Co-op Courses in Canada

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Best Co-Op Courses in Canada

Did you know Canada offers courses that allow you to learn and earn at the same time? Co-op courses of cooperative education in Canada is a system developed for students looking for work experience in the undergraduate or graduate program curriculum. The course aims to train the students with both theoretical and practical knowledge. If you aiming to study in Canada for the upcoming intake, then you can consider choosing Co-op courses.

India vs Canada: Which Country is Best for You?

What are Co-op Courses in Canada?

Canada is a country that most Indian students flock to when they decide to study abroad. Along with the best student cities and student life, the co-op courses in Canada are also an attraction.  Co-op courses allow international students to pursue degrees that have alternate terms of work and study. Universities in Canada have ties with numerous companies that employ students from co-op courses to work in their work term. The companies pay the students in return for their work. Co-op courses are of 5 years for undergraduate programs and 2 to 3 years for graduate programs. To understand the co-op course structure better, let’s look at the table below describing the University of Waterloo co-op course structure.

Co-op courses in Canada
Courtesy: University of Waterloo website

The average pay that a co-op student receives $21 per hour (₹1270) per hour. If they work for 20 hours per week, they can earn as much as $5040 (₹3.06 lakhs) per work term of 3 months. This figure is tentative and differs from course to course.

Benefits of Co-op Courses in Canada

Let’s have a look at what you can gain while doing a co-op course in Canada:-

  • Work experience– Co-op courses in Canada allow you to earn valuable work experience of at least 8 months before you complete yours. 
  • Better job opportunities– When employers see that you have more work experience, you are offered high paying jobs compared to your fellow colleagues.
  • Cover basic cost of living– Co-op employers pay you for the hours you put in which might be enough to cover your day to day expenses as an international student. 
  • Learn and implement– While you learn concepts related to your subject in one term, you implement them at your co-op job in your work term. 
  • Learning professionalism– You learn how to behave in a workspace, business ethics and communication skills even before you graduate.
  • Developing field-specific skills– If you are doing a co-op in architecture, you’ll learn how to read a site along with your boss in your work term. Such learnings only come to you after you graduate.

Also Read: Canada Education System

Top Universities for Co-op Courses in Canada

Canada is one of the countries with the largest co-op courses in the world. Universities promote co-op culture to shape a better education for each and every student. Here’s a list of the top 10 universities that offer co-op courses in Canada. 

UniversitiesWorld University Ranking 
University of Waterloo154 (QS WUR 2023)
Wilfrid Laurier University1247 (US NEWS 2022)
Simon Fraser University=328 (QS WUR 2023)
University of British Columbia 47 (QS WUR 2023)
University of Victoria=359 (QS WUR 2023)
Centennial College1302 (QS WUR 2022)
University of Quebec=571-580 (QS WUR 2023)
University of Ottawa=237 (QS WUR 2023)
University of Calgary 242 (QS WUR 2023)
University of Alberta110 (QS WUR 2023)

Do you know that the University of Waterloo has a network of 7,100 co-op employers offering opportunities to students in their work terms! Get in touch with our counsellor on 1800-572-000 to know more about the co-op courses in Waterloo. 

Also Read: Top Universities in Canada for Computer Science

Difference Between Co-op Course and Internship in Canada

Internships are also temporary jobs you do while you are in college. So what makes it different from co-op courses in Canada? 

Internships in CanadaCo-op courses in Canada
Internships last 2 or 3 months. Work terms in co-op courses are collective of 8 to 12 months.
You may or may not get paid.Co-op employers will pay you for the hours you work.
Anyone can apply for an internship and at any time. Only students from the co-op courses are only allowed to work during the work term.
In internships, you only gain work experience.In co-op courses, you learn during your study term and implement it during your work term.

Even though they sound similar, internships and co-op courses are two very different concepts. 

Why Only a Few Universities Offer Co-op Courses in Canada?

Co-op courses are a part of a very progressive and practical system of education. Universities in Canada may find it difficult or time-consuming to shift towards a completely new system. Secondly, finding industry partners who are willing to hire co-op students in the work term and also pay them is a tedious process. Such a change demands huge expenses and changes the advertising model of the university. Co-op courses are more expensive than regular courses. This is a disappointing factor for a lot of students who wish to study in Canada on a budget.

