs the placement period from departure to return to Canada.

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Student mandates

Students mandates are developed in-country with the student, host organization and WUSC staff, and will evolve in response to the host organization needs and student capacity.

Once the student begins their placement, a work plan is developed through negotiation with his/her local supervisor and WUSC representative(s). The student also may consult with the INDEV FPM about workplan and workplace matters throughout the placement.

Students are expected to carry out his/her assigned duties to the best of their ability, without remuneration, both to receive academic credit for the experience, and as a service to the cause of international development and the INDEV program’s mission to build a more just and sustainable world.

The student’s role and responsibilities within the host organization may evolve over time and will depend on the individual student’s capacity and interests as well as the priorities of the local partner organization during the placement period.

Activities may include:

  • Assisting an ongoing project or initiative
  • Developing a new initiative or special project
  • Writing/editing reports and funding proposals
  • Interviewing or conducting participatory surveys
  • Using multi-media tools to document local development issues
  • Collecting and/or compiling environmental data
  • Preparing team presentations
  • Researching and sharing best practices
  • Exchanging knowledge, ideas and language skills
  • Organizing studies and conferences
  • Enhancing participatory approaches to problem-solving
  • Developing websites and databases to aid organizational goals
  • Bringing fresh perspectives to complex development and environmental challenges

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Timing and duration

The field placement normally consists of eight consecutive months following the university timeframe from September to April. The length of the placement is intentional and important for its educational effectiveness. Students need time to adapt to a different culture and integrate into what can often be a challenging work environment. Only then will students be in a position to contribute and develop their knowledge, skills and creativity for the benefit of the host organization and its development/environmental mission.

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Travel policy

Please note that due to restrictions around university sanctioned travel in response to the global Covid-10 pandemic, over the 2020-2022 academic years students undertook placements by working remotely from Canada until further notice. The university will continue to monitor the global situation and advise students accordingly. 

The program normally requires that students travel to their country of field placement as a group, departing on the same return flight from Toronto Pearson Airport to the capital where the WUSC field office is located, or to the city nearest to the placement site. Students normally depart for their field placements during the first week of September returning to Canada the last week of April.

WUSC will purchase the return tickets for students and make any changes necessary on return flights. Students are normally prohibited from arranging independent travel or purchasing his/her/their own tickets.An exception may be applied to international or out-of-province students, however, this will depend upon the student’s placement country, visa requirements, passport restrictions, and other factors.

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Tuition and incidental fees

Students must enroll for the field placement course INDEV 401 (fall term) and INDEV 402 (winter term) and pay the required University of Waterloo tuition and incidental fees for both terms on placement.

Field placement program fee

Students pay a single program fee of $8,000 (subject to change from year to year) to the placement provider, WUSC, regardless of placement location. Please note that due to current travel restrictions, students will be paying a reduced placement fee, in proportion to the time they will spend in-country (if and when the university sanctions travel for academic purposes).

In the past, this fee has been collected in two parts, by the University of Waterloo and St. Paul's University College, in Spring, Fall and Winter term.

Program fee part 1: $3,000 collected by the University of Waterloo in instalments of $1,000 per term and paid to WUSC each term. This fee covers essential services provided by WUSC through the field placement cycle and is applied to the University of Waterloo tuition bill in 4A spring, 4B fall, and 4C winter term. This portion of the total program fee is an OSAP-eligible expense. Should the student withdraw from field placement after payment in spring term, a portion of this fee may be non-refundable, as determined by WUSC.

Program fee part 2: $5,000 collected by St. Paul's University College in two instalments of $2,500 due in May and August prior to departure, and paid to WUSC. This portion of the program fee contributes to all direct costs, including: return airfare, accommodation, monthly living allowance indexed to country standard of living, health insurance, visa, police and medical checks, airport pickup and 24/7 support in-country.

