Co-op for an International Student: Part I

As the time for my first co-op work term approaches, I thought I’d let you all into the entire process I went through before getting here.

“Everything for international students is more expensive”

It’s no surprise that everything for international students is more expensive; including co-op. Although the actual price of being in the program is the same for all students, I also need to pay for extra things such as a Co-op permit, as well as to extend my current four-year student visa, which is expensive and also requires a lot of work.

Poor Sailor Moon

Poor Sailor Moon | Giphy.com

Struggles of living miles away from family

My family doesn’t live in Canada with me. I miss them a LOT, and it’s very expensive to fly out to them, so when I am flying out to them, I like staying for as long as possible. Being in Co-op means I can’t fly out to them every summer for more than a week or two, because two of the Co-op work terms happen during the summers.

The choice would’ve been simple for anyone else, but I had a lot of factors to consider. I also didn’t have any other international Co-op student to talk to. One of the things I hope this blog series accomplishes is to tackle all your questions and concerns – one student to another – because it truly helps a lot, and I wish I was able to have a guide.

Pros & Cons list makes everything easier, right?

I decided to make a pros and cons list. I did so much research for it: spoke to people in the Business Career Hub, International Student Support, as well as upper year students who have already done a few work terms wanting to know their stories and experiences. This was my list. The answer still seemed hazy.

I was still hesitant to apply, but I wanted to keep my options open in case I ended up finally deciding to do it.

Ultimate Realization

On June 29th, 2018 I got the email, and there I was, selected to be in TRSM’s Co-op program. It wasn’t until the Co-op Symposium on July 21st, 2018 where I finally knew that I wanted – no needed – to be in this amazing program. They gave us an in-depth view into the program like never before. It made us realize how truly rewarding this experience will be, how competitive the program is, and how we’ve worked so hard for it and are truly deserving of being here. Co-op student panelists answered our questions honestly, and it was such a refreshing feeling to have finally made up my mind – not on a whim, but simply by doing a significant amount of research, utilizing all the available resources, and attending the Symposium. I discovered I am blessed to be in this program.

 

 

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