Co-ops vs. Internship Programs – Study in Canada

Are you looking ahead to gain valuable international work experience while you study in Canada?

In that case, co-op or internship program will be appropriate for you!

You all must be knowing that many Canadian colleges and universities offer internship work programs to enrich the academic curriculum with first-hand real-world industry experience.

Co-op or internship programs are also an excellent means for students to earn money, gain work experience and develop professional contacts which can be instrumental in getting placed post studies.

Eligibility Benchmarks:

  • International Students need a work permit along with the study permit to be eligible for these programs.
  • In case your acceptance letter confirms that a co-op or internship placement is part of your program’s curriculum, you will be eligible to get work permit along with the study permit, which means you need not apply for a separate work permit.

Watch Out – You won’t be eligible for a co-op work permit if you are studying:

English or French as second language (ESL/FSL)


General interest courses or courses to prepare for another study program. In such cases, you ought to get a valid work permit to work in Canada.

(*General interest courses can be educational workshops or programs which are not academic which means you may not usually get a diploma or a degree. In spite of this, they may be useful in upgrading your skills and advancing your career through professional development).


The duration of the co-op or internship employment does not exceed 50% of the total program of study.

3 Significant differences in Co-ops and Internship Programs

After gaining this vital information, you would surely like to know whether there is any difference in Co-ops and Internship programs or they’re one and the same. So let’s analyse the differences as well as the benefits of enrolling in these programs for a better overview.

Co-ops vs Internship Programs



Only those who maintain 60 to 65% steady academic scores are eligible for these programs.

At times the eligibility may be raised to 70% as well.

The student who have 60 % academic scores are also eligible for these programs.
They’re for a longer duration, mostly for a semester. These programs are usually for a few weeks.
They’re usually mandatory and a student gets paid for the work. They’re mostly optional and unpaid.

*At times the students may have to pay to the organization to get an internship.

The succeeding generation of Canada’s entrepreneurs, researchers and trailblazers need a broad skill set to succeed and contribute to the global economy. To meet this requirement, universities are enriching students with career-boosting learning experiences, such as paid co-ops and internships, research projects and mentorship programs.

So what are you waiting for? It’s time to get into action,

Embrace your future and let study in Canada become your choice to avail yourself of the opportunity to earn and gain professional exposure while you pursue your academic goals.