The program fee is a financial contribution to WUSC costs and services, including:

  • Establishing and maintaining partner links in placement countries
  • In conjunction with INDEV FPM and WUSC local partners, interviewing and selecting students based on student's knowledge, skills, interests, and attitudes
  • Providing up-to-date information about field placement costs and availability
  • Preparing contracts for students
  • Arranging flight tickets
  • Assisting with securing long-term visas
  • Providing pre-departure information about travel, safety, risk management, health insurance, vaccines, living costs, in-country accommodation options, and other country-specific information
  • Delivering pre-departure training
  • Delivering a knowledge sharing/debriefing session at St. Paul's University College upon completion of field placement
  • Facilitating opportunities for students to publish articles or blogs
  • Meeting students upon arrival in-country and transferring to temporary accommodation for orientation
  • Assisting students in finding suitable accommodations
  • Conducting a minimum 2-3 day orientation in-country
  • Providing introductions to local language and culture
  • Assisting students to find appropriate language training
  • Providing a 24-hour medical emergency telephone number
  • Facilitating a first meeting with the partner organization
  • Facilitating implementation of an individual learning plan
  • Visiting students on at least two occasions during placement
  • Conducting a one-day in-country debriefing before return to Canada

WUSC will cooperate with INDEV to inform students about services and costs, expectations and responsibilities during the field placement application and selection process. Costs are subject to change without notice.

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Health and safety

The program is committed to safeguarding student health, safety and security while travelling to/from and living/working in the field placement country. The program’s partnership with WUSC is designed to assist with managing the risks associated with international travel and work. Our mutual goal is to ensure students have access to the information, services and expertise they need to maintain their health and safety, and to be adequately prepared to handle any situation that may arise. This section outlines key aspects of the program’s approach to health and safety risk management.

Health and safety risk management

The program recognizes that travel to and living/working in a foreign country for eight months presents certain health and safety risks, and environmental hazards particular to the country and region of placement.

INDEV and the primary placement provider, WUSC, will make every effort to inform students about risks and hazards prior to departure and during in-country orientation. Students will receive resource material on health and safety precautions, medical facilities in-country, a safety and security guide, and a 24/7 emergency number to use in the event of a medical emergency during the field placement.

Students are expected to take responsibility for self-preparation, which includes researching locations available for field placement before applying, demonstrating flexibility and preparedness to work in challenging intercultural contexts, and identifying personal health concerns or limitations and discussing those concerns with the Field Placement Manager.

Medical and travel insurance

Students should be aware that neither the University of Waterloo nor WUSC carries any insurance coverage that would be available in the event of student illness, death, injury or other losses. Students are responsible for ensuring that he/she has adequate health and travel coverage as required by WUSC.

Students are responsible for keeping a printed copy of their insurance coverage and emergency contact information with an emergency contact in Canada, and with them at all times from pre-departure until return to Canada; for knowing how to contact the insurance provider in the event of emergency; and how to submit claims. Note: insurance requirements are subject to change without notice.

FEDS/GSA health and dental plan

Full-time University of Waterloo students with Canadian citizenship or permanent resident status are automatically covered by the FEDS/GSA Health & Dental Plan, the cost of which is billed to student accounts each term. This plan includes health and travel insurance for up to five months outside Canada, and includes coverage for one term immediately following graduation. Students are responsible for understanding what services are covered (compared to the WUSC package) and deciding whether or not to opt out of this plan prior to departure for placement or whether to continue payment to ensure one term of health and dental coverage after graduation.

Provincial health insurance

In order to maintain basic provincial health coverage (i.e., Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP) or the equivalent in other provinces) while outside Canada for eight months, students must notify the nearest OHIP office and provide a supporting letter from the university indicating the dates and purpose of travel. The FPM normally provides this letter to students once the dates for field placements are confirmed in spring term.

International students

International visa students must check the terms of their coverage (by University Health Insurance Plan (UHIP) or other insurance provider) and make any additional purchases to ensure adequate coverage. Extra costs may apply.