Eligibility Requirements for Co-op Work Permit

If you have the Canada study permit, you can apply for the co-op work permit to work as an international student during your co-op courses in Canada. Other eligibility requirements are:-

  • Enrolled in a program that requires work to receive the degree
  • Letter from DLI (Designated Learning Institute) that confirms that students from this co-op course in Canada require work placements
  • Work terms cover a maximum of 50% or less of the entire course.

If you are enrolled in ESL/FSL or other regular courses, you are not eligible for the co-op work permit. 

How to Apply for a Co-op Course in Canada as an Indian Student?

The application process takes place over a period of time and begins months before the commencement of classes. To study Co-op courses in Canada students must apply from the official websites of the different universities. You can call our Leverage Edu experts on 1800 572 000 to find out how the application process can be fast-tracked and streamlined to Canada! Here’s an easy 5-step process to complete your application process for universities offering co-op courses in Canada:

  1. Call our experts on 1800 572 000 to shortlist your favourite universities and courses. Start your application to multiple universities through our one dashboard platform
  2. Compile all your documents like SOPs, essays, certificates and LORs and exam scores like IELTS, TOEFL, GRE, GMAT, etc
  3. Meet all the applications deadlines and start the application process for accommodation, Canada students visa, and scholarships/student loans
  4. Accept the offer letter and meet your teachers, college mates and roommates virtually
  5. Get your visa approved and fly to your dream university!

How Can You Find Co-op Positions in Canada?

When you apply for a co-op course in Canada, it is not just you but your entire class looking for a co-op position in their work term. Therefore, the atmosphere becomes really competitive. There are three ways you can find good co-op positions in Canada and they are:- 

  • Co-op advisor– Connect to your co-op advisor who will support you and notify you about co-op positions available. 
  • Networking– You can communicate to your seniors about your concern to see whether they can recommend you to their co-op employers.
  • Online listings– You can surf through online listings on your university website or third-party portals such as Indeed. 

Multinational corporations such as Cargill, Pepsico, etc hire students from co-op courses in Canada.

Cost of Studying Co-op Courses in Canada

Co-op courses offer a more practical dynamic to the education system therefore their tuition fee is higher compared to regular courses. If you are enrolled in a co-op course in Canada, you pay differently for the study terms and the work terms. 

For study terms, the average tuition fee is $500- $700 (INR 37334- 52267) and the co-op cost during the work terms is $200-$600 (INR 14933-44801). During the work term, you still use university services. So, you have to pay a co-op fee. Other than this, the cost of living in Canada for an international student is given below:- 

Type of ExpenseAverage Cost
Accommodation₹4.87- ₹6.8 lakhs per year
Food and leisure₹7.5 lakhs per year
Travel ₹21,230 per year
Books and learning resources₹85,000- ₹1.27 lakhs per year
Utilities ₹60890 per year


What is a co-op course in Canada?

Co-op means co-operative education with work and study terms.

Do you get paid for a co-op work term?

Yes, the co-op employer does pay you for your work. 

Do I need a work permit for co-op courses in Canada?

Yes, you need a co-op work permit along with a Canadian student permit for co-op courses in Canada.

How long are undergraduate co-op courses in Canada?

Co-op courses in Canada at the undergraduate level are of 5 years. 

Do I have the option of starting co-op work terms in my second year?

Yes, you have the flexibility to start co-op work terms in the second year of the co-op course. 

How do I get co-op jobs in Canada?

You can get a co-op job through online listings, university help or networking. 

How long is a co-op work term?

A co-op work term in Canada can be for 3 to 4 months. 

Do I need to pay tuition fees during the work term?

You need not pay the tuition fee while doing a co-op work term in Canada but you have to pay a co-op fee for using the university services. 

Co-op courses in Canada are the future of education with companies hiring graduates with work experience. If you wish to study in Canada and pursue co-op courses but are confused about where to start from? Call our Leverage Edu experts at 1800 57 2000 to book your FREE 30-minutes sessions today!

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