According to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (2019), Canada is now the world’s third-leading destination of international students, with a staggering 642,000 foreign students. Among those international students, around 60% are interested in becoming permanent residents of Canada after their studies, according to the Canadian Bureau for International Education (CBIE) research (2019). Therefore, upon graduation obtaining full-time employment is paramount to stay in Canada. However, the Canadian job market is competitive and many employers expect new college graduates to have relevant Canadian work experience in the field of their studies. Hence, this is where a co-op program can give you a boost in achieving your dream in Canada.
What is a Co-op program?
Many college study programs include work experience as part of their curriculum. The co-op experience is a full-time work experience over a period of time. During the Co-op, students may work up to 35 or 40 hours a week; thus, they don’t enroll in any classes. The idea is to help students to gain work experience without conflicting with their studies. In addition, most Co-ops are paid positions. The Co-op program provides students with more in-depth and extensive work experience, which can give students a competitive advantage in the job market over their peers.
For example, at Create Career College we offer Hospitality Management Co-op program. Students who meet our language requirements can directly enroll in the program. For those who need English, impartments can first enroll in our English program, upon meeting the language requirements students can enroll in the Hospitality Management Co-op program. Create Career College offers both a Hospitality Management certificate and diploma.
Detailed information is available at Hospitality Management. Students will first complete their academic courses, then they can proceed with their Co-op. Our career advisor will help students to tailor their resumes and provide mock interviews. The Co-op opportunity enables students to practice their in-class theory, as well as gain Canadian work experience.
Who is eligible for a Co-op program?
The short answer for the subtopic is, everybody is eligible for a Co-op study program. However, before international students can proceed to their Co-op stage, by law, they must obtain a Co-op Work Permit. According to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (2020), students with a valid study permit, work is required to complete the study program in Canada, and co-op placement or internship totals 50% or less of the study program are eligible for a Co-op Work Permit.
However, some students are in Canada on their Visitor Visa; therefore, they are not eligible for programs lasting over 6 months. If you are in the same situation, don’t panic; here are a few steps that you can legally change your status from a visitor to a student.
At Create Career College, we accept students with Visitor Visa for our English as a Second Language (ESL) and English for Academic Purposes (EAP) programs. Detailed information for both English programs is available at ESL and EAP. After you completed your English program, then you can apply to a Canadian college. After that, you can use your offer letter to change your status in Canada.
The advantage of this path is that you have the opportunity to learn English with native English speakers, which will further benefit your daily and academic life in Canada. With that being said, you do not need to submit an IELTS score when applying to Canadian colleges upon competing in your English program. Furthermore, the success rate is higher when applying for a study permit within Canada comparing to overseas.
In summary, no matter what status you hold in Canada, the Co-op program will help you to achieve your dreams.