Pre-existing medical condition or disability

The program recognizes that on occasion a student may have a pre-existing health concern or disability that may or may not be manageable in the countries available for field placement. While the program recognizes that health and disability matters are an extremely personal matter and respects the student’s need for privacy and confidentiality around such matters, it is nonetheless important that students proactively seek advice about any pre-existing conditions or potential limitations from their physician or other medical professionals.

Experience suggests that early disclosure of medical/disability concerns increases the likelihood of success in the field placement as this allows time to develop a strategy for accommodation if needed, and to identify the most suitable field placement options.

Information pertaining to the student’s pre-existing condition will remain confidential and will be used only to assist with assessing whether the student’s condition can be adequately managed or accommodated duration the field placement, and for identifying an accommodation strategy where feasible.

The program recognizes that on occasion it may not be possible to adequately manage a student’s medical or disability concerns during the field placement without undue risk to the student and/or the local partner organization. While the program will make every effort to accommodate students with a pre-existing condition, the student may be deemed ineligible for field placement under such circumstances. Students are encouraged to discuss any health/disability concerns with the field placement manager well before the application process in order to develop a risk management plan or an alternative academic plan if applicable.

Medical illness/injury or incapacity

The program recognizes that a student may on occasion become ill or otherwise incapacitated to the extent that he/she is unable to meet academic deadlines and field placement responsibilities. Students are advised to seek medical attention immediately and keep his/her in-country supervisor informed so they can offer assistance as needed. If the illness is impairing the student’s ability to meet his/her course work responsibilities, the student is required to notify the course instructor for INDEV 401/402.

In case of medical emergencies overseas, students are advised to call the 24-hour emergency phone number provided by WUSC. Even if the need for medical attention is not urgent, students are advised to notify WUSC and his/her local supervisor. Students should not rely on email alone when contacting WUSC in-country as internet connections are intermittent and less reliable than phone in many regions.

Mental health

Students in distress or showing signs of depression during field placement are advised to contact his/her in-country WUSC supervisor for immediate assistance. Students also have the option to contact University of Waterloo Counselling Services by phone (011) 519-888-4567, ext. 32655 or through the University of Waterloo Counselling Services website.

Note: Waterloo counsellors cannot normally provide a proper assessment by long distance and will likely recommend that students overseas seek professional help through WUSC and a medical doctor in the field placement country. If through corresponding with a student, the Waterloo counsellor believes there is cause to be concerned about the student’s safety or others around him/her, the counsellor will notify the INDEV FPM to mobilize the necessary support in-country.

Medical evacuation

A medical evacuation to Canada can only be ordered on the submission of a report provided by a doctor recognized by WUSC and the student’s insurance provider. If the insurer authorizes a medical evacuation, this evacuation will be carried out by an agency designated by the insurer. After the period of convalescence, WUSC reserves the right to return the student to his or her country of placement or terminate his/her contract, based on the opinion provided by a recognized doctor/counsellor, and depending on the time remaining on the field placement contract.

Early return to Canada due to illness/injury/incapacity

When a student is advised by medical professionals and/or the WUSC in-country supervisor to return early to Canada due to illness/injury/incapacity, the student is obligated to follow that advice and seek assistance from WUSC to expedite early return to Canada. Note: extra costs may apply.

Emergency evacuation

The program recognizes that on occasion field placements in certain countries or regions may be interrupted due to unforeseen events requiring emergency evacuation, such as: civil unrest, earthquakes, typhoons, or epidemic outbreaks that either threaten the health and safety of the student or make it otherwise advisable to leave the field placement and country.

In the event of interruption to the field placement due to emergency evacuation, the program and WUSC will make every reasonable effort to enable the student to complete his/her placement and academic responsibilities by either returning the student to the original placement if feasible or relocating the student to a placement in another region or country.

In the event of such emergencies, WUSC follows the Government of Canada’s travel advisories. Students will be advised by WUSC when the Canadian government has officially declared an emergency evacuation or changed the travel advisory warning affecting where the student is located. In the event of an advisory to evacuate, the student is required to follow WUSC’s instructions for leaving the country immediately.

