You can do your co-op anywhere . . . in the world. Many Wentworth students express an interest in going abroad for their co-ops and quite a few have done it.
One approach to an international co-op may start with a global company that is on your targeted company list. One student did her optional co-op at Raytheon, but she really wanted to work in the automotive industry. That likely meant working outside of New England. She set out to apply for automotive co-ops and landed an opportunity to interview with VW.
One problem: VW was her dream company but she was mad at them for the recent emissions scandal. She decided to go to the interview anyway. If she didn’t like them, she could turn them down and if she did, maybe she could change them.
She interviewed well and was offered a co-op in Tennessee. Her co-op was great and at the end she was offered an opportunity to go back and co-op with VW again, but this time in Germany.
A Computer Networking student started working at Schneider Electric part-time. He did his optional co-op in U.S. with them and his first mandatory in France and spent a bit of time in Netherlands. For his last co-op, he was back in the states but he kept getting more responsibility each time he worked for Schneider Electric.
Leveraging connections to land an international co-op – Originally, this student found an internship in his home state of Connecticut with a company that was beginning a large bridge construction project in his home town. Unfortunately, the project came under delay due to a legal dispute and his co-op had to be cancelled.
With not much time left to find a new co-op, he spoke to his father who suggested he work for his employer’s IT department in their headquarters in Munich, Germany. The bank his father originally worked for, Helvea in NYC, was bought by Baader Bank a few years back. He sent his resume over to the head of the IT department who offered him as a co-op. His supervisor was also gracious enou gh to offer him a room in his home for the duration of the term.
This student has had the opportunity to speak with many of the higher ups here at the company including the founder of the bank himself. He says, “It’s been an incredible experience so far and a huge learning experience”.
Another student leveraged family connections in Ireland and as a result, did his optional co-op at Dell-EMC Ireland in Cork.
These are just some examples on how Wentworth students have secured a co-op abroad. I recommend you start early. You will need enough time to do the research, arrange for a work visa, housing and travel arrangements. Specific programs that offer opportunities to do a co-op abroad often have early deadlines, so plan ahead.
A couple of tips:
-Research countries and regions’ economies by doing some labor market research. Visa restrictions may be a factor in countries where the economy is at a low point. So, focus on countries with recovering or prospering economies. Check government websites as well as local and international industry associations, for e.g. European Commission’s European Job Mobility Portal and the European Employment Observatory
-Research countries and regions for travel advisories: https://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/alertswarnings.html
Resources for Searching for International Co-ops:
My Perfect Resume: International Job Resources – This site has helpful links about the international job search.
Global Edge – A database of international internship/co-op opportunities.
AIESEC – An international platform that helps young people discover and develop their potential to have a positive impact on society. The AIESEC Global Internship Program has four streams including: Management: Internships in general business functions such as marketing, finance and HR and Technical: Internships in IT and engineering.
DAAD – Rise Program – The Research Internships in Science and Engineering program is administered by the German Academic Exchange Service. It is for students studying biology, chemistry, earth sciences, engineering and physics. The program sends students from all over the world to Germany to work with doctoral students on research projects over the summer. Note: the working language is English however, knowing some basic German will be beneficial.
IAESTE – The International Association for the Exchange of Students for Technical Experience places students who are currently in full-time attendance at a university or college studying engineering, technical sciences, or technologies such as architecture, agriculture, and forestry. Please note the eligibility criteria, application procedures, salaries and fees.
Greater Copenhagen Career Portal; specifically, for Engineering – Greater Copenhagen is a metropolitan region that covers Eastern Denmark and Skåne in Southern Sweden. This website lists jobs at companies in the Greater Copenhagen region especially suited for international candidates. It functions as a matchmaking service that facilitates the contact between companies in Greater Copenhagen and qualified international candidates interested in pursuing a career in Greater Copenhagen.
European Undergraduate Research Opportunities – EuroScholars is a unique research abroad program designed for advanced and talented undergraduate students from US and Canadian institutions looking for an international research experience. The program offers these students to conduct research at one of the 7 internationally renowned European Research Universities. In this program, students take one course in the classroom and then work under the direct supervision of professors and other academic staff on a specific academic research project chosen by both the student and the faculty. There is a cost for tuition and fees associated with this program.
Please note that there may be fees associated with the services that these organizations provide.