Depending on the cause of the evacuation advisory and the time remaining on the field placement, WUSC will make a recommendation as to whether students can continue with field placement activities or whether those activities are to be suspended indefinitely in that country. Following an emergency evacuation, the student may not return to the country of placement to resume his/her field placement without authorization from WUSC.

If relocating to another WUSC placement is feasible and agreed to by the student, WUSC will facilitate this on the understanding that extra costs may apply and are the student’s responsibility. Neither the University nor WUSC is responsible for material losses or damages caused by an emergency evacuation.

The program recognizes that on occasion students may experience difficulty in placement that cannot be resolved and leads to placement breakdown. This can happen for a number of reasons beyond the student’s control and may lead to early termination of the placement. In the event of a placement breakdown, WUSC will make every reasonable effort to arrange an alternative placement quickly and minimize disruption to the student’s ability to meet his/her field placement and academic responsibilities.

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Placement breakdown

A placement breakdown may occur for the following reasons:

  • Lack of adequate supervision
  • A mismatch between student expectations and those of the local partner organization; and
  • An unanticipated change in the local partner organization’s priorities, funding or capacity to provide the student with a safe, secure and productive work environment.

A placement breakdown may occur for reasons that do not include:

  • The student’s ability to develop the skills necessary to fulfill the placement requirements; and
  • The student’s breach of professional conduct as detailed in the WUSC contract signed by the student.

Procedure for assessing placement breakdown

Placement breakdown is a serious matter that can have negative repercussions for the program, WUSC and its local partners. Before a decision to terminate a field placement contract due to breakdown can be taken, students are required to adhere to the following procedure:

  • The student discusses the reason for placement breakdown with his/her in-country WUSC supervisor. The WUSC supervisor may decide to visit the student to discuss the situation in person with the student and host organization before any further action or decision is warranted. The student and/or supervisor may then be consulted and advised by WUSC to take corrective action over a period of one to three weeks.
  • In cases where mediation or intervention by WUSC is not successful, the student is advised to notify WUSC and the INDEV field placement manager to request early termination of the contract. Students may not terminate a placement contract early without permission from WUSC.
  • If placement breakdown is confirmed, the student must follow instructions from WUSC on the process for termination and will begin the process of identifying a second placement in-country, in consultation with the student and the Field Placement Manager.

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Early termination

The program recognizes that the field placement is primarily a negotiated contract or agreement between the student, the placement provider, and the local partner organization. The purpose of the following section is to ensure that students understand the conditions for early termination by WUSC, other than those already discussed under placement breakdown. In the event of early termination by WUSC, students are advised to notify the INDEV Program Coordinator.

Early termination without a petition for academic accommodation will normally result in a grade of INC (Incomplete Course Work, no credit granted) for INDEV 401 and/or INDEV 402. INC will normally remain on the student’s record for one term after the INC is granted. After one term, if no action has been taken to resume or complete the field placement, the grade will be converted to FTC (Failed to Complete), which is calculated as 32%.

Grounds for early termination by WUSC

WUSC reserves the right to terminate the contract under the following types of circumstances:

  1. Political unrest, disorder/disruption in the country, health and safety concerns and/or a change in travel advisory issued by the Government of Canada.
  2. Difficulties experienced by WUSC and/or the local partner organization related to student performance, behaviour and non-compliance, such as:
    • failure to complete tasks assigned to him/her by the local partner
    • inability to adapt to his/her new living and working conditions
    • abandonment of his/her assignment
    • failure to notify WUSC before exiting the country
    • actions causing a serious material or moral harm to the interests of WUSC or local partner(s)
    • involvement in a fraudulent or illegal action or activity
    • aggressive or violent behaviour

In circumstances where the student’s alleged behaviour/actions is criminal and/or has potential legal consequences WUSC reserves the right to terminate the placement without notice.

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Non-completion of the field placement

The program recognizes that on occasion students may not be able to complete the field placement for reasons that are either within or beyond the student’s control. Given the importance placed on completing the field placement in its entirety, students unable to complete the field placement should contact the WUSC in-country supervisor, follow WUSC's instructions before returning to Canada, and contact the field placement manager for assistance.

Academic accommodation for non-completion

In the event of non-completion, the program will make every reasonable effort to ensure that students can fulfil their academic responsibilities. Students seeking academic accommodation for non-completion are advised to contact the INDEV Program Coordinator for assistance.

Requests for academic accommodation are reviewed by the Program Director before any final decisions. Students should make no assumptions about the outcome of a petition for academic accommodation.

Whether or not academic accommodation is granted will depend upon factors such as:

  • the amount of time the student has already spent on field placement prior to interruption or early termination
  • the nature and severity of illness/injury/capacity if applicable; and
  • the nature of the student’s request

Types of academic accommodation

In accordance with University of Waterloo policy several types of academic accommodation may be granted:

  1. An Incomplete Grade (INC) until such time as the student is able to complete the field placement. Students should be aware that it may not be possible to resume the original field placement and that extra costs may apply to complete a field placement elsewhere. WUSC will not charge an additional placement fee when returning a student to the original placement or arranging an alternative placement following illness/incapacity. Completion of the field placement is required for the BES-INDEV Practice Specialization.
  2. An Incomplete Grade (INC) until such time as the student completes an assignment in lieu of a return to field placement. The assignment will be determined and approved by the course instructor. In this case the student will normally graduate with the BES-INDEV or BES-INDEV Research Specialization.
  3. A grade of AEG (Aegrotat Grade) based on work completed prior to the date of illness/injury/incapacity.To be eligible for an AEG Grade, the student will have completed a minimum of six months of the field placement, INDEV 401 and 50% of the academic coursework prior to the date the illness/injury/incapacity. This grade is granted only under exceptional circumstances.

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Voluntary withdrawal

The program recognizes that on occasion students may decide to withdraw from the field placement course (and terminate the contract with the placement provider) for non-medical personal reasons. In such circumstances, the student is advised to notify the WUSC in-country supervisor, follow WUSC’s instructions, and notify the INDEV FPM and the INDEV Program Coordinator for assistance. Under such circumstances students may be eligible to complete the degree under the BES-INDEV Research Specialization. Note: extra tuition costs may apply.

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Roles and responsibilities

INDEV Manager, International Work Experience

The INDEV Field Placement Manager provides the following student services:

  • Assists students to understand the educational and development impact goals and objectives of the field placement
  • Discusses skills, language ability, academic interests and career goals with students prior to field placement
  • Maintains contact with the placement provider(s) to assess availability, quality and suitability of field placements and assists in matching students to host organizations
  • Informs and advises students about the application, matching and selection process
  • Arranges pre-departure training
  • Prepares supporting letters from the university for visas, health coverage extension, bursaries, student loans and awards
  • Refers students to appropriate university staff or external service providers for information, advice and/or counselling as needed
  • Distributes and collects from students the required University of Waterloo forms prior to departure, including the Acknowledgement of Risk and Responsibility Form and the Emergency Contact Information Form The forms can be downloaded from the pre-departure orientation page of the Waterloo International website.
  • Maintains contact with students overseas by email, phone or Skype
  • Advises students on cultural adaptation and workplace integration
  • Visits students once during the field placement or makes alternate arrangements for monitoring where site visits are not feasible
  • Coordinates the mandatory Debriefing and Capstone Program at the end of the field placement

World University Service of Canada (WUSC)

WUSC, as primary field placement provider, provides the following services to each field placement cohort:

  • Provides an estimate of travel and living costs for field placements in available field placement countries, prior to field placement application
  • Finalizes and provides a list of available local partner organizations for each cohort, in cooperation with the INDEV field placement manager
  • Coordinates communication with students, WUSC field offices, local partner organizations and the INDEV Field Placement Manager
  • Issues a contract to each student confirming the student’s acceptance for placement by a local partner organization and outlining the roles and responsibilities of student and WUSC during the pre- departure term, field placement, and return to Canada
  • Provides up-to-date information on safety, health, travels shots, country information
  • Provides students with local supervisor contact information following confirmation of placement
  • Assists local partner organizations to secure student visas and any other official documents required by authorities in field placement countries
  • Identifies a WUSC staff member to act as the in-country supervisor for each student who then liaises with WUSC and the INDEV Field Placement Manager for the duration of the placement
  • Sets the start and end dates for field placements in coordination with the INDEV Field Placement Manager
  • Advises students on amounts and schedule of payment and required documents, and then collects all required payment and documents from students
  • Arranges for the purchase of return airfare tickets on a reputable airline with minimum stops and at the best possible price
  • Advises students on accommodation options available in each country
  • Delivers a WUSC pre-departure orientation session on campus
  • Provides an in-country orientation session to each student
  • Arranges in-country language training for students (where needed)
  • Assists students to secure affordable, safe and appropriate housing or family stays for the duration of the field placement
  • Advises the INDEV field placement manager of any difficulties, serious illness or accident suffered by students, as well as any non-compliance with the terms of the WUSC contract
  • Arranges or instructs students on how to obtain visas for initial entry, and extension to eight months in-country
  • Arranges for transfer of student to an alternative country of placement and organization in the event that the student is refused without notice a visa or entry into the assigned country of placement through no fault of the student
  • Meets students upon arrival and arranges safe, affordable accommodation for the orientation period
  • Provides a 24-hour medical emergency telephone number in-country
  • Facilitates a first meeting with the local partner organization
  • Facilitates implementation of a learning and development plan
  • Visits students at least once per term
  • Conducts a debriefing session prior to and after students return to Canada

INDEV student

Prior to departure, students will do the following:

  • Remain in good academic standing by maintaining a minimum 70% major average and a minimum 65% overall average
  • Complete all required course work prior to departure
  • Complete a pre-departure course in LEARN organized by Waterloo International

  • Attend the mandatory WUSC pre-departure training, which may be held at St. Paul’s University College or Ottawa/Montreal. (Students will be notified of dates in Spring Term and are expected to arrange their schedules in order to attend. Alternate arrangements may be made only under exceptional circumstances.)

  • Complete a pre-departure medical examination and required immunizations

  • Submit all required fees, deposits and documentation as instructed by WUSC, including proof of adequate travel, health and accidental death insurance on specified due dates
  • Review all pre-departure information provided by WUSC and understand the potential risks and dangers associated with travelling and living overseas
  • Complete and submit the Emergency Contact Information Form and Acknowledgement of Risk and Responsibility Form to the INDEV field placement manager. The forms are available for download from the Waterloo International website.
  • Register online on the Government of Canada's website
  • Keep his/her Quest account and contact information up-to- date for the duration of the field placement
During field placement, students will do the following:
  • Comply with the terms and conditions set out in the WUSC contract for working as a volunteer with the local partner organization and cooperating with WUSC
  • Work under the supervision of the local partner organization supervisor, a designated staff member of the local partner organization
  • Follow any directives issued by the Canadian government or WUSC
  • Complete and submit all assignments required for INDEV 401/402 in accordance with the terms and deadlines set out by the Course Instructor
  • Advise your host organization and WUSC of any plans to travel outside the placement location
  • Notify his/her local supervisor and WUSC in the event of any difficulties, accidents, health problems, theft, workplace issues
  • Contact the INDEV FPM for assistance with issues pertaining to completion of the field placement
  • Contact the INDEV Program Coordinator for assistance with issues pertaining to academic requirements
  • Avoid participation in any activities in opposition to the government of the host country
  • Respect the laws and customs of the host country
  • Subscribe to and monitor the Government of Canada travel advisories for your country or region
Upon completion of the field placement, the student will do the following:
  • Return with his/her cohort to Canada on the pre-booked date of departure
  • Participate in the mandatory INDEV Capstone program and WUSC debriefing

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